Council and Staff

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) is governed by an elected Council of up to nine members. Elections take place during the Annual General Meeting.

CHA has a team of nine staff based in Auckland and Wellington.

 

CHA Council

Hope Simonsen

Hope Simonsen

Co-Chair

Hope has spent the past 16 years in the housing sector. Her housing journey began with Housing New Zealand in 2005 when the agency received crown funding to build community housing providers and grow community housing supply. A number of organisations were established as housing providers as a result of this funding.  After seven years, she moved to work as a property consultant in the commercial sector with The Property Group and then worked for Community Housing Aotearoa for a year.

She now leads Emerge Aotearoa’s Housing Trust, which provides long-term social housing and tenancy and property management services for transitional housing for whānau and individuals from Whangārei to Invercargill.

Hope is also Co-Chair (Tangata Tiriti) of the National Science Challenge – Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities.

Nic Greene

Nic Greene

Co-Chair

Nic joined the RNZAF in 1989 where he spent 12 years conducting maritime surveillance in the Pacific and wider afield. Commissioned as an officer in 1995, Nic underwent significant management and leadership training. During his military career he has enjoyed several leadership roles including that of Senior Electronics Instructor at the School of Air Navigation, RAAF Base East Sale and Air Electronics Training Officer on No 5 (Maritime) Squadron RNZAF.

In addition to the military, Nic has also been a small business owner, a software developer, a wedding photographer and the Business Development Manager at Wintec, one of New Zealand’s largest polytechnics. In 2008, he participated in a Wintec build team to Vietnam as part of the Habitat for Humanity Global Village program. Nic was inspired by the difference we can each make to the vulnerable in our world.

Nic was appointed to the role of General Manager, Habitat for Humanity (Central North Island) in 2009. He is responsible for the direction of New Zealand’s largest and most diverse Habitat affiliate. He oversees the delivery of progressive home ownership housing, a home repair programme, a rental portfolio with a particular emphasis on housing for the elderly, and a chain of ReStore second hand shops.

Cate Kearney

Cate Kearney

Treasurer

Cate is the Chief Executive of Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust, the South Island’s largest community housing provider. She has worked as a practitioner and leader in community housing, mental health and addiction services for 25 years, with organisations spanning the public and non-profit sectors and in management and governance roles with regional and national reach. Cate’s move to community housing fulfilled her personal interest in housing and the belief that adequate housing for all is the cornerstone of well-being and economic stability.

Before joining the housing sector, Cate was a keen follower of house design, green technologies and the ways in which architecture and urban design help build communities where individuals thrive. Cate has previously led and served on several non-governmental organisation boards and committees, including co-chair of the National Committee of Addictions Treatment and a Trustee of Partnership Health Primary Health Organisation, Kina Trust and Te Korowai Youth Health Trust. Cate lives in Christchurch.

Ali Hamlin-Paenga

Ali Hamlin-Paenga

Council Member

Ali is the Chairperson of Te Matapihi he tirohanga mō te Iwi Trust, and is the Trust’s appointee to CHA’s
Council. Ali has extensive business and leadership experience in the social service sector, social housing and business innovation and strategy, and has held various senior management roles most recently as Kaihautū – CEO of Ngāti Kahungunu Community Services, a kaupapa Māori organisation providing housing solutions and social support services across the wider Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) region.

Lisa Woolley

Lisa Woolley

Council Member

Lisa is the CEO of VisionWest Community Trust, one of the country’s largest community services providers, which serves over 50,000 people each year through more than 1,600 employees and volunteers. Lisa joined VisionWest in 1998 and became the CEO in 2001. She has completed the New Zealand Leadership Programme in 2020, the Graduate Diploma in Not-for-Profit Management at Unitec as well as a Master’s in Social Practice. Her thesis on Supportive Housing in New Zealand has been recognised for leadership with awards locally and internationally. 

Lisa is a recognised expert of social issues and champion for social justice within New Zealand. With more than 20 years of experience as an advocate, volunteer, policy advisor, commentator, leader, and CEO, she is passionate about community development and addressing social issues such as poverty, marginalisation, unemployment and homelessness. Lisa is part of the Housing First Collective for Auckland, an advisor to the Baptist National Leader and is involved in the MSD Housing Reference group. In June 2020, Lisa was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, for her services to the community and governance.

Neil Porteous

Neil Porteous

Council Member

Neil is the General Manager Housing of Tāmaki Regeneration Company, in Auckland. Neil worked at Vodafone NZ for 10 years in a variety of roles, culminating in his appointment as Director of Human Resources. He was the CEO of the Child Cancer Foundation for two years. A strong proponent of diversity in the workplace, Neil is a trustee of the Equal Employment Opportunity Trust.

 

Fiona Hamilton

Fiona Hamilton

Council Member

Fiona is the Chief Executive of LinkPeople, a national community housing provider that manages over 700 properties and supports more than 3000 people to access housing, wellbeing support and to sustain their tenancies each year. Fiona has over 20 years’ experience in research, project and programme management and leadership across a range of sectors including the Waitangi Tribunal claim process, finance and advertising industries, mental health workforce development, housing and homelessness services.

In 2017 she moved into the housing and homelessness space as programme lead at Housing First Auckland, and led the development of the governance group for the Auckland Housing First collective alongside the Auckland Mayor, Council, mana whenua, Ministries and departments such as Housing, Social Development, Health and Corrections. 

 

Patrick Kay

Patrick Kay

Council Member

Patrick is the General Manager of Trust House, Wairarapa. He has worked in Community/Social Housing in New Zealand for around 10 years since emigrating from the UK. Patrick has been fortunate enough to have gained valuable insight across a wide spectrum of community housing including debt recovery, maintenance management, Tenancy Tribunals and project management of new builds.

Patrick’s work with Māori and Pacific, the elderly, long-term homeless, and people living with mental health challenges, has given him an understanding of the challenges and opportunities that we are faced with and the positive impact that the provisions of quality Community Housing can have on people’s lives. 

CHA Team

Paul Gilberd

Paul Gilberd

CEO

Paul is an experienced, values-driven, professional with a successful domestic and international career in public and private sectors and with local governments. He brings expertise in business development, strategic planning and organisational change. Most recently he held senior management roles at Community Finance, Positive Capital and the New Zealand Housing Foundation.  With his long-standing experience in community housing, and its finance, he has worked alongside Māori, church, commercial and community groups.

Paul believes in the significant contribution, and distinctive value, delivered by the Community Housing sector. Paul is widely networked within the New Zealand housing system and brings a passion for collective impact and unlocking the power of working better together.

Chris Glaudel

Chris Glaudel

Deputy CEO

Chris brings over 25 years’ experience in community development with core skills in housing finance, housing development, asset management, and policy. He has overseen the development of more than 1,500 affordable ownership and rental homes in central California. He was also responsible for the asset management of 115 properties throughout California with over 5,000 units, all serving low-income households. A particular emphasis of his housing work has been with social service organisations to provide housing opportunities for persons experiencing homelessness and/or serious mental illness. Chris relocated to Wellington with his family in January 2012 and joined CHA in November 2013. Phone 027 462 0605

David Zussman

David Zussman

Manager Engagement and Support

David joined CHA in 2017 and has experience of affordable and social housing in both the UK and New Zealand. His previous roles include tenancy management, community development and leadership of a community housing provider. Phone 027 349 0461

Amanda Kelly

Amanda Kelly

Policy and Practice Manager

Amanda is originally from Ireland and has been living in Tāmaki Makaurau for almost 14 years. She has previously worked in Local Government and non-Government organisations in community development and health promotion roles including supporting the operational response to homelessness at Auckland Council. Amanda is passionate about working in a joined-up way and improving systems and tools that enable better decision making and outcomes for communities. Phone 021 046 7011.

Peter Stowers

Peter Stowers

Pacific Relationship Manager

Petelo, known as Peter, was born and raised in Samoa and lives with his wife and three daughters in Mangere. His parents are from Lano village, on the island of Savai’i, where Peter holds a high chief title ‘Vuiseigafolava’. Peter joined CHA in August 2022 and has a lot of experience in community development and funding from many years of working at Inland Revenue, Department of internal Affairs, and Foundation North. Peter has extensive experience working with Pacific communities in Aotearoa from start up to being sustainable.

Peter is an accountant with experience in businesses, charities and not-for-profit organisations. Peter is not new to the community housing sector and is highly motivated to use his experience to support the growth of a thriving Pacific Community Housing sector in Aotearoa.

 

Talavao Ngata

Talavao Ngata

Pacific Policy Advisor

Talavao is of Tongan and Samoan descent from the villages of Kolovai, Tongatapu and Letogo, Upolu on her mother’s side and Lotofoa, Ha’apai on her father’s side. Born and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau, she lives in South Auckland and understands the need for better housing solutions. Talavao comes to CHA with experience in policy development and local community innovation. Her background is in social sciences and human rights. Talavao is new to the community housing sector and is highly motivated to see the Pacific housing space grow and strengthen into the present and future.

Wendy Marr

Wendy Marr

Communications Manager

(Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa, Ngāpuhi)

Wendy first joined CHA in 2021 and has recently returned having spent the past year working in her family business. Originally from Whangārei, Wendy has lived in Wellington for over 25 years and is the proud mother of two adult children. She has worked in the public, private and community sectors and brings with her extensive communications, media relations and marketing experience. 

Wendy manages all media enquiries and can be contacted on 021 0225 4179. 

Ruth Avery

Ruth Avery

Executive Administrator

Ruth first joined CHA in 2017 and returned in 2024. Ruth has worked in many different administration roles in both the private and public sectors. Other roles include account management in PR and branding, GP clinic practice manager, conference organiser and Real Estate salesperson. She set up Dr Proof after completing her Editing and Proofreading Diploma in 2020.

Contact Us

Level 11, Ranchhod Tower

39 The Terrace/102-112 Lambton Quay
PO Box 11543
Wellington 6142

04 385 8722