We believe that everyone has the right to a healthy home and the potential to live well.
Housing is a fundamental human right
Insufficient housing supply and the increasing cost of private rentals have contributed to more people struggling to find and keep a home. This greatly impacts our most vulnerable people, who have fewer options available to them.
We believe everyone has the right to a healthy home and the potential to live well. That belief underpins everything we do for the people in our communities.
LinkPeople is a community housing provider that works with people who need support to find a home, keep a home and live well. We offer a range of solutions and supports following the Housing First philosophy, because we know that having a stable and suitable home is the foundation of a person’s wellbeing.
Our priority is to help people find permanent housing and work with them to ensure they can access the health, social and wellbeing support they need to live well. We offer practical support and advice to help people be good tenants and neighbours who are active and involved in their community.
We want people to stay housed, so we also support people whose tenancy is at risk to identify and solve the problems that are impacting on their housing and wellbeing.
LinkPeople couldn’t do this without our strong community relationships with landlords, property investors, services and organisations. We work together to create connections and be part of the solution to New Zealand’s housing crisis.
Together, we make a difference.
People are at the centre of everything we do.
LinkPeople is a community housing provider
Having a home and successfully navigating social services are both important for a person’s health and wellbeing. In 2016, Keys Social Housing and Linkage teamed up to become LinkPeople, a name that describes exactly what we do.
Today LinkPeople is a registered community housing provider. We have our own housing that we support people to live in, and we also help people access other social housing or properties in the private rental market. Once people are housed, we connect them with the support systems they need to live well and flourish in their home.
Looking to the future, we are champions of system change to address New Zealand’s housing crisis. Our vision is a New Zealand where everyone has equitable access to a healthy home, as the foundation for wellbeing.
LinkPeople is part of Wise Group, one of the largest providers of mental health and wellbeing services in New Zealand. Making a difference is in our DNA.
Our board members
Julie is joint chief executive of the Wise Group and has been instrumental in growing the organisation from one employee to over one thousand people who work nationwide to help those with mental illness live great lives. Julie has vast knowledge and experience in the areas of governance, infrastructure services, leading complex services and development of solutions.
Julie is a strong advocate for quality housing and effective wrap-around support services for our most vulnerable people. Julie is proud of the pioneering role she has played in bringing Housing First to New Zealand through the establishment of The People’s Project, and for providing support to the Housing First Auckland collective.
Julie is regarded as an authentic leader who engages deeply with people and builds strong enduring relationships.
Bruce Sheridan has been involved with the Wise Group since it began more than 20 years ago. He is on the boards of various charitable trusts, NGO, and commercial enterprises. For many years he was a partner in accounting firm KPMG, acting as a business advisor.
He is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.
Bruce also chairs the Wise Trust Board.
Hine Martin has worked within the Wise Group for the last eleven years in operational and strategic management roles. Hine holds a Master of Public Health and has an extensive background in community and workforce development. Areas of research and work experience include health indicators, health outcomes, healthy public policy, Māori health and the social determinants of health.
Hine is committed to work which influences the economic and social conditions among vulnerable populations and to reduce inequalities in health status.
Paul Bennett is currently CEO of Braemar Hospital Ltd. He has strategic and operational oversight of one of the largest private surgical hospitals in New Zealand. He has recently led a two stage $45million land acquisition and hospital construction project.
Paul has held CEO or general manager positions in several different industries, both profit and not-for-profit, in New Zealand and Australia. His experience covers plastic manufacturing and exporting, the export meat industry, public and private health sectors, and the cordage industry.
Paul’s governance roles in the health sector include: Chair of Enrich+, Chair of Work Outcomes GP Ltd and Trustee of Spectrum Energy.
Paul is the Deputy Chairman of the Waikato branch of the Institute of Directors and the Independent Chair of Hauraki District Council Audit and Risk Committee.
Penny has been a councillor and local body elected member for the last 27 years. She served as deputy mayor for Waitakere City and then deputy mayor for the newly amalgamated Auckland council for six years.
She has been closely involved in city planning and development of housing policy chairing a variety of committees responsible for these areas.
Penny has also been a member of the Auckland Housing First governance group, and was appointed to the board of Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing New Zealand) in January 2020.
Our leadership team
Fiona has almost 20 years’ experience in research, programme management and leadership across a range of sectors including the Waitangi Tribunal claim process, mental health workforce development and Housing First.
Fiona spent two years as programme lead at Housing First Auckland before becoming LinkPeople’s chief executive in October 2019. Fiona led and fronted the first Auckland-wide Point-in-Time count, Ira Mata, Ira Tangata, and led the development of the governing group for the Auckland collective working with mana whenua, local government and Ministries and departments such as Housing, Social Development, Health and Justice.
Tom Caukwell has a background in mental health – with six years working in the mental health sector – and has worked for LinkPeople since 2013. He has led the Housing First service delivery in South Auckland since 2017. Tom is studying towards a conjoint Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Business at Massey University, majoring in social policy and management. With a passion for people and influencing positive systems change, Tom was appointed as the regional manager for LinkPeople Auckland in January 2020.
Tyron Pini ( BA Hons Social Work, DipSW, PGCMS, ACE) began his career in the NGO / disability sector in the United Kingdom after training as a community social worker. Prior to moving to New Zealand, Tyron led services run by and for disabled people in the employment, training and careers guidance area.
Tyron is on leave from his position as general manager for Workwise, a specialist service focused on supporting people with lived experience of mental health to return to work, where he has worked since 2007. His interest in empowering people to live well extends beyond work, and Tyron is involved in a variety of sector activities, including being chair of the Counties Manukau Employment Forum and part of the establishment group of the Midland Navigate NGO forum.
Ko Pureora te Maunga, Ko Waikato te Awa, Ko Tainui te Waka, Ko Rereahu te Iwi
Michelle Tiriana-Bishop joined LinkPeople in July 2017 to lead the housing team in Rotorua. With the rapid growth of service provision, in January 2020 she was appointed regional manager, with oversight of the tenancy, housing and health teams in the Taupō, Rotorua and Tauranga areas.
Michelle has almost 20 years’ experience working in the social housing sector, including 16 years with Housing New Zealand. She has held various tenancy related roles and spent four years in a community development position working with vulnerable communities. Michelle has strong community and agency connections and prides herself on leading a team who share her genuine passion for peopleand always having them at the centre of everything they do.
Jim came to LinkPeople in early 2017 from the social housing, strategic purchasing team at the Ministry of Social Development. Prior to this, Jim was the national operations manager for tenancy services within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment managing the dispute resolution services across the country along with tenancy advice and education. He has previously worked in leadership and management roles in Pathways, Inland Revenue and mental health services.
Jim is based in Wellington, overseeing Taranaki, Whanganui, Wellington and Christchurch.
Annabelle has been with LinkPeople since 2014 in several different leadership roles. She brings to LinkPeople a wide range of experience in both the public and private sectors, including policy work with central government, and regulatory and leadership roles across the pharmaceutical and medical communications industries. Annabelle holds a Master of Science in psychology and pharmacology, and postgraduate qualifications in coaching psychology.
Her role is to work across LinkPeople to implement systems and projects that support consistent and safe delivery of all LinkPeople services.