FamilyLife is a non-profit, faith-based, charitable trust committed to building strong marriages and families.

About FamilyLife NZ

“Changed lives; that’s what motivates us.”

FamilyLife NZ has been teaching, training and equipping families for over 25 years. We love hearing stories of husbands, wives, and children whose lives are different because of an interaction with something that we’ve been part of. That’s what we’re about at FamilyLife; to inspire and equip couples to be successfully married for a lifetime.

Our Team

We are a small full-time team in Auckland and work with a nationwide group of men and women committed to changing New Zealand one home at a time. We offer practical help and hope to couples and families through our events and resources. At FamilyLife we are all about strengthening couples so that they can stay successfully married for a lifetime.

If you are interested in joining our team and this cause, please contact us for more information.

Our team is truly committed to bringing help and hope to marriages and families. Many of the team members raise their own salary to be able to carry out this mission. If you would like to invest in our staff, please click on the “GIVE” links below.

Meet the Team

Wynand & Ellré Jacobs

Executive Director / Designer

For as long as Wynand can remember, he’s been passionate about helping people…   

…understand each other. This passion led him to develop as a coach, author, and speaker and when that journey turned into a speciality working with married couples it became apparent that working with the team at FamilyLife would be the perfect “marriage”.

Wynand and Ellré originally hail from South Africa, but when they felt the lead of God to come to Aotearoa in 2017 they were in for the adventure that would shape them into the couple and family they’ve become today. “Dream big and do hard things” is their motto and they’re always ready to trust God to do the impossible through their lives.

On weekends they enjoy beach walks and breakfast at their favourite cafes. Ellré is a professionally trained musician and plays the cello and piano. Wynand plays guitar and occasionally you can still find them performing a guitar & cello duo at weddings and small events.

Nikki Bray

Co-Founding Director

Nikki and her late husband Andy have been the Directors of FamilyLife NZ since 1993…

… Sadly Andy passed away suddenly in June 2018 but she continues to faithfully serve to help build strong families in NZ. They have authored 2 books Treasures in the Darkness and First things First and a family ‘Questions’ resource called Small Talk. In 2008 Nikki was awarded Mother of the Year by TV3 and Kiwi Families. In 2013 they were recipients of the NZ Christian Network “Unsung Heroes Award”, presented at Parliament; in 2014 Nikki was a presenter at the NZ Christian Network bi-centennial celebration at Waitangi;  Nikki continues working with FamilyLife as a speaker, donor management, marriage mentoring and coaching. 

Steve & Leanne Hooper

Events Co-ordinators and Speaker Team

When Steve and Leanne first attended a Weekend to Remember in 1994 they realised…

 …the value that FamilyLife had to offer NZ. Shortly afterwards Leanne volunteered in the office and in 1997 Steve left his job and they both joined the team full time. Since then they haven’t looked back.

Today they are still just as passionate about building strong marriages, and have been active in preparing couples for marriage, and co-ordinating and speaking at numerous FamilyLife events around New Zealand. Steve and Leanne are both accredited DiSC presenters. They have two young adult children, Nathan and Bethany. Steve is an avid mountain biker and Leanne enjoys tennis and indoor bowls.

Joy Sharp

Accounting and Office Manager

Joy and her husband Paul have been faithfully supporting FamilyLife NZ for over a…

…decade. Joy diligently looks after our accounts, grant applications and all things relating to making the office a functional and healthy working environment for the team.

“Joyo”, as we call her truly brings joy to the office with her quirky sense of humour and genuine care for each of the team members; always reminding us that it’s time to break for lunch now. “Work hard, but don’t skip lunch” is her motto.

Ivy Thomas


Ivy is our qualified counsellor on team; often keeping us in check but always bringing the joy to…

our office. She’s kind-hearted, compassionate, and vision driven and manages our network of counsellors as well as a few counselling caseloads of her own.

Together with her husband, they are always looking for ways to help people on their journey – be it in marriage or their spiritual walk with the Lord.

Ivy is mother to a precious little toddler and as a family you’ll find them out on an adventure, picking up a new hobby or catching up with friends around good food and even better conversation.

Chris Milne

Marketing, Communications & Systems Analyst

As our team’s systems, communications and marketing little chief, Chris is a passionate…

…creative that values people, design and good  communication & systems – both internally to staff as well as to those we serve as a ministry through our online marketing efforts.

Outside of work you’ll find Chris & his wife Nadine involved in leading worship together and working with church creative teams to further their mission of the Great Commission.

Penny Patterson

Operations Manager

Penny has been in church ministry for over 15 years after she left her corporate career as a…

…Business Analyst to pursue God’s call for her life. Seeing God work miraculously in the lives of people is what she’s all about.

She brings a wealth of experience to the FamilyLife team in her role as Operations Manager. Her focus on process, structure and delivery, along with our philosophy of Constant and Never Ending Improvement (CANEI) means we can work on effectively reaching every home in New Zealand with the help and hope for family and relationships; until every home becomes a Godly home.

Penny brings a delightful and bubbly personality to the office and if she’s not busy having ‘great conversations’ filled with encouragement and hope for couples or volunteers involved in our ministry, you can find her sharing her appreciation for cats and good coffee with us all.

Penny and George (her other half 🙂) also carry a special desire to see blended couples flourish and navigate the complexities that come with doing blended family well.

Join the Team

If you would like to join us here at FamilyLife NZ on our mission to help couples stay successfully married for life, please get in touch by filling out the form below

  • Tick all applicable boxes you're considering
  • Write to us briefly to tell us a bit about who you are and why you want to join the team
  • If you're thinking of joining our full/part time team, please include a copy of your resume in this contact form
    Max. file size: 5 MB.

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The FamilyLife New Zealand podcast is now available anywhere you listen to podcasts