Rachel Stephenson

Community Living Trust (Chair)
Director Community Living Limited
Director Platform Plus Limited

Nga Puhi, Te Kapotai

Rachel is a Registered Comprehensive Nurse with over 30 years’ experience in the Health and Disability Sector. Rachel holds a post graduate certificate in Management Studies and is a registered quality manager and has 15years’ auditing experience against ISO9001, Health and Disability Sector Standards as well as contract auditing for District Health Boards and the Ministry of Health.

An experienced director and a member of the institute of directors Rachel has served on the Community Living Trust board since 2008 and was chair 2010 to 2013 and is current chair. Rachel has been a director of Community Living Limited since 2012 and PlatformPlus limited since 2019. Rachel is the current Chair of Access Ability Charitable Trust, Journey together Limited and ImagineBetter Limited, having served on their boards since 2009.

Rachel is passionate about education and wellbeing and has developed and delivered several Wellbeing, Trauma, Mental Health, Risk, and standards-based workshops to different organisation within the Health Sector as well as businesses and industries outside health. Rachel was a past Professional Teaching Fellow with the University of Auckland from 2013 to 2015 with the School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work and NZQA Assessor. Rachel currently delivers MH101 and Leading Wellbeing at Work workshops as a Blueprint contractor to various organisations and sectors across New Zealand.

Rachel's field of expertise is projects, business analysis, quality, systems, policy, audit, governance, education and facilitation.

Pakira Watene (Kaumatua)

IAAF Coaching (cert), Dip Tchg, Higher Dip Tchg, Arborist (cert)
Ngaati Maatianga

Pakira was raised in the small Waikato settlement of Whatawhata. After finishing college in 1953 he moved to Tokoroa and went on to excel in the forestry sector for approximately 35 years before leaving to pursue a career in Teaching. In his years as an educator, Pakira was a leading force for Maori Development. Within his many and varied roles he was involved with Kapahaka, Te Reo and Physical Education.

Pakira brings a wealth of knowledge to the Community Living team, as our Kaumatua. He is a strong leader, this along with his effective consultation and implementation in all matters of Tikanga Maori, makes Pakira an invaluable team member.

Jade Farrar

Jade joined the Community Living Trust Board in September 2020, and brings a vision of a prosperous and abundant society where all people succeed regardless of ability or background. Jade is passionate about the power of social media and what it can do to promote a more positive and realistic perspective of everyday disabled people. 

Currently a director of a communications and strategic advice consultancy, Jade serves the disability community in several governance roles and, most recently, served as Community Engagement Advisor for Manawanui Support. Jade has contributed to the advancement of disabled people and their whānau as a member of Auckland Council’s Disability Advisory Panel and the Disabled Person’s Assembly’s National Executive Committee.

Jade is fortunate to bring seven years of perspective and experience serving Systems Transformation as a member of the National Enabling Good Lives leadership group.

Janie Elrick

Janie is a strategist and career CFO with more than 20 years’ experience. She has served as CFO for many large corporates across a number of sectors including Downer Construction, Steel & Tube, Synlait, Zespri and NZ Dairy Group.

She is passionate about business and business integrity, a proven leader with a strong business ethic.

Janie’s field of expertise includes strategy, governance, finance, banking, procurement, culture and values. She is a firm believer in inclusion and diversity.

Janie is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Institute of Directors.

Paula Baker

BAgrEcon, MBA (Distinction), CMIBSTD

Paula is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors and worked initially in resource management/environmental policy before holding senior roles as a human resources practitioner.

Currently the Manager of the Braemar Charitable Trust, Paula is also a member of the Waikato Community Lotteries Committee. Paula’s previous roles include National Advisor-Governance and National Volunteer Strategy Advisor for the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society, Board member at Enrich+, Deputy Chair and Chair Finance, Risk and Audit Committee of Hospice Waikato, Deputy Chair and Chair Finance, Risk and Audit Committee for the Dietitians Board, Chair of the Hamilton Cricket Association and volunteer for St John as a “Friends of the Emergency Department” at Waikato Hospital. She has a passion for health, community development and working with organisations to enable the building of sustainable and resilient communities through improving the health and wellbeing of families/whānau.

Shelley Campbell

As a parent of 3 adult children, one a 25 year old young adult with special needs, Shelley has been involved with the Disability sector for many years. She comes from a heritage where special needs were part of everyday life with an amputee father and a mother who taught children with challenges in the days before special education even existed.

She has been the Chairperson for the board of Autism Waikato and then the Manager of Autism Waikato for 10 years and is currently on the Board of Trustees for Hamilton North Specialist School for 8 years, the last 6 as Chairperson. She has also been a company director for a co-operative property owners group. These roles give her experience in governance, directorship, leadership, advocacy, business workings and communication.

Shelley has experience in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), visual strategies, support groups, family support, one on one personal support, has created specialised holiday programs, has sat on the HCC funding Board, helped with the establishment of the Disability Expo and been an advocate for people with disabilities. On a personal level, Shelley has experienced her own journey of physical disability and as such, has years of experience navigating the Health system. She has also experienced the process of gaining Welfare Guardianship and Property management. Shelley is currently studying towards her Bachelor degree in Applied Management.

Shelley has a strong sense of advocacy for those in the community who need extra support, a deep belief that the community is there for everyone and that everyone has the right, not only to access their community, but to feel safe and accepted in every environment.

Tony Blackett

Tony is an experienced CEO and consultant with a career that spans disability, health, international development, community development and environmental issues together with human rights both in NZ and internationally. Tony’s current role is as CEO with the Hokotehi Moriori Trust. In this role Tony is working with Moriori iwi on growing their asset base in support of cultural renaissance and in support of the Moriori message of peace. Other CE roles include as Executive Director with Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand, ImagineBetter and AccessAbility (sister agencies in the disability sector), and a co-CE role with Deaf Aotearoa.

Tony lives on Rēkohu (Chatham Island) with his wife Justine and maintains strong connections with family and friends and with their Auckland home at Earthsong, a co-housing neighbourhood of around 65 people built using permaculture principles.

Warren Williams

PhD, MBA, MIITP, MInstD
Waikato/Ngaati Maahanga, Tūhoe/Te Urewera

Warren is an IT professional with over 25 years’ experience, working in the New Zealand Tertiary Education sector. His governance and leadership experience includes national and regional boards, working with Māori and entrepreneurship groups, tertiary ICT advisory groups, and technology and innovation groups. He is passionate about Strategic Māori leadership and succession planning in decision-making forums.

Warren has a PhD in Strategic Management, Masters in Business Administration, Postgraduate Diploma in Management, Bachelors in Computing and Mathematical Sciences and belongs to professional organisations to keep up to date with industry trends.

He has worked in various senior management and leadership roles and is currently the Executive Director – Operations for the Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development. He is also active in tribal leadership roles that involve employment and education portfolios, treaty negotiation and marae development.

Warren’s field of expertise includes strategic planning, IT leadership and development, finance, procurement and portfolio/project management, HR and change management, and continuous service improvement.