Leadership 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.

john.taylor@ccslt.org.nz |  027 652 4527 |  04 298 7703

Maureen Laphen – Service Manager for Residential Services and Taranaki

Maureen has worked in the mental health and the disability sector for 15 years.  Maureen’s role as Service Manager is to support our Residential and Taranaki 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.

maureen.laphen@ccslt.org.nz | hutt.sm@ccslt.org.nz | 027 208 8725 | 04 569 2903

Frankie Gaston – Systems and Projects Manager

Frankie has worked in the disability sector for approximately 10 years, and with Community Connections since 2013.  Frankie is passionate about supporting people in their communities to live the life that they choose, and therefore enjoys her role with Community Connections, supporting the wider team to make this happen. Frankie has a Bsc in Psychology, and a M.S. in Forensic Psychology.

frankie.gaston@ccslt.org.nz | systemsandprojects@ccslt.org.nz | 021 818 975 | 04 298 7703

Peter Wilson – Business Manager

Peter.Wilson@ccslt.org.nz |027 2921922| 04 298 7703

Matt Sang – Community Networks & Safe Practice Manager

Matt Sang has worked at Community Connections since 2011. Prior to this Matt lived overseas for 20 years working in the hospitality sector; and also as a natural health practitioner and a teacher. Matt’s current role helps to develop a new model of support called Community Networks-  Te Hapori Herenga Tangata. He is also involved in promoting the organisations values and culture internally though professional development; and health and wellbeing practices. One of Matt’s highlights so far has been supporting a group of people to set up a “Singles and Mingles” group. He is also a member of the Community Connections Kapa Haka group-  nga poutoko manawa nunui o nga awhina tangata e

matt.sang@ccslt.org.nz | community.networks@ccslt.org.nzhealthandsafety@ccslt.org.nz |029 771 2338 | 04 569 2903

Josh Leith – Service Coordinator Kapiti Team & Operations Consultant

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.

josh.leith@ccslt.org.nz | kapiti.region@ccslt.org.nz | 029 771 3310 | 04 298 7703

Service Coordination & Admin Team

Michelle Trowell - Financial Administrator

admin@ccslt.org.nz | 021 0842 6706 | 04 298 7703

Sara Hamer - Administrative Services Leader

sara.hamer@ccslt.org.nz | 021 459 750 | 04 298 7703

Haley Wynne - Service Coordinator Hutt Valley

haley.wynne@ccslt.org.nz | lowerhutt.region@ccslt.org.nz | 021 459 468| 04 569 2903

Geoff Kelly - Residential Service Coordinator Hutt Valley

geoff.kelly@ccslt.org.nz | huttvalley.residences@ccslt.org.nz  | 021 459 387 | 04 569 2903

Amy Cole - Service Coordinator Hutt Valley

Amy has worked in the health and disability sector since 2009. Previously working in Hutt Valley as a Support Worker and then Service Coordinator; Amy left for 2 years and was welcomed back in 2016 as Service Coordinator in the Wellington South team. In 2018 Amy took over as Service Coordinator for the Upper Hutt team. Amy's passion lies in helping people to live the live that they choose.

Amy holds a level 3 certificate in Health Age and Disability support and is currently working towards a diploma in Leadership and Business Management.

amy.cole@ccslt.org.nz | upperhutt.region@ccslt.org.nz | 027 208 8723 | 04 384 2584

Karen Cave - Service Coordinator Taranaki Region

I come from a teaching background, working in a variety of roles from teacher, parent educator (PAFT), to working with foster children and their families.

Prior to working here at Community Connections I worked in Hamilton managing two residential centres, one for mothers and infants, and one for  women who had recently exited prison and who needed support to re-integrate into their communities after sometimes long absences.

I am very much looking forward to the new adventures and challenges here at Community Connections and to establishing the service here in the Taranaki Region.

karen.cave@ccslt.org.nz taranaki.region@ccslt.org.nz | 021 730 187 | 06 215 4706

Clem Lienard - Service Coordinator Wellington

clem.lienard@ccslt.org.nz | wellingtoncentral.region@ccslt.org.nz | 021 459 157 | 04 384 2584

Mele So'onata'a - Service Coordinator Porirua/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.

mele.soonataa@ccslt.org.nz | tawa.region@ccslt.org.nz | 021 459 764 | 04 384 2584

Christine 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.”

christine.spooner@ccslt.org.nz | temata.region@ccslt.org.nz | 027 208 8724 | 06 844 5690

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.

brenda.ericson@ccslt.org.nzahuriri.region@ccslt.org.nz | 027 224 2472 | 06 844 5690

Heni Owen - Service Co-ordinator, Palmerston North 24/7

heni.owen@ccslt.org.nz |  022 302 5547

Sarah Hobden - Service Coordinator Palmerston North

sarah.hobden@ccslt.org.nz | palmerstonnorth.03@ccslt.org.nz | 022 580 4695 |

I have worked with disability services since 2012 across various roles.  My passion for working alongside people and putting them in the driver's seat of their lives has lead me to my current position here with Community Connections in the Manawatu, where I feel we are able to work with flexibility to allow lives to be lived.
I am excited to be working with Manawhai Kaha and the new transitioning model to change how funding is controlled and used, putting it in the person's hands and supporting them with the challenges that come with that.

Raewyn Winiata - Service Coordinator Bay of Plenty

raewyn.winiata@ccslt.org.nzbop.region@ccslt.org.nz | 021 585291 | 07 220 9970

Harriet Kay - Management Support Intern

management.support@ccslt.org.nz | 04 298 7703

Donna Chaffey - Hawkes Bay Administration Assistant

admin.hb@ccslt.org.nz | 06 8445 690

Diana Power - Manawatu Administration Assistant

admin.manawatu@ccslt.org.nz | 06 213 7870

Matthew Morgan - Wellington Admin Assistant

admin.wellington@ccslt.org.nz | 04 384 2584

Karen Woodfield - Good Life Engagement Lead

I have worked in the disability sector for over 20 years, alongside having  25 plus years personal experience.   At the end of last year I finished after 5.5 years, with CanTeen New Zealand where I supported 13 - 25 year olds living with cancer.  Prior to that I was a service manager in the serious injury sector and have worked for years supporting families with children with disabilities as well. What I always find is how much of a privilege it is to be part of someone's life.  To walk alongside  them to  achieve their goals so they can have the life they want and very much deserve.  Thank you for that opportunity.

karen.woodfield@ccslt.org.nz |  021 459 641

France Aziz - Employment Connections/Emerge Service Manager

france.aziz@ccslt.org.nz | 04 384 7456 |  022 169 6573