Members of the panel
Members of the Ethnic Communities Advisory Panel and liaison councillor Cr Leoni
Aadil is a proud Aucklander, he possesses solid understanding and knowledge of ethnic diversity in Auckland city.
He is passionate to see healthy inclusive growth and regards it as with more awareness and participation that we will achieve and establish greater development.
Through his living experiences he aims for our most diverse city Tāmaki Makaurau to harness its true potential.
He is a finance professional and self-employed. He believes in paying it forward which has led him to volunteer in various non-profit boards including Waitākere Ethnic Board, an organisation working for ethnic and wider communities to build stronger and diverse west Auckland.
Aadil is ardent about building communities that thrive, where we empower people of all nationalities and background, to excel, contribute, and participate towards its growth.
A firm believer that from diversity springs richness, Aadil hails from Chennai, India, and is a polyglot who speaks four languages.
He is a board member of Whau River Catchment Trust and a member of Auckland Interfaith Council.
Originally from America, Acacia has worked in Aotearoa and internationally across education, youth, community, and inclusion.
In leadership and governance roles, she has facilitated organisational strategy, promoted progress, and capacity building through principles of self-determination and recognises Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
She has a Masters in Indigenous Studies, a PhD in Pacific Studies, a Certificate in Indigenous Peoples policy from Columbia University and completed postdoctoral research in program evaluation.
She has extensively studied and researched experiential education programs and interventions for multicultural students and held leadership roles in the field of diversity, inclusion and community empowerment.
She is particularly dedicated to this because of her own diverse heritage which includes roots in Black American and Native American cultures.
She believes in strengths-based approaches and practices intersectionality.
She is passionate about supporting vulnerable youth, new moms, people of colour (POC) and black, indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) women, the LGBTQAI+ communities, and people from diverse backgrounds to achieve their goals.
She currently works as Community Engagement Manager at Ventia.
Eva Chen is a former international student and a mother-of-four.
Her children inspired her to work in grassroot communities to build a safer, fairer and more cohesive future for the younger generations.
As co-founder of Wellbeing Charitable Trust, Eva has been working alongside the Asian community since 2014 for family violence prevention, school bully victim support and racism awareness.
She is also co-founder of the Hawaiki Project – a platform for youth Māori to engage with indigenous people around the world since 2017.
Eva is a founding member of the Mt Roskill collective, working on supporting grassroots communities through COVID-19 and natural disasters.
As a community connector and a community changemaker Eva is passionate about bringing wider community members to the table and sits on various advisory groups.
She is a member of:
- Ethnic Advisory group in Asian Family Services
- Ethnic Communities Advisory Panel in Auckland Council
- Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques
- National Action Plan Against Racism in Ministry of Justice.
Ireen Rahiman-Manuel is a Fijian Indian.
She is the founder and director of Impactdev360, a specialist agency of Pacific, ethnic, and other policy and development practitioners based in New Zealand and abroad.
She has over 20 years of experience in design and planning, impact measurement, and working within many sectors in New Zealand, Australia, and 16 Pacific Island countries.
This is Ireen’s second term on Ethnic People’s Advisory Panel for Auckland Council.
She holds a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning degree from the University of Canterbury and a Masters in International Development from Massey University, New Zealand.
Ireen has specialist skills in thoughtful leadership. She has taken lead roles in the development of numerous national strategic and implementation plans. These include work in planning and policy development, sector strengthening, and societal wellbeing.
She has extensive experience in leading large and complex strategic programmes of work in dynamic settings.
She is a strategist, trusted advisor, and international development consultant.
Ireen advises on specific projects or programmes of development for transformational activities for:
- governments and international agencies
- governance boards
Krish is a fourth generation Fijian Indian and hails from Rakiraki, Fiji Islands.
After arriving in New Zealand in the year 2000, he attended James Cook High School, Tuakau College and Papatoetoe High.
Later he did his tertiary studies at the University of Auckland Business School.
He has been working in the community since his youth as:
- former chair of University of Auckland Fiji club
- Project K mentor to youths in South Auckland
- former elected member for Papatoetoe in the Manukau Youth Council.
Krish is the current president for Fiji Girmit Foundation New Zealand, a passionate and strong advocate of Fijian Indian heritage, identity, and the diaspora.
He appears often in mainstream and ethnic media giving his voice, perspectives, and advocacy on matters regarding the Fijian community.
In 2021 and 2022 he received leadership awards for services to the Fijian community.
By profession, he is a senior lecturer and program manager at Otago Polytechnic Auckland Campus.
Krish sits on several education and community boards including Ormiston Primary School, Ormiston Junior College, Ormiston Senior College and Deputy Chair, Ormiston Primary School.
Krish dearly cares about domestic violence in the community and is a NZ white ribbon ambassador.
Krish is also a court interpreter in Hindi and Fijian Hindi and a mentor with the Young Enterprise Scheme.
Originally from Kenya, Abdul Mohamud migrated to New Zealand and settled in Auckland 10 years ago.
Given the city’s cultural diversity, Auckland gave Abdul a sense of belonging.
He has never looked back.
With a deep passion for creating welcoming, equitable, and thriving communities, Abdul has worked tirelessly to help immigrant and refugee communities integrate and thrive in their new lives in Auckland.
He co-founded the Africa-New Zealand Business Chamber to promote trade between New Zealand and African nations.
He is also a trustee of Umma Trust, an organisation that supports the successful settlement of refugee and migrant communities.
Abdul is a graduate in International Studies and is also completing a law degree at AUT.
In his free time, Abdul enjoys exploring new neighbourhoods, sampling local cuisine, reading and writing, and volunteering with organisations that share his values.
Ogonna Nweke is a Nigerian- Kiwi who graduated from the University of Auckland where she studied law, politics and international relations.
Now a consultant at Ernst and Young her passion lies in change making and advocacy.
She has been involved in youth mahi in advisory at places ranging from Auckland Council, ProCare PHO to non-profits.
She is also passionate about gender and women and is a mentor at DearEM – a youth project of HELP Auckland.
A radio presenter, Justice of Peace, White Ribbon Ambassador, police advisor and author, Parminder Singh ‘Papatoetoe’ manages several responsibilities.
Originally from Punjab, his native village is Sataur and he was born in Mahilpur (Hoshiarpur), Singh moved to Sydney in 1998 and relocated to New Zealand in 2001 with his family.
Parminder had to cross barriers like any other migrant but always tended to devote his time to volunteer work for this diverse society.
He has a deep understanding of South Asian cultural, religious, and social issues, as he has worked as a New Zealand police advisor since 2016.
He believes in the real meaning of ‘inclusiveness’.
He always loves to acknowledge different languages and heritages, to maintain the harmonious environment of Tāmaki Makaurau.
As a learner, a New Zealander, a police advisor, and a follower of the Sikh religion, he believes in the following Maori proverb:
‘He aha te mea nui o te ao’
(What is the most important thing in the world?)
‘He tangata, he tangata, he tangata’
(It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.)
Rozeendra Ronish Kumar
Rozeendra Ronish Kumar is an Indo-Fijian who was born and raised in the Fiji Islands.
He completed his secondary education before migrating to New Zealand.
Since moving to New Zealand, Roz has worked in the banking and finance industry and currently works for the Ministry of Social Development.
Roz is a marriage and civil union celebrant of New Zealand, a Justice of Peace (JP) and an ambassador for the Universal Peace Federation of New Zealand.
Jasmine Yang, born and raised in China, subsequently pursued her Year 13 and tertiary education in New Zealand.
She obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Social Studies and Psychology.
With over 10 years' experience, Jasmine has been actively involved in operating non-profit organisations and charities.
She has taken on significant roles as the founder and member of the board of trustees in multiple charitable organisations.
Additionally, Jasmine possesses expertise in new media and public relations, as well as radio and television.
Currently, she serves as the Chief Executive Officer of JEM Media and is a member of the Chinese Specialist Advisory Group.
Jasmine maintains a continuous connection with the Asian community, specifically the local Chinese community.
Luke Qin is an experienced community advocate, having volunteered with many community organisations across New Zealand.
He has served as Chair of Hutt City Council Community Funding Panel, and Panel Member of the Ministry for Ethnic Communities Development Fund.
He currently leads Kiwibank's International Trade Finance strategy and offering and serves as:
- an elected board member of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
- executive committee member of the New Zealand China Council
- board advisor for Global Cities New Zealand
- freelance writer for Asia Media Centre
- elected board director of Transparency International New Zealand.
He is also a member of the Asia New Zealand Foundation Leadership Network, and Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum Emerging Leaders Programme.
Luke was awarded a Community Service Award by Multicultural New Zealand, a Long Service Medal by Fire and Emergency New Zealand for his service as a qualified volunteer firefighter and successfully completed the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge to raise funds for charity.