Nelson branch, Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka a Maui members are delighted to give their wholehearted endorsement to Kirsty’s Distinguished Service Award.
Kirsty trained as a counsellor for Relationships Aotearoa in Tokoroa in 1983. She later completed a Diploma in Guidance and Counselling at Te Whare Wananga o Waikato. With Relationships Aotearoa she was able to work with couples, her lifelong interest. Work included mediation for the Family Court, Domestic Violence Programmes and educational group work. She was appointed Clinical Leader, part of the regional management team in Nelson, retaining the role when she transferred to Christchurch and later returned to Nelson. As clinical leader in both areas she travelled regularly to Greymouth, Blenheim and later Timaru to supervise and train counsellors.
Kirsty joined NZAP as a way of increasing her skills working with clients longer term. While a Provisional Member she edited an online discussion group. The name recognition this gave her ensured she was elected to Council at the Nelson Conference in 2010. She held the Public Issues Portfolio for two terms. Kirsty presented NZAP’s major submission on the review of the Family Court to the Parliamentary Select Committee.
Through the Te Tiriti Bicultural Advisory Committee, she continued her interest in bicultural relationships begun on the Relationships Aotearoa Bicultural Committee. Kirsty represented both Nelson and Canterbury and chaired the committee for a time. While at Waikato Kirsty studied Te Reo and this enabled her to join the university group visiting marae in Te Tau Tokerau.
Kirsty served as President of NZAP 2014-2016. Her administrative experience proved helpful when the retirement of the long-standing Executive Officer required the appointment of a replacement and relocation of the office.
When Kirsty and Graeme moved to Christchurch Kirsty joined the local committee and helped organise the 2009 Conference. On returning to Nelson she assisted with the 2010 Nelson Conference and later was part of the small committee responsible for the 2017 Nelson Conference.
For the Nelson Branch the award is also a recognition of her ongoing personal contributions to our many local activities over the years. She has given unstintingly of her time and energy to our monthly regional meetings and the supervisors’ group, to local hui we have undertaken, to organising conferences here and to attending our monthly cultural aroha meetings. She can be relied upon for her kindness, measured opinions and gentle warmth.
This tribute comes with our aroha.