The Friends Executive Committee

The Friends Executive Committee

Koenraad Kuiper (President) is a linguist and poet who emigrated to New Zealand from the Netherlands in 1951, living first in Auckland, then Wellington, and then Christchurch. He is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Canterbury where, in addition to teaching and researching linguistics, he served on the University Council and as Dean of Arts and Head of School. Koenraad is the author or editor of fifteen books including four of poetry and over a hundred research papers and book chapters. He is a graduate of Victoria University of Wellington, with doctorates from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and the University of Canterbury. He has held two Fulbright Fellowships in the USA, a NZ-China Fellowship in the People’s Republic of China and been a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences. After six years in Sydney, where he was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney, on moving to Wellington, he has become a trustee of The Dutch Connection Trust.

Marion Crawshaw (Vice President) is a former New Zealand diplomat who has been posted to Italy, France, Fiji, Solomon Islands (twice) and Papua New Guinea, the latter two as High Commissioner.

Marion is a graduate of Auckland and Canterbury Universities where she completed Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies and Master of Arts in Political Science.  She began her career with the Department of Trade and Industry and joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1989.  Early postings in Rome (as Assistant Trade Commissioner) and Paris (as Deputy Permanent Representative to the OECD) were economically focused, as were management appointments in Wellington to Trade Negotiations Division, Australia Division (Closer Economic Relations) and Economic Division.  Her career shifted to a security and development focus with the first posting in Honiara during the “Tensions” period, followed by 3 years in Pacific Division.  She was then seconded for two years to New Zealand Police to establish New Zealand Police’s Policy Group.  On return to the Ministry, she developed and implemented a Knowledge Management strategy before heading off as High Commissioner to Port Moresby and then to Honiara for the second time.

Marion retired from the Ministry in 2017 and in 2018 completed a Master of Business Analysis in the School of Information Management at Victoria University of Wellington.  She is a Senior Fellow of the Centre for Strategic Studies of VUW and retains a strong interest in the Pacific, including collecting modern Pacific art. Her other great interest is couture sewing.

Tim Steel (Treasurer) qualified as an accountant with a BCA from Victoria University. He was a taxation manager with a major accounting firm, a significant bank, insurance companies and fund managers. He is currently providing taxation and accounting services to a wide variety of clients and is also the treasurer and adviser to a number of non-profit and charitable organisations. He enjoys playing tennis, skiing, reading and an occasional bike ride when the weather permits.

Nicola Kirkup (Secretary) graduated from Pembroke College, Oxford with a Bachelor’s degree in Oriental Studies, solemnly vowed never to take another examination, and subsequently went on to obtain a Master’s in Business Administration from the Imperial College, London and diplomas in Astronomy and Physical Sciences from the Open University.  She emigrated to New Zealand after twenty years of this and that for the civil service in London and Brussels and retired in 2018 after nine years of this and that for the New Zealand Treasury.  She is a member of Wellington City Chorus, currently the world champion mid-size women’s barbershop group, and the Wellington Late Starters’ Orchestra who will never win any prizes but provide entertainment and achievement for beginner and rusty instrumentalists.  With partner Rory she forms the nucleus of an erratic pub quiz team.

Faith Atkins has extensive professional experience in public engagement, audience building and partnership development, through working with large research and academic institutions including the British Council, Royal Society Te Apārangi and several New Zealand universities. She is passionate about the communication of knowledge and giving everyone, whatever their background or age, the opportunity to learn and develop. Originating from the UK, Faith has a degree in Geography and spent many years working and travelling internationally before settling in New Zealand and making it her home. She is a textile artist and studied contemporary embroidery and design in Wellington. She sings with the Orpheus Choir and works voluntarily for several community organisations.

Bridget Hodgkinson’s first career was nursing. She trained at Wellington Hospital working there and at Kenepuru Hospital in various roles and areas. In the 1990s she studied at Victoria University of Wellington, graduating Bachelor of Arts in History and Art History and Diploma in Arts in English Literature. Subsequently she worked in research and report writing at the Waitangi Tribunal unit and was involved in ESOL teaching. Bridget is a vestry member of her local church and belongs to a number of Wellington organisations.  Her interests include travel of all kinds, music and the arts, Scrabble, and following tennis and cricket. With her husband and family she has greatly enjoyed exploring the waterways of England and Wales. 

Joji Jacob aspires to be a follower of Gandhi’s philosophy. Born to South Indian parents but studied in various parts of India being a military brat. He graduated with a Bachelor of Sciences in Physics and then worked in Oman for four years before migrating to NZ to be with his better half. After four years in the corporate IT sector in Wellington, he has been freelancing for small to medium businesses to enable them with IT solutions. In 2013 he and his wife, Shani, established a tour operation business based in Wellington for the in-bound tourists to Asia. This venture was born out of a passion for learning and sharing their understanding of various cultures, traditions and lifestyles, aptly called ‘All Things Intriguing Travel’. Joji & Shani has presented for Friends of Te Papa on Textiles from various countries. Currently, they are frequent travellers within NZ, interviewing artists to understand and promote their crafts, especially those ethnic artists who brought their crafts and amalgamated them into the ‘NZ culture’. He is also the Deputy Chair of NIWA Wellington Regional Science & Technology Fair, designing, developing and implementing virtual fairs in the uncertain world of the pandemic. He loves cooking, entertaining, gardening and DIY projects.

Samantha Turner is a barrister who specialises in employment and health and safety law.  She works with a wide variety of clients throughout the country, in the public and private sectors, and she regularly works with boards and elected members on governance matters.   She is a graduate of Victoria University with a strong passion for Wellington. Samantha has a keen interest in travel, literature, arts and she dabbles in jewellery making.  With her Wellington whanau and friends she enjoys Wellington cafés and restaurants and spends as much time as possible walking the beaches and exploring tracks in the Eastern suburbs.

Dr Richard Norman is Adjunct Research Fellow, School of Management, Victoria University of Wellington. Highly regarded in the academic world, Richard Norman teaches in human resources management, and training and development, with a particular focus on New Zealand public sector organisations. He also has a keen interest in the history of Wellington, particularly the city’s social history, and he is a committee member of Historic Places Wellington.

Ann Walker recently retired as Development Officer of Scots College in Wellington and was co-opted on to the Executive Committee this year.   She brings to her new role many years of experience in stakeholder engagement and stewardship and aligned events.  In 2019 the Independent Schools of New Zealand awarded Ann an Honours Award for Service to Development & Advancement.