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Counsellor Team

Jenny new profile pic 2024

Jennifer Montauban


Also known as Jenny.
Working with clients from various life stages, gender and age group since 2018. I work to provide clients an ethical, accepting, and non-judgmental environment where we explore together the life experiences, behavioural, and emotional challenges impacting on wellbeing.
The work together is led by your pace, awareness, and timing through an integrated counselling approach to fit uniquely with you. Counselling helps to eyeball negative thinking patterns, explore challenges, strengthen your own solutions, grow self-awareness, and develop new pathways that foster wellbeing.
I draw from the counselling theory of Narrative and Cognitive (CBT) approaches, Neuroscience awareness, and a psychodynamic approach in practice. My areas of counselling practice are around grief, anxiety, depression, self-belief, relationships, spiritual faith, perinatal depression, plus childhood family issues, including work-place challenges, and I have recently merged into working with

Rene Cocker

Rene Cocker

B.App.Soci.sci (Counselling)

Provisional Member New Zealand Association of Counsellors.

Having graduated from Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (2018) l am currently following up my New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC) for full membership.

I have been back in Nelson, my home town, for 9 years after trying a few different fields with a road always leaning towards people and counselling. I aim to provide a space for individuals, groups or couples to hear themselves, maybe for the first time out loud, help them connect to an authentic self and vision of ‘what comes next’ in our current age of uncertainty.

I am student of Mythology, World Religions and Stories, with a foundation of meeting client(s) with strengths based counselling such as talk therapy to psychoeducational that cultivates awareness of oneself in our social systems and finding our place in it.

Portrait of Tania White

Tania White

I’m from rural Ireland and have always felt a deep calling within to be of service to people in a therapeutic way. This has guided me towards being a holistic practitioner which I’ve over 10 years experience in, primarily in plant medicine and the symbiotic relationship humans have with the natural world. I’m fascinated with how we each move in the world and love hearing about people’s journey through life.

Often the noise of the external world can create a disconnect from ourselves and we may not hear our inner wisdom. Holding space in a supportive way can help you explore and navigate through this terrain to a more peaceful, and harmonious place within. The unpacking and unfolding of this process is something I hold very sacred and feel it’s an honour to bear witness to.

Currently I am doing a degree in Counselling and loving my time in Nelson.

Portrait of Nyree Andrews

Nyree Andrews

Tēnā koutou.

I hold degrees in both Psychology and Counselling. I was raised in Northland, have lived in Wellington, and settled in Nelson 12 years ago where I have raised my son.

I view healing and growth as a process. I use a Person-Centered approach in my work, prioritising the connection a person has with themselves, the building of a more compassionate relationship with themselves, and developing trust in one’s ability to navigate life’s challenges.

I offer a place where people can learn to accept themselves more, and their life experiences, express their feelings; access their strengths and resources, and explore how they want to live their lives. I also offer space to discuss spiritual themes, perspectives, and experiences.


Laurie Jackson


I recently graduated in 2022 with a Bachelor of Counselling from Laidlaw College and joined the Life Linc team in 2023. I enjoy counselling clients who may be struggling with issues such as Identity, Relationships, Grief, Trauma and finding meaning in life. I am trained in Person-Centered and Narrative Therapies.

I have lived in the Nelson region off and on for over 20 years now and enjoy spending time in the Marlborough Sounds with family, planting native trees, fly-fishing, reading about NZ history, morning coffee and meditation to name a few….

Portrait of Nicola Cruise

Nicola Cruise

Hi, I’m Nic, originally from the UK I have been calling NZ home now for over 15 years and moved to Nelson a couple of years ago from Auckland.

I am currently studying towards a Bachelor of Counselling and I’m passionate about helping to make counselling as accessible as possible to those seeking support.

Through my own personal experience my greatest learning is that it is never too early or too late to seek the change you desire, whenever you are ready to reach out is the right time.

I provide a nonjudgmental, down to earth space where clients may share freely and confidentially.

I truly believe that whilst our history and experiences may shape us, they don’t have to define us going forward. I practice a person centered, pluralistic approach to counselling, including CBT and Narrative, working together with clients to explore strengths, skills and motivation as well as tools and strategies to help you achieve and maintain the future you wish for.

Portrait of Johnathan Merry

Jonathan Merry

Kia Ora, My name is Johnathan Merry. I am currently studying towards a Bachelor of Counselling at N.M.I.T in my third year of training. I have lived here in Nelson for most of my life and happy to call it home.

My background has been working predominantly in hospitality, this is where I have built my strength in making real connections with people. I know this may seem like a big jump in the career path but my passion lies in helping people with the everyday adversities we face in life and helping them build strength and understanding.

As a counsellor in training I am drawn to using a person centred approach, while giving support and providing a judgment free, safe space to work together. I look forward to meeting you, it will be a privilege in taking this journey alongside you.

Naomi Dakin

C-IAYT Yoga Therapist

Tēnā koe, I’m Naomi. My passion is in supporting people’s wellbeing, aiding them to help themselves thrive in life in creative and innovative ways. I value building strong connections by offering emotional warmth in a judgement free safe space, to enable people to explore their thoughts, feelings and challenges at their own pace.
I am currently studying counselling at NMIT, training in a pluralistic approach. I also work as a Yoga Therapist and Mindfulness Practitioner, primarily working with people living with cancer.
I promote a mind-body focussed approach to therapeutic work, with an emphasis on self-care, kindness, and compassion. Working from a holistic lens, I acknowledge the core-self, and the potential for healing when we access our wise inner compass.

Josh Field

Kia Ora.

My name is Joshua Field. I have spent my whole life in the top of the south, born and raised. I’ve worked a variety of roles and been around all walks of life here. I understand how factors such as our environment, as well as internal struggles and relationships, can influence our mental health and total well-being. I believe that together we can sort things out so that you can help yourself get more out of life. 

Currently, I am finishing my third year of study at N.M.I.T and look forward to graduating. I aim to bring a calm and client-centred approach to counselling where you can feel safe and heard. I look forward to working with you in the future. 

Portrait of Terressa Zwart

Terressa Zwart

Kia ora, I’m Terressa, a dedicated counsellor currently pursuing my bachelor’s degree. With a client-centred approach, I create a safe, non-judgmental space for you to openly express yourself. Whether you face anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or life transitions, I provide unwavering support, guidance, and encouragement. As a devoted mother of three, my passion lies in connecting with individuals of all ages through counselling. I am deeply committed to positively impacting lives through compassionate and effective support. Outside counselling, I prioritize activities that contribute to my overall well-being, whether it’s engaging in sports or immersing myself in nature through walking, biking, or exploring the water. These experiences enhance my counselling approach, fostering a safe and nurturing environment for clients on their healing and self-discovery journey.

Interested in joining our counselling team?

Talk to our counselling manager on 03 548 2400 or email [email protected]

Staff Team

Dawn Allan

Operations Manager

I have lived most of my life here in Nelson, apart from time spent in Auckland in the 1990’s, in 1999 I headed overseas for my big OE and ended up working in England. While there a meet a bloke and had a child, in 2003 I travelled home back to Nelson when my baby was 11 weeks old (the best age to travel with baby).  In 2007 my sister in law, asked me to join the Committee at Postnatal Depression Support Network Nelson (now known as Perinatal Support Nelson), this started a new phase in my working life of being involved in the NFP sector.

Working for an NGO not only gives you a chance to work more closely with clients, it allows you to really see that you have made a difference in their lives, it also gives you the opportunity to complete different tasks.

In 2015 I joined the team at Life Linc Nelson as the Administrator and this year I have taken on the role of Operations Manager.

Debbie Brooks

Community Liaison Administrator

Kia Ora. I am an American who has been calling New Zealand home for the last 13 years. I am from a very large family and have always felt it is important to speak up when I see a need. I have a passion for work in the “for purpose” sector and have been involved in charities for the better part of a decade now. My primary focus for work has been the performing arts sector as I have been involved with the Nelson Fringe Festival since it started in 2015 and I currently sit on the charitable trust that governs the festival.

I live in Upper Moutere with my husband and our 4 year old son, a dog, cats and chickens. With my son a little older, I found myself wanting to find work out of the home again. Working for Life Linc has brought me immense satisfaction as I focus on building relationships with our stakeholders and community groups and expanding our social media reach. Taking care of our mental well-being is very important to me as I discovered after having my son and experiencing post-partum depression. Getting counselling has made an immense difference in my life and I support the mahi of removing barriers to access care. My hope is for anyone searching for help to find it easily.

Life Linc Board

Diana Bartle


I have been a Registered Nurse for more than 40 years. I completed my nursing, Public Health and Occupational Health nursing training in London before spending two years in rural Bangladesh with the Save the Children Fund. This was followed by three years with Oxfam and the British Red Cross in Somalia, where I lived in refugee camps, trained refugees to be health workers and organized feeding centres for malnourished children, before becoming the Community Health Advisor to the Somali Government Refugee Health Unit.

On moving to New Zealand, I worked in occupational health and practice nursing, and taught CPR and First Aid in the community and to health professionals.

I now volunteer with Riding for the Disabled and Citizens Advice Bureau. Together with my position as chair of Life Linc, I see these roles as my ongoing contribution to the health of our community.


Paul Marlow


I was born in Kenya and moved to NZ in 1963. Initially we were in Auckland, but moved to Nelson in 1970. I was educated at Nayland College and the University of Canterbury were I gained a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting. My career has mainly been in the public sector, but have also worked for 2 Maori organisations as well as Sport Tasman. Have a keen interest in the not-for-profit sector.
I guess you could say I was retired now although as well as being on the LifeLinc board I am also on the School Board of Te Kura Kaupapa  Maori o Tui te Matangi. I was on the Board of Goodwill House and joined Lifelinc board when the Goodwill House was dissolved.
Interests include playing guitar, reading, walking and cycling. Together with my partner Jeannette we play at open mike nights and also busk during the summer months. Cycling has seen us on several long cycling tours in Australia, Britain, France, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg. We have cycled the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
Portrait of Brigid Moffat

Brigid Moffat


I am from Nelson and after extensive travel have been back living in Nelson for 20 years with my family. I am a special needs teacher and currently work at Maitai school as a Specialist Teacher Outreach Service, where I support schools and students in their local primary school. I have a strong sense of equity and believe that every child has a right to an education, and with the correct support structures in place, they can gain a sense of achievement and belonging.

I sat on the Board at Enner Glynn School for 6 years and found the experience enjoyable and stimulating. Doing voluntary work is important to me as I like to give back to the community, in a way that best suits my skill set. My family life keeps me busy and active – my current favourite is weekend walks up the Brook Waimārama Sanctuary.

Life Linc is a valuable resource for the Nelson/Tasman region to provide accessible counselling for the community and I am proud to be a part of such a dedicated team.

John Hopkins


I wear two hats, one working as a business coach partnering Business Success Partners NZ, and the other as the Retail Operations Manager for Nelson Tasman Hospice. Having owned and operated a number of businesses throughout my career I have extensive experience in all facets of business operations.

In my spare time I enjoy fishing, scuba diving, motorbike riding and spending time with my family.

What Life Linc does is so important. This is the reason why I joined the board.

Name of Board Member Here

Board Member Bio here

Join our Board

Places come up on our Board from time to time. Please email our manager if you would like to know more on [email protected]


Life Linc is looking for Ambassadors – people with a bit of time and energy to give, who care deeply about the value of counselling and how it can enable people to make positive changes in their lives.

Ambassadors can help us in a variety of ways:

  • Distributing Life Linc leaflets in the community
  • Helping our fundraising team

If you are interested, please get in touch with operations manager Dawn on [email protected] or call 03 265 5566

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