About us

Meet the team and board members


Richard Anderson – Executive Officer

Tēnā Koutou. My name is Richard Anderson and I feel priviledged to be your Executive Officer.

I was born and raised in Christchurch and moved to Taranaki in 1994. My employment history has been entirely in education with 10 years as a teacher and almost 30 years as a Primary School Principal.

I am passionate about sports and recreation both playing and watching, with my latest interests being tramping and golf.  I have a beautiful family including my wife,  three adult children and their partners.

Team leading and team building is where my heart lies for the benefit of our people. Our team at Age Concern Taranaki’s actions  and decisions ensure that we may all thrive in the world, and not just survive.

Age Concern Taranaki has a fantastic team of employees, volunteers and a Board who is focused on what makes a positive difference for us all.

I have a joyful life and  have a daily goal to create: joy, connection and security for all of our community.

Please pop in and say hello as our door is always open and we love interacting with our people.

Ngā manaakitanga and warm wishes.



Bex Caldwell –  Office Manager – Service Provision Lead

I am the Office Manager and Service Provision lead for Health Promotion and Social Connection for Age Concern Taranaki. My days are kept busy with a wide variety of tasks, from funding applications, general administration, supporting my colleagues and our older people.

I have a varied administration background from large businesses to smaller sole charge administration roles. As well as working in administration, I also worked as a Nanny caring for many children in Taranaki over the years.  I have 2 children and family who keep me busy outside of work. I love supporting people in our community so the opportunity to work for Age Concern Taranaki is one I really cherish.





Pauline Julian – Service Coordinator – AgeConnect North Taranaki

Pauline has worked for Age Concern Taranaki since 2016.  Her role involves planning, implementing, and delivering Social Connection Programmes and Activities.  Pauline has a background in Nursing and has always worked in the health sector, with experience in Health Promotion which allows her to apply such skills along with her creativity and music and reach out to our older population enabling them to improve their status of health and prevent social isolation.





Estelle Barnes – Service Co-Ordinator  – AgeConnect South Taranaki

Estelle Barnes is our Service Provision Lead in South Taranaki and Stratford Districts and joined Age Concern Taranaki in 2021.  Estelle is fully committed to the health and wellbeing of older people from a community perspective.  Estelle lives in Hawera with her husband Ken, they have 3 children, 10 grandchildren. and 3 great grandchildren. Her working life was in the finance industry, but since retiring to Hawera she has been involved in volunteer work with Grey Power South Taranaki Inc.







Sinead Thomas – Social Worker – Service Provision Lead – Elder Abuse Response Team

Kia Ora, My name is Sinead Thomas 😊 I was raised in Stratford and attended high school there. I studied my Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Social Sciences (Social Work) at Western Institute of Technology in Taranaki (WITT) and graduated in 2015.

I have a background working in domestic violence prevention and Youth work prior to moving into the role of the Elder Abuse Coordinator at Age concern Taranaki (ACT). I have been with ACT for almost 3 years now and I’ve been privileged to watch the role grow.

I love being able to complete most of my work out in the community and work closely alongside older people in the Taranaki community. I believe our external networks are extremely important to the role and the community we serve.  I enjoy being able to join in on any events involving members and other staff here at ACT.



Aimie Stahnke- Early – Social Worker – Elder Abuse Response Team

My name is Aimie Stahnke-Earley and I am part of the Age Concern Taranaki Elder Abuse Response team, joining Age Concern Taranaki in 2021

A bit about me, I’ve lived in New Plymouth my whole life where I enjoy raising my now teenage daughter and our many pets. In my spare time I enjoy Gardening, Creative Projects, Reading and playing Squash.

My passion for working alongside people brought me to completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Social Science (Social Work).

I have a background in working with older people and have spent the last 4years working as an Activities Coordinator in a local Care home. I am now excited to take my passion back into our wider community.
My Vision alongside with Age Concern Taranaki is that of promoting an inclusive society where older people are able to live a valued and fulfilled life.







Rochelle Jakeman – Clinician – Elder Abuse Response Team

Kia Ora, I’m Rochelle, a proud māmā of three wonderful tamāriki – from teens to toddler. Whānau is everything to me: inspiring personal growth; teaching patience and consideration along the way; and aptly moving forward through life making sure together we are all well supported. I have a wealth of recent nursing knowledge and am privileged to have acquired community, mental and public health experience since graduating with a Bachelor of Nursing at WITT, NP in 2016.

I am on a journey of self-discovery, live in coastal Taranaki and join the Elder Abuse Response Service (EARS) team with vigour and a willingness to learn on the job. As a mature professional, I am looking forward to asserting and promoting the rights of older people, working alongside a dynamic team of experts in their respective roles and contributing to quality service delivery already prominent in Age Concern Taranaki.






Belinda Burke – Clinician – Elder Abuse Response Team

My name is Belinda Burke and joined Age Concern Taranaki as a clinician in the elder abuse response service in 2022. I am a NZRN and have worked in the aged care sector for over 37 years. My passion lies with the elderly and the opportunity to continue to serve and support them in our community is something I am very grateful for.

My family are all grown up and we have 5 Grandchildren, whom we are very proud of. My husband and I enjoy getting away in our motorhome, so my new, part time role is perfect.




Antonia Smith – Service Coordinator – Accredited Visiting Service, Health Promotion

Hi I’m Antonia I wear many hats, overseeing the Accredited Visiting Service, Steady As You Go fall prevention classes, Staying Safe Driver Refresher courses, Digital Literacy Lessons, and our health promotion workshop series. I joined the Age Concern Taranaki team in 2021

I have over 10 years’ experience in customer and stakeholder relations and enjoy working with people from all walks of life. Outside of work, I am an actress, singer, and semi-professional stand-up comedian, I love cooking, rock climbing, and quality time with friends and family.

Alongside my role at Age Concern Taranaki, I am a part-time postgraduate student of health science and psychology with Massey University. My passion for wellbeing fuels my study, and I’m very happy to apply my knowledge to help enhance the livelihood of Taranaki’s elderly community.


Robyn King – Administration 

I have been employed at Age Concern Taranaki as an assistant to the busy administration team.

You will find be behind the reception desk on Tuesday to Friday.  It is my aim to make all who enter the building to feel welcome, and I will endeavor to help you with your needs.

I enjoy the company of elderly and just having a chat, I look forward to meeting many more of you and getting involved.

I have previously worked in the education sector since 1988, spending the last 22 years at Frankley School here in New Plymouth.  I have two adult children whom I love to spend time with along with the rest of our large extended family.

Sophie Grennell – Service Coordinator – Digital Literacy, Staying Safe Driver Safety Workshops

Kia ora! Ko Sophie taku ingoa,

I am the Digital Technology literacy and Staying Safe Driving Refresher facilitator and work along side Antonia. My background I have a diverse background in aged care, working mostly with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Prior to Age Concern I was a Regional First Aid tutor for St John and have spent time as volunteer as well.

I grew up in Tairua, and have spent time living in Nelson, Auckland and have settled in Taranaki for the past 8 years with my partner and son. While living here I have also been able to get more in touch my whakapapa based in Urenui. My involvement with so many diverse groups within the Taranaki community has given me a passion for teaching and learning and has helped me settle into being a part of the Taranaki hapori whānui.

I look forward to engaging further with our mātāpuputu, sharing knowledge, and offering support to advance the skills we have together.



Board members

David Gibson – Chairperson

I have lived in Taranaki for the past 42 years.  My work life has generally been in managerial roles, which have included running my own successful management consulting and marine orientated businesses.  My current employment is with Remediation (NZ) Ltd as a General Manager and Acting Financial Controller.  I am also a Director of this company.

I am involved with a number of charities in a governance role.  I am chairperson of Age Concern Taranaki and have had this role for the past 10 years.  I am also a member of the Rotary Club of New Plymouth, currently club treasurer, and having held the position of Club President and also Assistant District Governor.

My professional qualifications are as a marine engineer, and I hold a Master’s Degree in Business.

My hobbies include horology (clock collecting and repair), restoration of furniture, fishing and diving.




Alison Brown – Vice Chairperson

I was born and raised in South Taranaki and now reside in New Plymouth.   I have close connections with both the rural and urban sectors within Taranaki. I am a mother of five children, grandmother of nine and great grandmother of two.  

I was employed by Taranaki District Health Board for over 40 years in various nursing roles, both locally and nationally.  I was awarded Honorary Life Membership to New Zealand Nurses Organisation for services to nursing.   I am currently a Committee member of Grey Power New Plymouth and Chairperson of Taranaki Nursing Graduates Association.

My aim is to continue to work with people from all walks of life to make a positive difference.




Marianne Pike

Marianne Pike, Master of Arts Health Social Work 1983, is the Family Violence Intervention Programme Coordinator at Taranaki District Health Board (TDHB), New Plymouth. Marianne has a 30 year career in Health Social Work and has worked in many area’s in the health sector in South Africa and New Zealand(since 1994). Since 2014 Marianne leads the Family Violence Responsive Practice Programme (VIP) in TDHB. Marianne is married to Pieter and together they have 4 adult children and one grandchild. Other recreational activities that I love is gardening, tramping, reading and music.





Sam Bennett

Tēnā koutou. Hello, my name is Sam Bennett and I am honoured and delighted to serve you on the board of Age Concern Taranaki.

I am an entrepreneur and a current Elected Member of the New Plymouth District Council. My key strength is governance and I am focused on working collectively with the board to ensure that Age Concern Taranaki is strategically and financially placed to continue to work for the rights, needs and well-being of older people including those with age and accessibility challenges.

I care deeply for people so please if you wish to catch up with me for a chat , a cuppa tea and biscuit please call me anytime on 0277515100 , I would love to meet you.

Ngā manaakitanga ( best wishes) Sam.


Kevin Rolfe

A Chartered Chemical Engineer and a Chartered Scientist. I have degrees in Chemical Engineering, in Environmental Science, and a post-graduate Certificate in General Management. I have worked in 36 countries, and have been to Antarctica twice, related to my work on climate change mitigation – down the Ross Sea from Bluff in 2007 and down the Weddell Sea from Ushuaia, Argentina, in 2017. Amongst other appointments, I have worked for the World Health Organization, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but working in most of the countries of East, South East, and South Asia, and in 11 of the 15 Pacific Island countries – in Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia.

I was the Chief Executive of Environmental Services Australia, a highly successful joint venture between the Environment Protection Authority of Victoria, Australia, and the Overseas Projects Corporation of Victoria Limited, where I was also their Project Director – Environment. I formed joint ventures with similar entities in Singapore, Malaysia, and Viet Nam.

I have been a Justice of the Peace (ministerial) since 2008, and I have held Accreditation status under their Continuing Professional Development program since that commenced (about eight years ago). I was formerly the Chair of Volunteer Services Abroad in Auckland, and a long-standing Member of the ASEAN New Zealand Business Council. I have also served on a couple of Advisory Boards.

I have a track record of being an effective decision-maker, working in a collegial way.  As an independent Resource Management Act hearings Commissioner for 23 years, often as either the sole Commissioner or the Chair, none of my dozens of decisions were appealed on technical grounds to the Environment Court.  A key to my achieving that success as a hearings Commissioner, which I also use in my Governance roles, is setting the right tone at meetings, etc. A motto: “it is the tone that makes the music”.


Bobbi Milne

Since retiring to New Plymouth in 2018 I live in Manadon Retirement Village, Spotswood along with Tosca, my very entertaining two and a half year old Birman cat. I like to participate in village activities and support our village SAYGo group on a regular basis. I have found this exercise class to be beneficial on both a fitness and social level.

Outside of the village I am involved with Ballroom Dancing and Silver Swans, which is ballet for seniors. Other interests and hobbies are knitting (which my Grandma taught me when I was four) sewing, reading and creative cooking.