Waikato Division

Below you'll find information about the chair and committee members in your wider geographic area.
If you are interested in joining your local committee please read the role description and contact the PRINZ Office.

Heather Claycomb, Chair, FPRINZ

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Heather founded HMC Communications in May 2004. She has a unique background in communications, marketing, sales and public relations with industries as diverse as telecommunications, agriculture and energy.

Born and educated in the United States, Heather earned her MBA from Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA) in 1992 after receiving a Bachelor's degree in Marketing from Shippensburg University in 1990.

After several years working in sales and marketing with a division of Management Recruiters International (1993-1996), Heather established a marketing communications consultancy in Denver, Colorado. She immigrated to New Zealand in 1999. She earned the internationally-recognised Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2009.

In 2015, Heather was named Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) and is the Waikato region's representative on the professional body's National Council.

Heather is on the board of Habitat for Humanity Central North Island and is also Chair of the Hamilton Science Awards Trust.

Monica Helbano



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Monica Helbano joined the HMC Communications team fresh out of Waikato University.

Having studied public relations and leadership communication, Monica is keen to start her professional communications journey amid the buzz of agency activity. A passion for making a difference led her to pursue a career in public relations.

While at university, Monica gained communications experience as president of the Management Communications Students' Association (MCSA) and through her various roles coordinating leadership programmes for high school students.

When she's not in the office, you'll find her in a cafe or running to a cafe.

Julia Moore

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Julia Moore has worked as a communications professional for nine years, across several sectors. She chose a career in PR after telling a local journalist far too much information while being interviewed as a Year 13 student for a story on the cost of school balls. It was from there that she discovered her passion for helping people to share their stories while understanding the importance of key messages and sticking to the brief.

Julia started her career in the dairy industry before moving into tourism where she spent five years telling some of New Zealand's most compelling stories to international media in the UK and South & South East Asia. Highlights included working on major television productions and hosting hundreds of international media in our backyard for press tips, major events and one-on-one hosting opportunities.

After moving back to her hometown of Hamilton, Julia spent time in the technology sector before moving into her current role as Senior Communications Advisor at the Wise Group, one of the largest providers of mental health and wellbeing services in New Zealand. Julia manages marketing and communications for two companies within the group and has a special interest in championing digital storytelling.

When she's not working you will find Julia on the lawn bowls green, with a glass of Marlborough Sav or exploring new places.

Kathryn Jenkin

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Kathy has a long-standing background in the health industry. She works at the Waikato District Health Board and her role covers a wide range of communication activities from project communications, media relations, brand management, event planning, consultation, recruitment marketing campaigns, risk management, incident management and change communications.

Outside of work, you can find Kathy at her favourite fishing spot, whether it be on a boat at Raglan where she lives or fly fishing in her other favourite spot, Tongariro.

Lee Cowan


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With over 15 years' experience in communications and almost ten in senior leadership, Lee has led some amazing teams through the fun and games of communication, marketing, design, online and social media. Don't be put off by the English accent. She is a born and (part) breed Kiwi who started out as an environmental scientist before falling into communications. She has worked at a variety of Councils across the country over the last ten years and has recently stepped out of local government and into a new adventure at DairyNZ.

Peta Goldsworthy, FPRINZ

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Peta has a strong background in strategic communications with particular focus on internal and external communications strategies, media, positioning and issues and reputation management. She earned Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2011.

Prior to joining HMC Communications in 2016, Peta held a series of communications leadership roles at the University of Waikato, most recently as Associate Director Strategic Communications and was part of the University's Senior Leadership Team. She also has many years of media experience, including community newspaper editor roles, News Editor at the Waikato Times, and copy editor at Dow Jones Newswires in London.

Peta is a proud product of the Waikato region, with her early years spent on a farm and at country schools. After stints living overseas and in various cities in New Zealand, Peta is now based in Hamilton and is a strong supporter of the city and wider region.

Marie Simpson

..........................................After studying at the University of Waikato Marie worked in marketing and communication roles in New Zealand and the UK. She tried on a few different sectors for size, but quickly discovered she just isn't built to sell widgets – she needs true meaning in her work. Ten years ago she started working in a health focused not-for-profit environment – two organisations later her self-confessed ‘health nerd’ passion still gets her out of bed every morning!

Marie is currently the communication lead at Pinnacle Midlands Health Network. She enjoys trying to wrangle the huge amount of information that needs to go out to the network each week into some semblance of order, building the links so her time poor audience doesn’t have to.

Her key areas of interest are communications strategy and planning, digital communication and above all celebrating and recognising heart-warming and life changing success stories.

Marie hones her time and project management skills by trying to keep up with the hectic demands of two kiddos at home. In her downtime she sometimes attempts to be a runner, but mostly she'll be on the couch with her nose in a book or trying to tame her ambitious watch list on Netflix.
Connect with Marie on LinkedIn

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