About us

We’re an independent charitable trust that provides support for children, young people and adults with disabilities, and their whanau.

We believe in providing person-directed support and options that focus on individual needs.

We support people to identify their personal goals and aspirations. These are developed into a personalised and achievable ‘My Life’ plan, which supports people to achieve their immediate and lifelong objectives.

Our philosophy

We see the sunflower as representing the people we support and show this relationship by incorporating the sunflower into our logo.

Turning its head to track the sun across the sky, the sunflower stands tall and proud.

Sunflowers can reach great heights, but may require support to achieve their full potential. Similarly, we endeavour to provide person-centred, person-directed support to assist people to ‘live a great life’.

A fully ‘person-centred’ approach (embodied by our ‘Outcomes’ philosophy) involves a shared vision of fostering the person’s unique strengths and potential.

The full bloom is achieved when staff, family and the broader community work together to support the individual outcomes sought by the person.

The developmental stages of a sunflower represent the person’s life progression, and also reflects the evolution of disability support over the past three decades – from institutional care to group residential support and, most recently, to supported independent living.

Our publications

Our Strategic Plan Our Annual Report Our eBook 'The first 20 years'

Meet our Chief Executive

Sean Stowers MBA CMInstD

Beginning his tenure with Spectrum in July 2016, Sean has been an active contributor to the disability support sector for more than 25 years, in a variety roles primarily focused on the strategic and operational management of support delivery.

Following 13 years as General Manager of IDEA Services, Sean sought a new leadership opportunity in which he could further his drive for social justice, and outcomes that support choice and control for people with disabilities.

Finding just such an opportunity at Spectrum, Sean’s aims include building on the strong, person-centred foundation upon which our organisation is based, and ensuring people with disabilities and their families have a lead role in the design and delivery of sustainable support services.

Sean also serves as a Director of Spectrum’s wholly owned subsidiary Homes of Choice.

Meet our Board of Trustees

Garry Smith BMS, CA (Non-executive Chair)

Garry joined the Spectrum Care Trust Board in June 2013 and was appointed Board Chair in November 2015.

Garry is CEO of The Selwyn Foundation and has more than 20 years’ experience at a senior level with healthcare organisations throughout New Zealand. Prior to his appointment to The Selwyn Foundation in 2012, Garry spent nine years as CEO of Auckland District Health Board.

A qualified accountant, Garry has expertise at both a governance and a leadership/management level. Garry is passionate about ethical and values-based leadership, ensuring integrity, warmth and respect.

Garry also serves as a Director of Homes of Choice.

Aroha Hudson ACA, MBA

Aroha joined Spectrum Care Trust Board in June 2013. Her current role is the Chief Executive Officer of HealthWEST, a non-government organisation, and is also a chartered accountant with a Masters of Business Administration.

Aroha holds other governance positions on the boards of the Heart Foundation and Te Hononga o Tamaki me Hoturoa, and is currently chair of Auckland PHO.

Colin Theyers CA, GDip (Finance), FInstD

Colin joined the Spectrum Care Trust Board in June 2013 and is currently Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee.

Colin is professional director and business strategist, and sits on eight other boards in professional services, property, finance, investment and logistic companies.

Colin also serves as a Director of Homes of Choice.

Jane Bawden LLM

Jane joined the Spectrum Care Trust Board in November 2015 and currently chairs the Service Design and Improvement Committee. She has recently been appointed CEO of Parent to Parent, and is a lawyer and Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors.

Jane has long-term experience in medico-legal, compliance and risk management, and is an experienced health and disability sector adviser.

Jane also serves as a Director of Homes of Choice.

Vicki Lee

Vicki joined the Spectrum Care Trust Board in November 2015 and currently serves on the Service Design and Improvement Committee.

Vicki is the CEO of Hospitality New Zealand representing the hospitality and tourism industry. Vicki also sits on the board of the Hospitality Training Trust.

Red Nicholson

Red joined the Spectrum Care Trust Board in June 2018.

Working in the education sector for the past seven years as a teacher, Dean, and Head of Department, Red is passionate about educational equity, utilising inclusive practice and maintaining high expectations of all young people.

Red is also a facilitator, consultant and speaker, supporting organisations and people to become more inclusive and accessible. He has also previously held positions on the Auckland Council Strategic Disability Advisory Panel and the Board of the Cerebral Palsy Society of NZ.

Jade Farrar

Jade joined Spectrum Care Trust Board in June 2018, and brings a vision of a prosperous and abundant society where all people succeed regardless of ability or background.

Jade is passionate about the power of social media and what it can do to promote a more positive and realistic perspective of everyday disabled people.

Currently a director of a communications and strategic advice consultancy, Jade is also as Community Engagement Advisor for Manawanui in Charge, and a member of Auckland Council’s Disability Advisory Panel and the Disabled Person’s Assembly’s National Executive Committee.

Jade is fortunate to bring six years of perspective and experience serving system transformation as a member of the Enabling Good Lives national leadership group.

Our guiding principles

Our activities are guided by the principles of the New Zealand Disability Strategy and we place great emphasis on the worth of the individual, personal growth and the provision of holistic support for people with disabilities.

Open two-way communication and the development of community partnerships are integral to our philosophy.