Dutch Communities NZ is the website of the Federation of New Zealand Netherlands Societies, the umbrella trust for Dutch clubs and community organisations in Aotearoa/New Zealand.


The Federation has the following objectives:

  1. To support Dutch clubs and community organisations to stay healthy and vibrant
  2. To circulate information relevant to Dutch communities in Aotearoa/New Zealand
  3. To facilitate connections between different Dutch organisations in Aotearoa/New Zealand
  4. To increase the visibility and recognition of Dutch communities in Aotearoa/New Zealand
  5. To foster relationships between Aotearoa/New Zealand and the Netherlands


The trust has an executive committee consisting of seven people:

President Dr Joost de Bruin joost.debruin@vuw.ac.nz
Vice-President Christiaan Buijsers christiaan.buijsers@hollandhouse.org.nz
Secretary Ellen Tavenier secretary.nznlfederation@yahoo.com
Treasurer Wies van den Berg vandenberg@xtra.co.nz
Officer Media and Communications Ron van Santen ronvsanten@gmail.com
Officer Grants and Fundraising Margaret May margaret@homebuildhomes.co.nz
Officer Dutch Week Arjan van der Boon arjanv@horowhenua.govt.nz



President Joost de Bruin

Joost de Bruin has been the President of the Federation since 2015. He is also a member of the committee of the Dutch Club Manawatū and was involved in the establishment of the Oranjehof Dutch Connection Centre in Foxton. Joost is an Associate Professor in Media and Communication at Victoria University of Wellington.




Vice-President Christiaan Buijsers

President of the Auckland Dutch Club. Born in Groningen and immigrated to NZ with his family in 1984. His dad is originally from Limburg and mum from Indonesia. He works in IT in education and runs 2 Jiujitsu clubs. 




Secretary Ellen Tavenier

Ellen was born in Swifterbant (Flevoland), grew up in Hoogeveen (Drenthe). Met and married a Kiwi in the Netherlands. First arrived in NZ in 2005, then arrived again in 2011 after a 3 year US work stint in Portland, Oregon. She has been the Federation Secretary since 2016. 




Treasurer Wies van den Berg

Wies van den Berg has been the treasurer of the Federation since 2016. She is the president of the Netherlands Society in the Waikato and has been involved with in the Waikato Dutch community since the 1990s in several different ways, starting as a committee member of the Waikato Dutch Choir. Wies teaches nursing at Wintec, is married with Peter, has three adult children and lives in Cambridge. 




Officer Dutch Week Arjan van der Boon

Arjan van der Boon, Co-Chair of the Oranjehof Dutch Connection museum Trust. Ridder in de Order van Oranje-Nassau. Oorspronkelijk uit Oldenzaal (Twente), nu woonachtig in Foxton. Is te bereiken in Oranjehof.




Officer Media & Communications Ron van Santen

Ron was born in Rotterdam, arrived in NZ in 2006 through a work opportunity. Customer Service Engineer with Electronics as background. Has had several roles in the committee of the Christchurch Society up to 2021. Lives in Oxford, Canterbury with his wife Millie and their 2 Greyhounds.




Officer Grants & Fundraising Margaret May

Margaret May has been a member of the Dutch Club Manawatu for three years and is currently also on the board of the Windmill Trust in Foxton.