This page provides information about the Transition Unit national roadshow presenters.

Leader presenters

Martin Hefford
Acting Chief Executive, interim Health New Zealand

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Martin Hefford

Martin has more than 30 years’ experience in health services planning and delivery and has held a number of health sector roles. These include GM Integrated Care at Counties Manukau, Chief Operating Officer at Capital & Coast DHB, Group Manager Planning and Funding at Hutt Valley DHB, Senior Locality Manager in the Health Funding Authority, and Group Manager Mental Health in the Central Regional Health Authority.

Martin has also worked as a Senior Advisor for the Department of Social Welfare, and within the NGO sector. He was awarded a Harkness Fellowship in 2013 to work with Kaiser Permanente in the USA.

Martin’s most recent role was Deputy Director for the Health and Disability Review Transition Unit, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and he is currently the Acting Chief Executive for the interim Health New Zealand Board.

Stephen McKernan
Director of the Health Reform Transition Unit

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Stephen McKernan

Stephen is a former Chief Executive of Counties Manukau and Hutt Valley DHBs and in 2006 was appointed Director General of Health and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Health.

As a consultant and EY Partner, he has consulted widely to a range of governments and health organisations. In recent years, Stephen has also worked across the social care and human service sectors.

In August 2020 he was asked to lead the Health and Disability Review Transition Unit, the organisation responsible for the reform and redesign of New Zealand’s future health and disability system.

In 2012 he was awarded a Companion of the Queens Service Order for services to the State and healthcare. He is an Honorary Fellow of both the New Zealand Institute of Health Management and the Australasian College of Health Service Executives. Stephen is also a Member of the New Zealand Institute of Company Directors.

Deborah Roche
Lead Advisor, NZ Health Plan, Health  Reform Transition Unit

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Deborah Roche

Deborah is leading the interim New Zealand Health Plan, a key plank of the health reforms. An experienced senior executive, she has held executive roles at ACC, the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Ministry of Health and has been an advisor to the Prime Minister in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Deborah has also held a senior role in the Department of Health in the United Kingdom during its major NHS reform in the mid-2000s and at a leading UK think tank. Deborah has an MSc from the London School of Economics. She initially trained as a physiotherapist and was the physiotherapist for the Silver Ferns.

Chad Paraone
Acting Chief Executive, interim Māori Health Authority

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Chad Paraone

Chad is an accomplished health system executive with 30 years’ experience in the NZ health sector. He has held a range of regional and national leadership positions, including significant projects and programmes in Māori development, primary care, population health, child health, strategic planning, health leadership alliancing, change management, operations and information management, as well as managing Treaty-based relationships at local and national levels.

Chad is currently Acting Chief Executive for the interim Māori Health Authority and a Deputy Commissioner to Waikato District Health Board. He was Chief Advisor – Hauora Māori in the Health Reform Transition Unit over the past year, and recently finished up a role of Strategic Advisor (Māori) to the CEO of ACC. 

Hauora Māori presenters

Nicola Ehau
Māori health, commissioning + Director at Te Rau Matatini

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Nicola Ehau

Nicola’s career in health began more than 40 years ago, when she initially trained as a nurse in Auckland. She joined DPMC in July 2021 and currently works five days a fortnight supporting Māori health, commissioning, localities, mental health, public health, dental health, and other areas.

With years of experience working in planning and funding across a number of different DHBs including Hawkes Bay, Hutt Valley, Wairarapa and Nelson Marlborough, Nicola is well-versed in this area of health.

In her role as Planning and Funding Manager at Hauora Tairāwhiti, Nicola has oversight of commissioning services for a range of different health portfolios including, primary and community health, mental health and addictions, older persons’ health, and Child, Youth and Population Health and DHB provider arm services. She also manages the Needs Assessment Service Co-ordination, Public Health provider services.

Bernard Te Pa'a
Senior Health Advisor (Hauora Māori), Health Reform Transition Unit

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Bernard Te Pa'a

Ko Ngāti Whātua, Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri, Ngapuhi me Waikato oku Iwi.

Ko Bernard Te Paa toku ingoa.

Bernard is a Senior Health Advisor within the Hauora Māori team of the Transition Unit. Originally trained in education, Bernard has been in the health sector for more than 20 years, most recently as an Executive Director at Hawkes Bay DHB and Chief Advisor, Māori at the Ministry of Health. While he provides Hauora Māori advice across the health reforms, his particular areas of focus have included strategy and planning, health workforce, mental health and public health.

Mara Andrews
Consultant (Hauora Māori), Health Reform Transition Unit

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Mara Andrews

Mara spent 13 years working for the Department of Māori Affairs and later Te Puni Kokiri. She left Te Puni Kokiri to move into the health arena in 1991 and worked in Māori Health for the Central RHA and Health Funding Authority including a period in Personal Health. In 2000, Mara left to form a Māori consultancy: Kāhui Tautoko Consulting Ltd (KTCL) which has continued in business for the past 21 years.

Mara has been back home in New Zealand since February 2020 reconnecting with a number of KTCL’s former and current clients and keeping busy supporting Iwi/hapū /Post Settlement Governance Entities (PSGE)/Māori provider organisations in strategy, service planning, embedding Te Tiriti practice, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), workforce development, evaluation and research. She began work with the Health Reform Transition Unit as a consultant in May 2021 in the Hauora Māori team.

Mara completed an MBA from Henley, UK in 2003 and is back at Massey completing a PhD – her research thesis is about the success of Tribal Self-Governance of USA Native American and Alaska Native Tribes.

Patrick Hape
Specialist Māori Advisor, Health Reform Transition Unit

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Patrick Hape

Patrick is a Specialist Advisor in the Hauora Māori Team of the Health Reform Transition Unit. He provides support across different workstreams but focuses primarily on Iwi Māori Partnership Boards and Commissioning.

Patrick’s experience working on health initiatives with indigenous communities in New Zealand, Canada, and the United States (primarily in Hawai`i) informs his approach to engaging with communities, aligning policy with indigenous frameworks, and understanding a variety of health structures. He has also worked in the Justice and Education sectors supporting engagement with Māori communities and content.

Patrick is well-versed in Māori settings and environments and combines his international experience with his tenacity among Māori communities to support work within the Transition Unit.

Clinical presenters

Dr Corina Grey
Sector expert

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Dr Corina Grey

Dr Corina Grey is a public health physician and epidemiologist.

She has been seconded to the Transition Unit from Auckland DHB, where she is the Pacific health data and insights lead. Corina also co-leads Manawataki Fatu Fatu, a programme of research at the University of Auckland focused on achieving equity in heart health for Māori and Pacific people in Aotearoa New Zealand.

At the Transition Unit, Corina leads the Pacific team and is supporting the health intelligence work for the interim NZ Health Plan.

Dr Api Tuimaitoga
General Practitioner, Christchurch and Auckland

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Dr Api Tuimaitoga

Dr Api Talemaitoga is a practicing General Practitioner in Christchurch and South Auckland. Api is heavily involved with advocacy and engagement opportunities with Pacific communities to take ownership and improve their health and wellbeing.

As well as his clinical practice, Api is also on the Board of Etu Pasifika, ACC Health Services Committee and works for the Transition Unit, assisting in delivering on the health reforms for Pacific communities.

Dr David Galler
Sector expert

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Dr David Galler

David Galler has been in the Transition Unit since June 2021, having recently left Middlemore Hospital where he was an intensive care specialist for 31 years.

David’s former roles include Vice President and President of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, and principal advisor to Ministers and Director Generals of Health.

He co-founded the carbon reduction programme at Counties Manukau Health in 2011. David has worked in Samoa and supported healthcare staff and clinical services there through telehealth.

Data and Digital presenters

Emily Mailes
Principal Advisor, Digital and Data

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Emily Mailes

Emily is the Principal Advisor for digital and data at the Transition Unit. Emily is also the Director of Digital Health at EY and advises health organisations across Australia and New Zealand on digital and data strategy. Emily’s previous role at EY was Global Lead for Digital Health, where she worked on the ground in more 20 countries, helping health systems implement digital and data technologies to deliver more effective healthcare services.

Emily has devoted the last 10+ years of her career to digital health, spanning public and private health sector, commercial experience working for technology vendors, and professional services.

Wiremu Adds
Advisor, Data and Digital

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Wiremu Adds

He uri nō Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Tūkorehe, Muaupoko me Ngai Tahu.

Wiremu Adds is an Advisor for data and digital at the Transition Unit. Wiremu brings both a technical and a kaupapa Māori perspective to the programme. He works closely with the Hauora Māori workstream to ensure key kaupapa Māori digital and data initiatives are prioritised within the reform programme.

Wiremu is also a Technology Consulting Manager at EY Tahi, a kaupapa Māori organisation within EY that is focused on accelerating Māori success. Having spent his entire career in data and digital, Wiremu has contributed to the development of data and digital strategies across public and private organisations, and other reform programmes.

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