Dr John Kleinsman has worked at The Nathaniel Centre since 2001 and was appointed Director in May 2010. He brings a varied background of community experience to his work in bioethics as a result of previous employment in the disability support and drug and alcohol rehabilitation sectors.

His PhD research focuses on the potential contributions of contemporary 'thinkers of the gift' to a renewed theology of procreation and the implications of this for ethically evaluating the transmission of human life in an age of assisted reproductive technologies. John also holds a Master's degree in moral theology from the University of Otago.

John was previously a member of the Central Region Health Research Ethics committee and serves on a number of other ethics committees and advisory committees. He continues to teach part-time for The Catholic Institute of Aotearoa New Zealand as a lecturer in moral theology and ethics.

John is married to Kerry and they have three children.


Dr Sue Buckley started work with the Nathaniel Centre in November 2013. Prior to coming to the Centre worked as a researcher in a university research centre and within government. She has also worked as a teacher at a polytechnic, and as a mother.

Sue has been involved in a range of research projects and her particular interest is research into the issues that concern the well-being of children and young people. Her Master’s thesis was about bullying amongst school children, and her PhD research investigated how conceptualisations of young people, and particularly the view of 'youth as risk', affect policies and legislation concerning ages and the rights and responsibilities of young people. 

Research Fellow

Dr Zachariah (Zach) Duke started work with The Nathaniel Centre in August 2018 as a Research Fellow. Zach is also the Acting Academic Dean and a Lecturer in Theology at The Catholic Institute of Aotearoa New Zealand. Prior to joining the Centre, Zach held a number of senior academic positions at BBI-The Australian Institute of Theological Education (formerly The Broken Bay Institute), as well as adjunct/affiliate lectureships with three other universities in Australia. Zach is known for his research in the field of disability theology. His doctoral dissertation was entitled, “A critical analysis of a theology of disability in the Australian Catholic Church: a qualitative study into contemporary inclusionary practices.” This ground-breaking research used qualitative and ethnographic methodologies to analyse the gap between the Australian Catholic Church’s policy statements around inclusion for people living with a disability, and its actual practice. Zach is a member of the Ethics Special Interest Group of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. 

 zachariah duke paint

Zach Duke







Panel of Advisors

The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference appoints eight members to the Centre's Panel of Advisers. Current members are:

Professor John France of Auckland
Rev Grahame Connolly SM of Auckland
Mrs Nadja Tollemache of Auckland
Mrs Sharron Cole of Wellington
Rev Neil Vaney SM of Auckland