Our Trustees

Our Board is made up a diverse group of locals who are passionate about our organisation and the wider community it serves.

Chair - Michelle Crook

My husband Grant and I decided to see out the first Covid lockdown at our property at Ōpoutere, and during that period, we decided to make the move to come here permanently.  In October 2020, we reestablished Grant's engineering business here, and I set about relocating my marketing and strategic consultancy here too.  Prior to moving, I had been heavily involved in the not for profit sector in the Bay of Plenty, and so I sought out an organisation that was aligned with my values when relocated to Whangamatā.  I was delighted to meet Sarah and learn more about the Community Services Trust and so I joined the the Trust in November 2021.  Outside of work, I like to run, read, explore New Zealand's great walks, and travel.      

Charmaine Morrissey

I have been a rate payer in Whangamata since 1981 and a resident since 2002.  I joined the board in 2017. I have always been intrigued with the uniqueness of Whangamatā, as a small community, but one that caters for a huge holiday population.  

Suella Care

Joining the board in 2020 aligned with my personal ethos of being part of a strong cohesive and healthy community. I believe that we are at the heart of our community in the delivery of services and the passionate support of its people. 

My love of life extends to my family, and grandbabies who are such an important part of me.

As an early childhood educator and court support person for many years, I have a passion for youth, strengthening of families in their many forms and empathy for the struggles many face today. 

Gina Kennings

Ko Moehau, ko Maungakiekie ōku maunga
Ko Waihou, ko Waitamata ōku awa
Ko Tikapa, ko Waitamata ōku moana
Ko Ngati Whatua Orakei, ko Ngati Kiriwera ōku hapu
Ko Ngati Whatua, ko Ngati Tamatera ōku iwi
Ko Gina Kennings tōku ingoa
No Whangamatā ahau

Kia ora my name is Gina Kennings (Ngati Whatua Orakei, Ngati Tamatera) and I have been a trustee on the Whangamata Community Services Board since 2021. I have lived in Whangamatā for 11 years with my husband and two children. I have been an educator for 24 years and taught in one of the local schools, Ōpoutere School for 7 years. I am currently a Cultural capabilities and educational facilitator for Poutama Pounamu, University of Waikato. I am also the director of Tōku Ara, a 10 week residential localised curriculum for Whangamatā Area School Year 10 students.

I am passionate about achieving positive outcomes for the health and wellbeing of Rangatahi Māori and whanau. 

Brendan Mengel 

My motivation for joining the board comes from my strong sense for the underdog and my own early life experience.  I am aware how quickly life circumstances can change. 

I have previously been involved with several NGOs in the homeless, youth development and rehabilitation spaces either as a board member, advisor or volunteer. I founded the ANS charitable trust in Auckland to provide a shelter for the homeless.

I have 20 years of international experience as a senior executive managing operations for blue-chip clients. I have been a ratepayer in Whangamatā for seven years.

Howard Ross

A holiday resident of Pauanui, Howard joins the board with an extensive background in recruitment, HR and executive search. Prior to joining us, he was on the board of Eastern Suburbs Football Club, creating and leading the club’s HR Sub Committee. Howard is passionate about mental health and how it impacts on our youth and in fact everyone in society. 


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