Chief Executives have been appointed to lead Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority, the two new entities set up as part of the reform of Aotearoa New Zealand’s health system.  
 
Fepulea’i Margie Apa, currently Chief Executive of Counties Manukau District Health Board, has been appointed Chief Executive of interim Health New Zealand.    
 
Riana Manuel, currently Chief Executive of Hauraki Primary Health Organisation and iwi-based not-for-profit Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki, has been appointed as Chief Executive of the interim Māori Health Authority.   
 
Both entities are currently set up as interim entities and will become permanent on 1 July 2022. 

View a video of the announcement of the new Chief Executives
 
Health New Zealand Chair Rob Campbell said the boards were focused on recruiting leaders with the right skills and a track record of implementing visionary and strategic leadership.   
 
“Both Margie and Riana have demonstrable experience and expertise in their own right and have a mix of skills that will ensure they complement each other. 
 
“Transforming our health system to better serve New Zealanders requires a collective approach across the sector with Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority working in partnership with each other, and our sector partners.”    
 
Co-Chair of the Māori Health Authority, Sharon Shea, said the two appointments were a positive milestone towards elevating the voice of whānau.   
 
“Our search for Chief Executives was founded on selection criteria that paired dynamic leadership with commitment to meeting the aspirations of Māori.   
 
“This reform is all about people. I am pleased we have been able to appoint leaders with such strong experience in delivering healthcare services to communities at a local level.”   
 
Co-Chair of the interim Māori Health Authority, Tipa Mahuta has welcomed Riana’s appointment.    
 
“This will be a complex role and we needed someone who could rise to the challenge of supporting the sector to meet the equity obligations of Māori, alongside Margie,” Tipa said.   
 
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to mobilise the health sector and deliver outcomes for whānau that we all, as Māori, have long been waiting for.”   
 
Health New Zealand will become Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest employer, incorporating the employees and assets of all 20 District Health Boards, public health units and Te Hiringa Hauora to deliver a nationally coordinated system with a strong local focus.   
 
Fepulea’i Margie Apa has more than 20 years of experience in health leadership and leads an organisation which provides health services to more than 600,000 people.   
 
“To be part of a transformation that will, ultimately, improve people’s lives is a tremendous opportunity and I will work to ensure that change doesn’t distract us but enables us to do what we come to work for everyday – to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for all New Zealanders with a focus on achieving health equity for our most vulnerable,” Margie said.  
 
“I look forward to working with our experienced, dedicated and talented people throughout the country to simplify and build resilience in our system, and in doing so free-up our health professionals to focus their time and energy on what they do best.” 
Riana has a nursing background and was front and centre in driving COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Hauraki.   
 
“My motivation comes from connecting and engaging with local communities, because that is where you really see the impact of change,” Riana said.   
 
“As a person who has been raised in my village (Manaia), I understand the need to effect change at a local level and am also aware of how local initiatives by Māori for Māori often have the biggest impact.  
 
“I am proud to be stepping up into the Chief Executive role of the transformational Māori Health Authority. The opportunity ahead of us is immense and we’ll be working closely with Health New Zealand to implement the changes that New Zealanders deserve.”  

Video of the briefing about the announcements

 

Transition Unit press release

Beehive press release

Chief Executive biographies

Read Chief Executive biographies on the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand leadership pages.

 

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