About Us

Who Are We?

NZESS is a not-for-profit organization that is governed by a Board of Trustees , including chairperson, secretary, and treasurer, from different cultural and professional backgrounds. We are a team of  registered Social Workers who speak a range of languages including Persian, Farsi, Kurdish, Turkish, Arabic and Hindi, and a multi-lingual family counsellor.

We assist Middle Eastern and other Ethnic Minority families towards well-being and resilience in their adjustment and contribution to life in Aotearoa NZ. We offer migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers a safe and culturally sensitive environment in which to gain support, accurate information and better understanding

We support at-risk families and vulnerable children through services of intervention and prevention, advocacy and education.
We provide these services by staff who are fluent in the languages and cultures of their clients.

Our History

New Zealand Ethnic Social Services (NZESS) is a not-for-profit organisation which was established in 2003 to provide critically needed social support services for individuals and families of ethnic communities, to create healthy families and thereby a healthier community in New Zealand. NZESS was restructured in 2017, and continues its services with new board members and a new team of social workers. The NZESS Trust Board comprises people of a wide range of expertise and  from various cultures and ethnicities including Middle Eastern, Indian and NZ. Our staff team includes registered social workers, a manager and a number of contracted and voluntary assistants.

NZESS continues to provide holistic social services and educational programs for the benefit of   ethnic families and individuals.

What We Do?

NZESS provides a range of support services for ethnic communities designed to improve the lives of vulnerable children and their families. Our Social Workers also work with ethnic households who are assessed as being in need of support for family issues and in times of crisis. It provides services to families/whanau to help restore safety and wellbeing where family harm has occurred or is at risk of doing so. NZESS creates long term change needed to prevent family violence from recurring and helps families access additional services needed and draw on wider whanau/community to achieve longer-term change. NZESS works collaboratively with other family/whanau agencies to reduce service fragmentation and duplication and gaps in frontline services.

We create an environment in which the safety of victims and children is paramount, and where people feel comfortable to ask for assistance.

Our Target

Our Mission

To offer support, advocacy, education in a culturally informed and safe environment.

Our Vision

To assist Middle Eastern and other Ethnic Minority families towards well-being, resilience and positive contribution in NZ society.

Our Value

Manaakitanga – Respect and Hospitality – Arohanui – Compassion Rangapu – Partnership

Our Board

Anmar Taufeek

BE (Civil), PMI – PMP

Experienced corporate Health, Safety & Quality Manager , with several other governance roles in charitable trusts
Board Responsibility: Health & Safety, Quality
Risk & Compliance

Mehdi Shahbazpour

BE (Hons), PhD

Leadership experience across multiple sectors, including academia, industry and community.
Board Responsibility: Chair Person, Strategy and Policies

Kauthar Sabri

BA Social

Work Experienced social worker, with specialties in youth and adult mental health.
Board Responsibility: Compliance & Advocacy

Bruce Keeley

BSc, Dip Tchg, LTh, Mphil

Anglican Church parish ministry and chaplaincy, as well as leadership in interfaith dialogue.
Board Responsibility: Secretary, Communication & Advocacy

Abbas Koleini

BCom, MCom (Finance), CPP

Experienced corporate finance and pricing professional
Board Responsibility: Treasurer,
Risk & Compliance

Our Staff

Adam Brown


Ph.D. in Comparative Study of Religions and Philosophy, Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling, Diploma of Management and Leadership, Level3 Certificate in Child Protection, Fluent in Persian and English

Arifa Nazari

Social Worker

Bachelor of Social Work, supporting families from South Asian and Ethnic communities.  Fluent in English and Persian

Azita Kusari

Social Worker

Master of Social Work, Bachelor of Counselling, Certificate in Social Science, Fluent in Persian, English, Turkish, Kurdish

Ali Bayati

Communication & Advocacy Lead

Bachelor of Business Information Technology, Experienced in Program Management, event management, Learning and development and Relationship Management.

Amna Al Shawaf

Integrated Operations Coordinator

Experienced in administration, event management, community outreach and supporting a range of ethnic communities. Fluent in English and Arabic

Sorraya Raja

Family Supporter

Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management. Experienced bilingual tutor with Ministry of Education, experienced administrative assistant. Fluent in Farsi, Urdu, English and Punjabi

Marwa Alsakini

Family Supporter

Bachelor of Information Technology, experienced administrative assistant and management, fluent in Arabic

Marzieh Etemadi

Community Navigator

Supporting Persian communities and focusing on aiding senior ethnic members of communities to settle in NZ. Fluent in Persian and English.

Our Supporters

Contact Us

Head Office: 18 Cryers Rd, East Tamaki, Auckland

3 Claude Brooks Drive, Henderson, Auckland

Landline: 09 8346668


Let us get in touch