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Meet the Team

Whangārei accountants who treat you as their whānau

Who we are

As Northland accountants, we are proud to be part of our community. Bennett & Associates has been providing tax, business advice, assurance services and business management to businesses, clubs, charities, trusts and not for profits in Whangārei and the wider Northland region since 2002. We are a small business ourselves and are proud of it.

Our Mission

It’s our mission to provide expert tax and business advice, assurance services and business management support to the people of Whangārei and Northland. Our focus is to provide a broad spectrum of personalised accounting and financial advisory services to all our valued clients and to act with honesty, integrity and respect.

Our values and service commitments

Our team consists of ten people – two team support angels and eight client managers, three of whom are Chartered Accountants. This balance provides the right mix of experience, knowledge and skills to ensure that our clients receive the level of service they deserve.

It is important to us to always support each other and our clients so we can get the best results possible. To achieve this, we have three core guiding values and a set of service commitments that reinforce the way we work with our clients and as a team.


We treat our team members, clients and all stakeholders with honesty.


Integrity is a core belief in our relationships, be they internal or external.


Presenting the right mix of experience, qualifications and core attributes.

Team members

Meet the team

Steve Bennett

Company Founder

Steve founded the firm in 2002, having been a partner in a four partner Northland firm prior to this.

His previous career history includes banking, government sector and an international long term secondment whilst working for the largest Chartered Accountancy firm in the world.
Steve is recognised in the professional, banking and legal fraternity for his experience in:

– Maori Business Development.
– Insolvency and Turnaround Management.
– Assurance Review and Investigation.

Growing up in a small Northland rural community he understands small family owned and run businesses as well as being comfortable with advising the larger middle to corporate level clients.

Tim Hoyle

Accountant & Auditor

Tim has five years previous audit experience for a multi-national accounting firm which included a two and a half year international secondment as audit manager. After leaving the multi-national accounting firm he gained six years’ experience in corporate and managerial roles for two international organisations. Tim’s experience includes auditing, corporate accounting, internal auditing, management advisory, system analysis, insolvency, taxation and computer system conversions.

Serena Scott-Davidson

Audit Assurance

Serena has a Bachelor of Business degree majoring in Accountancy and is a Chartered Accountant. She has been working for Steve Bennett Associates since 2003. She has experience of both Business Management and Audit Assurance though she is now predominantly working in the area of Audit Assurance. Serena is the first contact person for the majority of our audit clients.

Brooke Staveley


Brooke is our receptionist and Personal Assistant to Steve Bennett.  She joined Bennett & Associates in September 2019 after moving north from Nelson.  Brooke has spent most of her career in secretarial roles working for solicitors in New Zealand and Australia and has also worked in the real estate industry in Queensland. 

Tapu Fale

Audit Assurance & Business Services

Valevale Tapu Fale joined Bennett & Associates in November 2020 working in the Audit and Assurance Division, her main role is Auditor.

Valevale Tapu Fale has a Bachelor of Business Analysis qualification and comes to Bennett & Associates with experience in the accounting industry.

Paula Williams

Audit Assurance

Paula joined Bennett & Associates in early November 2023.  She has a bachelor of Business majoring in accounting and is about to be admitted into the Chartered Accountants of New Zealand and Australia as a CA.

Paula’s previous work experience includes 7 years working as a Collections Officer at Inland Revenue and 3 years at Inland Revenue as a Customer Compliance Specialist (investigator).  Prior to this she worked for Fonterra Co-operative and McBreen Jenkins Construction.

Pauline Zante

Business Services

Pauline joined Bennett & Associates in July 2021.

She works in the Business Services Division, her main role is to manage creditors and to deliver monthly management reports.

Pauline has a French Bachelor degree in Accounting and Management and comes to Bennett & Associates with experience in the accounting industry.

Pauline is a keen traveller. She has backpacked around South and Central America and travelled around Australia and New Zealand in a van.

Makatu’u Livai

Audit Assurance & Business Services

Makatu’u joined Bennett & Associates in January 2022.

She works in the Audit Division and has a Bachelors of Business Analysis qualification.

Adam Bennett

Business Services

I have a business degree in accounting and commercial law from Victoria University and I’ve spent the last decade immersed in the vibrant culture of Wellington. Now, it’s time for a new chapter as I make my way back up north.

My journey doesn’t stop there, though, as I am working towards becoming a fully qualified chartered accountant.

Work with us

Our service commitments


Timely attention

We will provide our clients with an indication of job completion. Our standard is 45 days completion on delivery of records.



Our client’s business will never be discussed with any person other than those specifically approved.



We advise our clients on key issues, and we strive to educate our clients over client engagement issues.


Work quality

We have quality control systems which mean that a completed product is finalised to a high standard.



Our team is approachable, we undertake to respond to any client enquiry within 24 hours from notification.



Our fees are reasonably and competitively priced to represent fair and reasonable value for our clients.

Community partnerships

Partnerships with community organisations is what bonds us to our Northland business community. Since the beginnings in 2002, our firm acts for numerous Northland sports clubs, community service organisations, childcare facilities and churches. The size and scale varies from some of Te Tai Tokerau Northland’s largest health service providers to smaller social services and community Marae.

Our philosophy is that community groups strengthen community relationships and help build a prosperous Northland region, which is why we are happy to assist in any way we can.

For the smaller entities, a community discount is applied which recognises the important role that community organisations play in the fabric of building Northland. We also make sure to give back by participating in and showing our support for local organisations and initiatives.

Some of the organisations our firm supports include:

Lions International

Steve has had a 30-year involvement with Lions Clubs New Zealand, having had the honour of serving as the National Treasurer since 2014. In 2016, Steve was awarded the Melvyn Jones Fellow Award, the highest New Zealand service award a New Zealand Lions member can achieve. He also received an International Service Medal in 2018 which is awarded to very few Lions annually by the International President.

Lions provides a community partnership which helps various individuals and organisations throughout New Zealand and internationally with aid programmes and community development. Steve is also the Region Chair for Te Tai Tokerau and oversees a club structure of 20 clubs in Northland. These clubs help grow and serve our communities whilst contributing to worldwide humanitarian causes.

Northland Rugby

Steve has been involved with Northland rugby in almost every aspect of the game for more than 50 years: as a player, coach, manager, administrator, accountant and auditor. He is currently the Manager of the premier rugby team, Mid Northern Rugby Club – a club to which he has supported since 2013 having played for the club in his youth.

The sport helps develop community and builds better futures for young Northlanders. Having been involved at Board level since the inception of the professional game in the mid 1990’s Steve has previously contributed as a Board Member and Finance Director to Northland Rugby Union and more lately as its auditor.

The firm continues to support rugby in numerous ways: as a sponsor, auditor and accountant to a number of organisations.

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