about Carolyn

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Carolyn Santiago


Carolyn has worked in the community sector for 20+ years. Her qualifications include a business degree majoring in management and communications management and certificates in public relations and adult teaching.

Carolyn has been a member of the Fundraising Institute of NZ since 2005 and a Xero Certified Adviser since 2010. She loves planning, fundraising, developing policies and systems, and organising events. She has a close personal interest in health and wellness, political and environmental issues. Recent fundraising experience includes project work for Age Concern Rotorua, schools, recreational and sporting clubs around New Zealand. Carolyn worked for Plunket for several years managing the significant restructuring of non-clinical services in the Lakes DHB area (carseat rental schemes, parent education, community support services) and for Age Concern resurrecting core services in the Rotorua district. Her current voluntary roles include being a Registered Speaker for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and she is a member of the Sleep Apnea governing body.

Prior to working in the community sector, Carolyn had an 18-year government career, mainly with the NZ Foreign Service. She has been assigned to several other countries, and provided support for major national and international events, negotiations, conferences, ministerial visits, provided consular assistance to New Zealanders overseas and she was seconded to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet for several years.


Ko Ngā Tiritiri o te moana te Maunga
Ko te Waihora te awa
Ko Takitimu te waka
Ko Ngai Tahu Whānui te iwi
Ko Ngai Te Ruahikihiki te hapu
Ko Ngati Moki te marae
Ko Nutira tōku whānau
Ko Lilia tōku tamahine
Ko Lora Marie Nutira taku ingoa tuturu
Ko Carolyn Santiago taku ingoa inaianei
Tena koutou katoa

After an early temporary retirement from her public service career on medical grounds in 1995, Carolyn established a massage and beauty therapy clinic in Wellington. This coincided with taking on several challenging and rewarding voluntary roles at local and national levels. In 2003 she moved to Rotorua to pursue interests in spa, health and wellness tourism and in search of a healthier lifestyle. Carolyn is profoundly deaf and relies heavily on lip-reading, hearing aids and a Registered Hearing Dog, Bailey. Her late husband was Carolyn's flight instructor in the Philippines. They married in Hong Kong in the early 80s. Daughter Lilia was born while on posting to the NZ High Commission in Fiji.