Alina Mancini need look no further than the Red Cross to enjoy her unbridled passion for humanitarian work in her quest to achieve an equitable society.

That passion has been put to good use during her more than two decades of living in Whangārei, with stints as a social worker and in the health and disability sector.

Last October, the mother of two was appointed the human development engagement manager Northland for New Zealand Red Cross which makes her the head of the international humanitarian organisation in this region.

Her role is to lead and manage Red Cross's projects and activities in Northland and to develop humanitarian initiatives with other stakeholders and schools.


Born and bred in the Italian capital of Rome, she decided on her big OE in New Zealand in 1996 and met her life partner at a lifestyle block in Tutukaka where she worked on a small banana plantation.

"I am passionate about humanitarian causes and a more and just equitable society so when this job came about, it felt like a very good fit.

"This role has opened up an opportunity for me to work for the biggest humanitarian organisation in the world, in my region, and with like-minded people."

While in Rome, Mancini worked with people with disabilities, migrant children and with young people— the sort of work that gives her utmost satisfaction.

After running a small business from Tutukaka selling olive oil imported from Italy, Mancini became a social worker around 2007 before joining 155 Community House as a funding, research and community development officer.

She then worked as a health and disability advocate but feels her present workplace is where she belongs.

"I really like working with people and being involved in grassroot projects in my community— that's what I did throughout my career. I'd like to see Red Cross growing its presence in Northland," Mancini says patiently.

"I want to see the likes of young people, the tangata whenua, and diverse group of people involved in volunteering which is a good way of giving back to the community."


Presently, she said Red Cross in Northland has 300 volunteers but there was scope for more.

Mancini said community engagements like the Youth and Emergency Services (YES) programme recently held in Whangārei were ways to attract more volunteers and to teach them emergency service skills.

She replaced Nancy Kareroa-Yorke and is based in Whangārei.