Parents Centres New Zealand Inc Board

Sharron Cole, Chair


Sharron Cole has been involved with Parents Centres since 1982, and is now Chair of the Parents Centres Board. She is the CEO and Registrar of the Midwifery Council and has had twenty years experience working in the health regulatory area, particularly a long involvement with Medical Misadventure/Treatment Injury in ACC, two terms on the Medical Practitioners’ Disciplinary Tribunal and seven years as Deputy Chair of the Midwifery Council. Her most recent employment has been as the Director of the Wellington Catholic Education Centre, preceded by two terms as the Deputy Chief Families Commissioner. She was also a three term Board member of the Hutt Valley District Health Board and was Deputy Chair for seven years.

Other current community involvement includes being a member of the Rethinking Crime and Punishment Trust and the Community Action Trust NZ; membership of four institutional ethics committees; and being a lay member on the Lawyers and Conveyancers' Disciplinary Tribunal and the Architects' Investigation Committee.

Sharron lives in Petone and is married with four adult children.

"Parents Centre has always been an organisation “by parents, for parents”. While we have always used evidence and experts to inform and support parents in the best way that we can, the heart and soul of the organisation is its committed and principled members. Parents Centre has provided much valued services and support to hundreds of thousands of parents and prospective parents over the years. It also has had an important advocacy role, ensuring the voice of the consumer has been heard.

Originally, my involvement was at a local levelwith Rotorua Parents Centre. I was a user of services but at the same time, I was starting to establish personal friendships which are still ongoing almost a quarter of a century later. As I moved to committee level, I became aware of the wider organisation, its philosophy and principles and the proud history of the organisation, from its founders onwards.

Parents Centre has given me opportunities to help bring about change for families, from the local right through to the national level. I have given much to the organisation over the years but have received back much more than I ever put in.

My goals for Parents Centres New Zealand Inc as a Board member are that:

As someone who was born in the year Parents Centre was founded, I have years of experience and knowledge in the areas that Parents Centre focuses on: health, wellbeing and education as they affect families. I have specialised knowledge and skills in the areas of parenting, childbirth education, bioethics, history and health.

New Zealand is a secular society so people can be very scathing and dismissive when a person espouses a Christian philosophy. However, the words “Live justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with my God”  fit the way I want to live my life so well it's hard to find a better way of saying it. Anyway, whether people are Christian or not, those values are the ones by which I see many people live their lives. I don't always manage to live up to my personal philosophy but I do try hard."

- Sharron Cole, Chair, Parents Centres New Zealand Inc Board


Viv Gurrey, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director


Viv Gurrey immigrated to New Zealand in 1985, from the United Kingdom, where she started her management career in the Information Technology industry. Since then her career has been shaped as a management and governance professional. She brings a wealth of expertise gleaned extensively over 38 years in the commercial, corporate, and social sectors, more recently in the area of health. She has a passion for business and economics and believes that through a strong economy will come the drive, aspiration and support that families need to build a thriving and robust social structure for our country.


Viv’s career purpose is to bring robust commercial competency, skill, networks and process to the NGO sector specifically to improve health and social outcomes for parents, children and families across all sectors of NZ society.  Building robust networks to support this purpose, Viv strives to continuously widen her reach in the sector and externally to those able to assist and support this purpose.


Currently as Chief Executive Officer of the largest parenting network and provider of education and support services for parents in New Zealand, she has a strong profile in the community sector and believes that parenting is everything and great parents grow great children. ‘Strong and resilient families are great for us all!’


In her commercial career Viv successfully led the New Zealand arm of the world’s largest enterprise technology organisation, German based SAP AG as their Managing Director and member of their Asia Pacific Board. While achieving significant global results for the business, she also negotiated and compiled the multi- million-dollar sponsorship team that put the SAP brand on the spinnaker of Team NZ as primary sponsor during the 2003 Americas Cup.


Throughout the course of her career Viv has extensive experience in acquisition and mergers and the associated transformational change through people and process.


Prior to SAP AG, Viv held Executive and Directorship positions with Canadian based GEAC Corporation supporting significant innovation and job creation in NZ and the Asia Pacific region across the software and product development sector.  And the first 25 years of her career saw Viv work internationally across the UK, Asia, the Pacific and Australia. During this time, she held senior executive positions in the ITC industry and spent several years in a variety of positions with the IBM Corporation. Her expertise in strategic business consulting with IBM Global Services and KPMG has seen her influence the business planning process within several significant corporations across NZ, Australia, Asia and the Pacific.


In 2003 Viv was at the forefront of building the Parenting Council of New Zealand, supported and funded by the Tindall Foundation, followed by an invitation to join the Family Services National Advisory Council as one of a ten 10 strong NGO caucus providing advice on strategy and direction to the Ministry of Social Development; has an interest in special needs education (Dyslexia Foundation) and has worked extensively with the prison population across 19 prisons in NZ delivering parent education and support.


While on contract in Papua New Guinea, she successfully led a technology company through restructure and at the same time developed an interest in the village life transitions for families and children. In a country with one of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world she assisted with the development of resources and the instigation and ongoing management of a village based health and hygiene education programme for women and their babies.  This initiative was the impetus for her future involvement in the health, community and education sector.


Viv is a member of the Institute of Directors and sits on several Boards. She also holds positions in the non- government (NGO) sector specifically relating to parenting, health, education, the community and families. In 2015 she completed a successful six-year contract as Ministerial Advisor to the then Minister for Social Development, Hon. Paula Bennett, as her governance representative on a large and significant social services NGO Board. She is in her second three-year term as a member of the Pharmacy Council of NZ appointed by the Minister of Health, Hon. Johnathan Coleman, currently Deputy Chair and Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee.


Viv has successfully completed the Institute of Directors Company Directors programme and will pursue chartered accreditation with the Institute.


Viv has been married for 27 years and she and her husband have two children, she has effectively woven her role as a mother and a wife with a highly successful career as a senior executive in the corporate world and then transferred those skills to governance and the non- government sector. This rare blend of experience and expertise offers her insight into many facets of business and the diverse social issues that face New Zealand today.


 Viv holds a vision for New Zealand that has family as its centre, with a thriving economy and a thirst for education at its foundation. She believes this solid base will act as an enabler for personal achievement offering the opportunity for individuals and families to exercise choices in their lives.




Michelle Keene


Michelle Keene has been involved with Parents Centre since 1997. She lives in Greymouth with her husband Jason and sons Ben (15) and Jonathon (13). Michelle comes to the board as a Centre Representative with 16 years experience as a Centre and regional volunteer. She has been a very active member on her local Parents Centre committee which she is a life member of and is also actively involved in the local community.

Michelle received her Parents Centre leadership certificate in 2003. She then became Regional Coordinator for the Northern Southern Region of Parents Centre. This role changed to the Community Advisor and she continued in this role until she was nominated for the Board. Michelle won the Parents Centre CEO award for Excellence in 2007 for her work in the Northern Southern Region of Parents Centre.

Michelle is and has also been involved with other organisations, including the Families Commission as a coordinator and facilitator of Families panels in Greymouth, is a Greymouth Toy Library committee and life member, a Child Youth and Family caregiver, High School PTA Member and many other organisations as her children have grown.

Michelle is very passionate about Parents Centre and its very rich history. She is proud to be part of this organisation and what it stands for and is looking forward to being part of where Parents Centre will head into the future.


Sarah Parker


Sarah has been an active part of Nelson District Parents Centre since 2006 in a variety of roles, including President and Childbirth Education coordinator. Sarah says she is really excited about the new challenge of being part of the national Board of an organisation that has proven itself to be vital in the lives of New Zealand parents for over 60 years.

Sarah is an Early Childhood Teacher who loves the challenges of working with under twos and really enjoys the part she plays in young children and their families lives at this special time. Having worked in the Early Childhood field for over 17 years Sarah says she still finds every working day filled with fun, laughter and much wonder.

Sarah lives in Nelson with husband Steve and their three children.


Win Mitchell


Win Mitchell emigrated from Ghang Zhou, China, to New Zealand when she was a child.  She is bi lingual and proud of her heritage.

Today she lives with her husband Tim in Palmerston North, where they have been based for more than ten years, and they have a preschool daughter (Mila).  

Win works for an insurance company, having returned from maternity leave to part-time employment. Her roles with the insurance company include marketing, sponsorship, events and sales.

Win says that family is the most important thing to her “I consider myself the modern mum, I enjoy the company of my friends and colleagues, I value relationships, take a keen interest in new things, while keeping traditional traits and family will always come first.”

Win says she is very excited to be appointed to the Board of Parents Centres New Zealand and humbled by the opportunity. 



Nicola Mapletoft

Nicola Mapletoft has been involved with Parents Centre since 2008 in a number of different roles. Nicola is proud to be part of an organisation that values parenting so highly and is excited to be part of the Parents Centre Board. Nicola brings to the board her knowledge and experience of maternity and working with pregnant women and their families in the community.

Nicola is a steering group member of the Maternity Services Consumer Council and is a qualified Childbirth Educator facilitating Childbirth Education classes for Parents Centres all around Auckland, and also for other providers. Nicola is a consumer representative on the Auckland NZ College of Midwives committee and says that she loves to be busy! “I have a real passion for pregnancy, childbirth and parenting and believe we truly can make a difference for our children, communities and parents throughout NZ.” Nicola lives in Waiuku with husband Daniel and children Zac, Ryan and Poppy.