skip to Main Content

Counsellor Team

Portrait of Jennifer Montauban

Jennifer Montauban

Bachelors degree in Counselling 2020
Provisional Member of New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC)

Hi, I’m Jenny, also known as (Jennifer Montauban)  

Born and raised in Aotearoa, youngest of five siblings, I have lived in Nelson since the age of nine. Raising four children with my husband, alongside the pressure of running a business for over 21 years. I have experienced many of life’s joys, and challenges alongside adapting to a growing family now including six grandchildren and their parents. 

 I have worked with clients facing various life and mental health challenges, grief, relationship and family issues, including work-place challenges and perinatal depression. I have also worked with primary and intermediate age children within a counselling role.  

My aim is to provide you with a safe, accepting environment through the principles and framework of an ethical counselling approach. Our work together can support you to explore your emotions, life experiences, behavioural patterns, personal values, and strengths towards identifying solutions. Working at your pace, from your own awareness.  

I also work through a trauma informed lens, including CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) which eyeballs negative thinking patterns to help strengthen and develop pathways of cognitive understanding, self-awareness and self-care, to support change and wellbeing. Various Māori approach’s also help to amplify, the significance of family, relational connection, culture, environmental influence and diversity, within a clients process.  

I look forward to meeting with you. 

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 Nicola Gibellini

Nicola Gibellini

MEd. BSc. Dip Tch & Lrn.

Provisional Member  New Zealand Association of Counsellors.

Kia Ora,
Ko Nicola toku ingoa

Hello, my name is Nicola. I believe that each person has their own story which shapes who they are. Through my work, I strive to foster a safe space where clients can tell their story, gain insight into their own strengths, and help them bring about a preferred future.

I hold a Masters Degree in Education, in which I specialised in Counseling and gained with Distinction, a Bachelors Degree in Science and a Diploma of Teaching and Learning.  I am a provisional membership of NZAC.  I have been actively involved education for over 20 years, in particular working with At Risk Youth and their whanau.

I believe everyone deserves to experience success, that we all have the strength within ourselves to overcome adversity.  It is for this reason I work mainly using a Solution Focused approach, which is different from problem-solving models. The focus is on solution building rather than deficits and the history of the problem.

I am committed to meeting the three principals of the Treaty of Waitangi and endeavour to work in a culturally responsive manner.

I look forward to working with you to imagine a better future and then making it happen!

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 Carla Zurne

Carla Zurne

Tēnā koe. My name is Carla Zurne (pronouns she/her). I emigrated to Aotearoa with my parents and siblings from the Netherlands when I was 10. My family settled in Hari Hari where I lived until I moved to Christchurch for study and work. I moved to the beautiful Nelson/Tasman region seven years where I am currently a third year counsellor in training at NMIT. My working life prior to counselling-study includes over 28 years of experience alongside others as a team member, manager, teacher and support person.

Childhood experiences led me on a journey towards wellness where I experienced support from empathetic individuals who encouraged and influenced positive change in my life. These accounts plus being an older solo parent and a member of the LGBT+ community, have helped me become a knowledgeable and empathetic person who believes I can support others to find joy and make beneficial changes in their lives.

I particularly enjoy working with young adults who struggle fitting in with mainstream society and hope to develop further skills during my training in psycho-educational group work, holistic approaches to health and well-being, and person-centred, solution focused and narrative therapies.

Portrait of Kelsey Goodman

Kelsey Goodman

Kia ora, I’m Kelsey.

My interest in personal development began when I became a certified CliftonStrengths coach, where I coached others on their unique skills and personal strengths. This encouraged me to pursue a future in counselling, and I am presently completing my final year of studies at NMIT to acquire my bachelor’s degree in counselling. People describe me as a caring, warm-hearted person who promotes openness and respect among all.

It’s been said that you can’t solve your problems using the same thinking that created them. I believe you are the expert on your life and likely already hold the answers, you may just need the right question or environment to uncover them. I provide a safe space for you to explore your thoughts and feelings at your own pace and follow your lead toward resolution.

It is an honour to share in other journeys and I am grateful for any opportunity to do so.

He toa taumata rau

(bravery has many resting places)

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 Nyree Andrews

Nyree Andrews

Tēnā koutou.

My name is Nyree Andrews and I hold a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Canterbury University and a Bachelor of Counselling from NMIT. I was brought up in Northland, have lived as an adult in Wellington, and settled in Nelson 12 years ago where I have raised my son.

Healing and growth are a process. I offer a place where people can learn to accept and care for themselves more, express their feelings and come to terms with their life experiences, access their inner strengths and resources and explore how they want to live their lives.  I work from a Person Centered framework which prioritises reestablishing the connection a person has with themselves, the building of a more compassionate relationship to oneself and developing trust in one’s ability to navigate life’s challenges.

I have worked with clients on a range of issues including interpersonal communication, abusive relationships, parenting, identity issues; traumatic birth experiences and injuries; infant hospitalisation, grief and bereavement; depression, anxiety, and historical abuse. I also offer space to discuss spiritual themes, perspectives, and experiences.  I have walked and continue to walk the path of an examined life and I bring this orientation along with passion, optimism, and caring to my client work.

Portrait of Jo Roche

Jo Roche

BA Psychology, BA (Hons) Criminology

Kia ora,

I am married with 3 adult daughters and have been living in Nelson for the past 12years. We have lived in the North and South Island and had some time overseas. I have had many different jobs over the years, owned a couple of businesses and have had a number of years of voluntary experience, walking alongside people of all ages through many stages of life.

I am currently working towards my Bachelor of Counselling, studying distance learning through Bethlehem Tertiary Institute in Tauranga.

I have always deeply valued individual and whānau stories and believe in the total wellbeing of a person. I connect with the person-centred narrative approach, giving people time and space to share their life journey with the triumphs and challenges. It is often in the space provided that you can hear your own thoughts and ideas and together we can find a way forward toward increased wellness.

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 second 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.

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 Stephanie 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.

Stephanie Reimann

Counselling Manager

Kia Ora  

I am from Switzerland and moved back to New Zealand/Aotearoa at end of 2022. 

My husband and I lived and worked in here Nelson between 2007 and 2010. We both loved living in this beautiful country. I got pregnant and we decided to go back to Switzerland, it mattered to me that my parents were able to see my baby growing up. After 12 years we decided as a family (now with two boys, 12 and 9) to resettle in Nelson. 

Back in Switzerland I worked for the institution «Vertrauenspädagogik», where I grew into family counselling, and also was managing the counsellors there. Beside that I was living my passion as a dance teacher and worked in the engineering company of my husband. Additionally, I have just recently certified as a Davis facilitator.  

I started working here at Life Linc in January 2023 in the role as a Counselling Manager and I am very happy to work for such a great organisation who offers affordable counselling. I like the Life Linc slogan “it’s never too late to talk “ very much. It is wonderful for people to have a place where they can find hope. I am the initial contact with all clients seeking counselling through Life Linc and I match them up with a counsellor. My role also includes managing the team of 14 counsellors, by providing training and supervision to support them to be the best counsellors they can be. 

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.

Tracy Wray


Our family moved to New Zealand from South Africa at the beginning of 2017 and settled in Nelson.

My career in finance and administration has spanned thirty years, with roles mostly in the financial services industry.

I obtained my Bachelor of Commerce degree, and then a BCom Honours degree in Business Management (specialising in Financial Management), both through long distance learning. Other qualifications include a Bookkeeping diploma and a diploma in Manager Development.
I joined the Life Linc Board and the finance subcommittee at the beginning of 2018.

I enjoy the cinema and reading books, taking long walks with my dog, and travelling in New Zealand (especially the South Island) and the South Pacific Islands.

Kenn Butler

I fell into the insurance industry following a chance meeting with an inspector from South British insurance, at my fathers’ garage and petrol station. This led to a career path spanning 47 years, culminating in the last 15 years as my own boss at Paradise Brokers, providing insurance for both SMEs and corporate businesses in addition to consultancy services.

Having spent so many years in the business of insurance, many enduring relationships and friendships have been created along the way, together with significant amounts of knowledge! I work hard to maintain this personal development whilst enhancing both the industry and fulfilling the needs of clients, particularly in difficult environments.

“He Tangata, He Tangata, he Tangata; it is all about the people and the relationships we create together.” My passion for people has informed my life’s work, articulated in my book ‘Life is Leadership’.

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.

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.

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.

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

Back To Top