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 Maahanga

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.



BAgrEcon, MBA (Distinction), CMinstD

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 in the electricity and not for profit sectors.

Currently the Manager of the Braemar Charitable Trust, Paula is also Deputy Chair of the Dietitians Board, on the Board of the Hamilton Cricket Association and is a member of Waikato Community Lotteries committee. Paula’s previous roles include National Advisor-Governance and National Volunteer Strategy Advisor for the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society, was on the Board of Enrich+, Deputy Chair of Hospice Waikato and a 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 organizations to enable the building of sustainable and resilient communities through improving the health and wellbeing of families/whānau. 


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 15 years' 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.



Waikato/Ngaati Maahanga, Tūhoe/Te Urewera

Warren is an IT professional with over 20 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 Bachelors in Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Postgraduate Diploma in Management, Masters in Business Administration, and is currently completing a PhD in Strategic Management. 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.

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.



As a parent of 3 adult children, one a 24 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 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 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.  Recent 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 at Earthsong, a co-housing neighbourhood of around 65 people built using principles of permaculture.

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