NZIWR is dedicated to increasing wellbeing for communities and organisations in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

As academic researchers, we know wellbeing supports:

  • Engagement

  • Achievement

  • Productivity

And makes life worthwhile and enjoyable. 

We are wellbeing change managers who:

  • Enable wellbeing change in your organisation

  • Build your capacity to make effective change

  • Share practical strategies and tools


Build organisation and
community wellbeing
with NZIWR:


Innovative Approach

Evidence-based training

Consulting and coaching


Through years of experience we have developed a unique wellbeing change process that works because it pays attention to your context, your people and your priorities.

We provide cost-effective information and support for the people who need it when they need it.



We offer a full range of wellbeing services designed

There is no right door to go through to build wellbeing. Every organisation is different – with unique strengths, priorities and opportunities to leverage.

Our work helps organisations identify their particular wellbeing strengths and devise optimal strategies for change. Through effective planning and review processes, we support you and your team to navigate, and learn, throughout the process.

We help you identify the ‘open door’ you can most easily go through to create effective and lasting change.

Choose face-to-face, webinar-based, or self-paced online training  – or a combination of all three – designed to suit busy people and your organisation’s budget.

Our training shares the latest wellbeing evidence and practices in engaging, interactive and enjoyable ways suited to your organisation.


Our training is fun, gives you tools you can use immediately, as well as activities shown to enhance personal wellbeing over time.

Wellbeing change leaders need ongoing support to chart a course, overcome challenges, gain and maintain momentum. 

NZIWR’s Wellbeing Change Coaching provides expert advice and coaching to those responsible for instigating and sustaining wellbeing change in their organisations.

Choose individual coaching sessions or join one of our Group Coaching Clubs, a unique environment in which wellbeing leaders can deepen their practical skills and knowledge by sharing experiences, support and advice with their peers, and discussion with our expert coaches and facilitators.

Evaluating progress is a vital part of this process. We regularly advise organisations on how to measure wellbeing, assess ‘Wellbeing Literacy’ and the social impact of the initiatives they put in place.

Ask us about our own NZIWR Wellbeing Benchmark surveys and the wellbeing surveys that best fit your needs.

Our team are constantly creating new resources designed to make the process of building wellbeing more tangile and accessible. Whether it’s our range of locally designed Strengths cards and posters, the Bringing Wellbeing to Life podcast, or published books written by our team, you can access these from our Resources tab.

Want advice on resources to bring wellbeing alive? Talk to our Regional Trainers.

We have developed one to three year packages enabling us to partner with organisations over time. Working together to identify their wellbeing strengths and priorities, our Regional Trainers are now collaborating as critical friends to Wellbeing Teams across NZ, bringing about lasting, whole-system change.

Get in touch to find out more about our Partnership Packages and review the suggested Timetables.



Dr Denise Quinlan - NZIWR



Dr Denise Quinlan is a Research Fellow at the University of Otago and lectures internationally on Positive Psychology. She contributes to the development of wellbeing in education and the workplace through her research, programme development and face-to-face consulting and training. Having trained and worked with leaders in positive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, her PhD at the University of Otago focused on wellbeing interventions in the NZ context. Denise’s work in international banking and management consultancy with KPMG and Deloitte ensure her workplace wellbeing work reflects her understanding of corporate environments. Her work is published in international academic journals and edited volumes…



Dr Lucy Hone is a research associate at AUT University. As well as having her scientific research published in leading academic journals internationally, she writes for the Sunday Star Times and Psychology Today. Having been trained by the thought-leaders in the field at the University of Pennsylvania, she completed a PhD in public health at AUT. She now assists organisations – from leading law and aviation firms, to schools and health practitioners – to design and implement wellbeing initiatives creating sustained and meaningful change. The widespread respect for Lucy’s work is demonstrated by two large-scale projects she is currently running involving dozens of NZ schools, backed by Ministry of Education funding…

Dr Emma Woodward | NZIWR | Clinical Director


Clinical Director

After working as a Social Worker with older children and adolescents in East London for several years Dr Emma Woodward decided that the only effective way to support children and young people with their mental health was to get in earlier and teach them the protective skills they needed in the first instance. So, in 2006 Emma changed careers and undertook her Doctorate in Child, Educational and Community Psychology at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. Emma now has over 20 years experience working with children, young people and their families to support their mental health and wellbeing.

Reuben Rusk - New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience



Reuben is acknowledged internationally for his expertise in extracting meaningful insights from large amounts of complex data. He has a PhD in positive psychology from the highly regarded University of Melbourne, and has had his research published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, the Psychology of Well-Being, and the Journal of Happiness Studies. Coming from a previous career as a professional engineer, he can understand and explain how wellbeing works in ways that make sense using down-to-earth language.

We love working with Reuben because he understands the complexities of measuring wellbeing. He’s also a first rate trainer, able to communicate helpful, scientifically sound insights in a pragmatic, no-nonsense, and accessible way. An Honorary Fellow of the Centre for Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne, where he has also lectured, Reuben is a reviewer for the Journal of Positive Psychology and a member of the New Zealand Association of Positive Psychology since 2009.


Regional Trainer

Paul’s 15 years of youth-centred work began by running camps for marginalised kids and school retreats in Auckland. After completing a joint BA Social Science & BBus Management degree he began working for AUT, facilitating programmes in schools like the Prefect Training Programme. He was also able to develop and lead the MEN Programme (Males in Education Now), supporting year 10 boys to develop intrinsic engagement in their education journeys.

Contributing to the foundation of Dilworth School’s Rural Campus was Paul’s introduction to teaching, as well as mentoring and pastoral care in a residential setting. It was also a chance to become an NZOIA qualified outdoor instructor and to begin applying wellbeing science in New Zealand’s beautiful natural settings. He then went on to lead staff training and organisational change through the development of Dilworth’s Personal and Social Growth curriculum.

Kathryn Jackson - Associate, New Zealand Institute of Wellness & Resilience



Kathryn Jackson is committed to creating better workplaces, exploring and sharing ideas as to how to effect meaningful and lasting change.

She began her working life as an HR Consultant within the corporate world specialising in learning & development, understanding engagement, and designing career success for the Bank of Scotland, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Andersen’s.

Since 2006, Kathryn has been based in NZ as a full-time coach designing solutions to strengthen the confidence of people managers, supporting ambitious professionals in achieving career goals and encouraging employees to search for excellence. She uses a strengths-based, solution-focussed approach that blends coaching and consulting resources.


Regional Trainer

Adrienne is passionate about communicating the science of human flourishing – making the science come alive with real-world language and stories. She has a Diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing from the Langley Group Institute in Australia, and, as an experienced teacher (with over 15 years working with adolescents and their families both here and internationally), appreciates the importance and benefits of taking a psychological approach to enhancing engagement and wellbeing.

Faced with the increasing challenge of helping young people navigate the 21stcentury, Adrienne found that best practice teaching needs to be complemented and enhanced by research-informed strategies for wellbeing to enable optimal performance.

A curriculum leader in two schools and, with the last 7 years spent in pastoral care focusing on behaviour management, student wellbeing and supporting staff, her deep knowledge of school context and the NZ curriculum, as well as wellbeing and resilience, are key assets for our team. Her zest for her subjects and students is palpable, and her empathy and relational skills fundamental to the work she does to support wellbeing teams in schools.


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