NZIWR is dedicated to increasing wellbeing and resilience in individuals, communities and organisations.

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 capability to make effective change

  • Share practical strategies and tools.



We offer a full range of wellbeing services
designed to meet your needs.

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 tangible 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.



Dr Denise Quinlan - NZIWR



Denise, recognised as one of the leading trainers on strengths and wellbeing internationally, has worked alongside Prof. Martin Seligman and Dr. Karen Reivich training educators in Australia and the UK, and also taught strengths-focused leadership to global business leaders at the IE University, Madrid. NZIWR’s strengths programmes draw on Denise’s validated strengths programme, demonstrated to enhance wellbeing, engagement and relatedness. Adjunct senior fellow at the University of Canterbury, her work has been published in international academic journals and edited volumes on positive psychology, wellbeing in education, and restorative practices. She is co-author of of Educators’ Guide to Whole-school Wellbeing, and co-convenor of the Wellbeing in Education NZ conferences.



One of the thought leaders on resilience, Lucy’s strengths lie in writing books, academic articles and blogs, as well as creating engaging online content with Denise. She is much in demand as a public speaker, with her TED talk, 3 Secrets of Resilient People, viewed over 2 million times. Adjunct senior fellow at the University of Canterbury, her research is published internationally, and her PhD was acknowledged for its outstanding contribution at the World Congress of Positive Psychology in 2019. She is the author of the best-selling book, Resilient Grieving, co-author of Educators’ Guide to Whole-school Wellbeing, and co-convenor of the Wellbeing in Education NZ conferences.


Director Online Training

The science behind how people think, feel and act has always fascinated Kim. It’s been at the heart of the research insights she’s provided to organisations for 20+ years to help drive growth and success. And since discovering the science of positive psychology in 2005, Kim has been on a mission to share these tools with organisations to drive growth and success by boosting productivity, creativity and motivation. “I love seeing how a shift in mindset makes such a huge difference to people individually, but also how the shared knowledge and practice of the tools creates a wave of positive change across an organisation.”

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 University of Melbourne, where he is also an Honorary Fellow. Coming from a previous career as a professional engineer, he understands and explains how wellbeing works in ways that make sense using down-to-earth language. Reuben is a great asset for NZIWR because he understands the complexities of measuring wellbeing. He’s also a first rate trainer who is able to communicate helpful, scientifically-sound insights in a pragmatic, no-nonsense, and accessible way.

Emma Woodward - NZIWR


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.



Ruth has been privileged to work with organisations across many sectors and global regions partnering with them to create stronger, healthier cultures over the last 20 years. A PCC certified coach and organisational psychology specialist, Ruth blends the science of positive psychology with a curious and warm style to support clients in the areas of wellbeing, resilience, positive change, strengths-based leadership, and creating strong, psychologically safe teams. Ruth relishes working in organisations with an open, curious mindset, with an appetite for innovation, collaboration, and testing new approaches that ultimately benefits people, customers, clients and stakeholders.



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. He then went on to lead staff training and organisational change through the development of Dilworth’s Personal and Social Growth curriculum. Paul has a Diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing from the Langley Group Institute in Australia and is currently enrolled in the Masters in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne.


Client Services Manager

Sally Murray our Client Services Manager joined us from teaching, bringing to NZIWR her strong relational skills to support our clients, her best-practice pedagogy, and deep understanding of school systems to the NZIWR™ team. She has since completed her Diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing.

Sally experienced first-hand a whole-school system change with the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) school accreditation, seeing the changes a shift like that can make for schools, and the long-term benefits for staff, students and whanāu community. Totally wedded to the advantages of taking a strengths-based approach, knowing it takes time to embed meaningful change across an entire system – understanding what helped and hindered that progression from a teacher’s perspective. “Ultimately, it all comes down to making connections and building honest transparent relationships… the foundation of learning, that’s what I loved most about teaching.”



Julie is a NZ trained, qualified and registered Consultant Clinical Psychologist. Her early and mid career were spent assessing and treating people presenting with mild-moderate mental health symptoms, before then specializing in the field of Psychiatric Consultation- Liaison –. Evidence based treatment models were used by Julie to develop individualised management plans for people adjusting to such diagnoses across the specialities of cardiology, oncology, nephrology, respiratory, gastro-enterology.

Julie’s professional life took a change in direction in 2017 when she suffered significant loss in her own life, the deaths of her husband and then eldest son, 2 weeks apart. Part of Julie’s personal recovery has included completing her fourth qualification, this time a Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology. Her clinical interest is now in the areas of loss, grief, resilience and adaptation to adversity, through education, inspiration and conveying of the numerous told and strategies within the field of Positive Psychology, in her approach.


Trainer & Strengths Coach

Coaching with Georgie is about reaching your potential by working in a collaborative, solution-focused and results orientated way. While she’s well qualified (with a Diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing and an accredited Strengths Profile trainer), it’s her eclectic professional and life experience that brings her coaching to life. Originally a registered nurse, she’s worked in property management, pharmaceutical sales and management, been a hospital manager and done an MBA. Alongside her work for the Institute, Georgie is currently a Practice Manager for a Christchurch law firm where she enjoys putting wellbeing theory into practice. Her particular interest is bringing wellbeing into the workplace.

Anna Mowat - NZIWR



Anna works in everything she loves, including:

  • The All Right? campaign, where Anna is the project lead for Sparklers,
  • The Kākano app project supporting parents to help their children regulate their emotions (a current research project led by CDHB and University of Auckland),
  • And working as a parenting coach and parenting programme facilitator with Real Parents.

Anna’s background is in psychology and English. She is currently working on developing a growth mindset around her skiing. Not easy when her two children are so keen to tell her how terrible she is at it…(sigh!)

Adrienne Buckingham - NZIWR


National Trainer

Adrienne is passionate about taking a psychological approach to enhancing student engagement and teacher/student wellbeing. An experienced teacher (with over 15 years working with adolescents and their families both here and internationally), she has a Diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing from the Langley Group Institute. She is currently completing her masters in classroom wellbeing interventions. A curriculum leader in two schools and, with the last 8 years spent in pastoral care, student wellbeing and supporting staff, Adrienne’s deep knowledge of school context and the NZ curriculum, combined with wellbeing and resilience, are key assets for our team.


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