A French legal advocate who can play
the bagpipes, a newly-emigrated South
African receptionist, a solicitor who is
also a marriage celebrant, and a legal
secretary from the Ministry of Justice –
these are the new faces at NZALPA.
Legal advocate Rachel Piriou moved
to New Zealand from France earlier
this year. The employment law
specialist is embracing the aviation
world and opportunity to provide
advice on a wide range of individual
and collective issues.
“This role is unique as I can be
involved in the negotiation process
from beginning to end, and liaise
directly with the members – which is
important for me as I prefer not to
stay behind the scenes,” says Rachel.
“NZALPA has a great legal team that
cares about working together and
exchanging ideas to provide the best
advice to members. I have already
been part of negotiations, which is an amazing way to learn about the
interest-based bargaining process.”
A little known fact is that Rachel
is passionate about Celtic culture.
“When I was younger I played the
bagpipes and was part of a Celtic
dance group which performed at
festivals around Brittany,” she says.
“I had the chance to attend a recent
Ceilidh (traditional Celtic gathering) in
Auckland, which reminded me of the
music events where I used to go when
I was younger.”
NZALPA’s legal team has also
welcomed solicitor John Hall and legal
secretary Celia Gibson.
John was attracted to the role as he
believes NZALPA is “one of the most
proactive and reputable unions in the
“My objective is to continue
developing the standing of NZALPA
as a leader in providing quality labour
law services to its members.”
The first 12 months will be spent
building a rapport with members,
says John, who is also an independent
marriage celebrant and fluent in the
“I think it will take me a year, at least,
to get a proper rapport with enough
members to understand where
they see the industry going and
what their needs are. A lawyer can
be full of bright ideas but without
understanding the client’s position
they are not much use.”
Legal secretary Celia Gibson joins
NZALPA from the Ministry of Justice.
She was attracted by the opportunity
to be part of a team working towards
the same goal.
“I saw a chance to contribute my
skills and experience in a useful way,
to everyone’s benefit – our staff,
members and, following on from that,
the public generally,” says Celia.
“I enjoy problem-solving and potentially
I believe there is the opportunity
to improve operations generally,
although I expect this will take time to
work through and will require input
from others. That will be the biggest
challenge and I am still absorbing how
things work close at hand.
“But watch this space.”
Meanwhile, when you phone NZALPA
or visit the office you will be greeted
by new receptionist Carina Pretorius.
Carina and her family emigrated to
New Zealand from Cape Town in
South Africa earlier this year, seeking
a better future and work-life balance.
While the aviation industry is new to
Carina, she is enjoying the challenge.
“Every day I am learning new and
interesting things about this field,
and enjoy meeting our members
and dealing with their daily needs.”
Carina has two teenage children
and a beloved French bulldog
L-R: John Hall, Rachel Piriou, Carina Pretorius and Celia Gibson.
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