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.

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.


Kevin Anderson – Trustee

Kevin is a CCS Disability Action appointed Trustee.  He is the Senior Coordinator of the Youth and Adults team, based in Whangarei, leading a team of seven coordinators and 15 support staff.

Prior to joining CCS Disability Action, Kevin worked for the Brain Injury Association as a Field Officer for seven years.  He also worked for IHC for seven years in the 1980’s at the time that many of the larger institutions were closing down and much of this work was supporting people to transition from institution living, to a community setting.  Added to his time at CCS Disability Action, this means he has over 20 years experience in the disability sector.  He was also an enrolled nurse and worked in a  hospital setting for five years.

Kevin’s team works alongside disabled individuals, supporting them to achieve their goals, including furthering their education, finding a job, or a home to live in.  This gives Kevin first hand insight into the difficulties that  mobility-impaired people face when looking for accommodation that incorporates accessible design, is affordable and sustainable.