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CHA Council

Bernie Smith - Chair

Bernie Smith

As CEO of Monte Cecilia Housing Trust Bernie manages 50 staff, housing 120 families in Transitional housing and 270 families in Monte’s community social housing. Monte Cecilia has a strong advocacy service assisting over 1100+ families per year. Previously, Bernie managed 3500 public housing units in Cairns Queensland, Australia and 1600 tenancies across North West Queensland. His interests are in the clear representation of the sector to government to enable true partnership that is reflected in contracting, funding levels and terms. He also has an interest in pursuing a building WoF and closure of boarding houses which do not offer warm, safe, secure housing.
Nic Greene  -

Nic Greene

Nic joined the RNZAF in 1989 where he spent 12 years conducting maritime surveillance in the Pacific and wider afield. Commissioned as an officer in 1995, Nic underwent significant management and leadership training. During his military career Nic enjoyed several leadership roles including that of Senior Electronics Instructor at the School of Air Navigation, RAAF Base East Sale and Air Electronics Training Officer on No 5 (Maritime) Squadron RNZAF. Nic has also been a small business owner, a software developer, a wedding photographer and the Business Development Manager at Wintec, one of New Zealand's largest polytechnics. In 2008 Nic participated in a Wintec build team to Vietnam as part of the Habitat for Humanity Global Village program. Nic was inspired by the difference we can each make to the vulnerable in our world. In 2009 Nic was appointed to the role of General Manager of Habitat for Humanity (Central North Island). In this role Nic is responsible for the direction of New Zealand's largest and most diverse Habitat affiliate. Current operational responsibilities include the delivery of progressive home ownership housing, a home repair programme, a rental portfolio with a particular emphasis on housing for the elderly, and a chain of ReStore second hand shops.
Cate Kearney  -

Cate Kearney

Cate is the Chief Executive of Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust. She was the first employee of the Trust when it was established in 2016. Cate has worked in community housing, mental health and addiction sectors and for 25 years, with 20 years in leadership positions. She has worked in the not for profit and public sectors undertaking a range of leadership and governance roles. Cate’s move into the community housing sector five years ago recognised her belief that adequate housing, health and education are the foundations of our community. One of her personal interests is house design, green technologies and the ways in which architecture and urban design help build communities. Cate is the current co-chair of Community Housing Aotearoa. She lives in Christchurch.
Yvonne Wilson  -

Yvonne Wilson

I am proud to be a member of Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa team. In my role as Kaiwananga – Housing Manager I value the opportunity to be innovative in leading a team of dedicated kaitautoko in social housing. I have experience in successfully managing and leading community organisations and projects, establishing and maintaining the strong networks in the housing, health and the social services sectors which is paramount for solution focused outcomes, my approach to addressing housing issues and challenges is clearly understanding and engaging with the grass roots providers, individuals and agencies. I bring to the CHA team skills in project, financial and contractual management, working relationships with advisory and experts groups and more importantly a social housing end user and provider world view.
Gabby Clezy -

Gabby Clezy

Gabby is the Chief Executive Officer of Haumaru Housing LP. She was asked to lead the new joint venture from her role as Chief Executive of aged residential care service provider TerraNova Homes and Care Ltd. A NZ registered Pharmacist, Gabby has extensive leadership and operational experience in education, social services and aged care in the UK and New Zealand. She has worked for not-for-profit organisations in the healthcare arena, such as Bupa Care Services and specialist addictions mental health trust Odyssey House, and has also held senior roles in tertiary education and national health sectors. A member of the Institute of Directors, Gabby has served as nonexecutive director and trustee of boards focusing on advocacy, health and accommodation. She is currently Chair of the Auckland Community Housing Providers Network (ACHPN) and commentator on social housing issues affecting older people. Utilising her deep experience at both operational and governance levels, if elected, she will commit to working collaboratively with the CHA Council and members to strategically drive the delivery and volume of quality social housing required within the current housing demand. This can only be facilitated by a strong and sustainable network of community housing providers that are skilled, resourced and pro-actively supported by a strong peak body. Gabby welcomes the opportunity to join the CHA Council and support their work to deliver great outcomes for the community housing sector.
Craig Thomson -

Craig Thomson

I have been in charge of the Trust Housing housing team for five and a half years, leading us to obtain CHP registration. Together with my team, we have been able to get over one hundred and twenty sitting tenants onto Income Related Rent. Apart from owning our own properties we are also responsible for managing three different types of Papakāinga housing (eighteen properties). I have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Massey University where my research project was, “More than just a landlord: Helping community tenants access support services and retain affordable housing”. I also hold a Diploma in Policing Studies from Christchurch University College (Kent, England). I am a Certified Senior Professional member of the Australasian Housing Institute (since 2019) and have passed, along with all of my housing team, the NZQA – New Zealand Certificate in Residential Property Management (Level 4). I am also a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and have completed the Company Directors Course.
Greg Orchard - Treasurer

Greg Orchard

In the early 1980’s, straight from high school, Greg commenced his career in housing. Since then he has held numerous broad senior leadership and governance roles in central government, local government, and not-for-profit organisations. With over 30 years’ experience in public and social housing in New Zealand, he has been involved in leadership roles through various housing reforms. He joined the Board of Accessible Properties as an independent Director in 2013 and became the company’s first Chief Executive in January 2017. As well as his role on the Community Housing Aotearoa National Council his governance roles include one of New Zealand’s 11 National Science Challenges, focussed on science investment designed to tackle New Zealand’s biggest science-based challenges and the IHC Group Audit Committee. His previous governance roles include, Chair of the University of Canterbury Quake Centre, the Building Research Association of New Zealand, Wellington Waterfront Limited, and the Australasian Housing Institute. Greg is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Australasian Housing Institute.