Meet The Team

Meet the Board Members

Amanda Sorrenson

Amanda Sorrenson

National Coordinator, Instagram Manager and Vegan Speaker

Amanda has been vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2003.
She is from Auckland has been a board member and the National Coordinator since 2011. As a board member she’d like to ensure that the Vegan Society continues to increase its resourcing and building of the vegan community so that we can help people become and remain vegan in New Zealand.

Claire Insley

Claire Insley

Media Spokesperson

Claire became vegan in 2000, having been vegetarian since she was 15. She has been a board member since February 2015. She volunteered for Greenpeace for over 20 years, including a year of sea time. Improving the visibility of veganism in mainstream media is part of her mission. She currently lives a low carbon lifestyle on the West Coast in Buller, teaching qi gong and offering therapeutic massage and Reiki. She has authored a book “The Way of the Rainbow Warrior”.

Mark Fitzpatrick

Mark Fitzpatrick

Vegan Living Talks Coordinator

Mark has been involved in animal rights since a teenager, initially in Ireland’s embryonic movement and later in the much more developed UK movement. A hunt saboteur for many years, Mark has been vegan since 1989 and got involved with the NZ Vegan Society via his vegan outreach Inititive called “Vegan Living Auckland”. He is currently helping raise two beautiful plant-based children and has a background in mental health nursing.

Suli Autagavaia

Suli Autagavaia

Pasifika Correspondent

Suli is a proud Kiwi-Pasifika woman who is committed to her passions in Veganism; Vegan leadership; Animal Rights advocacy and Wildlife Conservation. Writing and volunteering for these causes has been a lifelong commitment. Suli will assist the Board to promote, educate and share the beauty and benefits of Veganism through her writing and speaking projects.
Chris Huriwai

Chris Huriwai

Māori Content Creator

Chris went vegetarian at age 13 and transitioned to vegan after watching the Earthlings documentary in 2016. Chris is of Ngāpuhi, Ngati Porou and Te Atiawa descent. Coming from a background of extreme sports and working in the Maori health and social sector, Chris brings his experience of being a Maori vegan and community worker to his animal rights activism, working to encourage Maori to embrace the lifestyle for its benefits while also striving to create activist communities/resources throughout the country. Chris is currently based in Te Whanganui-A-Tara.

Helen Fletcher

Helen Fletcher


Helen has been involved with the Vegan Society since 2015, the same year she took off her blinkers to discover what went on behind closed doors in animal agriculture and dairying. Between being a busy mum to two young vegan kids and working for a vegan cheese company, Helen helps the Society on the financial side to ensure that we are financially sound and compliant.

Meet the Team

Hannah Lessells

Hannah Lessells


Originally from the UK, moved to Wellington in 2005 and now living on the West Coast, Hannah joined the board in 2011. She has been vegetarian from birth and vegan since 2008. She originally got involved with the Vegan Society through creating a vegan community on facebook for Wellington and finding other vegans in the area for support and friendships. After 10 years of serving on the board, she remains a vital part of our IT.

Adrian Hatwell

Adrian Hatwell

Vegan Magazine Editor and Facebook Manager

Adrian has been a member of the Board since 2017, helping out with the Awards since their inception, He has stepped down from his Board role to concentrate on his other tasks recently. Giving himself a better work life balance, as he also edits a top photography magazine and has a teenage son.
Jana Kastner

Jana Kastner

Designer, Magazine Layout and Food Editor

Originally from Germany, Jana moved to Aotearoa in 2010. She has been plant-based and vegan for more than 20 years. Trained as a
graphic designer she supports the Society in various design projects since 2011. She also does layout and food editing of our NZ Vegan Magazine.

Jo Sim

Jo Sim

Challenge Coordinator

Jo runs our 21 Day Easy Vegan Challenge. A veggie since 11years old, and vegan since 2005, she is committed to animal protection and has worked and volunteered for animal charities across the globe in various capacities. Jo also has a passion for sustainable travel, social justice and works with non-profit, Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Canterbury in the South Island. Originally from Scotland, she now calls Aotearoa home.

Meg McKenzie

Meg McKenzie

Website Layout and Updates

Originally from the UK, Meg moved to South Island, NZ in 1990. She has been vegan since 2019 and deeply regrets it not being sooner. She immediately channelled her energies into volunteering and street activism through the Queenstown Vegan Society and later mentoring on the 21 Day Easy Vegan Challenge. Her design background is now being put to use through creating and managing the QVS and the NZ Vegan Society websites.

Our Volunteers

 We also give thanks to our amazing team of other volunteers who help out so much with the Vegan Society’s important work.  They might help keep our website up to date, run stalls, help out at Vegan 101s, do some admin work, film vegan VIPs and so much more! Together they contribute some 500 hours of work every month. Go team!

Contact a Vegan Society representative in your area

You can find links to vegan facebook groups and meetup groups on our groups page. This can be a great place to meet other vegans and ask questions and get support.

Also remember to check out what Vegan Society events are on in your area and get together with local vegans.


Vegan Society representatives


Amanda Sorrenson:




Christchurch Vegan Society:


Joy Sachell:


Dunedin/Otepoti Vegan Society (DOVeS):


Sarah Oliver:


Donna Hossack:


Invercargill Vegan Society:


Eric Wolff:


Loretta Westbrook:




Jordy and Jeremy:





Palmerston North Vegan Society:


Kat Gollop:


Tony Bland:


Samantha Goodwin:


Zara Lynch:


Jane Thompson:


Tamsin Forest:


Lynda Mountfort:




Dee Lindsay:




Cathy Duffield: 09 432 0714 or 027 630 4628