NorthAble Disability Services

Meet the Team

Noel Matthews - Chief Executive Officer NorthAble

Noel Matthews General Manager

He honore, he kororia ki te Atua
Maungarongo ki te whenua
Whakaaropai ki nga tangata katoa

Kia ora. I am the NorthAble CEO having taken up the role in 2004. I lead a dynamic group of staff who have, at the core of their working ethos, the best interests of the families and whanau and individuals we are here to support. I look forward to continuing to improve access to disability supports, especially for people that not only need our services currently but also those that may need our services in the future.

Raewyn Fowlie -  Personal Assistant to the CEO

Raewyn Fowlie

I commenced with NorthAble in September 2010. My PA role includes support to the CEO, HR, procurement and asset management. I also  manage the very capable team members of the Disability Information and Advisory Service (DIAS). Previously, I worked for the Primary Health Organisation in Kaipara, for 12 years, gaining Diplomas in Business and Management. I enjoy being a part of this vibrant and progressive organisation.


Hannah Snowdon - Finance Manager

Hannah Snowdon

Kia ora. My role is Finance Manager for NorthAble. I was born and bred in Whangarei and have spent majority of my life here. I have previously worked in the health sector with a focus on rehabilitation. My roles included administration, finance and management. I’m passionate about the work NorthAble does for our community and glad to be a part of it.


Needs Assessment Service Co-ordination (NASC) Team

Bronwyn Collett- NASC Manager

Bronwyn Collett

I joined NorthAble as a Service Co-ordinator in 2012, having previously worked in the health sector as an Occupational Therapist. In 2015 I was very honoured to take on the NASC Manager role. I have a focus on the future of the disability sector and I am proud to be part of an organisation like NorthAble, that encourages bold, innovative practice in all of it's employees.

Catharine Mentz - Lead Coordinator and Navigation Coordinator

Catharine Mentz

I am a South African born Kiwi, proud to call Northland home. I have been working in the Social Services sector for several years, specifically in community aged care and disability support. My academic background includes psychology, teaching, human resource management, marketing, market research and disability support. I appreciate being part of the NorthAble family and enjoy the challenges and job satisfaction that my dual role of Service Coordinator and Navigation Coordinator provides. I am particularly passionate about Navigation which aims to facilitate enduring outcomes and self-determination for people with disabilities and their families in Northland.

Te Rau Allen - Service Coordinator, Mid/Far North
- Maori Liaison

Te Rau Allen Service Coordinator

Northable - He Maatapuna Hauora
Ko Te Rau Arena Allen ahau
Ko Tauwhara te marae
Waitangi te awa
Te Rangiawhiowhio te whare tupuna
Ko Te Whiu, Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa, Ngai Tawake ki Tuawhenua, Ngati Whakaeke, Ngati Tautahi, Ngati Wharara, Ngati Korokoro, Ngati Pou, Ngati Te Arakopeka, Ngati Kopaki, Ngati Hine, Ngati Rehia nga hapu.
Ko Ngapuhi te Iwi
I am one of the Mid/Far North Service Coordinators for NorthAble NASC.  Northable works with community agencies to ensure the best possible response and service is being provided.  Where possible, I  meet individuals and their families at least once kanohi te kanohi – face to face.  This provides  insight on how best to support individuals and carers. 
Mauri ora

Sharon Tahere - Service Coordinator, Mid/Far North

Sharon Tahere

I have been living in the Bay of Islands area for 37 years. I am of Ngaitai, Tainui and Ngati Porou decent. My husband is Watson and we have four sons and eight grandchildren. I have been a nurse since I was 16 years old. I feel very privileged to have been employed as a Service Coordinator by NorthAble. It is my passion to ensure that clients in the community, regardless of their disabilities, are provided with all the tools and information to enable them to have a life that is fulfilling and to allow them to be the best that they can possibly be in everything that they do.

Natasha Cordiner - Service Coordinator

Natasha Cordiner Service Coordinator

Born in Australia and raised in New Zealand, my background is that of nurse aide at Oakhaven and Lester Memorial Hospital and Community Support Worker for IDEA Services. I work within the NorthAble NASC Team as a Service Coordinator where my hands on experience guides me in my work to enhance quality of life and supports for people with disabilities and their families.

Richard Pollard- Service Coordinator

Richard Pollard Service Coordinator

Richard Pollard became a Service Coordinator on our NASC team after contributing to NorthAble in another role as  Disability Information and Equipment Consultant for NorthAble. Richard (Rich) comes from Northampton, mid-England, home to one of Europe’s best rugby teams and to many former All Blacks. He and his partner emigrated to New Zealand and they tied the knot in Bali in July 2015.
Richard, a qualified chemist, has experience in sales and chemical businesses in England. Since coming to New Zealand he had tried a change in direction, including doing volunteer work for Hospice, teaching, studies and setting up networks centred around health, wellbeing, creativity, communications and confidence building.
Richard describes himself as a person who likes to make things happen. He says he likes working for NorthAble because it is a good cause.

Robyn Galbraith- Service Coordinator

Robyn Galbraith Service Coordinator

I have a background in admin and eldercare which will give me practical experience in assisting and advising people.
My family has lived in Onerahi for over 15 years with one small break down in the Manawatu, where my extended family is.
I look forward to meeting the people of Northable and contributing to the care and support of our clients and the development and growth of the organization.

Katrina Barrett - Service Coordinator

Monika Gill Service Coordinator

Katrina Barrett has made a career out of helping people.
She’s continuing that but from a different perspective in her latest role as Service Co-ordinator with NorthAble.

As a Service Coordinator she works with the person to identify possible support options to help reach goals and positive outcomes.
Before taking on the NorthAble NASC role of support for living, Katrina worked in Whangarei as a rehabilitation coach to clients with traumatic brain injury, behavioural management issues, physical disabilities and other complex injuries.

Katrina has a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation (AUT) and while working as a personal trainer, helped improve wellbeing in the community from children right through to geriatrics.
Katrina is no slouch, a powerlifter at national and international level, whose next major goal is the 2018 Worlds in Calgary.
She was active in roller derby but now leaves that to her two boys, aged 13 and 9, so she can concentrate on the sport as an official. Her partner of 14 years is a great source of support for her various endeavours.


Pam Arbon - NASC Team Support 

Pam Arbon NASC Team Support

I had worked in the area of Administration for 24 years before starting at the NorthAble in 1999. My role involves administration support to the Needs Assessment and Service Coordination Team along with my two Admin team members. NorthAble is continually growing and making changes directed at providing improved services for people with disabilities.


Denise Dudley - NASC Team Support

Denise Dudley NASC Team Support

Working within NorthAble and watching the changes take place over the years has been an exciting and rewarding experience. My role includes data entry and being the NASC Quality Facilitator. Through my Quality role I support our team to look at improvements in how we deliver our services so we can be as effective as possible for people with disabilities and their families and help them to achieve their goals. I look forward to the progress and move to autonomy for people and their families within this sector. I appreciate the caring environment and the passion of staff.


Client Services Team

Shirley Harvey - Client Services Manager (LYNKZ and Very High Needs)

Shirley Harvey LYNKZ Manager

I was born in Whangarei and have lived here for most of my life. I have two children and am married to Jon, my high school sweet heart. I previously worked at Workbridge as an Employment Consultant for four years which is where I developed a love of working in the disability sector. Before Workbridge I worked for Work and Income in various roles for approximately six years. I have a diploma in career guidance which I hope will help me to work with our clients to find suitable employment. I also have a love of all things artistic including being an avid gardener. I am looking forward to helping our clients to realise their goals and aspirations.

Michelle Watts - LYNKZ Program Facilitator

Michelle Watts LYNKZ Programme Facilitator

Born and bred in Whangarei, I travelled to England in 1996 for my OE, returning 17 years later in early 2013. I have worked in the disability sector since I left school and after some travelling I continued with it in the UK also.  Here in Whangarei, I enjoy being in the sector of work that I am passionate about and am excited about the prospects that NorthAble offers.

Matire Maihi - Cleaning Assistant

Matire Maihi Cleaning Assistant

I was born and have lived all my life in Whangarei. I enjoy my Cleaning Assistant job at NorthAble. In my leisure time I play bowls at the Kamo Club. I am involved in Special Olympics through coaching Swimming, Northern Alps who help up and coming sports people and am a member of the Whangarei Committee. While I enjoy sport, I am also kept busy doing art and crafts. My Maori Culture is an inherent part of my world. I enjoy music, waiata and whistling! I maintain a strong sense of fitness and wellness through walking everywhere.

Vanessa Jennings- Senior Administrator

Vanessa Jennings Senior Administrator

I was born a Scot, hail from a tiny village that is featured in MacBeth and spent my teenage years in Cape Town, before returning to the UK.Ten-plus years ago I emigrated from London to Whangarei with my husband Maurice. We have four daughters. My background is in hotel management, focusing on customer impact and front office operations in corporate hotels. I love the diversity of people. I joined NorthAble in September 2014.


Terisa Hohepa-Turua - Administration Front Office and Team Support

Matire Maihi Cleaning Assistant

Ko Ngati Hinekura  te hapu
Ko Ngati Pikiao te iwi
Ko Te Arawa te waka mai maketu
Ki tongariro
Terisa Hohepa-Turua has joined the NorthAble whänau in Administration Front Office and Team Support.
With a seven-year background working for trusts, she is a good fit. At  Ngati Hine Trust she co-ordinated stop smoking, anti-bullying and suicide prevention programmes while at the Tipu Ora travel trust she was in administration.  Terisa has keen sense of customer service having also worked in retail outlets.
She has been living in Whangarei nearly three years, marrying her long-time partner six months ago. Terisa’s links are with Rotorua where she travels regularly to visit family.
She loves sport and the gym but is also studious with plans  to study business administration by correspondence.


Disability Information (DIAS) & Equipment Plus Team

Dianne Sullivan - Equipment Plus/DIAS Manager - Whangarei

Shirley Harvey LYNKZ Manager

I first joined the NorthAble Team in August 2012 as a service co-ordinator in our NASC team. In March 2014 I accepted a more hands-on role with LYNKZ, and moved into my role as Manager of EQ+/DIAS in April 2015. Born in Whangarei, I am a mother of two adult sons who are both living in Aotearoa. I have a Bachelor of Education and a diverse work history including 12 years banking experience, administration and customer service, middle management roles, and teaching. My interest in working in the disability sector stems from having an older sister with an intellectual disability.

Waimana Martin - Disability Information and Equipment Consultant

Waimana Martin - Disability Information and Equipment Consultant

I was born and bred in Whangarei and have a strong connection to Whangaruru where my father comes from. I started with NorthAble as a Sales Assistant and also did Front Office Support in 2011, I finished that position in 2012 to start my journey as a mother, I have since returned and am now the Disability Information and Equipment Consultant. I look foward to what the future brings and what is yet to unfold within my career here at NorthAble.


Kaz Howlett - Disability Equipment  and Information Consultant

Kaz Howlett

Kaz Howlett has ties to Northland and returns, bringing with her experience and expertise from working in the Auckland region’s disability sector.
Look out for Kaz in her Disability Equipment and Information Consultant role out in the community and the mobile van.
“I’m really excited that I am able to start up here in a similar role to what I have been doing for the last five years.”
Kaz says she enjoys getting out and about, providing information to clients and in doing so keeping them safe and independent.
She’s looking forward meeting EQ+ customers and contributing to the NorthAble team.


Contracted Needs Assessors

Linda Clement                              Nicola Brierly

Vicki Sadgrove                             Michelle Boustead

Lorraine Morton                           Trudy McKnight

Amy Harmse                               Colleen Johanson

Jenni Fernandez



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