Meet the team

We’re a small team, passionate about defending all Kiwi’s speech rights. With a range of experience and skills and backed by your support, we punch above our weight.

team members

Jonathan Ayling

Chief Executive

Jonathan has worked in Wellington for 8 years across roles as a Beehive staffer, senior political advisor, and in the NGO sector. In addition to leading the work at the Free Speech Union, he and his wife own a vineyard in the Wairarapa (which is almost as stressful as politics!).

Nathan Seiuli

Outreach and Events Manager

Nathan has a background working with youth in community outreach, so is an ideal fit for our work of convincing another generation that free speech is worth defending.

Nadia Braddon-Parsons

Communications and Marketing Manager

With a Bachelor of Communication, Nadia has a passion for using words constructively and meaningfully to defend Kiwis’ rights.

Hannah Clow

Senior Legal Counsel

With varied experience in civil litigation, employment, commercial, and private client matters, Hannah champions our legal cases. She also does an excellent job researching and preparing many of our letters, submissions, and reports.

Nick Hanne

Education Partnerships Manager

If free speech is to be cherished and maintained, we need the next generation to know about it. As an experienced high school teacher who is passionate advocate of civil liberties, Nick is the perfect fit to develop and present our Speak Up! program in schools. 

Arian Tashakkori


If you've contacted us, you've probably received a message from Arian already. Studying toward his conjoint bachelor's degree in Commerce and Global Studies, Arian brings a knowledgeable perspective to the team and juggles our correspondence and processes. 

Our council members

The governing Council of the Free Speech Union is made up of a group of New Zealanders from across the political spectrum who believe that free speech is a value worth defending.


Dr. David Cumin – Academic

Dr. Melissa Derby – Academic

Stephen Franks – Lawyer

Ani O’Brien – Writer and Political Commentator

Jordan Williams – Lawyer

Dr. Roderick Mulgan – Barrister and GP

Steve O'Hagan – Information Management Specialist

Dane Giraud - Screenwriter

Prof. Geoff Plimmer - Academic

Jillaine Heather - Lawyer

Robin Van Ausdall - Public Servant

Douglas Brown - Barrister