Our Board

Our Organisation

Community Living has celebrated over 25 years of success in supporting people with intellectual disabilities to live their dreams through community connections.  Since its inception in 1989, Community Living has persistently sought innovative and diverse ways...

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Our Purpose

Our Inspirational Dream - People with Intellectual Disabilities living their dreams through community connections.

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Ngaati Maatianga

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

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.



Ngati Mahanga, Ngati Tamanuhiri, Ngati Pukenga, Ngati Pikiao

Awhimai has been a Board member for the past three years. She currently works at Te Wananga o Aotearoa and is the Executive Officer for a team of three Directors known as the Educational Excellence Team. Awhimai has had extensive experience in the area of Event Project Management and enjoys the challenge and privilege of working on the Community Living Trust Board.

Awhimai graduated from Waikato University with a cojoint Bachelor of Law/Bachelor of Arts in 2004, and was admitted to the bar shortly after. She graduated with her Masters in Law 2014.

She has a strong understanding of tikanga me te reo Maori and is passionate about reducing and removing barriers that may hinder minority groups from succeeding.





BA (Humanities), Dip Tching

Lynnette Flowers was a secondary school teacher for over 25 years before entering into business in 2001. She moved to Hamilton from Napier in 2003 and quickly became very involved in the Waikato business community.

Because equality of opportunity for everyone is her ethos, her working life revolves around the Boards she serves on, other philanthropic endeavors and working within the housing sector.

The Boards she has served on, or continues to serve include the Waikato Chamber of Commerce, Trust Waikato, Habitat for Humanity at national and regional level, Netball at regional and centre level and the Pharmacy Council of NZ.

Lynnette brings to Community Living a drive to see people with intellectual disabilities live a life they have chosen for themselves.



David has a passion and has worked in the Health and Disability sector for 27 years assisting a wide variety of people from children to adults. He currently holds positions on Boards of Governance for a number of organisations including Iwi and Nationally.

He has experience and an advisory background in the arena of disabilities, management, assessment and rehabilitation. David has personal knowledge of how an injury impacts on the life of a person and ensures to pass his experience and advice on to others if required.

David was appointed to the Board of Community Living in 2004. His home town is Opunake in Taranaki. David has been recommended for the award of the Queens Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Diamond Jubilee Honors 2012 and received his Medal Tuesday 4th September 2012 for Services to Disability Support and Maori.




Nga Puhi, Te Kapotai

Rachel is a Registered Comprehensive Nurse with over 20 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.

Rachel has served on the Community Living Trust Board since 2008, and was chair 2010 to 2013. Rachel works part time for the Wise Group as a project manager and is also currently Chair of Access Ability Charitable Trust and ImagineBetter Limited.

Rachel is passionate about education and well-being and delivers Mh101 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.




BMin, Dip SocSci (psych), BA Psch, NZBS (cert)

Russell has been involved in various governance roles within the disability sector for over 10 years. Owning and Operating a Hamilton based business management and employment relations consultancy company, which is partnered with the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA). Russell seeks to bring a strong commercial business acumen to the not-for-profit organisations that he works with. Russell is also a Director on other charitable companies and is on the board of two other commercial enterprises.

Having been involved within the disability sector for many years Russell has gained a strong knowledge of the sector and established professional relationships with a number of disability related organisations within the Central north Island/Auckland regions.

His personal involvement in the sector originates from growing up with an older brother with a significant disability and a direct awareness how this disability impacted on his brothers' life and also that of the wider family.





Russell is a Chartered Accountant running a private practice from his home in the Waikato. Russell has been involved for many years in the local government and education sectors, and currently works primarily with schools and other not-for-profit organisations. Additionally Russell's governance experience is comprehensive, having previously served on various school Board of Trustees for 13 years, and as part of the Parent to Parent National Committee for 4 years,

As a parent of an adult daughter with an intellectual disability, Russell has gained detailed knowledge of the Health and Disability Sector, from both a personal and professional perspective.

Russell's field of expertise is shown in his ability to interpret and monitor financial performance and position.

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