Structure & Governance

The NZPsS Executive

The NZPsS is governed by and Executive made up of members elected by the membership. The Executive has the overall responsibility of determining the strategic direction, policies and priorities for the Society. The Executive is made up of twelve members including the Executive Director who is an ex officio member.

The NZPsS Rules (PDF)  underpin the governance of the NZPsS. 

Minutes from Executive Meetings and other information can be found on this page.

NZPsS Executive and Executive Director

The NZPsS Executive is made up of seven elected members and two Directors of Bicultural Issues who are appointed by the National Standing Committee on Bicultural Issues. The Executive also has a Kaihautū/Kaumatua who supports and advises the Executive on bicultural issues. The Executive Director is an ex officio member of the Executive.

President: Tania Anstiss
President-Elect: Dr Rebecca Wirihana
Director of Professional Development and Training: Prof Bridgette Masters-Awatere
Director of Social Issues: Lisa Stewart
Director of Bicultural Issues: Dr Hukarere Valentine
Director of Bicultural Issues: Megan Fitzpatrick
Director of Professional Issues: Iris Fontanilla​​​​​​​
Director of Scientific Issues: Dr Erin Tahauri
Student Rep: Jacquie Shanks
Tauira Māori: Abigail Cashell
Kaihautu: Assoc.Prof Waikaremoana Waitoki
Co-opted: Brian Dixon


Tania Anstiss
Tania Anstiss
Tania Anstiss is President of the New Zealand Psychological Society and is a registered Clinical Psychologist. Tania is passionate about supporting the development of the psychology profession and growing her ability to be a proactive and effective ally for tangata whenua in Aotearoa. Particular interests are relational and intergenerational trauma, working with whānau, tamariki and pēpē, intervening early to support positive outcomes. As the Child and Youth Psychology Lead, Te Whatu Ora Waitemata, Tania works in Infant Mental Health and in private practice she provides professional supervision to practitioners in a range of professions. Tania is also involved with supporting and advocating for families in Aotearoa and internationally who are living with the impacts of brain disease.
Dr Rebecca Wirihana
Dr Rebecca Wirihana
Ko Taranaki me Whakarapa ngā maunga. Ko Waitōtara te awa. Ko Hokianga te moana. Ko Ngā Rauru kī tahi, Ngāti Maniapoto, Tainui, Te Rarawa me Ngāpuhi ngā iwi. Dr Rebecca Wirihana has a passion for exploring Māori methods of healing front trauma and has specialised in kaupapa Māori mental health and addictions services. Dr Wirihana’s research examined Māori leadership, Māori women's journeys of learning te reo and Māori methods of healing from historical trauma on the He Kokonga Whare Research Program with Te Atawhai o te Ao (Independent Māori Research Institute for Environment and Health). More recently, she worked with Te Mana Karereā alongside several of her kaimahi Māori colleagues throughout mental health services in Te Whatu Ora ki Te Tai Tokerau with a focus on advancing tikanga based service delivery and reducing inequity. Presently, Dr Wirihana is a Principal Advisor and the Trauma Expert Lead with the Crown Response to the Abuse in Care Inquiry.
Dr Erin Tahauri
Dr Erin Tahauri
Director of Scientific Issues
Dr Erin Tahauri is a consultant clinical psychologist/neuropsychologist in Te Tai Tokerau. She conducts neuropsychological assessments for children and adolescents in care and through the child development services. Prior to her work as a psychologist, she completed her Master of Social Work degree and worked as a clinical social worker in private practice while she continued her doctoral studies. She obtained her Doctorate of Clinical Psychology and her dissertation research focused on fostering identity and self-esteem amongst Hawaii’s adolescents through a modern interpretation of indigenous Hawaiian cultural values and practices. Her work and interests have focused on neuropsychology, therapeutic interventions for the neurodiverse, traumatic brain injury and cognitive rehabilitation, post-partum mood disorder specialisation, family/couple therapeutic intervention, and clinical supervision. Erin and her ohana moved to Aotearoa from Hawaii in 2017 where she has worked in the public health system since.
Dr Hukarere Valentine
Dr Hukarere Valentine
Director of Bicultural Issues
Dr Hukarere Valentine is of Māori descent and born and raised in Heretaunga, Ngati Kahungunu and affiliates to the tribes of Ngāi Tahu, Te Ātiawa, Tūwharetoa ki Kawerau, Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tūhoe, and Ngā Puhi. Hukarere has been a practicing clinical psychologist now for almost 12 years and has worked within the areas of forensics, mental health, student research, clinical and cultural supervision, chronic health conditions and psycho oncology. Currently Hukarere is the Haumaru Tautoko Hauora within the Health conditions and cancer psychology services in the Massey Psychology Clinic Turitea campus. Hukarere is also involved in the Clinical Psychology training program at Massey University, with a specific focus around the incorporation and advancement of a bicultural component within the Clinical Psychology programme. Her research interests specifically centre on the consideration and development of Māori models of psychological practice with a particular passion for wairua (spirituality) and wellbeing. Her Doctorate of Clinical Psychology research thesis was oriented toward this focus.
Iris Fontanilla
Iris Fontanilla
Director of Professional Issues
Iris is a Registered Psychologist who has been practicing in the public health care sector for two decades. Iris has specialist knowledge and experience in the development and provision of robust Health Psychology Services tailored to meet the needs of those with co-morbid physical health and psychological conditions. Iris is one of the first Aotearoa New Zealand trained Health Psychologists. She completed her Health Psychology Internship at Liaison Psychiatry, Waitematā District Health Board. Iris gained her tertiary qualifications from the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland. Iris currently works as the Clinical Lead, Psychology, Consultant Health Psychologist for the Cardiovascular Directorate, Te Whatu Ora Te Toka Tumai Auckland District. She provides clinical supervision for Registered Psychologists, Clinical Psychologists, and Pre-Interns. She holds an Honorary Lecturer position at the Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland where she teaches Health Psychology Interns, Post-graduate nursing and medical students.
Professor Bridgette Masters-Awatere
Professor Bridgette Masters-Awatere
Director of Professional Development and Training
Lisa Stewart
Director of Social Issues

Meghan website.jpgMegan Fitzpatrick
Director of Bicultural Issues

Megan Fitzpatrick (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine), Megan is a registered Educational Psychologist.  She began her career working in Learning Support for the Ministry of Education, predominantly with ākonga and whānau Māori in both Māori and English medium.  She currently holds a national role as Kaitohutohu Ārahi in the Ministry’s National Service Support and Guidance roopu.   Megan’s passion and mahi is to contribute to better outcomes for all mokopuna and whānau Māori, and in raising cultural awareness and improving practitioner preparation before engaging with whānau Māori, as part of the solution.

Abigail Cashell
Tauira Māori Student representative

Jacquie Shanks
Jacquie Shanks
NZPsS Student Representative
Alongside my psychology studies, I have been committed to learning Te Reo Māori for many years and during 2023 I volunteered at a school in full immersion Māori classes as a way to further strengthen my spoken reo. I have experience as a Massey University Student Representative and am comfortable relaying feedback between parties in order to highlight challenges and seek resolution. I appreciate that psychology students have seats at the table of the NZPsS Executive and I love to have the opportunity to be that representative to continue highlighting what is working and what may benefit from changes for the pathway of the future psychologists of Aotearoa.
Brian Dixon
Brian Dixon
Brian spent his formative years in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato. He completed his clinical psychology training and Masters in community service evaluation at the University of Otago. As a senior psychologist in the Hamilton office of the Department of Justice Psychological Services, Brian developed CBT-based residential programmes for violent offenders and when he became Otago/Southland’s Regional Senior Psychologist, was awarded an ANZAC Fellowship to study specialised offender treatment programmes. Since 2001, Brian has been on Otago’s clinical psychology training programme staff and operates a private practice in Dunedin. His research and professional interests include: professional ethics, treatment applications of virtual/mixed reality systems and climate psychology. He was on the NZPsS Ethical Issues Committee for 14 years and its convenor for nine, during which time he actively campaigned for radical changes to the Code of Ethics, which resulted in the current Code. Brian is a Fellow of the Society, a member of the Society’s Climate Psychology Task Force, a member of the Institute of Clinical Psychology and was a founding member of the Institutes of Community and Criminal Justice Psychology. He was Otago-Southland Branch chairperson for 10 years and was a member of the former Council of the Society.
Veronica Pitt
Veronica Pitt
Executive Director
Veronica joined the Society as its Executive Director in 2020 and is responsible for the management of the organisation. She attended the University of Canterbury, followed by the University of Wyoming for her Bachelors of Commerce and Arts, and Master of Arts degrees. Her career to date has been in the not-for-profit sector, working with Family violence prevention agencies in the Horowhenua and then moving through various governance and management roles with Playcentre Aotearoa.

National Office

The NZPsS is managed by an Executive Director who supports the Executive in its work and is an ex officio member of the Executive. National Office staff’s work centres around supporting the NZPsS to provide services and benefits to members and information to the public.

Branches and Institutes

Members and student subscribers can join professional institutes and can participate in the activities of local branches.

National Standing Committee on Bicultural Issues (NSCBI)

The Society has established a National Standing Committee on Bicultural Issues(NSCBI) to advise on appropriate cultural development. In addition the NSCBI contributes to the functioning of the Society, through regular contributions to publications, advice to the Executive and providing advice and expertise in relation to workshops on cultural justice and biculturalism. The NSCBI provides advice and direction to the Executive in relation to the Society’s bicultural commitment.

National Office

The National Office is the gateway for members to access services and resources and the National Office team provide support and assistance to NZPsS members and the Executive.

Veronica Pitt
Executive Director

 Helen Weststrate

Heike Albrecht

Sisilia new for web 100x120.jpg


Sisilia Joseph

Strategic Plan

Click to view the Society’s strategic plan and here as a visual version.

Past Presidents of the NZPsS 

Click here to view the list of past NZPsS Presidents

Rules of the Society

The Rules of the Society (PDF) guide the governance and activities of the NZPsS. NZPsS Institutes are also governed by a set of Rules.

Annual General Meeting

The NZPsS AGM is held at the NZPsS Annual Conference in August/September each year. Members of the NZPsS who are, Full Members, Life Members, Associate Fellows and Fellows may vote on items of business conducted at the AGM.