Board Of Trustees


Ecie Hursthouse
Managing Director

I was born in the USA and attained a B.A. in Liberal Arts. Then after travelling through Europe and Africa, I married a New Zealander and we traveled through Asia to NZ in 1973. We have two adult sons.
I became a Mahayana Buddhist in Nepal in 1973. With my husband and two other people we started the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre in NZ, Dorje Chang Institute, in 1976. In 1995, I founded and am currently the Managing Director of Amitabha Hospice Service Trust. I have been on the Executive of the New Zealand Buddhist Council since 2009. I was a Registered Nurse from 1992-2016. My nursing experience has led me to specialise in Palliative care. I was critically injured in a car accident in 2008, which gave me a lot of experience of being on the other side of the caring equation.
In my work as a nurse with dying patients in their own homes, I felt my usefulness was more as a spiritual companion supporting their transition than as a medical practitioner..

Heather Buttle

I am originally from North Devon, England, but also have strong connection to Wales, having lived in North Wales for 10 years, where I completed her BSc and PhD in Psychology at Bangor University. I then moved to Auckland to take up a position as Lecturer in the School of Psychology at Massey University (currently Senior Lecturer). My teaching and research interests are in cognitive psychology (attention, memory, emotion etc.) and my current research focus is on mindfulness/meditation. I have lived here for 14 years, am a practicing Buddhist (Vajrayana: Karma Kagyu tradition), and have completed Level 1 training of Buddhist Chaplaincy, with Ecie as my supervisor. I am a mother of one, and am delighted to be able to support Amitabha Hospice by Chairing the Board of Trustees.


Anne-Marie Bright


Kiwi girl born in Auckland. Traveled widely and lived overseas. Raised 2 wonderful children who I am very proud of. Have been Co director and manager of Dorje Chang Institute in the service of FPMT. Trained as a volunteer at Amitabha Hospice in 2001 and supported ever since. Currently working as a community mental health nurse. I am a community mental health nurse ‘specialist in older people’.

Sheryl Lyons


Stephen LeCouteur
Property Manager


Stephen LeCouteur has been a Trustee of AHTS for approximately eight years including some  two years as Chairman. His  portfolio is overseeing maintenance of AHS buildings and property and managing the rental flat and formerly the rental house. He lives with his wife Imelda in their home in New Windsor.

Stephen’ background has been diverse, with careers in newsprint media journalism,  house decorating contracting, business education  marketing and enrolments for AUT, Henley Management College (NZ  branch), and  residential property management.

In the past, Stephen has served on committees for the YHA (Dunedin branch), and the Auckland Outdoor Activities Club.


Our Volunteer Accountant

Vijay Kumar

I have been a NZ Charted Accountant since 2001 and have nearly 30 years’ overall experience across 3 continents. For me, accountancy is a service, that’s the very reason I have supported Amitabha hospice for the past 7 years as their accountant.

Our Staff



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