Meet the board members


The Vegan Society of Aotearoa New Zealand currently has 5 board members.

Amanda Sorrenson

Amanda is from Auckland has been a board member and the national coordinator since 2011. She has been vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2003. She currently works for SAFE as head of marketing and communications. 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.

Hannah Lessells

Originally from the UK, moved to Wellington in 2005 and now living in the Wairarapa, Hannah joined the board in 2011. She has been vegetarian from birth and vegan since 2008. Hannah is the Vegan Society Co-ordinator for Wellington and Wairarapa. She originally got involved with the Vegan Society through creating a vegan community on facebook, finding other vegans in the area for support and friendships.

Claire Insley

Originally from the UK, Claire moved to NZ in 2008 and has settled in Lake Hawea. She became vegetarian aged 15 and vegan in 2000. She has many qualifications, the latest being a Diploma in Horticulture. As a board member Claire works on giving veganism more prominence in the media and responding to media stories involving vegans. She is also working to raise the profile of both the Society and vegans in New Zealand and is looking into implementing the vegan trademark scheme.

Sarah Oliver

Sarah is from the Waikato and is new to the board in 2016. She has been a vegetarian since 1993 and a vegan for the last eight years. She works in education field and is also very interested in stock free agriculture/veganic farming and is keen to develop more knowledge and education around this method of food growing. On the board she will provide a link to regional representatives and the vegan society.

Stuart Jenner

A long time Auckland resident, Stuart is passionate about bringing the vegan lifestyle to the mainstream. New to the board, he has previously chaired Heart Children (NZ) and sat on the Ronald McDonald House board. Having studied plant based nutrition through Cornell University, he has been married to his vegan wife for 30 years and runs a successful real estate business in Central Auckland.

Helen Fletcher

The newest Board member, 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 will help to ensure that the Society is financially compliant and maintains financial stability going into future.