Skip to content


Vienna Richards is a seasoned communications and media relations practitioner with significant industry, government and community experience, spanning more than 15 years.

Her professional work is a mix of news and media, communications, PR and marketing, community and government relations and emergency and crisis communications.

She works strategically with teams, senior managers and executive teams on issues of the day including emergency communications preparedness. She provides high level advice and execution to help organisations and companies achieve their goals in internal and external communications work programmes.

A high performer, she is a strategist who is highly experienced in tactical implementation, working with people at all levels of an organisation. 

Vienna’s pragmatic approach to communication solutions is informed by frontline experiences in diverse communities in various roles and programmes over the years. This includes a former stint supporting victims of crime as a volunteer case worker for Victim Support New Zealand and leading presentations and talks to diverse cultural and interfaith organisations with youth, adults and families.

Working in New Zealand and parts of the Asia Pacific region, she has presented papers on media relations, emergency, risk and disaster communications in Australasia and Europe. 


Fast Facts


Recent Conference Presentations 

2017 5th International Conference on Disaster Management and Human Health: Reducing Risk, Improving Outcomes,
Serville, Spain

2017 Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference

Key Specialisation

  • Developing and Leading Communications Strategy
  • Leadership
  • Performance Reporting
  • Annual Reporting
  • Media Relations
  • Community and Stakeholder Relations
  • Government Relations
  • Trainer and Writer
  • Video, Digital, Web, Online Technology
  • Marketing Design and Photography
  • Events Management.

Diverse Industry Experience

Some of the industries and fields worked in:

  • Media – Broadcast Radio and TV
    Māori Television, National Pacific Radio Trust NPRT NiuFM and Radio 531pi, TVNZ.


  • Public, Primary and Tertiary Health Sector
    District health boards, community health organisations, primary healthcare.


  • Public Health Emergency and Disaster Response
    Communications lead for communicable disease outbreaks, Christchurch 2011 Earthquake, Ebola, Nelson Earthquake 2015.


  • Education
    Most recently for the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards, Wellington.


  • Public Works and Open Landscapes
    Public and private partnership in a commercial development role.


  • Community/Education/Health Initiatives
    A few examples:
    CADS (Community Alcohol Drugs Services)
    SHORE and Whaiariki Research Centre, Massey University
    World Health Organisation (WHO) Indigenous Pre-Conference on Tobacco Control.



Very First Writing Assignments

  • Cultural Perspectives Chapter, Harper Collins Commissioned book on Maternal Health, 1996 -1998.
  • Freelance columnist for New Zealand Herald, 1998-2000.


University Graduate

  • Bachelor of Communication Studies, Journalism Major, Auckland University of Technology.
  • One of two AUT journalism graduates selected for 2001 TVNZ’s graduate programme.

Volunteer Community Experience

  • Former Volunteer Case Worker – Victim Support New Zealand.
  • Former Meals on Wheels Driver, New Zealand Red Cross.
  • Organic Gardening.
  • Youth and Adult Community Teaching.


Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders
Operation Underground Railroad