A who’s who of the people running New Zealand’s new healthcare system


New Zealand has a new health system, with new governing bodies and a new group of leaders.

Here’s a breakdown of who will now make the decisions for the health of Kiwis, as the reforms take effect July 1.

New Zealand Health

Fepulea’i Margie Apa (General Manager)

Apa’s 20 years of executive career has held positions in the Ministry of Health as Deputy Chief Health Officer, Manukau Counties DHB (where she was Chief Executive), Capital and Coast DHB and Health Funding Authority among others .

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She holds a BCom and started her career at the State Services Commission. Apa is also the volunteer chair of World Vision New Zealand.

Rob Campbell (Chair)

Campbell has over 40 years of experience as a professional manager, with experience in labor, public and private governance.

He economist training and later taught at Victoria University of Wellington.

He was previously director and President of SkyCity entertainment group and currently chairs the board of the Environmental Protection Authority and is the Chancellor of Auckland University of Technology.

As of July 1, New Zealand has a new health system - Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority.  Here's a who's who of those on the boards.  (LR: Rob Campbell, Tipa Mahuta, Awerangi Tamihere, Karen Poutasi, Mataroria Lyndon and Amy Adams)


As of July 1, New Zealand has a new health system – Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority. Here’s a who’s who of those on the boards. (LR: Rob Campbell, Tipa Mahuta, Awerangi Tamihere, Karen Poutasi, Mataroria Lyndon and Amy Adams)

Lady Dr. Karen Poutasi

Poutasi held the position of Director General of Health between 1995 and 2006 and has a medical degree, with a specialization in public health.

She was medical superintendent at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland until 1987. She also worked as Chief Executive of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

She is, among other things, commissioner of the Waikato District Health Board and chair of the Covid-19 Vaccine Immunization Program Governance Group.

Dr Curtis Walker

Walker, (Te Whakatōhea, Ngāti Porou), is a general practitioner and kidney specialist at Palmerston North Hospital, and the current President of the Medical Council of New Zealand.

Walker was previously a veterinarian and retrained in medicine, starting work at Waikato Hospital where he trained in internal medicine and later specialized training at Palmerston North and Wellington.

His career has involved health governance roles including as President of the New Zealand Resident Doctors Association and Vice-President of the Māori Medical Practitioners Association.

Margie Apa is the acting chief executive of Health New Zealand.


Margie Apa is the acting chief executive of Health New Zealand.

Vanessa Stoddard

Originally a commercial lawyer, Stoddart, who lives in Auckland, has 30 years of leadership and governance experience, and has held senior positions with Carter Holt Harvey’s Australian packaging group and senior roles at Air New Zealand.

Stoddart is currently an independent director of Channel Infrastructure NZ Ltd, OneFortyOne Plantations Pty Ltd and a member of the Autorité des marchés financiers.

Hon. Amy Adams

Adams is a former National Party politician and was MP for Selwyn from 2008 until her retirement in 2020, and served as Cabinet Minister from 2011 to 2017.

Prior to politics, Adams worked as an attorney and senior partner specializing in commercial and real estate law.

She is also currently Chancellor of the University of Canterbury.

Maori Health Authority

Riana Manuel (General Manager)

Riana Manuel is the chief executive of the Māori Health Authority.


Riana Manuel is the chief executive of the Māori Health Authority.

Manuel, (Ngāti Pukenga, Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Kahungunu) is a registered nurseand has worked in many areas of the healthcare industry.

She served as the executive director of a number of Kaupapa Māori organizations including Hauraki Primary Health Organization and Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki.

Tipa Mahuta (president)

Mahuta (Waikato, Maniapoto, Ngāpuhi) has a background in facilitation, research, policy and community development, and over 20 years of iwi governance experience.

She is currently President of the Taumata Arowai Māori Advisory Group, Vice President of Manukau Counties DHB, Councilor of the Waikato Regional Council and Co-Chair of the Waikato River Authority.

Mahuta has served on a wide range of iwi and community boards including the Iwi Māori board of the former Waikato DHB and Tainui Group Holdings.

Sharon Shea

Shea (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Hako) has served as a board member and sub-committee chair at DHBs Auckland and Northland.

Shea was Chair of the Maori Expert Advisory Group on the Health and Disability Sector Review.

His previous roles in health management have included regional and national roles in Maori health strategy, funding, Maori provider and workforce development (as part of government sector agencies) .

Dr. Sue Crengle

Dr. Sue Crengle.


Dr. Sue Crengle.

Crengle (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mamoe, Waitaha) specializes in general medicine and public health medicine and has worked as a researcher for over 25 years.

She is a professor at Otago Medical School, where much of her work involves identifying how and where health inequities occur, and testing ways to eliminate them.

Crengle has considerable knowledge and experience of the health system, primary care and public health, both in a traditional Maori and Kaupapa context. She lives in Invercargill.

Dr Mataroria Lyndon

Lyndon, (Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Wai, Waikato) is a senior lecturer in medical education at the University of Auckland, and co-founder and clinical director of Tend Health.

He also co-hosts TVNZ’s medical series ‘The Check Up’ and was previously Medical Officer of Maori Health at Counties Manukau DHB.

Lyndon is vice president of health promotion agency Te Hiringa Hauora and a board member of Northland DHB, Aktive and Healthy Hearts Aotearoa Center of Research Excellence.

Awerangi Tamihere

Tamihere (Ngāti Kauwhata, Rangitane, Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Kai Tahu), has senior management experience across central governmentregional crown entities, the private sector and working with its iwi.

Since 2019, Tamihere has been the Chief Operating Officer of Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust, providing health, social, justice and education services in the West Auckland community.

She is also chief operating officer of commissioning agency Whanau Ora.

Fiona Pimm

Pimm (Ngāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha) worked on the healthcare front, starting as a medical radiation technologist, then moving into healthcare services management with DHB, He Oranga Pounamu and Pegasus Medical Group.

She has extensive health sector networks (particularly in primary care and Maori health) and currently holds governance positions in health, education and workforce training organisations, as well as the New Zealand Parole Board.

Two other board members have yet to be named.


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