Our Trustees

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.

John Povey

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.


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.