TCV Executive Committee

The current Tairāwhiti Community Voice Executive Committee includes:


Liz Graham-  Chairperson

Involved in St John for 37+ years - St John Youth Divison in Auckland. Moved to Gisborne in 1988 and became Divisional Manager with the Youth Division for the next 6 years. I moved over to the Gisborne Adult Division which eventually merged with Ambulance/Events section. I was a Volunteer Ambulance Officer for 7 years. Casual Tutor for First Aid Courses for 3 years.  Currently full time Rep for St John Medical Alarms into my 11th year.  My territory covers all Communities of the East Coast, Hawkes Bay region from Potaka on the East Coast and as far South as Kotemaori, inland to Lake Waikaremoana, Ruakituri and Matawai/Motu as well. I enjoy my job along with all its challenges and travelling but the most reward I get is seeing
people in their own homes being independent and making the most out of life.
I have built a great rapport with the Health and Social sector right across my Region. Which in return they support the work that I do in their Communities.
I am proud to be part of many Communities that I come into contact with and if able to help in any way big or small is an achievement within itself.

My family include my husband, Robert, son Gary (22yrs) and daughter Jessica (19yrs). We are part of the local BMX Club and travel away to BMX meets whenever we can. We also enjoy our holidays at Lake Waikaremoana when we can make it.

I enjoy being part of the TCV Network that connects to Communities in many different ways and supporting those Groups in any way that I can along with the Exec team.



 Leslynne Jackson

With the exception of 3 ½ years living in Yuma, Arizona, where I worked voluntarily for a restorative justice programme, I have worked in Tairawhiti for the past 30 years.  I have worked for Government agencies including Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Social Development and NGO’s such as Presbyterian Support East Coast.  I am currently Leading Manaaki Tairāwhiti, a Place-Based Initiative to strengthen the social sector in Tairāwhiti. 
I am a strong advocate for whanau and resilient communities who safeguard children and vulnerable adults.  I am a volunteer for the Tauawhi Men’s Centre Trust and the Safe Tairawhiti Community Trust. 
I am married to Hamish and have two children.



Jon Davies

Born and educated in Auckland, of Nga Puhi and Welsh descent, I came to the Tairawhiti as a 22 year old and have lived here for the past 40 years. I have worked extensively in community facing roles in the Police, Social Welfare, Work & Income, Gisborne District Council and am currently with Idea Services (IHC). I have also held leadership roles in Civil Defence, Maritime NZ, NZ Army Reserves and NZ Cadet Forces.
My current role is a Service Manager of a group of residential and vocational services for adults with intellectual disabilities, in the Gisborne / Wairoa area.
I am married to Sharon and have 6 adult children and 7 grandchildren.



Meredith Akuhata-Brown

I grew up in Gisborne and have a background as a Social Worker in Schools, Sexual Health Educator, Whānau Ora Navigator and Community Animator. In 2013 I was elected to Gisborne City Council. I am married to Jason and we have three school-aged children.


Lynda Markie

Currently, I’m the Manager/Secretary of the Gisborne Budget Service. My journey with the service started in 2008 when I answered an advertisement for part-time employment. In those days I worked as a Budget Adviser for 12 hours a week and sat on the committee as treasurer. My management role began in 2010 and I have seen many changes in the service and in the sector since then. Today Budget Advisers are known as Financial Mentors and we work alongside our clients using strength-based practice instead of the traditional ‘fixing’ their problems.  I now have more ‘hats’ than I know what to do with including training new mentors …more & more I spend my time in the back room rather than with clients of the service.

Through my work, I am keenly aware of the challenges faced by the community and I am passionate about making a positive difference.

I have been attending Tairāwhiti Community Voice (TCV) network meetings for some years (since the GISCOSS days) and enjoy the networking that comes with that and has seen the benefit of membership first hand within the budget service. I currently hold the position of co-treasurer for TCV.


I’m a Gisborne girl from birth; I did move away for some years but returned ‘home’ in 2002 to raise my young family who are now all grown and I have three gorgeous grandchildren.


Long-term? No plans to move away. My commitment is here in Tairāwhiti, working in the social service sector.



 Mary-Ann de Kort

 I moved to Gisborne to escape the Auckland rat race early 2016.  Most recently I spent 10 years as a union organiser and  worker's advocate and have committed to fairness and equity in the workplace and community.  I believe everyone deserves a decent life.

I was elected to the Mount Wellington Licensing Trust for 2 electoral cycles in 2010 and 2013.  Along with hotel directorships, I was pleased to chair the Mount Wellington Foundation and also the Charitable Trust donating $1million a year to our local community.

I have a Social Science Honours degree (2003) in social policy and labour studies and a Graduate Diploma of Disputes Resolution (2004) from The University of Waikato.  Prior to studying I worked for BNZ for 13 years in a range of positions.

"I believe Charitable organisations are the backbone of our community with many people working hard on shoestring budgets".




Christine West

I was introduced to Tairawhiti Community Voice (TCV) as a nominee in the Nan Evans award by Gisborne East Coast Cancer Society in 2012, I was a volunteer with the Cancer Society for 17 years.

I Joined TCV in 2012 as an Executive Committee Member representing the Gisborne East Coast Cancer Society, then as an Independent since 2015.  From 2014 I have been a part of the Tairawhiti Disability Working Group (TDWG) who were instrumental in hosting a Webinar on “The Hidden Abuse of People with Disabilities” residing in our Community. TDWG collaborated in presenting a business case through our local Aged & Disability Support Advisory Committee ( ADSAC) for approval to go to Ministry of Health (MoH).  Currently Executive committee member Community Networks Aotearoa (CNA)  Became a member of Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA) in 2017

Over the last 5 years on TCV Executive Committee I have met some amazing and passionate people in their chosen fields, and I have seen how much of a difference their collective voice has made to the Community and Volunteer Sector. So, hang in there, be strong, be proud and hold onto your values, in the end that is what matters.

Happily married to Neville for 37 years and have 2 wonderful children.





Kate Macrae

My name is Katie-Jane Macrae but prefer to be called “Kate”. Raised in Te Puke moved to Tauranga 2001 and settled in Gisborne 2013.  I am a dedicated mother with two grown sons and a teenage daughter and have been successful at raising my family on my own, which I attribute this success to my ability to plan, schedule, and handle many different tasks at once.

My passion is working with Kaumatua/Elderly and ensuring their health and wellbeing needs are met along with being able to live independently and have a good quality of life wherepossible. I have always had a soft heart for older people as I spent a lot of time with my grandmother while I was growing up.  With the support of my family I was able to undertake and complete a 3 year Degree in Bachelor of Social Work through Te Wananga Aotearoa; first 2 years in Tauranga and final year in Gisborne. This has allowed me to pursue my passion in working with Kaumatua/Elderly in our community.

At present I am employed as a Registered Social Worker with Tairawhiti Age Concern where my duties consist of Advocacy, Support, Elder Abuse and Neglect Intervention and Prevention working alongside other social networks in the community.  I have joined the “It’s not Ok campaign” as a Champion to help spread the message against family violence. In the past I have volunteered with Cancer Society in Tauranga and look forward to engaging more with Gisborne Community through Tairawhiti Community Voice.




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