Our People

The team at SociaLink is as diverse as the sector we support; we have differing expertise and a variety of skills, but share a common goal and love for the social services sector and those fortunate enough to work in it. We look forward to engaging with you and hearing your stories. Below is a little bit about us…

Liz Davis - General Manager

Liz Davies

General Manager

Liz is our General Manager.

She wanted to start a bring your dog to work policy, but as our office is really small and her dog is really big, plans had to be temporarily shelved.

Fortunately she is very smart and persuasive, and has persuaded TECT to build a big shiny new building, big enough for herself, her dog and anyone else who’d like to join her.

But seriously, she’s got skills:

  • She’s a ‘jill of all trades’ with work experience in health, education and training, social policy and planning, community development, child protection, mental health and management for over 25 years.
  • Has a Bachelor and Masters of Social Work.
  • Worked for over 10 years in the Western Bay of Plenty as well as in Melbourne, London, the Pacific and Asia.

Email: liz@socialink.org.nz

Liz Davis - General Manager

Gordy Lockhart

Manager – The Kollective

Gordy manages The Kollective and is originally from Scotland.

He had to move, as it was too cold to wear his huge collection of gaudy shirts (which are a real sight for sore eyes). He has been slowly adjusting to life in NZ by learning English. We can understand him most of the time, the rest of the time we just nod and stare hypnotically at his shirts.

Gordy has many years experience in:

  • Business & HR management consultancy.
  • Systems and process development.
  • Marketing & digital presence.
  • Innovation and new concept development.

Email: gordy@thekollective.org.nz

Liz Flaherty - Community Insights Laboratory Manager

Liz Flaherty

Community Insights Laboratory Manager

Yet another Liz to add to our team.

Liz loves to read and think and think some more! She can also produce a pretty good cake when called upon and is known to be a bit of a coffee snob, with a stash of coffee plungers, cafe loyalty cards and coffee beans stashed at a range of spots around the office.

But seriously:

  • Liz has a background in community psychology with a Master of Social Science from Waikato University.
  • Liz knows a lot of local practitioners having taught on social practice programmes locally .
  • She has a wealth of experience in family violence,
  • As well as working at the grassroots level, Liz has also held board roles within the education sector and for a number of community groups.

Email: lizflaherty@socialink.org.nz

Joy Ngatoko-Jack

Luke Wilson

Organisational Advisor

Luke comes from an extensive background in finance and accounting

for both the public and private sector, working for DHBs, health and disability organisations and NGOs, so he knows what works for social agencies.

He is based in Hamilton, but aims to be in the Bay of Plenty at least one day a week – and he already has clients knocking on the door.

He says he can be flexible, working with agencies after hours to suit them and using Zoom to maintain contact. He’s getting about 10 enquiries a week, about 50-50 new agencies and established ones that are ready to expand to the next level.

Luke says:

“There’s more job satisfaction working in the social sector and giving back to the community, being able to share knowledge. I enjoy helping people start up something and take it through to implementation and success.”

Email: luke@socialink.org.nz

Liz Davis - General Manager

Liz Stewart

Policy, Research & Advocacy

Liz can be relied on to give careful thought to issues

and depending on whether her hearing aids are working well usually comes up with a considered answer of “I agree, let’s have morning tea now.”

She lived and worked in Auckland for many years acquiring a wealth of skills before returning to Tauranga and joining SociaLink.

Liz has:

  • Spent her career working as a researcher, evaluator, policy analyst and health promotion adviser
  • A Masters in Politics and Post-Graduate Diploma in Public Health.
  • Over 30 years’ experience working in the fields of health related services

Email: lizstewart@socialink.org.nz

Tracy Stockman - Financial Administrator

Tracy Stockman

Financial Administration

Tracy is our financial goddess.

She loves budgets and forecasts, and is able to count using more than her own body parts.

The rest of us are also very good at maths, and know that there is only one of her and that she was employed not a fraction too soon.

Lots of experience in:

  • 10 years experience in Operational Management in Private Sector.
  • 10 years experience in the not-for-profit sector with funding, sponsorship and project management.
  • Over 30 years administration and accounts.
  • Extensive Project & Event Management experience.

Email: accounts@socialink.org.nz

Charlotte Van Doorne - Collaborative Practice Coordinator

Charlotte Van Doorn

Collaborative Practice

After 20 years of talking to plants,

Charlotte realised talking with people was more fun and rewarding

She set off with passion, listening and talking her way around Tauranga Moana until her journey led to SociaLink where she convinced them they had just advertised “her” job. Eclectic in every way, her ultimate life goal is to be fully quirky when she grows up.

She’s pretty grown up:

  • Holds a Diploma in Social Practice (Counselling).
  • 11 years experience in facilitation in the areas of psycho-education, parenting, grief and domestic violence.
  • Social sector programme/project implementation, management and coordination experience.
  • 5 years as a Strengthening Families Coordinator in Tauranga/WBOP.
  • Passionate about contributing to the wellbeing of individuals, whanau and community.

Email: charlotte@socialink.org.nz

Ciska Vogelzang - Organisational Support Coordinator

Linda Thompson

Communications – Media

Linda Thompson has been a journalist, author, communications specialist and editor for longer than anyone wants to remember.

She moved to the Bay of Plenty more than 15 years ago, managing communications for Zespri and then the Harbour Link project before working for the regional council and NZME.
She lives in Mount Maunganui with her neurotic black house panther Scooter, enjoys the beach, reviewing books and singing with a local choir.
Kathy Webb - Learning & Development

Kathy Webb

Learning & Development

Kathy has been working in the social sector forever, and there is no one she doesn’t know.

She can get you anything you need, no questions asked; and often has an abundance of things that she would like to get rid of, anything from bookmarks to bunnies.

Lots of experience in:

  • 10 years experience in community development with local government.
  • 15 years experience with a variety of community organisations at staff and board level.
  • A broad knowledge of the not for profit sector in the western Bay of Plenty and nationally.

Email: kathy@socialink.org.nz

Our Board

Our Board are a committed bunch of people who work hard to build, empower and serve the social sector in the western Bay of Plenty. They bring a broad range of skills, knowledge and contacts to help us to drive forward and achieve our vision and mission.

Nigel Tutt - SociaLink Trustee

Nigel Tutt

Co Chair and Treasurer

Nigel is currently the CEO of Priority One, the economic agency for the Western Bay of Plenty. His background is in digital marketing and media.

He has significant commercial experience and knowledge gained from a wide ranging background in small and large companies within the private sector. In his role with Priority One his area of focii are:

  • Fostering innovation
  • Creating a compelling destination
  • A hub for skills & talent
  • Connecting & collaborating
  • Investment attraction

All key areas for SociaLink – a great alignment.

Mel Tata

Mel Tata

Co Chair

Mel Tata (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) is Chief Executive of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ranginui Iwi.

She has spent 15 years working in Māori health and has a background in social work.

Mel says she is committed to Māori achievement and prosperity, seeking and sharing opportunity through meaningful relationships.

She has a passion for governance, particularly co-governance models.

Nigel Tutt - SociaLink Trustee

Wiremu Matthews


Ko Mauao te maunga, Ko Tauranga te Moana
Ko Takitimu te waka, ko Ngati Ranginui te iwi,

Ko Ngai Tamarāwaho, Ko Ngāti Kahu ngā hapū

Ko Huria, ko Wairoa ngā marae
Ko Wiremu Matthews toku ingoa

Wiremu has worked mostly in health and wellbeing over the last 20 years.
He has been on several boards in both commercial and non-profit entities and enjoys co-designing strategic plans and measurables that address root causes.
As the owner and director of Kānuka Wellbeing and Leadership he and his team teach timeless principles and values through workshops and seminars, and continue to support people via coaching.

Lynda Burch - SociaLink Trustee

Lynda Burch


Lynda joined the SociaLink board a while ago now. She has highly developed skills in strategy development and system design and has had extensive experience leading central government departments in this area.

She is a long standing Rotary member and a member of the Graeme Dingle Foundation board. A family focused person who brings extensive experience and knowledge to our sector.

Lynda Burch - SociaLink Trustee

Tania Beach


Tania is part of the leadership team at Tautoko Mai Sexual Harm Support where her role is to build organisational capability and efficiencies.

Before entering the social sector, Tania has had a wide range of general business experience in the private sector in manufacturing and export, retail, media and digital technologies.

She is passionate about governance, and since joining the social sector she says she has found it humbling and rewarding. She is keen to build sector capability to make better use of funding and to support more people.

Lynda Burch - SociaLink Trustee

Anaru Palmer


Ko Mauao me Moehau ngā maunga

Ko Te Awanui, ko Waihou me Tikapa ngā moana

Ko Mātaatua me Tainui ngā waka

Ko Toroa me Marutūāhu ngā tūpuna

Ko Ngāi Te Rangi me Ngāti Tamaterā ngā iwi

Ko Ngāi Tūwhiwhia, ko Ngāti Tauaiti, ko Ngāi Tamawhariua me Ngāti Pinenga ngā hapū

Ko Opureora, ko Te Rereatukāhia me Te Pai-o-Hauraki ngā marae

Ko Anaru ahau

Tihei mauri ora – Read more about Anaru here

Lynda Burch - SociaLink Trustee

Soifua Pearson


Soifua was born in Tonga but has called Tauranga Moana home for over 16 years.

She is Tātāriki Rautaki for Waiariki Whānau Mentoring and has spent many years within the community and social services sector in various roles between frontline, management and governance.

Her passions for the sector include celebrating cultural intelligence, activating organisational success and supporting safe collaborative practice.  She is keen to be part of a team that shares knowledge and values authentic relationships.

Her favourite job is mum to five fānau who continue to ground her by reminding her daily that she’s not that good at TikTok. She is grateful that she can be a parent as part of a supportive village made up of her kāinga from Niuafo’ou and Ha’apai.