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Te Rōpū Kaitohutohu Take Āhua Iwi Kē

Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel

The role of the Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel

The Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel offers advice based on their experiences living as people from ethnic cultures, to help us improve outcomes for this community.

They will:

  • identify the issues that are important to people from ethnic cultures
  • provide advice on our regional strategies, policies and plans
  • help us effectively engage with people from ethnic cultures.

Panel members

The panel members for 2019-2022 are:

  • Kathy Yan (Co-chairperson)
  • Mohamud Mohamed (Co-chairperson)
  • Carol Guler
  • Eva Chen
  • Farrukh Gul Qaisrani
  • Fatumata Bah
  • Ireen Manuel
  • Najira Khanam
  • Sunil Kaushal

Meetings of the panel

The Ethnic People's Advisory Panel holds three scheduled meetings and up to seven meetings with staff each year.

For dates, agendas and minutes, see Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel meetings.


Get in touch with the panel

To attend or present at a meeting of the Ethnic People's Advisory Panel, or find more information, email


Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel website

For more information, visit the Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel website.


Demographic advisory panels terms of reference


For the latest end of term report, see Auckland Council Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel end of term report 2019.

​Our advisory board members


From left to right: Eva Chen,Najira Khanam, Kathy Yan, Mohamud Mohamed, Sunil Kaushal, Carol Guler, Farrukh Gul Qaisrani, Ireen Manuel, Fatumatah Bah.


Carol Guler

Carol was born in Santiago, Chile. She is a graphic designer by profession and came to New Zealand in 2009 on a working holiday visa. In 2011, she studied at the University of Waikato where she graduated with a master's in Business and Management.

In 2015 she founded international student recruitment agency Step into New Zealand which gives her the privilege of working with students from Latin American and European countries.

She loves being involved with her community and helping other immigrants adapt to New Zealand as she understands that it is a big change which can also be very challenging.

She loves travelling and meeting new cultures, and has visited different countries in Asia, Europe and America.


Farrukh Gul Qaisrani

Farrukh Gul Qaisrani migrated to New Zealand from Pakistan with his family in 2002 and has since made New Zealand his home. He has three beautiful children and he prides himself on being a caring father.

Farrukh has extensive experience in the community and received the community service award of the year in 2019 from the Pakistan Association of New Zealand. He was extensively involved in the Christchurch shootings relief operations in March 2019 on behalf of the New Zealand Police.

Farrukh has a diverse educational background and holds a BSc in Mathematics and economics, a master's in Business Administration as well as law degrees from both Pakistan and New Zealand.

He is admitted to practice law in three countries namely New Zealand, Australia and Pakistan and is currently employed as a Senior Prosecutor with New Zealand Police.

Prior to joining the New Zealand Police, Farrukh has worked for the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Primary Industries and has extensive knowledge of the Public Sector operations and policies.

He brings a wealth of policy, legal and community experience to his new role.


Fatumata Bah

Fatumata Bah is a former refugee from Sierra Leone, West Africa.

She recently graduated from Auckland University of Technology where she studied a conjoint degree; a Bachelor of Health Science with a major in Psychology and a Bachelor of Business majoring in Management.

Fatumata is now a Strategy and Business Design Consulting Analyst at Deloitte.

Prior to joining Deloitte, Fatumata completed an internship at the Executive Office of the Secretary-General at the United Nations in New York, where she was reporting to the senior gender advisor.

Fatumata is passionate about advocating for women's rights, cultural intelligence (CQ), diversity and inclusion.


Eva Chen

Eva Chen is a community connector. She is the co-founder of Wellbeing Charitable Trust working alongside the Asian community since 2014 and the co-founder of the Hawaiki Project (2017), a platform for young Maori to engage with indigenous people around the world.

She is also a SKIP Champion with Oranga Tamariki SKIP programme working with immigrant communities.

She is a former international student, a mother-of-four and a community change maker.


Ireen Manuel

Ireen is from Fiji and is an immigrant to New Zealand.

She has years of experience of working within the ethnic community in education, social development, justice, health and community development, which provide a good background in planning, policy and development work.

As an international development consultant, she aims to influence change and improvement by working alongside communities, government, development agencies and stakeholders at regional, national and international levels.

Having lived in many parts of New Zealand, she has diverse understanding and working knowledge with many ethnic communities. She has worked with underserved communities in isolated regions on policies and programmes of work that promote inclusion and equality for all.


Mohamud Mohamed

Mohamud Mohamed is passionate about issues of social justice, human rights and gender equality.

He has been actively involved in various community activities and has combined his passion for human rights and social justice for vulnerable and marginalised communities with his academic studies.

Born in Somalia, he came to New Zealand as a young child with no understanding of English. Today he works as a policy advisor in the public sector and holds a Master of Arts (Hons) in Policy Studies and a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Social Sciences and Conflict Resolution.

Mohamud was a finalist in the Kiwibank Local Hero category of the 2018 New Zealander of the Year Awards. He has worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and also taught New Zealand Politics and Co-operative Education at Auckland University of Technology.

He served on the Puketāpapa Local Board Youth Caucus and is an alumnus of the Office of Ethnic Communities Youth Leadership Programme.

Mohamud also served on the board of Migrant Action Trust and was the chair of Onkod Somali Youth Development Inc.


Najira Khanam

Najira is Bangladeshi British who moved to Auckland over four years ago and is currently working at Belong Aotearoa as a Systems Change Activator.

This role provides her with a good overview of systems and issues facing ethnic communities and she is passionate about creating an inclusive Tāmaki Makaurau.

Najira leads with strategic thinking; she balances creativity with strong technical expertise to deliver solutions.

Her previous experience includes policy and relationship management at the British Council, the United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations, and various cross-sector communications roles in New Zealand and internationally.

With a people-centred approach, Najira has led teams to achieve measurable success, most notably an award-winning marketing campaign for a leading education institute in London.

A child to migrant parents to the United Kingdom, Najira grew up surrounded by a large and loving Bangladeshi family. Strong female role models in her life – her mother and sisters – helped shaped her values of courage, compassion and togetherness. Her community and the wonderful people in her life, inspire her every day.


Sunil Kaushal

Sunil was the chair of the previous term's Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel and is the current president of one of the largest Indian Associations in New Zealand.

He is well-connected in the multi-ethnic community with a range of governance roles at local, business and cultural levels including being a member of his local community patrol and head of Strategic Relations for India New Zealand Business Council among other community roles.


Kathy Yan

Kathy is a policy practitioner, writer, and aspiring conservationist. Currently, she works at the Department of Conservation, where she is part of an all-of-government programme to create nature-based employment in the post COVID-19 economy.

Having spent the majority of her career in public policy, Kathy is passionate about making an impact, particularly on the topics of social integration and environmental protection.

She has also worked in management consulting, civil defence and crisis management; with experience in problem-solving a wide range of matters from systematic social inequality to the aftermath of a super-storm.

Born and raised in Beijing, China, Kathy spent the next two decades living in Canada, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States. She now proudly resides in Tamaki Makaurau with her Kiwi husband.