Who we are



Parent Help is a Wellington based charity (CC10475) that has been offering services to families since 1989.
We provide help with all parenting issues from the smallest to the most serious issue of child abuse.
At the heart of Parent Help are the people who work, volunteer and support the organisation.

Our staff

The day-to-day management of Parent Help is undertaken by an amazing team dedicated to the well-being of children and families:

Nicola Swan, General Manager

Alison Smith, Finance Officer

Zosia Pardela, Communication and Marketing

Laura Hurtado-Roberts, Counsellor

Our board

Gael Woods (Chair)

Gael became the Board Chair in 2020. Her professional background is in journalism and communications. Since 2018, Gael has been a Communications Specialist at Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu.

Gael’s first story as a beginning journalist 40 years ago was, coincidentally, about Playcentre. Gael was the education reporter on Wellington’s Evening Post in the early 1990s and education correspondent at RNZ for 12 years until 2010. Gael has also written about education and parenting issues for a wide range of publications.

She is a columnist as well as an author. She has written a children’s book, “The Bellbird Sang”.

Gael is married to Joseph, they have four adult children and four granddaughters, aged from one to three.

Douglas Pauling (Secretary & Treasurer)

Doug was born in Gisborne, grew up in Napier and Wellington before moving to Auckland in 1960 at the age of 15.

Doug lived in Hong Kong with his family for 13 years. On returning to New Zealand he started Air Affairs NZ Ltd in 1984 to service the New Zealand, Defence Force.

Doug has been appointed an Honorary Captain by the RNZN in recognition of his tireless efforts to meet their requirements and his customer focus. Doug is a trustee of the Toy Foundation, a Senior Member of the New Zealand Electronics Institute and a Member of the Institute of Directors.

He is married to Raewyn, resides in Auckland, they have two daughters, two granddaughters and two grandsons.

Nicola Pauling

Nicola joined the Board of Parent Help in 2013.  She is a parent to two teenagers, a theatre practitioner and the Founder / Director of the charitable trust Voice Arts (can you link) and an actor, improvisor and playwright.

Nicola was chair of her local school board for three years and is Vice Chair of Parent Help. Nicola is a graduate of the New York based East Side Institute and now an Associate. She is passionate about community development through play and performance and see parents as scene partners for their children on the stage of life. 

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