NZEC Membership

NZEC Board

Paul Flanagan, Chairperson.  Paul is a senior lecturer in Counsellor Education at the University of Waikato. With qualifications in theology, psychology, counselling and professional supervision, Paul has worked in prison and community programmes with men who have sexually abused; and with children and adolescents about issues of sexual abuse, harmful sexual behavior, and effects of family violence. He has served on ethics committees since 2002, as chair of the Northern Y Regional Health and Disability Ethics committee (2004-2009) and the University of Waikato’s Human Research Ethics Committee (2008-2015).   

Jay Marlowe, PhD (Flinders). Jay’s research focuses on refugee studies and settlement futures as it relates to migration policy, role of technologies and disaster risk reduction. In 2019, he became a Rutherford Discovery Fellow to pursue a 5 year research programme related to refugee settlement trajectories and will soon be a co-director of the new Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies. Professionally, he has worked as a social worker in community development contexts with homeless children in Guatemala, indigenous communities in Ecuador and in the loss and grief field in Australia. He was an inaugural member of the New Zealand Ethics Committee and has a strong commitment to community capacity building in his scholarship. 

Ria Schroder completed her PhD at the University of Canterbury in 2004 and since that time has been an active member of the Collaborative Trust for Research and Training in Youth Health and Development (The Collaborative Trust), employed as the Research and Evaluation Manager for the Collaborative Trust since 2012. She is also the Director of the Collaborative Trust and a Research Fellow at the National Addiction Centre, University of Otago, Christchurch. Ria has undertaken and supervised a number of research and evaluation studies in the area of youth health and development and she has a particular interest in youth substance use and addiction, sexual health and positive youth development. Ria is primarily a qualitative researcher but also has some experience doing quantitative research. In her role as Research and Evaluation Manager Ria oversees the research and evaluation operations of the Collaborative Trust. 

Martin Tolich, PhD (University of California, Davis). Between 2004 and 2008 he was the inaugural chair of the Multi region health and disability ethics committee based in Wellington. He has written ten books on research methodologies and research ethics. His forthcoming book is Finding Your Ethical Self with Routledge. 

Patrick Vakaoti, PhD (Queensland) Patrick is interested in sociological and community development work with young people. He researches in Fiji and the Pacific region exploring youth issues like street-frequenting and political participation. His other interests include child protection and indigenous community development. Patrick’s work extends to consultancy research where he has worked with organisations like UNICEF Pacific, Pacific Leadership Programme (DFAT) and the Pacific Community.

NZEC Committee Members

Lily George. After 22 years at Massey University, and a short term as Research & Innovation Manager at the Western Institute of Technology Taranaki, Dr Lily George (Ngāpuhi nui tonu) is now an Adjunct Research Fellow with Victoria University of Wellington, residing in her tūrangawaewae of Te Tai Tokerau. Her research interests are in Māori health and development, indigenous incarceration and suicide prevention, specialising in kaupapa Māori and community-based research practices. Trained as a social anthropologist, Lily keenly supports the continued development of indigenous anthropology. She served on Massey University’s human ethics committee (northern) prior to joining the NZEC. Ethics in relation to indigenous research is a strong interest for Lily, as she sees this as an area of special significance for all researchers.

David Cooke, Deputy Chairperson: PhD (Essex), writer and editor. He is Senior Scholar, York University, Toronto and tertiary education spokesperson for QPEC, the Quality Public Education Coalition. Formerly Chair of the Unitec Research Ethics Committee, he was previously Associate-Professor of Education and English at York University, and academic staff at VUW and Unitec NZ. He is co-editor of Beyond the free market: Rebuilding a just society in New Zealand (Dunmore).

Keely Blanch is a PhD candidate at the University of Otago College of Education exploring young people’s understandings of digital citizenship. Her research interests include the role of digital technologies in education, social media, and youth identities. Keely has taught in Education Studies and has lectured on the intersection of family resources, culture, and education outcomes at the University of Otago College of Education. She has been involved in research projects utilising Facebook as a methodological tool, and is interested in the ethics of online research.

Margaret Franken, PhD.  An applied linguist who has worked at a number of different New Zealand Universities, in both Arts and Social Sciences Departments and in Education Schools/Faculties holding different leadership positions.  Margaret has been a leader/member of numerous university research-related bodies, including the Waikato Faculty of Education Human Ethics Committee (for two periods). She has supervised, and thus guided the ethical applications of, a large number of postgraduate students, many of whom were from Melanesia, the Pacific, and different South East Asian countries.  Margaret is an active researcher throughout my career and have an academic area of expertise in researcher development, particularly as it relates to international students. She is semi-retired from the University of Waikato, completing the supervision of two international PhD students. 

Helen Gremillion is Associate Professor of Social Practice at Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand. Her research and teaching interests include gender studies, narrative therapy, constructionist theories of the body and of sexualities, the workings of research ethics committees, consumer culture, and medical anthropology. She is currently Research Professional Development Liaison at Unitec’s Research and Enterprise Office. She served for six years as a member of Unitec’s Research Ethics Committee.

Sara Kindon, PhD Waikato. A social geographer at Victoria University focusing on the practice, theorisation and publication of participatory geographic research. To do this Sara draws from embedded, long-term and often politically-complex empirical research, most recently this has been with some Indigenous Māori and refugee-background communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.   

Penelope Kinney, PhD (Otago) is a Principal Lecturer and the Head of Programmes at the School of Occupational Therapy at Otago Polytechnic.  Penelope joined the school in 2008 after working clinically within forensic psychiatric services. Penelope completed her PhD exploring how clients psychologically adapt to living in the community after spending significant time within forensic psychiatric hospitals. Her research interest in this transition process has arisen from her time as the occupational therapist within a regional forensic psychiatric service.  Penelope’s research interests include the use of walking interviews, transition experiences, forensic psychiatric populations and ethical research.

Lindsey Te Ata o Tu MacDonald (Ngai Tahu) lectures in political theory at the University of Canterbury. Lindsey previously worked in the Māori Department at the University (2003-2007), Te Puni Kokiri (Ministry of Māori Development) 1996-7, and the State Services Commission from 1998-2001. He has been a member of the University of Canterbury Human Ethics Committee since 2008 and was Chair 2012-16, and was Chair of NZEC 2017-2018.  He is registered claimant for the WAI2575 claim on contemporary disparities in Māori Health.  

Miriama Postlethwaite is of Tūhoe descent. She is lecturing in Teacher Education at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi. Her doctoral research focussed on motivation in higher education with an emphasis on Māori learners and Mātauranga Māori (Māori worldview teaching and learning). She was formerly a member of the Unitec Research Ethics Committee.


Cherryl Waerea-i-te-rangi Smith, PhD (Nga Wairiki/Ngati Apa, Ngati Kahungunu, Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Ngai Tahu).  Cherryl’s Ph.D is in Education from the University of Auckland. She is a senior researcher at Te Atawhai o te Ao, a Maori community research organisation based in Whanganui. She is a leading researcher in Kaupapa Maori research, in health and environmental projects, having worked in Kaupapa Maori research for 2 all 0 years. Her focus is innovative Maori research and methodologies that support whanau, hapu and iwi aspirations. A grandmother of nine, she has worked on projects such as Maori grandparents raising mokopuna, Ageing well, Maori Vietnam veterans and whānau, Historical Trauma and Healing, Prison Research, Violence projects, Hapū and Iwi Revitalisation of Relationship to Whenua. Maori and Indigenous ethics frameworks is a strong interest.

Emma Tumilty is Postdoctoral Fellow (Research Ethics) at the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston and an Assistant Research Fellow in the Department of General Practice and Rural Health at the University of Otago. She was previously a member of an institutional ethics committee (Vice-Chair, Otago Polytechnic Research Ethics Committee) and volunteered for the initiative – an open access repository of exemplary ethics applications. Her expertise are in research ethics, health service research, and public/patient involvement activities.

Huia Tomlins-Jahnke is Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngai Tahu, Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Ngāti Hine. She is Professor of Maori & Indigenous Education at Massey University where she is the inaugural Toi o Te Wānanga Fellow. Huia trained as a primary teacher and holds professional qualifications in education (BEd, MEd Hons). Huia has extensive experience in iwi research and has a PhD that investigated the nature of tribal service provision in health and social services. She has expertise in Māori theoretical, methodological and ethical frameworks and working with Māori communities. Huia has served as the Deputy Chair of the Massey University Human Ethics Committee; a member of the Social & Human Sciences Sub Commission of the NZ National Commission for UNESCO and sat on the Sub Commissions Pacific Ethics Consultation Steering Committee. She has been a member of ECART, the Bioethics Council and is currently Chair of the HRC Ethics Committee.

With thanks to the former members:

Ria Schroder (PhD) completed her PhD at the University of Canterbury in 2004 and since that time has been actively engaged in research and evaluation in both academic and community settings through her employment as a Research Fellow at the University of Otago’s National Addiction Centre and the Research and Evaluation Manager for the Collaborative Trust for Research and Training in Youth Health and Development (The Collaborative Trust).  Ria has a particular interest in youth substance use and addiction, food addiction and obesity treatment and positive youth development. Ria is primarily a qualitative researcher but also has some experience doing quantitative research.

Sarah McKay is a researcher and evaluator working in the community sector. She has her own business specialising in youth health research and evaluation. She has been involved in projects such as the evaluation of programmes that work with youth people and evaluating community development projects. Sarah is a committee member for The Collaborative for Youth Health Research and Development. She is currently completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Sector Evaluation Research.

Howard Randal, MSW(Otago), BA (Auckland), Diploma of Social Work (Victoria), CQSW. Retired in 2012 having been the Otago/Southland Area Manager for Relationship Services Inc. a national counselling agency.  This had followed employment as the national EO of ANZASW, the professional association for social workers and 7 years prior to that as a Lecturer in Community and Family Studies at the University of Otago. During the 1970s and 1980s I had held various roles in DSW as a Social Worker, Supervisor, Social Work Advisor and Educator