About Aroha Funerals

  • Janet Mikkelsen

    Funeral Director

    Janet Mikkelsen has been a funeral director for 7 years. Prior to that she was a nurse for 30 years – in paediatric oncology and paediatric palliative care. She credits her nursing background with helping her develop many of the skills she uses now – feeling comfortable around death and dying, supporting families at a difficult time, working with families of many different cultures and beliefs, and being honest in a kind and gentle way. The aspects of this work that she loves is the challenge of getting to know lots of different kinds of people in a short space of time, helping people work out the best way to say farewell to their family member, and working with a wonderful and supportive team.

    Janet has three adult children, belongs to the Stonefields choir, does Scottish country dancing, and loves reading and ocean swimming.

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  • Rachel Nash

    Funeral Director

    Rachel has been a funeral director since 2009.

    She feels very privileged to be in a position where she is able to be alongside families at a time that can be emotional and challenging. She finds enormous joy in helping people find the way that they want to celebrate life.

    Rachel has also had a career in the performing arts, working extensively as an actor in Theatre, Education, Film and TV.

    She is very happy and proud to be part of such a vibrant and supportive team at Aroha Funerals.

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  • Robyn Watson

    Funeral Director

    Robyn has been a Funeral Director for 3 years. Also a registered nurse, she specialised in surgical services, including providing education and counselling for patients and families who have experienced grief and loss of body image from surgery.

    Robyn believes that at Aroha Funerals we are entrusted with two precious things – a loved one, and the chance to help their family begin to heal. She also understands that no single approach is right for every family. A funeral is unlike any other event; it has to encapsulate so much in such a short period of time to honour our loved ones in a way that reflects who they were in life. She feels very privileged to be a part of the Aroha team and the ethos that underpins what we offer to families.

    Robyn is a keen sportswoman and enjoys running and participating in various events throughout NZ. Alongside her husband, they are kept busy with two adult children as well as developing their lifestyle property.

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  • Lucy Pierpoint

    Funeral Director

    A long time friend of Janet and Gillian, Lucy has been a keen supporter,  and occasional funeral assistant for us. She  has now happily come on board as a funeral director as she loves being able to support families and friends to navigate a meaningful celebration of life for their loved ones.

    She has had a career in sustainability consulting  and appreciates the approach taken by Aroha to minimise impact and stress with the emphasis on compassion and care.

    With three adult children, hens and a cat,  in her spare time she swims in the sea and is a keen gardener,  learning about food production within the community and makes jewellery.  She feels blessed to be able to now work in this caring environment.

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  • Lynda Casey

    Operations Manager

    Lynda has been in the Funeral industry for a number of years. Firstly as a Funeral Assistant, then going on to become the Operations Manager. She supports the funeral directors on a day to day basis, and she is our go-to woman for everything. Lynda is an ex veterinary nurse and a pharmacy assistant.

    She is happily married with 3 adult children. She and her husband spend their winter weekends running the Marist Eastern rugby club. She enjoys reading, travelling and socialising.

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  • Gillian Craig


    Gillian is Janet’s identical twin sister, and has been involved with the business from the start on a part-time basis. She is a qualified accountant, so helped set up all the accounting systems and financial planning decisions. She is proud of how the business has grown, but more importantly is consistently inspired by the funeral directors and how Aroha Funerals care for families at such a vulnerable time.

    She is also a senior lecturer in Accounting at AUT, enjoys singing in a community choir and is slowly working towards a BA in History and Education. She is married with 3 adult children.

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  • Terry Mikkelsen

    Car Valet

    Terry is Janet and Gillian’s father and he is an integral part of our team. He personally valets our vehicles for every funeral, making sure they are in pristine condition.

    Terry is a retired accountant and property developer and has always had a passion for cars. Terry’s family is really important to him, so he jumped at the chance to be involved with his daughter’s business.

    He is extremely proud of Janet and the team at Aroha Funerals and feels privileged to be a part of our team. His absolute passions in life are cars and his family.

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  • Jan Campbell

    Weekend Helper

    Jan has been a Physiotherapist with older adults for many years and she has always had an interest with funerals and after-life care.

    She has known Janet and Gillian for many years and when she retired she was very keen to be a part of the Aroha team as a Funeral Assistant.

    She fills her spare time with family and her wonderful grandchildren who are such a joy in her life. She loves to travel with her husband and has a caravan. She is also a part of a local choir and loves to sing.

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  • Anita Seccombe

    Weekend Helper

    Anita had several years experience as a funeral celebrant when Janet, a long time friend, asked her to bring her ‘spade’ and come to design and plant the garden at her newly purchased property.

    Ever since, Anita has been a spare pair of hands, quietly helping out when ever needed during busy times.

    A retired Industrial Chaplain, Anita is proud of the  compassion the Aroha Team is renowned for.

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  • Powhiri Rika-Heke

    Weekend Helper

    Pōwhiri has been a funeral assistant for five years and helps when needed. She met Janet and her team when they organised the funeral of Pōwhiri’s beloved ‘brother’. At the funeral service, Pōwhiri was asked if she was interested in working in this service area. The rest is history.

    Life in rural Taitokerau meant that Pōwhiri experienced tangihanga more frequently than most, which can be an asset when supporting Māori whānau in their time of loss and grief.

    After more than two decades studying and teaching in Germany, Pōwhiri returned to Aotearoa following the passing of her partner. Working with Janet and the people she helps has contributed to Pōwhiri’s own healing journey.

    In the same choir as Janet, Gillian and Jan, music is an integral part of Pōwhiri’s life as are her love of whānau, reading, travel, her learners, kaupapa Māori and her unionism.


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