About » Governance Board

interRAI Governance Board

The Governance Board is a governance group with the authority to give direction and provide strategic governance for interRAI from a clinical, operational, and consumer perspective.

Cathy CooneyCatherine Cooney (Chair)


Cathy is the Director of Kowhai Health Associates Limited, a health consultancy company. She has a background in governance, health sector leadership, public health, community development, nursing and midwifery.

Cathy is currently:

  • Chair of interRAI New Zealand Governance Board (Director-General of Health appointment)
  • Chair of Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, the largest tertiary provider in the greater Bay of Plenty region (Ministerial appointment)
  • Independent Facilitator, on behalf of Health Workforce MOH and Careerforce, for the Kaiāwhina Workforce Action Plan (non-regulated health and disability workforce)
  • Co-Chair, Healthy Families Rotorua
  • Member of the Health Practitioners’ Disciplinary Tribunal (Ministerial appointment)
  • Member of the West Coast Hospital Redevelopment Partnership Group for the rebuild of Greymouth Hospital and the Buller Integrated Family Health Centre (Ministerial appointment)
  • Strategic Advisor, Project Mauri Ora, Lakes DHB Mental Health & Addictions Facility redevelopment.
  • Member of the Nelson Hospital Redevelopment Partnership Group for the rebuild of Greymouth Hospital (NMDHB appointment)

Cathy is also involved in faith-based and community organisations in her Rotorua community including being a Justice of the Peace since 2006 and a Judicial JP since 2013.   She was the Chief Executive of Lakes DHB from 2001 to 2012 and the Director of Nursing and Midwifery from 1994-2000.  


1534 Chris FlemingChris Fleming (Deputy Chair)

Chris Fleming has been the Chief Executive Officer of Southern District Health Board since September 2016. Prior to that, he was the CEO of South Canterbury District Health Board, based in Timaru, for five years, and more recently CEO of Nelson Marlborough DHB. He is a funder representative on the interRAI New Zealand Governance Board.

Chris has worked in the Health Sector for the past 22 years, and has worked in a wide variety of roles including Chief Financial Officer, General Manager Planning & Funding, General Manager Surgical and Ambulatory, and Director of Population Health, Planning and Performance.

These roles have spanned across New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

On top of Chris’s role he is also the South Island representative on the National DHB Executive, the Employment Relations Strategy Group, and is the Lead Chief Executive Officer nationally for Health of Older People.

Chris was the co-sponsor for the National Aged Residential Care Service Review and for the roll-out of InterRAI into all Aged Residential Care facilities over the next four years. Chris was also a Director of Health Benefits Limited. Professionally Chris is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

Carolyn Cooper webCarolyn Cooper

Carolyn Cooper joined the interRAI New Zealand Governance Board in February 2018 as the Nurse representative. She is Bupa NZ’s Chief Operating Officer and Lead Nurse Bupa NZ.

Carolyn has extensive experience in emergency nursing, older persons’ health, rehabilitation, orthopaedics and executive management. She has previously worked for the Public Health system in NZ and Australia, in the private health sector and for ACC.

Carolyn worked as a General Manager for Canterbury DHB, has been the Chief Operating Officer at Wairarapa and Hutt Valley DHBs, and also worked as the Executive Director of People and Culture for the Wairarapa, Hutt, and Capital and Coast DHBs.

1540 David ChrispDavid Chrisp

David Chrisp is currently employed as a General Manager with Access Homehealth Ltd based in Wellington. He has been with Access for 5 years. He represents home care providers on the interRAI New Zealand Governance Board.

David’s background is in civil engineering and he worked for many years in the energy sector with both public and private entities.

In 1996 he joined the health sector by way of the (then) Central Regional Health Authority. For the best part of 15 years David worked mainly in funder and service development roles within government agencies. Specifically he worked in the Disability Support Services area within the Ministry of Health (and the Health Funding Authority before that).

More recently David was employed as GM, Planning and Funding for the Otago and Southland DHBs as they merged to form the Southern DHB.

Immediately before joining Access he worked as a contractor in various government departments on a range of projects generally in the fields of management and governance.

David’s 5 years as a service provider with Access has coincided with considerable change occurring in the home/community support sector.

As well as experiencing this change with Access, one of NZ’s largest homecare providers, David is in touch with the wider impacts on the sector in his role as a board member of the New Zealand Home & Community Health Association.

1526 Helen KenealyDr Helen Kenealy BHB, MBChB, DipPaed, FRACP

Dr Helen Kenealy joined the InterRai New Zealand Governance Board in February 2018 as the Clinician Representative. Dr Kenealy is a dual trained Geriatrician and General Physician with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Dr Kenealy works for Counties Manukau Health as a Geriatrician, most recently in the Inpatient Unit for General Rehabilitation for Adult Rehabilitation and Health of Older Persons services Middlemore Hospital. Dr Kenealy has a keen interest in the patient journey and quality of care.

1592 Karen EvisonKaren Evison

Karen Evison joined the interRAI Governance Board in February 2018. She is Director, Strategy Planning and Funding at Lakes District Health Board where she is responsible for the planning and funding continuum, including strategic and annual planning, health needs assessment, prioritisation and programme development and service development through to funding and contracting, relationship management and performance monitoring.

Previously Karen held a number of leadership positions at the Ministry of Health, including as National Programme Manager, CVD/Diabetes and Long Term Conditions, and she is a physiotherapist by background.

Matthew Parsons webProf Matthew Parsons

Professor Matthew Parsons is Professor Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland and the Chair of Gerontology Nursing, Waikato DHB. He is the research representative on the interRAI New Zealand Governance Board.

Matthew has held the position of Clinical Chair in Gerontology, a joint appointment between Waikato District Health Board and the University of Auckland since 2011.

He has a PhD and Masters in Ageing from Kings College London, an Honours degree in Psychology and Human Biology and is a Registered Nurse.

Matthew has been at the forefront of change in community services for over 15 years across multiple countries. He has a particular focus on rehabilitation having been intrinsically involved in the implementation of community rehabilitation teams across multiple regions and countries. He has published in excess of 80 peer reviewed journal articles and provides advice to numerous countries in relation to Home Care services.

Matthew is also secretary and member of the Board of Governance for the Waikato DHB Institute of Healthy Ageing.

1551 Max RobinsMax Robins

Max Robins is CEO and a member of the Board of CHT, a provider of residential aged care across the Auckland and Bay of Plenty regions. He is also Deputy Chairman of the New Zealand Aged Care Association. He is the aged residential care provider representative on the interRAI New Zealand Governance Board.

Max is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management, an Associate Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management and a Member of the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand.

Max has been in his present role since 1999. Prior to that he worked as Human Resource Manager for the Taranaki Area Health Board from 1988 to 1991, when he was appointed as Chief Executive, and was subsequently appointed Chief Executive of Taranaki Crown Health Enterprise in 1993.

Max trained as a psychologist and worked for 10 years as a vocational counsellor and then spent two years as Personnel Manager at Olex Cables in Taranaki before joining the Area Health Board.

1520 Michelle HoneyDr Michelle Honey

Dr Michelle Honey has been the Health Informatics representative on the interRAI New Zealand Governance Board since February 2018. Michelle is a Registered General and Obstetric Nurse with experience in surgical, cardio-thoracic and intensive care nursing. Her research interests are in nurse education and informatics. She holds a PhD in Nursing from the University of Auckland, where she currently works as a Senior Lecturer.

1575 Stephanie ClareStephanie Clare

Stephanie Clare is the Chief Executive of Age Concern New Zealand. She joined the interRAI New Zealand Governance Board in February 2018 representing consumers.

Stephanie has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the not-for-profit and health sector, more recently at Parkinson’s New Zealand, and a background in nursing. Stephanie works to improve the lives of older people so they are active, socially connected and included in their communities. Together, these factors can result in a reduction in chronic disease and promote positive ageing.

Nigel 1602Dr Nigel Millar

interRAI Fellow

Dr Nigel Millar is the Chief Medical Officer for the Southern District Health Board. Before then he was the CMO at Canterbury District Health Board for 10 years, where he participated in a transformational change to an integrated and connected health system.

A Geriatrician and Internal Medicine Physician by training – Newcastle UK – he came to Christchurch in 1992. During ten years as Clinical Director of the Older Persons Health Service he participated in the Elder Care Canterbury initiative which created a unified and coordinated aged care community plus a series of successful improvement initiatives.

Nigel has led from the front in championing the implementation of clinical information systems – most lately a common shared record across the health service. The need for which was highlighted after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. As part of his work in aged care, Nigel has promoted the implementation of a standardised comprehensive assessment. Consequently the interRAI assessment protocol is standard across the country in the community and residential care.

Nigel is a member of the National Health IT Board, an advisor to the Health Quality and Safety Commission. He is also the interRAI Fellow for New Zealand and a director of the Health Round Table. He continues clinical practice in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics. He is a committed lifelong cyclist and an advocate for active transport.

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Email: interRAI@tas.health.nz


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