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

Caitriona (Cookie) Anderson

Manager – The Kollective

Caitriona manages The Kollective and is originally from Ireland.

Caitriona, aka Cookie is from County Cork in Ireland and moved to Tauranga in 2016 to reconnect with kiwi whanau and to work on her Vitamin D levels!

With a career mostly in the music industry, specifically as a singer and songwriter Cookie also has experience in disability care, cafe management and has a diploma in massage therapy!

Her motivation is a desire to connect with people on a mutually genuine level.

Cookie has worked at The Kollective since it opened in 2018, looking after day to day operations, seeking to find collaborative possibilities between members, and creating opportunities to enable connections. Cookie manages the fab TK Team and is committed to making The Kollective a positive and inclusive experience for all its members and visitors.

Email: caitriona@thekollective.org.nz

Liz Davis - General Manager

Irene Walker


Māori Engagement Advisor

He Tangata He Tangata He Tangata!

Ko Mauao, Otanewainui, Puwhenua ngā maunga

Ko Tauranga te moana

Ko Takitumu, Mataatua ngā waka

Ko Ngāiterangi, Ngati Ranginui, Ngati Pukenga, Waitaha ngā iwi

Ko Ngāti He, Ngāi Te Ahi, Ngāti Tapu, Ngāi Tamarawaho ngā hapu

Ko Rangiwhakaehu Irene Walker ahau

He mea nui o te ao? He Tangata He Tangata He Tangata!

It is the love for my people and the whakapapa between all living things that connect us, that is what is important to me, that true potential we exist as human.

I look forward to work alongside you all to achieve our goals – karawhuia!

Find out more about Irene.

Contact Irene at irene@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

Kathy Webb - Learning & Development

Jo Weise


Mentor Programme

Jo Weise is an experienced coach who is passionate about the social sector and keen to help people in leadership roles develop their skills. She has been coaching people in developing their strengths and talents, and has run her own coaching business for several years.

Jo has a science degree and also trained as a secondary school teacher, but realised her passion was helping people reach their potential, so completed a career diploma and worked in a number of volunteer roles in Taranaki, including a suicide prevention retreat, a Taranaki Trust and a community cafe.

Contact Jo on jo@socialink.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

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

Joy Ngatoko-Jack

Christa George

Organisational Advisor

Christa has more than 25 years’ experience working in executive management teams across the education and health sectors in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

She has been involved in various not-for-profit organisations, both as a member and on boards, and understands the challenges in providing the best social services with minimal resources.

Christa says:

“I’m altruistic by nature so an opportunity to work in the social sector helping people sits nicely with my business skills.”

Email: christa@socialink.org.nz

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

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.
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

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.

Email: Nigel@priorityone.co.nz

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.

Email: mel.tata@ranginui.co.nz

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.

Email: wukris2004@gmail.com

Lynda Burch - SociaLink Trustee

Deborah Begbie


Deborah’s career has been built around helping people reach their full potential to lead their own business so they grow and thrive.  She has 25 years’ experience working with companies to support their growth ambitions – from innovating, entrepreneurship, start-up, growing and scaling, and multi-sector experience working with companies from lab bench to multinational stature in the US, Canada, UK, and New Zealand.

Deborah has a passion to help people be and do their best.

“SociaLink’s vision is a perfect match with my world view that people should have access to the best resources available to support achieving a good life. I’m excited to be working as part of the governance team and ‘getting under the hood’ to help drive forward the strategic vision through partnership and consensus-based engagement.”

Email: deborah@theaccelerationfoundry.com

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

Email: ap171@students.waikato.ac.nz

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.


Mereana Te Pere (003)

Mereana Te Pere