Parents Centres New Zealand Inc Board

Josie Pagani, Co- Chair

 Josie is passionate about the role parents play in shaping healthy families which she sees as the most important social institution in New Zealand.She is a parent to three children, a current affairs commentator on radio and TV, and a public affairs consultant who helps organisations to fix problems and achieve their goals. Josie’s skills and experience will be an enormous asset to Parents Centres.

Josie is excited about helping Parents Centre roll out its new strategy. “The organisation has recognised that clear communication with members and volunteers is one of the keys to success,” Josie says. “So, too, is promoting good parenting techniques more widely and growing the membership. Families are the most important social institutions in any New Zealand community. That’s easy to say. Parenting is the hardest job any of us will ever do. The ability for Parents Centre staff and volunteers to be there when it matters is something worth fighting for.”
Josie was the political advisor for the Minister of Corrections in the early 2000s, and helped promote and implement recommendations in the About Time report which identified early childhood education as one of the most cost effective way to reduce future crime. She helped set up Pillars in the 1990s to support partners and families of prison inmates, and presently works with other organisations including the Midwifery Council.


Heather Hayden - Co-Chair


Heather joins the Parents Centre and brings a  broad range of experiences working with families. Currently Chief Executive of Birthright, she has worked with Save the Children NZ, and with Refugee Services NZ. She has also served as Chair of Refugee Trauma Recovery, where she oversaw a merger with The Red Cross, to improve and expand services.

“Working in Save the Children was primarily working with children overseas,” says Heather “But I became aware of the difficult situation for children here. I think the most important thing for children in single-parent families, for all New Zealand children, is that they have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”

With a career that started in education, Heather is particularly passionate about ensuring all children have the best possible entry into school life. This means making sure they and their families are well supported from birth onwards.


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.