National Executive Team 2016-2017

The National Executive has a governance and management role to ensure our legal obligations are met and our member celebrants are supported. Strategies are put in place to achieve our objectives in the key areas of standards, education, networking and profile-raising.

Our Executive is elected each year at the AGM - the President  for a two-year term and other members annually (plus the Immediate Past President is appointed from the elected members for one year following changeover). We aim for balanced succession with a mix of experienced and new members. The Executive is supported by three part time paid contractor positions outlined below.  Executive team members are volunteers.

The Executive members play a direct role, sometimes in collaboration with appointed specialists, in providing services for members, including our publication Panui, our website, member liaison, and marketing.  Each National Executive member has a management area to coordinate, and responsibility for liaison with one or more Branches.  The flow of information, ideas and inspiration within our organisation is key to its vitality and to achieve our aim of:

Enriching Celebrants - Enriching New Zealand

To contact any of the team members below please go to the alphabetical listing of our members.

President: Carol Gunn

Carol is in her second year of a two-year term as President.  She has been a celebrant (based in Ashburton) since 2001, a member of CANZ since 2008 and on the CANZ Executive since 2011.  As President she will continue to support all CANZ celebrants to deliver high-quality services, to promote celebrancy and influence the place of ceremony and ritual in NZ Society.

Carol is a very practical leader who likes to work with a strong team around her; she will ensure there are excellent processes in the CANZ Executive roles; she is determined there will be better systems in place for membership of CANZ, training of celebrants, and opportunities for Professional Development as we strive toward being a professional organisation.  CANZ Branches play a pivotal role in our organisation so support of our members, through our branch structure, is paramount.

Carol can be contacted at president@celebrantsassociation.co.nz


Vice President:  Marg Palmer

Congratulations to Marg as she takes the helm as Vice President.  Marg began her Celebrant journey when she completed her Celebrant studies in 2013. Since then she has been performing funeral and wedding ceremonies and is available for all life event celebrations.  Living in Nelson Marg has been a committee member of the newly formed Top of the South CANZ Branch. For CANZ 2015 Conference Marg held the role as Programme co-ordinator, working closely with the Conference committee and CANZ Executive to deliver a great educational programme.

Marg has had an extensive career in Banking where her passion is inspiring and developing individuals and teams and providing superior customer service. Marg will bring sound business acumen and organisational skills to the Executive team.

Helen Rutledge

Helen joined CANZ immediately after completing her Celebrant Training 12 years ago. Since then she has been an active member, serving variously on the Auckland Branch Committee; Auckland Branch Conference and Education Forum Committees; and National Executive. Helen loves the positive energy that the committed and talented CANZ Executive team brings together as it create benefits for our members and promotes the role of celebrancy in New Zealand. Helen has a busy and diverse celebrancy practice based in Beachlands (Auckland), where she also volunteers as a Kea Scout Leader.

Jann Hook

Jann is serving her third term on National Executive.  Based in the Marlborough Sounds, she and her husband own and operate Te Mahia Bay Resort.

Jann became a celebrant in 2009 and has been a member of CANZ for the last seven years.  She conducts weddings, funerals, naming ceremonies and other important milestones in people’s lives.

Jann is keen to promote the unity of Celebrants and increase their professional standing in the community. Her continued focus will be to look at ways that we can continue to increase membership both in the outlying communities and the cities whilst continuing to provide a great foundation on which to build the professional standing of celebrants in our community.


Dianne Troup

Dianne has been a celebrant since 2004 and still loves every aspect of the work She joined CANZ initially because she understood the value of ongoing professional development but she has also benefitted from interacting with other celebrants, enjoying their diversity and wisdom.  Serving on the National Executive is Dianne's way of giving something back to celebrancy.

Ceremony and ritual may not be words that slip freely from the tongues of most of our clients but it is what they are looking for...  "that thing" that gives value as they celebrate life events  but they also want relevance and reality. Achieving this is no small task so the more Dianne can do to support the organisation that supports us all in our challenging role, the better.

Gary McFadyen has recently joined the Executive team, and will add his business experience to the Communications and Marketing functions. As Gary lives in Lower Hutt, he will also act as the local Wellington region contact for CANZ members.

Gary spends his spare time working as a part time musician in several local bands, plus is very involved with his wider family. He is also a member of Rotary club and various business groups.


Supporting the National Executive:

Your Virtual Assistant: Finance and Admin support

Sharron Harris:  Management Support

Larry Timberlake: Panui Newsletter Editor

To contact any of the team members above please go to the alphabetical listing of our members.