Market Leaders for Migration to New Zealand!

New Zealand Immigration Concepts: Market Leaders for migration to New Zealand for 25 years!

Find out who we are and why we are qualified to give you the best all-round assistance you can get for your move to New Zealand. 

Our team speaks English, German, Sinhalese, French and Spanish.


We are your key to success:

We are qualified and experienced.

We are upfront, genuine and personal.

We understand what our clients are going through.

We represent a wide range of cultural backgrounds.



Meet the People at New Zealand Immigration Concepts 

Our Visa Team: 

Dr Carsten Hallwass

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Dr Carsten Hallwass |LL.B. - PhD| Director | Licensed Immigration Adviser

Dr Carsten Hallwass holds a full licence to operate as a Licensed Immigration Adviser under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007. He is an Associate Member of the New Zealand Law Society as well as a full member of the Hanseatic Law Society of Bremen, Germany.

Carsten specialises in business and investor migration. Since his arrival in New Zealand in 1994, he has assisted clients from all over the world with applying for their visas under Business and Investor policies and successfully establishing their businesses in New Zealand.

Before migrating to New Zealand, Carsten studied Law at the University of Kiel, Germany, where he obtained a PhD in Laws. Following his career at university, he practised law in Bremen, Germany, from 1988 to 1994, where he was a partner in a law firm with a strong focus on business clientele. 

Carsten says: "I work closely with the former manager of the Entrepreneur Team at Immigration New Zealand`s Business Migration Branch, who now specialises in market research and incorporating business plans. Together we have a wealth of experience that you will find hard to beat."

Carsten speaks English and German.


Client feedback:

"Dr Hallwass handled our application to immigrate professionally, giving us a clear picture of what was required, updating us along the way and providing excellent follow-up service on our arrival in New Zealand. We are delighted with his professionalism and thoroughness. He comes highly recommended."

Hi Dr. Carsten, with the assistance from NZ Immigration Concepts we successfully immigrated from South Africa in 2016. We received our Permanent Residency in January, and I would like to thank NZ Immigration Concepts for all your assistance in getting settled through the skilled migrant visa process. We would now like to ask you to help our friends with their migration process as well. B.V.”

Hallo Carsten, vielen Dank nochmals für den netten Austausch bei Dir im Büro. Es war schön die Gelegenheit zu haben, Dich auch einmal persönlich kennen zu lernen. F.J.”


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Dr Carsten Hallwass | Licence Number 200900212


Apekshi Jayawardena


Apekshi Jayawardena | LL.B. (Hons), PGDBE | Licensed Immigration Adviser 

Before migrating to New Zealand in 2015, Apekshi obtained a Bachelor of Laws with Honours from the University of Colombo and practised law in Sri Lanka. 

Since her arrival in Nelson Apekshi completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Enterprise at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) and joined the academic team as a tutor. 

Working with international students for several years enhanced her interest in the area of immigration law, and she decided to study for a Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice and become a Licensed Immigration Adviser. 

Apekshi speaks English and Sinhalese.


Client feedback:

"Thank you, Apekshi. That is amazing news! Thanks also Chelsea for all your and NZIC work for that. Cheers!"

"Thanks Apekshi and Carsten for your valuable advise and processing our work visas with maximum results. Appreciate your prompt communication and quality service too." 

Good morning Apekshi, I wanted to thank you for your extensive help in the last days, and I’m truly grateful we have been able to finish everything, before I’m leaving town on Monday. A.W.”


Apekshi is a provisional license holder and works under the direct supervision of Dr Carsten Hallwass. 

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Apekshi JayawardenaLicence Number 201800790 


Penny Taylor

Licensed Immigration Adviser3

Penny Taylor | Licensed Immigration Adviser 

Penny studied Business Studies and qualified as a Legal Executive in England. She has experience working for businesses, charities and the National Health Service. Penny gained her CELTA certificate from CCEL in Christchurch and worked as an ESOL teacher in Nelson.

Penny migrated with her family to "Sunny Nelson" from the UK in 2005. She feels that this gives her empathy and understanding of how stressful and conflicting migration can be. She enjoys meeting and working with people from different parts of the world.

She enjoys creative writing and producing and performing theatrical events.

Penny is a provisional license holder and works under the direct supervision of Dr Carsten Hallwass.

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Penny Taylor | Licence Number 202000093


Katrina Horgan 

Katrina Horgan

Katrina Horgan | Immigration Case Manager & Visa Team Manager

Katrina returned to New Zealand with her family in 2016 after living in the UK for 25 years. 

In the UK she worked for Walt Disney Company for 22 years, holding various roles, including managing the operations team as Executive Director for 11 years, before deciding to move back to New Zealand for a lifestyle change that would give her more time with her family.

We are very fortunate to have been able to add such a highly experienced professional to our team.

Katrina works closely with our Licensed Immigration Advisers and our Job Search Professionals.


Clients feedback:

"Hi Katrina, Thank you so much for going the extra mile and helping me acquire the Work Visa. This is awesome news, and I am so privileged to have had you guys help me out!"

"Hi Katrina, I would like to thank you for all your help. I also wanted to thank all the people who worked to help us obtain the visa. We appreciate all your effort and dedication in our process. We are happy because now we can start our life in New Zealand. Kind regards, C & F."

“Thank you team for all your hard work and support. P.T.”


Leah Shopneck 

Leah Shopneck

Leah Shopneck | B.A. | Immigration Case Manager

Leah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography, University of Mary, Washington, as well as a Master of Yachts, IYT Worldwide Canada

Leah originates from the United States and decided to make New Zealand home with her Kiwi husband in 2017.

After ten years sailing the world working onboard yachts as the first mate and also operational director of university education programs, Leah and her husband began looking to move their lives ashore.

New Zealand quickly moved to the top of the list when deciding where to live, with its fantastic scenery, an endless list of tracks and opportunities to be on the water.

Leah has spent years working with clients from around the world and is now a highly valued member of the NZIC team. She is currently studying to become a Licensed Immigration Adviser.


Client feedback:

"Kia ora Leah, we had an incredible, unforgettable year in NZ. Our kids changed into kiwi kids. It’s amazing; they speak like kiwi and love walking around barefoot we will miss your beautiful country, the warm heart of our community here in M and the incredible teacher. Thanks for helping us to get our dream getting true. Ngā mihi, noho ora mai, M.B” 


Kerrie Bland | Administration Assistant 

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Kerrie Bland | Administration Assistant 

Kerrie migrated from the UK to New Zealand with her family in 2019.

In the UK she was the Director of her own event photography company for 13 years, supplying sports images from the novice to the professionals. Kerrie has many years of experience in Customer Services and all areas of Administration work.

We are very excited to have such an experienced professional in our team.

She enjoys Cycling, Riding, Swimming and Skiing and is a Mini Football Coach here in Nelson.

Kerrie works closely with our Licensed Immigration Advisers and our Job Search Professionals.


Our Job Search Team: 

Anna Fyfe

Anna Fyfe, Careers Adviser

Anna Fyfe | B.A. | Job Search Coach

Anna holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (English) from Victoria University of Wellington and a Graduate Certificate in Psychosocial Studies (GradCert) from AUT University, Auckland.

She has worked in the migrant/newcomer sector for more than 15 years (both in London and NZ) and joined us from Auckland, where she managed an employment programme for highly-skilled migrants in the region.

Anna is passionate about NZ’s diversity, and close contact with new migrants from a vast variety of countries has given her a good understanding about the highs and lows of the settlement process and of the support required to obtain that quintessential first job in a new country.

Like many New Zealanders, Anna herself spent seven years living overseas in the UK on a very extended "O.E", before returning home at the end of 2005.


Client feedback:

"Hi Anna, Wow! Nice work on the CV. If this crossed my desk, I would strongly consider hiring myself."

"Dear Anna, You made my CV look incredible!  Thank you!"

"Hi Anna, I hope you are as well as I am. I got an offer from G! I would just like to say I could not have done this without you. I am forever thankful for everything you have been doing and are doing for us. Thank you!"

"Hi Anna, Good news! I got the job! I received a verbal offer and am expecting the written offer tomorrow. I am so excited and hope that everything can be speedily done and I can get the work visa. Thanks. R.C.”


Jannie Allen

Jannie 2

Jannie Allen | LL.B. - B.A. | Job Search Coach & CV Writing Specialist

Jannie holds a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts from The University of Auckland.

Jannie has 20 years’ experience in assisting migrants and international students with job applications and career direction. 
Her most recent employment was as a Career Consultant at The University of Auckland.
Through her vast experience with working with migrants to New, Zealand Jannie has an excellent understanding of cultural differences.
Jannie is now providing her expert knowledge on how to best present the skills, experience and qualifications of overseas applicants for the NZ market to our clients. 
She is a professional member of the Career Development Association of New Zealand (CDANZ).
Client feedback:
"Dear Jannie. Just want to drop a note to thank for your everything. Your help is much appreciated! You are a wonderful and professional job search coach! I am so lucky to have you supporting me! M.K.”
"Jannie your support has been just phenomenal. You have provided exactly what I needed, where and when I needed it. Having your precious insights and ongoing emotional support gave me the confidence to push through a really hard time. I cannot give you a big enough thank you."



Jane Orsman

Jane Job Search Coach

Jane Orsman | B.A. | Grad. Cert. Career Theory & Pract. | Job Search & Career Coach

Jane has acquired a range of qualifications over the years.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science and International Relations) from Victoria University of Wellington; a Graduate Certificate in Career Theory and Practice from the Wellington Institute of Technology in Wellington; a National Certificate in Adult Education and Training from the Open Polytechnic in New Zealand and a Diploma in Environmental Health Science from Wellington Polytechnic (now Massey University).

Jane has over 18 years experience in the New Zealand careers sector predominately working as a Career Development Consultant.  She has worked with a wide variety of people including supporting migrants to understand and develop job search strategies to successfully transition into the New Zealand job market.

Jane helps migrants navigate their way through the job search process by identifying and tailoring their skills, experience and qualifications to suit New Zealand style CVs, cover letters and applications; providing relevant labour market information;  strategies to access the hidden job market and to build confidence developing New Zealand networks as well as helping migrants improve their interview skills and practice.  Whatever it takes to support people to a successful outcome.

She describes her career practice philosophy as being strength-based and solution-focussed to empower clients to have the tools, techniques and resources to make life-long informed work and career decisions.

Jane is a current professional member of the Career Development Association of New Zealand (CDANZ) and the Career and Transition Education Association NZ Inc. (CATE). She works in our Wellington branch.


Client feedback:

"Thank you very much Jane for your kind assistance, my cover letter looks great!” A.S 

"Hi Jane. Thanks to you I have an interview on Friday. Thank you for all you have done for me thus far.” I.C

"Hi Jane. I appreciate you and what you do for me so much.” G.C

"Hi Jane. Thank you very much for your valuable inputs on my CV and covering letter. They all look much better now with your edits. Thanks again for your support" F.B. 



Judi Lubetzky 

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Judi Lubetzky | B.A. | Careers Coach

Judi holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (Anthropology & History) of the  University of Auckland and a Graduate Diploma in Career Development (Grad.Dip. Career Development) for Adult Tertiary Education from Auckland University of Technology.  She is a qualified Myer Briggs Practitioner, MBTI.

Judi is a highly qualified & innovative Career Specialist with more than 12 years of experience and a passion for supporting individuals to make well-informed decisions about their future.

She is passionate about one on one career counselling and gives our clients a deciding boost for their job search by applying innovative job search strategies, talking to them about "What worked for our successful clients" and coaching best networking practices in New Zealand. 

She helps our clients who are trying to break into the New Zealand job market with identifying their strengths in this market, clarifying their work goals; confidence building; effective interview skills; workplace coaching; and strategies to manage stress concerning job search. 

Judi is a professional member of the Career Development Association of New Zealand (CDANZ) and adheres to their Code of Ethics. She is also a member of the New Zealand Association of Psychological Type (NZAPT).


Client feedback:

"Hello Judi. It was a great pleasure talking to you, and I am deeply grateful to the insights you have given me with respect to job search. The elaborated detailing and strategic approach received from your end  boosted my confidence and enhanced my spirit to regain the momentum. SJ" 

"Hi Judi. I don’t know how to thank you for your great advice.  I have printed all the info and I am definitely going to use them in my applications. You are an angel. IC"

"Hi Judi. Thanks for your job coaching this morning. It is very fruitful in which there are quite a number of new ideas I’ve never thought before. I’ll read through your notes and repackage the answer based on your suggestion. Thanks once again and your advice gives me more confident in job searching. If I successfully move to New Zealand, I’ll visit you in person to thank you for your support. TS" 

"Thanks Judi. I really feel empowered after our session!"

"Our session was a truly energising experience! Thank you, Judi!"

"Hi Judi, I very much enjoyed speaking to you last night! Anna told me you would have many ideas and you didn't disappoint me:)"




Our Business Development and Marketing Team: 

Martina Könnecke 

Martina Koennecke, Director

Martina Könnecke | LL.B. | Director 

Martina is a qualified Lawyer, LLB. She graduated from the University of Kiel and is a member of the Hanseatic Law Society of Bremen, Germany.

Martina first came to New Zealand as a junior lawyer in 1985 to gain overseas experience in a Nelson law firm. She returned to Germany and obtained her admission to the bar in 1987. While practising as a solicitor in Germany, she particularly enjoyed working closely with her clients on representing their interests and achieving their goals.

In 1994 Martina migrated to New Zealand and established New Zealand Immigration Concepts.

Martina is passionate about constantly developing and improving the fusion of our ever-growing range of services, to help and support people from all over the world with their successful migration to New Zealand.

Martina says: 'Feedback from our clients is the best way to find out what works and what we can do better.'

She is always happy to hear from you if you have any suggestions on how to improve our services!

Martina speaks English and German.


Feedback from a German couple: "Wir haben von Ihnen in einer halben Stunde einen Weg zur Auswanderung aufgezeigt bekommen, der für uns gut durchführbar sein wird. Ich bin froh über diesen Weg. Neben einem neuen Hochgefühl macht sich auch Erleichterung breit; es ist also möglich. Ganz herzlichen Dank dafür. Da die Informationen in der Muttersprache geführt wurden, sind wir uns sicher, daß keine Mißverständnisse entstanden sind. Wir wissen das zu schätzen. Beste Grüße ans andere Ende der Welt, Dagmar K. und Knut V."


Maj Hallwass 

Maj Hallwass

Maj Hallwass | B.Com | Marketing and Business Development Manager

Maj holds a Bachelor of Commerce, BCom degree with majors in International Business, Political Science and Human Resources & Industrial Relations from Victoria University, Wellington, NZ.

Maj began working at New Zealand Immigration Concepts in 2013, before embarking on her Overseas Experience.  

She joined our team again in July 2015, then working for New Zealand Immigration Concepts in Milan, Italy.

Maj moved back to New Zealand in early 2018 and established our new branch in Wellington. Having a foot on the ground in New Zealand's capital allows us to connect and network with major players in the job market, including recruiters and employers. 

Maj particularly enjoys working with migrants from all over the world, as she has a keen interest in cultural differences and enjoys learning about various cultures, languages and foods. 

She has lived in Germany, Italy and Portugal and is passionate about travelling, cooking and camping- especially in the Abel Tasman National Park.

Maj speaks English and German.


Client feedback:

'Dear Maj, If the service and courtesy we received from you is anything to go by, I can only be positive to deal and work with the rest of the teams. Again, thank you very much for your contribution and all the advice and efficiency. If anything else comes to mind or if I'm not sure about anything, I will gladly give you a shout. Much appreciated and take care, Andre N.'

'Hello Maj, It has been a pleasure working with you. Thanks! '

'Good day Maj, Thank you for all your support to date, you are amazing to work with.'

"Hi Maj, I am so pleased and impressed with the professional and prompt service and feedback from yourself and New Zealand Immigration Concepts. Thank you for that!"

"Good day, Maj, Our process is going very well, thank you. We can only thank you and your company for all the assistance you gave us thus far and I would recommend you guys to everyone if I could. Your service is outstanding. Have a lovely day, Kind regards, C.R.”

"Good day Maj, Once again thank you for the quick reply and I must say that the service and assistance that has come from you to this point has really made a difference!” S.M.


Leo Martinez

Leo Martinez

Leo Martinez | B.Com | Communications Coordinator

Leo holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the National University of Technology, Argentina.

He worked as a communications manager for the Argentine government and directed a marketing agency before moving to New Zealand.

Leo decided to live in New Zealand after meeting his partner, a New Zealander, in 2017.

He had to go through the intricate process of applying for two partnership based work visas, before his application for residency in 2018. That experience made him aware of how challenging visa processes can be, and how critical avoiding mistakes and delays is.

Leo works in our Wellington branch. 

In his free time, Leo enjoys tramping and morning runs with his wife, as well as learning about different cultures and world views.

He speaks English and Spanish.


Client feedback:

"Gracias por todo Leo, es un placer trabajar contigo! Mi familia y yo apreciamos mucho tu asistencia y recomendaciones. R.F."


Emma Serianni

Emma Serianni | B.A. | Customer Services Coordinator

Emma holds a BA in International Relations and French from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. She is currently studying to become a Licensed Immigration Adviser.

She previously worked as a contractor for Facebook, helping newly hired employees understand the relocation benefits offered to them and plan logistics related to their moves domestically and internationally.

Emma has dual US-NZ citizenship and has recently moved to Wellington after having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She works in our Wellington branch. 

Emma is currently studying to become a Licensed Immigration Adviser.

She has lived in France and Morocco and in her free time enjoys playing tennis and hiking.

Emma speaks English and French.


Trae Kavalinovich

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Trae Kavalinovich | Communications Coordinator

Trae is currently in his third and final year of studying for a Bachelor of Commerce, with majors in Marketing and Human Resource Management at Victoria University, Wellington, NZ.

Growing up in rural New Zealand and moving to Wellington in 2018, Trae has a passion for the beauty, diversity, and culture of the country, and enjoys road-trips, visiting trendy cafes and finding hidden gems around the region - a walk up to the Cape Palliser Lighthouse is highly recommended.

He has previously worked in customer service, and enjoys the exciting diversity of interacting with all walks of life.

Trae works in our Wellington branch. 



Find out more about New Zealand Immigration Concepts: 

Our Firm - New Zealand Immigration Concepts 
Our Services - The best all-round immigration support you can get
Our Job Search Assistance Service for Skilled Migrants 
Licensed by the Immigration Advisers Authority
Happy Clients 



Ask us for a Free Professional Assessment!

Our Licensed Immigration Advisers and Job Search Professionals will assess your chances and let you know how you can start your migration process.