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Staff and trustees

Arts Access Aotearoa is governed by a board of trustees. Richard Benge is the Executive Director.


Richard Benge, Executive Director

Richard is responsible for delivering the strategic plan,Richard Benge, Executive Director manages the staff and volunteer team. and reports to the board of trustees.  Previous roles include Cultural Affairs Specialist at the United States Embassy in Wellington; Manager of heritage icon Old St Paul’s; and an independent events and communications specialist. After completing a BEd degree from Victoria College Rusden (Melbourne), majoring in drama and English literature, Richard worked as a high school teacher and for Arts Access Victoria as an artist-in-residence in psychiatric hospitals. 

T: +64 4 802 4349

Dawa Devereux, Business Administrator

Dawa Devereux, Business AdministratorDawa is responsible for the day-to-day running of Arts Access Aotearoa’s office, supporting the Executive Director and Board of Trustees and delivering the fundraising programme. Before joining the Arts Access Aotearoa team, her work has included office administrator and programme co-ordinator roles. Dawa has a BA degree majoring in theatre from Victoria University of Wellington. She has designed and built costumes and operated the sound desk for a number of Wellington shows.

T: +64 4 802 4349

Dev Singh, Finance Manager (part-time)

Dev Singh, Finance ManagerDev is responsible for managing the finances of Arts Access Aotearoa. His role includes producing annual budgets, monthly financial results, monitoring of expenditure, payment of creditors and payroll, as well as other projects. Dev has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Otago and a Bachelor of Law degree from the Victoria University of Wellington. He is a full member of the New Zealand Australia Institute of Chartered Accountants. Dev has more than 20 years’ post graduate experience in finance.

T: +64 4 802 4349

Jacqui Moyes, Arts in Corrections Advisor (part-time)

Jacqui Moyes, Arts in Corrections AdvisorJacqui is responsible for delivering an Arts in Corrections advisory service to the Department of Corrections and the wider community. Previous roles include Censor for the Office of Film and Literature, family and child mentoring service for social services and independent events co-ordinator. She has a history in community theatre. After completing a BA degree from Victoria University of Wellington, majoring in education and gender studies, Jacqui worked  as a contractor delivering arts programming in Corrections facilities.

T: +64 4 802 4349

Claire Noble, Community Development Co-ordinator

Claire Noble, Community Development Co-ordinatorClaire is the first point of contact for arts venues, organisations, festivals and practitioners planning to become more accessible and inclusive in the arts. She assists and advocates for creative spaces around New Zealand, and co-ordinates the Arts Access Awards and the Awesome Arts Access Auction. Previous roles include Education and Community Assistant (2013); White Night Co-ordinator and New Zealand Artist Liaison for Auckland Arts Festival (2011);and co-ordinator of youth theatre projects in South Auckland. After completing a BA from Victoria University of Wellington, majoring in theatre, film and English literature, Claire trained as a workshop leader in the arts in Liverpool, England and co-ordinated outreach arts workshops while working in the theatre-in-education department at World Museum Liverpool. 

T: +64 4 802 4349

Iona McNaughton, Communications Manager

Iona McNaughton, Communications ManagerIona is a published children’s writer, a former journalist and editor. She worked at Creative New Zealand from 1997 to 2004. In that time, she project managed most of their publications, as well as writing and editing them. These included a quarterly arts magazine, the annual report and strategic plans, several research reports, and a guide to marketing the arts. In early 2009, Creative New Zealand commissioned Arts For All, a guide to providing access and marketing the arts to people with disabilities. Iona project managed and edited this publication and its revised edition in 2014.

T: +64 4 802 4349

Lize Immelman, Creative Spaces Project Specialist (part-time)

Lize ImmelmanLize works with the creative spaces sector to increase their capability to profile and promote what they do. This includes driving the establishment of a national Creative Spaces Network and providing training in websites and social media. She has a BA degree in film editing and has been a video editor and producer for the past ten years working on a variety of projects, including documentaries, television and news in South Africa and New Zealand. In 2015, she completed a Diploma in Journalism at Whitireia New Zealand  and worked as Communication Specialist at Arts Access Aotearoa.

T: +64 4 802 4349


We have a team of volunteers, who provide valuable support in a range of ways, including communications, database updates and office support. 


Bill Kaua OMNZ, JP (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Horowai, Rongowhakaata, Rakaipaaka, Te Aitanga Hauiti)

Founding patron

Mel Smith CNZM, Wellington: BA, Graduate Henley College Oxford Senior Executive Programme, Templeton College Oxford Leadership Programme and Former Ombudsman.


Miranda Harcourt OMNZ, Wellington: A leading New Zealand actor, Miranda Harcourt has worked with the Deaf community. She has also worked in the drama-therapeutic field with physically and intellectually disabled people. In addition, she has worked with men and women in prisons throughout New Zealand.

Patron, Arts Access Accolade

Dame Rosemary Horton DNZM, QSO, QSM, Auckland: Dame Rosemary Horton is a philanthropist and mentor for New Zealand charities. Her passion over 40 years has included disabilities, the arts and health. Dame Rosemary has been the patron of the Arts Access Accolade  and mentor to the organisation since 2014.

From back left: Trustees Kim Morton, Te Aturangi Nepia-Clamp, Karen Webster, Howard Fancy, Stew Sexton, Erin GoughTrustees

Howard Fancy, Wellington, Chair: has an extensive background in public sector leadership, policy and management. He was Secretary for Education from 1996 to 2006 where he led and oversaw major reforms in the education system. He has held various senior positions, including Chief Executive of the Ministry of Commerce, Acting Chief Executive of the Ministry of the Environment, Deputy Secretary in the Treasury, and Executive Director of Motu Economic and Public Policy Research. He fills a number of governance positions and undertakes a range of consultancy projects. In 2007, Howard was made a Companion of the Order of New Zealand, CNZM. In 2017, he was appointed to the board of Literacy Aotearoa.

Erin Gough, Wellington: has strong links to the disability community locally, nationally and internationally, forged through her advocacy work. This includes legal advocacy through her role at Community Law Canterbury (2015) and human rights advocacy through her current role as Disability Rights Specialist at the Human Rights Commission (2015–). Erin, who has a BA/LLB (Hons, first class) degree from Canterbury University, has been an Arts Access Advocate since 2014. She has run advocacy initiatives and participated in advocacy-focused groups, contributing to submissions and discussions from a disability perspective. 

Kim Morton, Christchurch: Manager of Ōtautahi Creative Spaces in Christchurch, a creativity initiative supporting people with experience of mental illness and earthquake trauma. Kim is a staunch advocate for creative arts as a powerful means of transformation and social changeShe draws on her experience working at King Street Artworks in Masterton and as a governance board member of Vincents Art Workshop for many years. A qualified lawyer, Kim has worked in the community law and access to justice sector, and has served on a number of other governance boards.

Te Aturangi Nepia-Clamp, Gisborne: of Ngāti Ruapani, Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Kahungunu and English descent. He has more than 40 years’ experience in promoting and delivering art projects, pioneering new thinking particularly in Māori art in public places and making art available for all. He is an experienced board member and a cultural arts consultant with a deep understanding of Māori tikanga. A Winston Churchill Fellowship recipient, he has received numerous art awards, commissions and grants as a carver and sculptor.

Stew Sexton, Wellington: has run his own company AbilityDis Consulting since 2010, specialising in promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities into all areas of society and focusing on accessibility training. Since 2010, Stew has been involved at a governance level with CCS Disability Action. He was Vice Chair of the national board from 2012 and 2014, returning to its Wellington governance committee and becoming the Chair in 2016. Also in 2016, he was appointed a director of Odd Socks Productions, which promotes and facilitates the use of New Zealand Sign Language in the arts.

Karen Webster, Auckland: PhD, MBA, BSc, RGON. Karen’s PhD in Public Policy focuses on the roles of elected members and Maori participation. She has 14 years’ experience in Auckland local government and is Principal Advisor Community Development Arts and Culture at Auckland Council, teaches policy research at the University of Auckland and is engaged in co-supervision of postgraduate research.

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