Our Team

Our Practitioners

Penny is a registered social worker and has worked at Central Connect for over three years.  Penny is Central Connect's senior social worker. She travels from Hastings five days a week and loves working with and supporting people in this smaller community.  Having four adult children and seven grandchildren she has a lot of life experience.  She can support and help people with a range of personal or family issues.  Penny does home visits or if people prefer they can come in and see her in her office.  Visits may be a one off to obtain support and advice or if needed, ongoing support will be offered until the person or family feel they don't need her support anymore.  Penny has a back ground in working with family violence, so has the knowledge to work with people who are experiencing family violence, which can be physical, emotional or psychological abuse.  Penny has a passion for children and also runs children's programmes.  You can be assured of a completely confidential and non-judgemental service so please contact the agency if you are in need of support.


Patricia is a provisional member of her professional body, she has been working for Central Connect the past five and a half years.  Being in a position to support the people in Central Hawkes Bay is one she considers a very special honour, and one she doesn't take lightly. In 2002 Patricia trained at EIT in Taradale, earning a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree, majoring in Psychotherapy.  Patricia then acquired a Diploma in Hakomi (Integrative Psychology). Hakomi is a way of looking at the world that is compassionate, mindful, curious, non-invasive, humorous and repectful. She works alongside people experiencing issues within families, with children, and with people experiencing grief and loss, depression, sexual abuse and other issues.  She considers herself lucky enough to work alongside a superb and dedicated team, where quality and professionalism are very important.  Patricia intends on continuing to provide a unique service that seeks to enhance the lives of people of Central Hawkes Bay, while learning just as much from you, as a client.


Mary Ellen facilitates our support groups for people experiencing depression.  She is a licensed social worker, experienced in working with individuals, families and groups.  In addition to depression support, she has provided services in medical, psychiatric, in-home and hospice settings. She likes to meet people who are interested in the Support Group beforehand so they feel comfortable when they arrive for the first time in the group setting.



Ian our registered Psychotherapist, is a member of his professional body ANZAP. Ian works once a week at Central Connect something we are very appreciative of.  He works with clients who are in need of long term therapy.

Our Administrators

Wendy's role as Administrator and Health and Safety Officer is pivotal to the smooth running of Central Connect Services. Ready to meet and greet you, Wendy will assist you with all your enquiries and take any booking or appointment for the various services located in the building. Come and see her for more information about our services. 




Donna Te AmuDonna is the CHB Food Bank Administrator, organises the Food Bank volunteers and their rosters, manages the food stock levels on hand and orders new replacement food items. Donna has worked in many not for profits in the Central Hawkes Bay community including the Holy Trinity Parish and the CHB Play centre, and as a volunteer for the CHB Food Bank.  She is passionate about working with people, families and teams. Donna has a teacher aid Certificate from Massey University level 2 and 3 computing and a Diploma  in Horticulture in nursery production.  Despite being so busy Donna has lots of hobbies and spending time with her family is the most important activity for her



Our Manager






Governance Board

Click HERE if you want to read more about our Governance Board