President: Maryan Street
Maryan Street was born and raised in New Plymouth.
She has a BA (Hons) in English from Victoria University of Wellington and a Master of Philosophy with First Class Honours in Industrial Relations from Auckland University.
She was the President of the New Zealand Labour Party from 1993-95.
Before becoming a Member of Parliament in 2005, Maryan was a teacher, a union official, an academic and an industrial relations practitioner.
She was Minister of Housing, and ACC, and Associate Minister of Tertiary Education and Economic Development in the third term of the fifth Labour Government. In Opposition, she had a range of portfolios including Foreign Affairs, Trade, Health, Treaty Negotiations, Environment, State Services, Disarmament and Arms Control, Overseas Development Assistance and Human Rights.
Maryan also promoted her End of Life Choice Bill, developed and put into the Parliamentary ballot in the first half of 2012 but never drawn in advance of election year 2014. She has spent the last 4 years debating end of life choice issues up and down the country, even after leaving Parliament in 2014.
She is an avid reader of crime novels, loves cooking and gardening, and listens to a wide range of music. She plays clarinet and guitar and doesn’t sing so much these days!
She joined KiwiRail as their Employee Relations Manager in April 2015.
Past president: Dr. Jack Havill, FCICMANZ, ONZM
Jack Havill is a retired Intensive Care Specialist with 30 years experience, most of which was as Director of the Waikato Hospital Intensive Care Unit. As with all 'intensivists' he has had a lot of experience in withdrawing futile therapy in badly damaged patients, and dealing with family in grief situations. This shaped his thoughts regarding the ethics involved in end of life decisions. He lives in Hamilton and is Secretary of the Waikato Voluntary Euthanasia Branch Committee.
National Secretary: Carole Sweney
Carole Sweney served as President of VESNZ, 2012-13. She has been a member of the National Committee since 2011 and lives in Kapiti. Carole was a member of the Legislative WorkGroup which drafted the EOLC Bill in 2012. She attended the World Congress of Right-to-Die Societies in Zurich later they year and will be at the Chicago Congress in September 2014. She trained as a radiographer and a general nurse. Having survived a cerebral haemorrhage and cancer she then nursed her husband through motor neurone disease. Because he was unable to make his own end-of-life choice, he wanted the law changed. Carole joined Dignity NZ in 2007, then VESNZ in 2010 in order to see the implementation of a law allowing for choice at the end of life.
Treasurer: Pete Cowley
Pete is involved with several other groups covering Social Justice, Spirituality and the Arts - nothing too big!!!
With an enquiring mind, a sense of fairness for everyone and the right to make our own decisions it was inevitable that I would get involved with End of Life Choices.
National Membership Officer: Elizabeth Cronje
Born and raised in South Africa, I emigrated to NZ in 1998 and joined VESNZ about 10 years ago. I qualified as a radiographer in 1974 in SA where I was employed by several hospitals and a private practice before leaving the workplace to concentrate on raising a son and being a homemaker.
I have served as member of the Wellington Committee, and for a brief period volunteered to assist with processing new members on the database before resigning from VES in August 2013 for personal reasons and family commitments. I joined again in June 2015 and currently volunteer as treasurer for the Wellington Branch.
Newsletter Editor: David Barber
David Barber is one of New Zealand's most travelled journalists, reporting from more than 50 countries during a 50-year career as a foreign correspondent. After 20 years based in Sydney, Singapore, London and Washington DC, he worked as a freelance, writing for the National Business Review and acting as New Zealand correspondent for some of the world's leading newspapers.He is an ardent supporter of VES having nursed his late wife through the horror of Alzheimer's Disease.
Auckland Rep: Jim Roskvist
Born Auckland 1952. Early life in Mt Roskill - went to Waikowhai Primary, Roskill Intermediate and Marcellin College.
Did my time as a plumber and gasfitter with W A Stubbins and have worked in Australia and the Pacific islands.
I'm married to Annelies (light of my life). I have 3 adult children - Racheal who is a doctor and my sons who are plumbers and drain-layers and now run the company (Titirangi Plumbing and Drain-laying).
Hobbies are sailing, diving, reading and music (classical and jazz).
Bay of Plenty Rep: Sue Reynolds
I was born in London in UK and moved to NZ in 1973 with my family. We spent 25
years in the Wellington area, during which time we lived 14 years in a community, running an ecumenical retreat house in Lower Hutt.
After 11 years in Waikanae, where I joined the Kapiti-Horowhenua committee, we have recently moved to Tauranga, where I have rejoined the National Committee of VES/EoLC
I have been a member of VES for 15 years and am committed to progressing the law change for End of Life Choice. I am a Quaker and I believe that all people should have the right to make their own decisions in life and in death.
Kapiti-Horowhenua Rep: Olive Mitchell
25 years ago I joined the Voluntary Euthanasia Society and currently am Chairperson of the Kapiti-Horowhenua Branch. Some years later I also joined Exit. As a supporter of Lesley Martin I was a member of the inaugural committee of Dignity NZ Trust--Kapiti branch. I trained at the Wellington Teacher's College, and taught in both NZ and London. I then changed professions and became a Consultant with a Cosmetic firm and for many years travelled throughout NZ.
Waikato Rep: Dale Lethbridge
Dale Lethbridge spent her early years as a school dental nurse, mother and sheep farmer, then retrained in landscape design. She joined VESNZ about 30 years ago. She has spent the last 20 or so years in promoting care for the environment with a voluntary organisation. She believes we have the right to choose a humane and peaceful death when our time is up.
Wellington Rep: Julian Parsons
Julian Parsons is best known as a Wellington bookseller, now retired after 50 years in the family business. He originally graduated in philosophy and joined Exit and then VESNZ as a response to watching a parent, who wanted to die, suffer a slow death. Inspired by the countries who provide physician assisted dying under careful conditions, Julian wants to live in a society where he and others have the choice to seek a merciful ending.