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Our Team

John Taylor - Executive Director






John has been involved in the disability sector in New Zealand for over 28 years. He has worked in a variety of roles including direct service, operational management, policy formation, political lobbying, governance, advocacy, organisational development, training, and consultancy. He believes people should be able to live their life their way. John has a MPhil in Social Policy, Post Grad Dip Arts in Social Work, BSc in Science and Ethics and a Licentiate in Theology.


Mobile: 027 6524527

Landline: 042897703

Maureen Laphen - Service Manager Hutt Valley, Taranaki and Palmerston North/Levin/Otaki






Maureen has worked in the mental health and the disability sector for 15 years.  Maureen’s role as Service Manager is to support the Hutt Coordinators to always deliver great support. Maureen has worked with the Wellington Needs Assessment and Service Coordination Agency (NASC) and was  an Intensive Service Coordinator for RIDCA before joining Community Connections.

Mobile: 027 2088725

Landline: 04 5692904

Matt Sang - Service Coordinator Hutt Valley






While living in Australia, Matt completed his Diploma of Health, Shiatsu, and Oriental Therapies at the Australian Shiatsu College in Melbourne. As well as shiatsu, Matt has studied Indian head massage, Reiki, Personal Effectiveness Training, and Chinese massage. Currently he is studying psychology at the New Zealand Open Polytechnic and Oriental Psychology with the Art of Health (Sydney).


Mobile: 029 7712338

Landline: 04 5692903

Dianne Worrall- Service Coordinator Hutt Valley

Dianne has been working within the disability industry since 2008.  She has a real passion for working alongside people to achieve their goals and dreams and live the life they choose.

She has worked in different support roles with people, in a variety of roles, including teacher aid, support worker with Conductive Education, Community Coordinator doing transition, supported employment and community participation and also some time working within the aged care sector.


Mobile: 027 2670969

Landline: 04 5692903

Megan Anderson- Service Coordinator Hutt Valley

Megan joined our team at Community Connections in 2008 working as a support worker for 6 years.  Megan is now one of our Hutt Valley Coordinators and works with a great team of  support workers to ensure we deliver quality and effective support to people in the Hutt Valley.


Moblie: 027 568 5421

Landline: 04 569 2903

Oliver Halford- Service Manager - Greater Wellington






Oliver has worked in the support sector since 2006. He started work as a Support Worker in Dunedin, where he developed a passion for supporting people with disabilities to achieve their goals. Oliver has also worked for ACC within the Serious Injury Service, focused on funding a broad range of supports for people who had acquired disabilities after a life changing event. Oliver has also worked as a funder of disability support services focused on funding a broad range of supports and services.

Mobile: 029 7750175

Landline: 04 3842584

Josh Leith - Service Coordinator Kapiti

Josh has worked in the disability sector since 2005 with varying roles within residential services prior to joining the Community Connections team in March 2011. Prior to this Josh had a lot of interaction with staff who worked for Community Connections and felt that the values and model of support we offer was definitely something he wanted to be a part of. Late 2015 Josh took on what he saw as an exciting opportunity to become the Kapiti Coordinator and has never looked back.


Mobile: 029 7713310

Landline: 04 2987703 ext 1

Amy Cole - Service Coordinator Wellington South


Mobile: 027 2088723

Landline: 04 3842584

Clem Lienard - Service Coordinator Wellington Central


Mobile: 021 459 157

Landline: 04 3842584

Cliff Cook - Service Coordinator Porirua








Cliff started with Community Connections in March 2015 in the Wellington office, rejoining the Care Sector after an absence of some 12 years, due to living in France. Prior to living in France Cliff had been a Social Worker predominantly in Child Youth & Families starting in a residential unit for people experiencing disability. Arriving in New Zealand in November 2014, Cliff researched Community Connections and felt that it would be an organisation that he'd relish the opportunity to work for. Fast forward less than a year and he is settling into his new role as coordinator of the Porirua region.


Mobile: 027 2435764

Landline: 04 3842584


Mele So'onata'a - Service Coordinator Tawa

Mele started with Community Connections in June 2016 as a support worker before taking on the coordinator role at the start of 2017. Prior to this, Mele worked for Quitline for 11 years in different roles and as a budget advisor for 4 years in the Porirua region.

Mele enjoys working for Community Connections because of the values it holds, and becuase of the way that we work to empower of the people we support to achieve their own goals, and quality of life.  As the coordinator for the Tawa region her aim is to ensure the service runs effectively for all the people we support.


Mobile: 021 459 764

Landline: 04 3842584


Bonnie Pope-Packer - Service Coordinator Palmerston North






Bonnie joined our team in 2008. Bonnie's role is primarily responsible for the efficient and effective operation of supported living support for the people we support in Levin and Palmerston North. She has a great team of people working alongside her.


Mobile: 027 5919222

Richard Bennetts - Service Manager Hawke's Bay and Bay of Plenty

Rich joined the Community Connections team in May 2016 as the Palmerston North Service Coordinator.  Rich is now our Hawkes Bay Service Manager.  A qualified butcher by trade, Rich has over a decade’s management experience in the retail sector and has completed a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Psychology.  Rich is passionate about empowering the people we support to live the lives they choose.  In his free time, Rich is studying towards his Masters of Science majoring in Psychology and enjoys spending time with his rambunctious German Shepherd, Gryff.


Mobile: 021 459 463

Landline: 06 8445690

Chrstine Spooner - Service Coordinator Hawke's Bay






Prior to working for Community Connections, Christine had worked for DEALS as a Community Support Worker since 2001. Christine spent 16 years working for IHC as a level four Community Support worker, running two residential homes. Christine has a Diploma in Teaching People with Disabilities. Christine enjoys being part of the journey that people take working towards their “Good Life.”


Mobile 027 2088724

Landline: 06 8445690

Brenda Ericson- Service Coordinator Hawke's Bay

Before joining Community Connections Brenda worked for a residential service in Nelson. The main reason Brenda sought a job with Community Connections was due to our approach providing choices and Independence, assisting people to live the life that they choose. Brenda is very enthusiastic about Community Connection's philosophy, describing it as being in-tune with her thinking about Support for people, eliminating barriers and empowering people within their community.


Mobile: 027 2242472

Landline: 06 8445690

Shmuel Bar-Even - Service Coordinator Bay of Plenty



Mobile: 022 130 2123


Karen Cave - Service Coordinator Taranaki



Mobile: 021 730 187


Frances Gaston- Executive Assistant


Mobile: 021 818 975

Landline: 04 2987703

Michelle Trowell- Administration Assistant


Mobile: 021 08426706

Landline: 04 2987703 ext 2

Lisa Withey - Regional Executive Assistant Wider Wellington


Landline: 04 3842584

Donna Chaffey - Regional Executive Assistant Hawkes Bay


Landline: 06 844 5690



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