Meet The Board

The Vegan Society of Aotearoa New Zealand currently has 6 board members.

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.

Adrian Hatwell

Magazine Editor and Facebook Manager

Adrian has been vegan since 2010 and joined the board in 2018. An Auckland-based journalist and communications expert, Adrian has a passion for using his professional experience to advocate on behalf of the animals. He has lent his skills to many animal rights initiatives over the past decade, and is now the editor of the Vegan Society magazine as well as D-Photo.


Suli Autagavaia

Pasifika Correspondent

Suli is a proud Kiwi-Pasefika 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.

Claire Insley

Media Spokesperson and Web Manager

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

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.

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.

Meet the Team

Helen Fletcher


Helen transitioned from vegetarian to vegan almost instantly in 2015. This worked well for her and it really was the best decision she had ever made. She has a finance background covering numerous industries and organisations including the SPCA. Helen enjoys educating people on saving animals through the vegan lifestyle. On the Board she helps to ensure that the Society is financially compliant and maintains financial stability going into future.

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

Johanna Vroegop


Johanna has been involved with the Society since 2009. She is our admin extraordinaire, keeping our database of members up to date, sending out renewal notices and ensuring our invoices are paid! She is an artist in her spare time and a keen meditator.

Joanne 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. 

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.

Fiona Ward


Fiona Ward is an Auckland based vegan designer who has worked with us since 2018

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!