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Our team

Jane Zintl, Chief Executive Officer

What I love about Ara Taiohi: We have the best kaupapa and vision in the world!  Te Puawaitanga Taiohi o Ara Taiohi, that young people in Aotearoa flourish.  Our wider youth development whanau (like the young people we serve) is vibrant and diverse, and we celebrate this.  Our shared vision is what unifies us.

I bring: commitment, heart and energy.

My favourite food: curry – cooked by my hubby with a nice glass of pinot gris.

Ask me about: while I am known as the COE lady – and I am happy to talk about this forever – ask me about strengths!

My role model is: a combo of my kids, Mother Teresa, my husband and Tessa Dodge (leader of Strengths Finder South Pacific).

Brenda Crooks, Office Administrator

What I love about Ara Taiohi: Awesome people who are fun to work with.

I bring: My lunch every day.

My favourite food: Where do I start? Probably pizza, but gluten free base is kinda killing it for me.

Ask me about: Growing up in Greymouth.

My role model is: Oprah! She’s overcome a difficult early life and become a huge inspiration for positivity.


Shannan Wong, Communications & Youth Week Coordinator

What I love about Ara Taiohi: The working environment, the membership, constant inspiration and connection to positive youth development.

I bring: over a decade as a Youthline Wellington volunteer, laughter, social media and energy (definitely not height).

My favourite food: bacon and... cocktails o_o.

Ask me about: an Apostille, emojis and my fave places to visit (drink) in the world.

My role models are: my family (especially the legacy of my Yetyet), Rep John Lewis and Malala Yousafzai.


Kirsten Le Harivel, Digital Strategy Manager

What I love about Ara Taiohi is: its potential to work collaboratively and intersectorally to make a difference for young people in Aotearoa.

I bring: experience in many areas of the youth sector and a collaborative and solutions-focussed approach.

My favourite food is: anything cooked with love and skill.

Ask me about: writing, poetry and food.

My role models are: people who live their lives simply and with dignity, respect and humility.


Nat Sargent, Korowai Tupu Membership Manager

What I love about Ara Taiohi: I'm passionate about what Ara Taiohi stands for, the work they do and the dedication they have for the youth sector of Aotearoa.

I bring: I used to bring liquorice tea, until some appeared in the cupboard. 

My favourite food: that depends on the day and country... but favour savoury over sweets.

Ask me about: that would depend on how long you would like to chat.... Disney - short conversation. Living in the outback - longer convo.

My role model is: anyone that has magic and I can learn from, those that walk a different path to myself that I can gain another perspective of life.


Jack Trolove, Rainbow Ready Manager

What I love about Ara Taiohi is: I love that Ara Taiohi gets to think, dream and work strategically, and can focus on the big picture -  not always just ambulance at the bottom of the cliff stuff.

The bottom of the cliff is crucially important mahi, but I’ve seen and felt so much burn out in that space, so l love getting to be part of a peak body that can advocate for proper resourcing and stemming of the problems in the first place.

I bring: the rainbows lol

My favourite food: pavlova, and my sister’s flash hand made pasta. In seperate bowls.

Ask me about: getting ‘rainbow ready’... This is the awesome national project we’re setting up alongside loads of rainbow organisations and youth groups around Aoteaora, to make sure the whole youth sector has access to great information and practice training in this space. The idea is that everyone feels confident and competent working with young people who are diverse in terms of sexualities, gender identities and or sex characteristics. Boom! 

My role model is: the incomparable Elizabeth Kerekere.


Thanks to all the staff and contractors who have contributed to Ara Taiohi so far:

Adela Jones, Andrea Leersnyder, Anya Satyanad, Brittney Schinzel, Dayna Carter, Glenda McCallum, Hannah Dunlop, Kabel Manga, Elizabeth Kerekere, Leanne O'Connell, Rachel Dobric, Ray Ropata, Sandra Dickson, Simon Hartman, Sonya Hogan, Trina King and  Wendy Osmond.