Integrity, courage, imagination

We're about relationships not transactions. We believe in our work and we care about our clients.

Our approach is rooted in our values of integrity, courage and imagination.

Our name, our character

Hummingbirds are curiosity-led, brave little stunt-flyers. They are pollinators with the ability to hybridise and see on a different spectrum.

Hummingbird Effect is also a reference to Karen's childhood love of the hummingbird stamps on packages sent from her family in Trinidad.

There's a bigger story around us

We're allied with communities of practice across the public, private and non-profit sectors in the fields of disputes resolution and restorative practice, social research, education, health and construction.

We love opportunities to contribute, collaborate and continue learning through networks.

Karen Vaughan

Managing Director / Owner

photo of Karen Vaughan

PhD in Education, University of Auckland

MA (Hons) in Education

PGDip in Business, Massey University

L4 Cert. Te Reo Māori me nga Tikanga, AUT University

Karen has been supporting private, public and non-profit sector clients with perspective change and new knowledge for over 25 years. Karen is an education strategist, applied researcher and published author. She is also an Accredited Mediator and conflict coach, and consults to Te Ngāpara Centre for Restorative Practice at Victoria University of Wellington. She believes in the rich potential of learning in all aspects of everyday life.

Karen's former roles include Head of Stakeholder Relations at the Royal New Zealand College of GPs, where she led its stakeholder engagement, policy and advocacy and governance work. As Chief Researcher at the New Zealand Council for Educational Research, Karen built its programme for Vocational and Professional Learning, and chaired its Ethics Committee. She led numerous complex projects and teams, working with clients and stakeholder groups from different industries, and becoming known for her ability to connect with people from all walks of life.

Her work has been influential in Government, international and national initiatives including Vocational Pathways, Industry Training workplace assessment systems, restorative practice schemes, career guidance systems, Women in Trades and future-of-work capabilities.

Karen has served on numerous advisory groups and boards, including as a Director on the Board of the Open Polytechnic and an Executive Board Member for Work-Integrated Learning New Zealand. She is also Consultant to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. She serves on its trainee and specialist assessment panels, and led Flourish 2022, a national summit for stakeholders in the health of women and gender-diverse people.

Andrew Kear

Director / Owner

photo of Andrew Kear

Andrew is known for his expertise in education strategy and vocational systems change management.

Andrew led the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation's Standards Leadership Group and created its standards-based assessment system, since emulated by other industry organisations. He also established a 'community of practice' to support it. He is the co-author of the suite of resources and tools used by more than 30,000 building and construction apprentices for the New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry.

Andrew has a background in industrial relations dispute resolution, and occupational health and safety. His other former roles include Lead Advocate for the Post-Primary Teachers' Association; Manager of Secondary School Assessment at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority; and National Operations Manager for the Department of Labour. He is a qualified teacher and has led large departments in secondary schools.

Andrew is part of the team maintaining walking tracks and pest trapping lines for Ngā Uruora Kāpiti biodiversity project.