There are a range of people with different backgrounds and experiences working in the Transition Unit, including many on secondment from within the health sector.

Chiquita Hansen has recently joined the TU, taking up a key role in the development of the interim New Zealand Health Plan – a key document that will set out how health services will be planned and delivered across the motu.

Photo of Chiquita Hansen

Chiquita Hansen

We get to know her a little more in this instalment of the People of the TU series.

Tell us a little about yourself

I am on secondment from THINK Hauora – the MidCentral District Primary Health Organisation. I have worked for 40 years in primary and community settings. For half of that time I have held leadership roles in nursing, including district nursing and Director of Primary Health Care nursing at MidCentral DHB. In 2010 I was seconded to THINK Hauora (formerly Central PHO) as Clinical Director and subsequently became the Chief Executive in 2014.

THINK Hauora holds a strong focus on addressing the social determinants of health – in 2019 we developed a six-year strategy which appreciates these connections. With this background, I’m excited about the opportunity to work on the transformational reform of the health sector that approaches health from a holistic perspective.

What’s your role as part of the health reform?

My official title is Lead Advisor, Primary and Community Care. My main focus is on contributing to the development of the interim New Zealand Health Plan. We have an amazing team of people involved in the planning and support of this work. Everyone is extremely passionate about transforming our health system and each brings a different perspective to the work.

What are you working on at the moment?

Benedict Hefford and I are leading the Primary and Community working group and in partnership with Dr Brendan Marshall and Jacky Tsao I am leading the rural working group. These are advisory groups that we will be linking in with as we develop the interim Health Plan. There is a lot of work to do over the next few months as we work to ensure we have a first draft of the interim Health Plan by early next year.

What happens next?

We have our inaugural working group meetings scheduled over the next few weeks and plan to have four meetings with each working group. A series of key stakeholder meetings are also being planned over the few months. These will help inform the primary and community and rural components of the interim NZ Health Plan. If people are interested in sharing their thoughts with us they can email us at

What is your advice to the sector?

There are amazing opportunities to integrate care across primary and community settings with the reform. Right now, primary and community care need to keep their valuable mahi. I also encourage people to take up opportunities to get involved in building a health system that will support all New Zealanders to live longer and have the best possible quality of life.


Chiquita Hansen




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