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.





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.



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.






Belinda Burke – Registered Nurse – 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.




Tania Hanlon – Social Worker – Elder Abuse Response Team

Kia ora my name is Tania and I am excited to be part of the Elder Abuse Response Service work as one of the Social Workers supporting seniors across Taranaki. I was interested in becoming a social worker to help empower people to be the best versions of themselves. My goal was to support our precious seniors, who hold a wealth of knowledge, to reduce abuse, isolation and encourage connection within our community. Age concern ticks all these boxes and I am grateful to work with the amazing team in a part time position.

After graduation my career began with supporting children and their families experiencing grief and loss, empowering them with connection with peers on a similar journey, accepting that change is a part of life, regulating their emotions as well as supporting them with tools to move forward. I was in this role for the last 7 years covering the central Taranaki area.

I live on a lifestyle block with my lovely husband and 3 children and a range of both large & small fur babies. Health and wellbeing are important to me as well as living off the land. I love gardening and maintain 2 large tunnel houses as well as outdoor beds in a semi self-sufficient lifestyle. I love animals, nature and crafts including knitting and crochet.


Antonia Smith – Service Coordinator – Accredited Visiting Service

Hi I’m Antonia, I oversee the Visiting Service. 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.

Andrea Mathews – Service Coordinator – Health Promotion

Kia Ora, my name is Andrea and I am proud to be a part of the health promotion team with Age Concern Taranaki as a health promotion services coordinator.

I come from a sport and recreation background where I have enjoyed over 20 years working with people of all ages from 6 months old – 98 years helping them to learn skills to grow courage and feel empowered to be in control of their own health and wellbeing journeys.

I am blessed to have a wonderful husband, two young girls (3 and 6yrs) and a German Shepard. We love keeping busy swimming, walking, having dance parties in the lounge and being involved in sports.

I was born in Wellington but spent most of my life in Auckland until I moved to New Plymouth in 2013. I love it here and couldn’t imagine a better place to call home and raise my wonderful girls.

I am excited to be coordinating the steady as you go fall prevention classes and health and wellbeing workshops and presentations and look forward to meeting everyone in the Age Concern community.



Board members

Sam Bennett – Chairperson

Tēnā koutou. Warm greetings to you all. My name is Sam Bennett. I am honoured and delighted to serve our Taranaki Elderly people as the Chairperson of Age Concern Taranaki.  I am an entrepreneur and a current second-term NPDC Elected Member ( District-Wide Councillor). My key strength and focus is leading and collaborating with a dedicated governance board to ensure that Age Concern Taranaki is strategically and financially placed to continue to build capacity and work diligently for the rights, needs and well-being of older people including those with age, accessibility, disability and impairment challenges. I care deeply for our Elderly community so please if you wish to catch up with me for a chat , a cuppa tea and biscuit please call me anytime on 0277515100 or email me at contact@fullcirclecelebrant.co.nz; . I would love to meet you in person. He waka eke noa – We are all in this together





David Gibson 

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.





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.


Peter Ertel