Who we are

People

Dr Jez Weston – Deputy Manager

Jez Weston headshort

Jez is responsible for making sure our operations run smoothly. He has been an engineer, scientist, science advisor, policy wonk, and research fund manager.

When he is not Knowing Your Stuff, he is a Partner in New Zealand’s first climate venture capital fund, called the Climate Venture Capital Fund.

Educational qualifications
BEng (Materials Science), University of Bath, 1993; PhD (Welding) University of Cambridge, 1998; Grad Dip Com (Economics), Victoria University of Wellington, 2007.

Finn Boyle – South Island Manager

finn2

Finn started promoting harm reduction information and services because he felt he had to in order to keep his wider community safe.

He has been active in this area for 3 years, providing reagent testing services at events and in the wider community, disseminating information to his peers and helping out with running ‘Festival Safety’ workshops which include education around drug use. He has also been involved in providing care services or safe spaces at small local, and big commercial events. These spaces often deal with the results of uninformed drug use and they help highlight the need for an ambulance at the top of the cliff, which is what Know Your Stuff provides.

“Having a presence at events and being able to engage with people and provide testing & information services is one of the few ways that I have seen behaviour change around drug use that didn’t stem from a negative experience. The feedback has been universally positive and deeply appreciated which makes me know that this work has real value.”

Dr Andrea Knox – Data team lead

Andrea Knox

Andrea has a background in statistics, data science, evaluation and social research. She worked as an independent research and evaluation consultant from 2007 to 2019 and is currently a Senior Research and Data Analyst in government. Andrea has a PhD in Genetics from the University of Cambridge.

Andrea developed the KnowYourStuffNZ data analysis, survey and reporting systems and now leads our small team of volunteer data analysts.

Craig Kenney – Auckland team co-lead

Craig Kenney headshot

When he’s not working with Know Your Stuff, Craig manages a sustainable forestry certification NGO. He has always had a passion for harm reduction and making safe spaces for folks to have fun and be themselves. He worked as a volunteer until eventually taking on the responsibility of co-manager for the Auckland region alongside Gwyneth. His time with KnowYourStuffNZ has been extremely rewarding and has given him yet another sense of purpose in his life. He looks forward to each event that KnowYourStuffNZ attends.

He loves to move and be active and his hobbies reflect this. On week nights he’ll in an aerial circus studio swinging on silks and on weekends he’ll be in some body of water swimming or kayaking. Of course he loves festivals as well. You’ll usually find him cutting shapes on the dance floor.

His formal education consists of a Bachelors in Marketing with a minor in statistics.

Gwyneth Bassett – Auckland team co-lead

Gwyneth headshot

Outside of drug testing Gwyneth is a Software Engineer, currently working full time as a frontend developer. She heard about KnowYourStuffNZ from her brother Fergus and as a long time lover of science and festivals it was a perfect match. In her limited spare time you can find her on the mountain, camping with friends or rollerskating around Auckland. She have a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering with first class honours from the University of Auckland.

Yvonne Booysen – Media and Partnerships leadYvonne headshot

Yvonne has a background in chemistry and geology, and currently works as a geospatial analyst/developer. She became interested in harm reduction when she discovered KnowYourStuffNZ about three years ago and has been involved ever since, both as an event lead in the field and behind the scenes managing relationships with media and key partners.

Rhiannon Davies – Communications team lead 

Rhiannon Davies headshot

Rhiannon’s been a communications and engagement professional for 15 years.

She got interested in KnowYourStuffNZ after studying sociolinguistics. She saw a chance to directly work language into effective harm reduction messaging that works through empowerment, transparency and evidence.

When she’s not cursing over content, Rhiannon can be found pottering in her garden, collecting memes, playing with her cat Monster, or making something out of one of Wendy’s sheeps’ fleeces.

Educational qualifications
Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Classical Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, 2006. Bachelor of Communications, Linguistics and Marketing, Massey University, 2016.

Jenny Knight – Volunteer lead

With a professional background in Volunteer Management and HR, Jenny signed up to join KnowYourStuff after seeing the bright yellow tshirts at a few festivals, and wondering what it was all about.

With skills in people management and a weird enjoyment of emails, Jenny is responsible for managing our volunteer database, developing the volunteer journey, and providing the required pastoral care and admin support for our volunteers.

Jenny also has a Masters in Geography, specialising in Disaster and Climate Change Policy, and a Bachelor of Arts (First class honours) in Geography and Anthropology.

Outside of her work, Jenny enjoys gardening, dancing, cooking and painting, and lives with two rescue cats, Darling and Cleo.

Wendy Allison – Chair, Board of Trustees

Wendy founded KnowYourStuffNZ in 2014 with the goals of helping her own community, proving drug checking works, and starting a national conversation about harm reduction.

After 8 years of direct action in which all of these goals were achieved plus a bonus law change, drug checking is established as a legitimate harm reduction measure. Aotearoa has world leading drug checking legislation, a growing collaborative group of drug checking organisations working to ensure equity of access to the service, and an effective national drug early warning system.

Wendy has now stepped back from running KnowYourStuffNZ in the knowledge that it has been well set up to continue to grow and provide quality service and is in very capable hands. She remains as the Chair of the Board of Trustees

Relevant previous research: B. M. Z. Cohen & W. Allison (2015) Pills, Thrills and Bellyaches: The effect of criminalising a ‘legal high’ in Aotearoa New Zealand. New Zealand Sociology, 30:1.  A cohort study of BZP users’ attitudes and habits pre-and-post prohibition, considering evidence for any ‘displacement effect’.

Partners

New Zealand Drug Foundation

Drug Foundation B&W

The NZ Drug Foundation is an NGO driven by the vision of an Aotearoa free from Drug Harm. They focus on providing information services, policy advice and lobbying for drug law reform.

NZ Drug Foundation has been working with KnowYourStuff NZ to promote drug checking as harm reduction, providing support through purchase of a spectrometer and logisitical help, and leading advocacy initiatives.

High AlertHigh Alert logo

High Alert is New Zealand’s early warning system about dangerous drugs. High Alert is run by the Drug Information and Alerts Aotearoa New Zealand (DIANZ) who are supported by a network of health professionals and social services (both Government and Non-Government Organisations).

 

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