CCS Disability Action is a membership-based organisation and a registered charity, led by a National Board. Local governance committees, staff groups and local communities also guide our work.

Our National Office in Wellington is responsible for developing policy, setting and monitoring our standards and working with other organisations and government to change attitudes.

CCS Disability Action supports almost 5,000 people with disabilities and their families and whānau each year. We provide a range of support services through 27 offices from Northland to Invercargill.

We run the Mobility Parking scheme which supports over 130,000 people to access their local towns and facilities more easily. Our fully owned subsidiary, Lifetime Design Ltd, advocates for and provides universal design guidelines to improve the accessibility of New Zealand housing. This will benefit all people throughout their life.

Chief Executive

David Matthews
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David Matthews

David Matthews was appointed to the role of Chief Executive in September 2011. 

David has worked for CCS Disability Action for 11 years - his previous roles were Regional Manager for the Upper South Region as well as Deputy Chief Executive. Before joining CCS Disability Action, he was a manager at a local and national level for Special Education Services, now part of the Ministry of Education.

David describes himself as a New Zealander born in England, is married to Helen and has three grown up children. He is a citizen of Christchurch and like other Christchurch residents is keen to play his part in the re-build of what was and will be a wonderful city and place to live.

Phillip Blundell
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Phillip Blundell

I joined the CCS Disability Action Board in April 2015. Having recently retired, I am looking to make use of my spare time to make a contribution to my community and in particular the Disability Sector. My vision is to see disability organisations working as unified organisations delivering consistent services to disabled people, which allows disabled people to have good lives.

I was a member of the then Crippled Children’s Society Wellington Branch and a National Board member from 1988 until 1996, and Vice president from 1994 to 1996. During this period I led the re-write of the constitution; the organisation’s name change; the restructure and regionalisation of NZCCS; the development of the Treaty Principles; the establishment of Maori focus teams; and the develop and training of disabled members to actively participate in the planning, services needs of members and direct involvement in Governance roles. I came back to the Wellington Branch, Local Executive Committee about 8 to 10 years ago.

My working life has been mainly in the New Zealand Defence; serving for 13 years as an Army Officer specialising in procurement and logistics, retiring in the rank of Major. My career since 1985 has seen me leading procurement organisations in senior roles in the New Zealand Defence Force and six years as National Manager Procurement with ANZ Bank and NZ Manager Procurement in PwC. In these positions I managed up to 70 staff in one logistics delivery organisation and 90 staff with six direct reports located across New Zealand. I have always worked with continual, aggressive and agile change.

Vicki Davis
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Vicki Davis

Vicki has a lived experience of disability and the everyday issues facing living inclusively in our communities. She has been actively involved with CCS Disability Action since 1991.

A strong believer in human rights, Vicki holds local volunteer governance and trustee roles in Local Advisory Committee, Local Executive Commitee, and many other community organisations, becoming the regionally elected national board member for the Bay of Plenty and Waikato Regions in 2005.

Vicki works as a marketing associate with ReserveGroup Consulting and specialises in online marketing and web systems. Together with husband Colin, Vicki is a director of their architectural practice, Davista Architecture. On the home front, living in Tauranga, Vicki and Colin have 3 young adult sons, and the friends that come with that are always welcomed. Vicki and Colin both enjoy travelling, trout fishing, skiing, gardening, art, literature, good food, good wine and good company.

Dairne Kirton
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Dairne Kirton

National President

 

Tena Tatou Katoa

Ko Ngatokimatawhaoroa te waka
Ko Kamareiera te Tupuna
Ko Te Ramaroa te Maunga
Ko Whirinaki te Awa
Ko Moria te Marae
Ko Te Hikutu te Hapu
Ko Shaun Kirton me Jessie Morunga oku Matua
Ko Dairne Kirton Ahau

Dairne hails from a beautiful slice of heaven - Whirinaki in the Hokianga, Northland.

"My canoe is Ngatokimatawhaoroa, my chief Kamariera and his wife Peti, my mountain Te Ramaroa, my river Whirinaki, my Marae Moria, my tribe Ngaphui sub tribe Te Hikutu, my parents Shaun Kirton and Jessie Morunga.

I am a Maori woman with a physical disability; I was born with one arm and my palm consisting of three digits. I have 3 children and run my own business Life’s Abilities Coaching where I work as a Life Coach, Facilitator / Trainer and Motivational Speaker. Subsequently I have coached / mentored people from different cultures and communities so that people are empowered to live a life they love.

Although I am proud to be Maori, I believe in a rich and diverse community encapsulated in the CCS Disability Action vision 'Including All People'."

Since 2008, Dairne has been involved with CCS Disability Action. She has been a member of the CCS Disability Action Auckland Local Advisory Committee since July 2010 and the Northern Regional Representative since the 2011 National AGM and National Vice President since June 2014.   

Pru McLaren
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Pru McLaren

Pru lives in rural Wairarapa with her husband Neil. Both Neil and Pru became governance members on the Local committees of CCS Disability Action Wairarapa after their second daughter was born with Cerebral Palsy.

Pru has been a member the Wairarapa Local Advisory Commitee for a number of years and is now a regionally elected member on the CCS Disability Action Board representing members of the organisation who live in the Hononga Rawhiti Region (East Coast of the North Island). This is her second appointment to the Board.

Pru has served on a number of local committees in the Wairarapa which provide support for disabled people including Riding for the Disabled and the STARS Trust. She also organises the local Boccia group.

Hari-Priya Day
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Hari-Priya Day

Te Amorangi ki mua, te hapai o ki muri

The leader at the front and the workers behind the scenes.

(Meaning both leaders and workers are important.)

Originally from Rotorua, after an adventure living in Australia working in the hotel industry, including time in Ayers Rock, my husband and I returned home and are now proud to call Invercargill our new rock. 

We have two energetic, smart, beautiful children who bring us joy and laughter. They happen to also live with disabilities; or Abilities as our daughter would point out – she has just won a Netball prize for her school at the time of writing this.

CCS Disability Action has always been a big part of our lives.  We have been active members since 2004 and I have been a member of the local Advisory Committee and then elected co-chair in 2013. I am proud to live and support the CCS Disability Action Vision.

I believe it is important to encourage others to see that we are all one community here to look out for each other, as different as we all are; we are all the same with our own hopes and dreams.

A'asa Sanerivi
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A'asa Sanerivi

Vice President

 

Malo le soifua maua ma le lagi e mamä ma Malo e tauto e lava!
E muamua lava ona ou fa’atulou atu i le paia ma le mamaluo le tatou atunu’u. Tulou! Tulou! Tulouna Lava!

A son of the Pacific with strong foundations in Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. A’asa is an Accountant by trade with a specialisation in Forensic Auditing and has worked within three sectors; Public (Ministry of Social Development), Private (Price Waterhouse Coopers) & NGO (Pacific Health & Wellbeing Collective). Completing his MBA, he runs his own consulting firm – Sanerivi Consulting – whose tagline is ‘Providing professional solutions, with Pacific Heart.’

A’asa has been appointed to the Board to assist with reviewing and reinforcing the current processes and procedures as well as ensuring that CCS Disability Action has all-encompassing financial controls both internally and externally. He will also be an advocate and leader in the important Pacific Engagement work to be undertaken by CCS Disability Action. A’asa may be relatively new to the Disability Sector, however, he does have some experience, having cared for his father who is partially paralysed and has difficulty communicating following a stroke in 2007. There are synergies in A’asa’s professional, cultural and community lives that he will highlight as a National Board member. This is captured in a Samoan proverb:  “O le ala i le pule, o le tautua” – In order to lead, you must first serve.

A’asa is happily married to Tilomai, who is the current Manager for the Wellington Branch. They have two children and their weekends are filled with rugby.

Simon Templeton
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Simon Templeton

 

 

Simon is a registered Nurse with 23 years experience in mental health, and older persons health, both in NZ and the UK. All his nursing career has been focused on people with disabilities ,with his  ethos, focus and drive being people having the right to choose. - autonomy.

Simon has been involved in the LEC for Canterbury West Coast since 2016, chairing the LEC since his arrival. Simons day job is CEO of Age Concern Canterbury. Simon is married to Emily and has 2 amazing daughters - Elyse and Olivia.

Richard Buchanan
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Richard Buchanan

Richard lives in Christchurch and manages a small business called ‘Buck The Trend Ltd’ which provides project support to organisations within the disability sector.  Between 2013 and 2016, Richard was part of the Enabling Good Lives Christchurch demonstration team and before that, had worked for Manawanui (an individualised funding host provider) as their National Projects and Contracts Manager. He has worked in the disability sector for the last 18 years in roles that have included teaching, management and leadership. Richard’s previous roles with CCS Disability Action have included LAC member, Branch Manager, Service Leader and Adult Services Manager.

Richard was born and bred in Westland where he and his family first became involved with CCS Disability Action (known then as the Crippled Children’s Society). His cerebral palsy does not stop him giving everything a go and he looks upon potential barriers as challenges rather than obstacles.

Richard was elected as the Upper South Regional Representative in November 2012 and is committed to playing a part in ensuring disabled people have access to a fully inclusive society. He has an extremely supportive family and a wonderful team of support people who he employs using individualised funding. Richard enjoys the outdoors, sport and fine wine.

Colene Herbert
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Colene Herbert

I hail from a little slice of paradise on the East Coast of the North Island…Ruatorea

I grew up truly walking in the fusion of Maori and Pakeha world views, fortunate to have Maori and English heritage. As the last of seven children, I  learnt the value of  sharing and contribution for the greater good.

I also grew in the richness of having a sibling with an intellectual disability. To say his presence in my life influenced my career pathway is an understatement.

I have spent 35 years working  in the disability sector in a variety of roles and for a number of providers. My career started with the Psychopaedic nursing programme at Mangere Hospital and Training School in South Auckland as a 17 year old and has culminated in my inclusion in  the CCS Disability Action whanau in 2017. All of my experiences in other roles has prepared me well for the rigours of general management.

I have three gorgeous sons who are my heart. I love entertaining and feeding people – ask me about my famous burnt sugar steamed pudding – its legendary.

Janine Richards
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Janine Richards

Kai arua Te Maunga
Waikaramihi Te Awa
Ngati Wai Te Hapu
Nga Puhi Te Iwi
Ko Janine Richards Toku Ingoa
Kia ora Koutou

I am the newly appointed General Manager for the Central Region from Wellington to Whanganui, Taranaki, Manawatu and Wairarapa.

I have been with CCS Disability Action since 2008, holding senior roles in a number of settings. I have worked in the Health and Disability Sector for 19 Years; my background has been in the area of Business Management and Human Services. What brought me to this organisation was that there was more autonomy to advocate and really make a difference in the lives of others – CCS Disability Action has allowed this to happen.

In my new role, it is the intention that a more strategic view of our service delivery, community development, networks and collaborations will be taken, while ensuring strong leadership at a local level, to provide services in a way that enhances self-direction for disabled people, their families/whanau and our wider communities.

Whanau is important to me: I have three wonderful children, two beautiful mokopuna, and a loving partner who make it possible for me to do the things I do.

“Whaia te iti Kahurangi ki te tuoho koe he maunga teitei”

Mel Smith
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Mel Smith

My role is to support the running of the six entities in the South Island and to support local leadership to provide quality services to people in urban and rural areas around the island.

My association with CCS Disability Action began in 2000 when I was a student social worker at Otago University. During my placement I recognised how easily my values align with those of CCS Disability Action, and after graduation I joined the Southland branch as a Support Worker and then Community Worker (now Service Coordinator).

To alter my horizons, I moved to Western Australia to work at the Deaf Society, where I ran the employment and community services departments. A qualified sign language interpreter, I never thought when I moved to Australia that I would need to learn another language!

I saw the Team Leader role in Otago advertised in 2009 and came home to take up that position. When the region restructured, I also became Team Leader in Waitaki and later moved into the acting Regional Manager role. In October 2016 I commenced as the General Manager of the new Southern Region.

CCS Disability Action is a family affair for me. My Mum is a Service Coordinator in the Southland branch. I had my son while working as Team Leader in Otago and he came back to work with me at 11 weeks of age. My partner is a researcher at the Donald Beasley Institute and has partnered with us on projects. My stepdaughter is a student at Otago University. My work-home life divide can sometimes be a bit blurry, but I quite like that.

Kate Single
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Kate Single

I began work with CCS Disability Action in July 2014. Prior to that I was at home with pre-schoolers, and undertaking some work from home opportunities.

I graduated from Massey University in 2000 with a degree in Business Studies, major in Human Resources. Following graduation I worked for MidCentral District Health Board for many years in their HR team.

My role as HR Manager means I am responsible for the HR function within the organisation: setting up and reviewing policies relating to our Human Resources, managing employee risk, managing the employment relations function (including union negotiations and disciplinary investigations) and contributing to the National Leadership team.

I am Mum to four primary school aged children, and heavily involved in our school community as chairperson of our school parents and friends fundraising committee. 

Mel Gamble
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Mel Gamble

I work for CCS Disability Action because I genuinely believe they make a real difference in the lives of real people, every day. My role supports our hard working staff and governance, and informs the way we talk to the world. It also supports all our wonderful supporters, without whom, we couldn’t carry out the vital work we do.

I was born in Melbourne, Australia and worked there in advertising and marketing, both as a writer-based Creative Director and a Direct Marketing and Fundraising specialist. I have worked on multiple projects for World Vision, ChildFund, the Salvation Army, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Guide Dogs, amongst others. I also spent six years working in Asia developing a start-up Ad Agency, to the point where it went global. My experience covers TV, radio, press and social media.

In 2007 I met my wonderful Kiwi husband and now call New Zealand home. I have twin sons, who I adore, who are due to start University in 2017 and a motley crew of rescue pets including dogs, cats and chooks.

I am passionate about altruism, philanthropy, philosophy, humanism, science, film and literature. I also write prose and poetry – some of which has been translated into French and Spanish online and some has been published in international journals, but most of which is pretty mediocre.

Sam Murray
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Sam Murray

I am the National Policy Coordinator at CCS Disability Action. I have worked in the disability sector for over 13 years and have a Master in Public Policy, a Master in International Studies, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Politics and a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Religious Studies.

I help coordinate our advocacy to government. We are always pushing the government to do more to make New Zealand more inclusive of everyone. We do this through submissions, meetings with officials and by working with like-minded groups, individuals and organisations. We also always encourage people to advocate for themselves.

Currently, I live in Dunedin with my partner, two cats and two rabbits. I always enjoy talking policy so get in contact if you have any ideas about making New Zealand a more inclusive place.  

Moira Geerkens
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Moira Geerkens

I am the National Coordinator of Training. My role is to support staff in the organisation with their education, through development, coordination and facilitation of our core training.

I first became involved in CCS Disability Action as a volunteer while I was at school. Since joining the organisation I have been a Team Leader in Northland, involved in national training for over 10 years and in my current role since 2014.

I have a belief in the work that the organisation does, in an organisation that’s always looking for what’s new and what’s next, and being able to be involved in small projects that make a real difference locally.

In 2015 I travelled to Canada on a scholarship around inclusive education. I am active in education, having been involved in a school board of trustees. Inclusive education is important and I believe all our schools should be able to cater for everyone, and not leave people behind.

A year ago my husband, son and I moved home to the Bay of Islands, where I have family. We are a sailing family, spending a lot of time close to or on the water. We are involved in a Kiwifruit orchard with extended family. I’m a traveller and explorer and like to have adventures while travelling – finding a little vineyard in Central Otago while walking along the river or seeing whales from my hotel window in Napier.

Recenia Kaka
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Recenia Kaka

Tena koutou katoa

Ko Te Ramaroa te maunga

Ko Te Hikutu te hapū

Ko te Ngāpuhi iwi

Ko Recenia Kāka tōku ingoa

              

 Greetings to you all

My mountain is Te Ramaroa

My subtribe is Te Hikutu

My tribe is Ngāpuhi

My name is Recenia Kāka

 

I have a love and passion for kapa haka and people to live their life to the fullest.  Providing spaces for individuals, whanau and community to have a voice and share what really makes a difference for them is important to me. I am a wife, mother and grandmother and whanau is at the centre of my universe.  I have worked for CCS Disability Action for over 10 years.  My current role is Kaiarahi – National Maori Development Co-ordinator.


Kei hea ra te Ao

No hea ra te Ao

Te Ao wiiwii

Te Ao waawaa

Tooku nei Puu

Tooku nei Ao

Te Mokopuutanga oo Rehua         

Aanei te Ao, aanei te Waa

               

Where is this place, where is this space

It is a place and space

That resides within us

Where we choose

Moment by moment

Who will we be?

Ordinary or Extraordinary

 

 

Kellyanne Tong
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Kellyanne Tong

I was excited to join CCS Disability Action in mid- 2014 after more than a decade working in the sector. With a BA in Psychology and Criminology followed by Honours in Criminology, I have always been focused on Human Rights and the value of all people, as well as having a fascination for social systems. Getting to work within an organisation I have long admired for its strong advocacy and inclusive focus, something which echoes my own values, feels like coming home to me.

In the role of National Manager, Contracts, Quality and Service Leadership I am focused on continuing to support the efforts of our amazing service staff while encouraging person- directed services through quality initiatives and contract opportunities.

I am passionate about people having real choices in all areas of their lives and am motivated by the part CCS Disability Action plays in supporting peoples’ journeys towards the lives they want.  

Jenny Douché
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Jenny Douché

I’m the National Manager – Business Innovation. I joined CCS Disability Action because I love looking for innovative ways to solve problems and improve our lives, especially within the not-for-profit and social enterprise sector.

Many years ago I created the 14-title book series Smarter than Jack that contained true reader-contributed stories about smart animals. The books were created for the benefit of animal charities around the world, for which the equivalent of over NZD$440,000 was raised. I also developed successful book projects with SANDS New Zealand and Project K, as well as a couple of business books on creating new ventures and products.

I enjoy business innovation so much that I did a PhD on business incubators, and created and taught the practice-based Master of Innovation and Commercialisation programme at Victoria University of Wellington. I loved helping students bring their ideas to life, many of which were social enterprises. Prior to this I managed a business start-up programme for the Wellington regional economic development agency. However, I much prefer doing rather than teaching, hence returning to a more hands-on role.

My husband and I live in Ngaio, Wellington, with our two children, and lots of animals. We have experience with disability within our family, and so we can appreciate some of the challenges that the people we support may face in our society.

Jenny Douché

National Manager – Business Innovation

 

Tina Syme
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Tina Syme

Irene Wilson
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Irene Wilson

I am the Personal Assistant to the CE, and the Executive Assistant to the National Board.

My role is primarily providing administrative and secretarial support to the Chief Executive, National Board and Management.

I joined CCS Disability Action in 2012, after having previously worked in the areas of finance, event management, general administration and security programming.

I enjoy working for an organisation that has sound and strong values about making a difference in people’s lives. I continue to learn daily about what this looks like.

My family consists of four adult children and partners and I enjoy the challenge and richness of welcoming new members to our family, getting to know them and appreciating the diversity this brings to our growing family.

 

Ike Rakena
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Ike Rakena

Still happily married to my darling of 27 years and a proud grandfather of many, growing up in a small Māori pa in Mangere Auckland has me firmly grounded. I have c5-6 tetraplegia as a result of a rugby league accident in March 1995 and am now dependent on a wheelchair for mobility. Support workers also assist me in living an active life.

After going through grief at my loss of ability, joining wheelchair rugby in 1996 gave me a great sense of personal achievement from adversity. This then inspired me to study in an area I am most passionate about – te reo Māori me ōna tikanga.

I am committed to volunteering my time and services to my home marae and am a strong advocate for Māori education, self-determination and the rights of all peoples with a disability. I am a Meta-Coach, specialising in Dismantling Disabilities although not active for some time because of other commitments.

Kōhanga Reo is my passion and my favourite sport is still rugby league. I am actively involved with my marae cultural activities as an adult wānanga pouako and kapa haka co-tutor whilst nurturing Tainuitanga, Waikato kawa and Te Kingitanga among our tamariki, mokopuna.