Vanassa McGoldrick – Chairwoman
Vanassa is a foundational trustee who brings to the Trust a wealth of experience. She is a practising solicitor and brings a variety of legal, accounting and business knowledge. Vanassa was born with Nail Patella Syndrome, and whilst she today uses two crutches to mobilise, has had periods in a wheelchair and has personally experienced the difficulties in obtaining suitable accommodation. She is passionate about achieving accessible housing for her disabled community.
John Povey – Trustee
John is a foundational trustee who has had his disability from birth. John has experienced first hand the difficulties with accessible housing. For many years John lived in housing which didn’t allow him to access his own kitchen and prevented him from living independently. John is an inspirational member of our Whangarei community and has had previous involvement in other disability issues, as part of the CCS Disability Action, local committee.
Elinor Niha – Trustee
Elinor Niha is our latest trustee. She comes on board bringing great energy to the Trust’s kaupapa. She is currently the Chairperson of the Whangarei District Council Disability Advisory Group. She is also Chairperson of Disabled Persons Assembly Northland and on the CCS Local Advisory Committee.
Elinor has Cerebral Palsy and mobilises using two crutches or a mobility scooter. She has personally experienced the housing issues that arise in terms of accessibility and has a good understanding of the issues our Trust faces in providing accessible and affordable housing. She is an active member in the disabled community having started her own business called CreateAbilities whose focus is on the disabled community.
Carolyn Passmore – Trustee
Carolyn is a Trustee who joined the board in December 2018. Carolyn has lived with tetraplegia following a spinal cord injury in 2006. She uses a powerchair to mobilise and knows first-hand the difficulties that can be encountered when trying to find an accessible rental and again upon her move with her husband to Upper Hutt in 2009.
In 2016, she was involved in the planning and building of their own wheelchair accessible home here in Whangarei, so is familiar with the process of building an accessible home.
Carolyn is a foundation member of the Burwood Academy Consultation Committee, a member of the Spinal Cord Injury and Chronic Pain Consumer Leadership Groups with Burwood Academy of Independent Living in Christchurch. Carolyn was a committee member with Riding for the Disabled in Upper Hutt prior to her move back to her hometown of Whangarei. Carolyn works for Otago University as a research assistant for spinal cord injuries research project.
Auriole Ruka – Relationship Trustee
Auriole is the General Manager, Northern Regional for CCS Disability Action and is one of two CCS Disability Action trustees on the Trust. Auriole was involved in the original research and feasibility study for the disabled community, which set out to discover what people with disabilities needed, and aspired to. The information gathered from this research has been fundamental to the Trust’s work. Auriole was instrumental in the formation of the Trust, and was a foundational trustee. She brings a wide range of business and accounting experience and provides a vital link to the support services within CCS Disability Action. Auriole is also responsible for forming and maintaining key relationships for the Trust.
Kevin Anderson – Trustee
Kevin fills the second trustee role for CCS Disability Action, where he works as the Senior Coordinator, Community Development.