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interRAI Leadership Advisory Board

The interRAI Leadership Advisory Board (iLAB) is one part of the interRAI governance ecosystem, together with the interRAI Network. The iLAB has a specific focus on responsiveness to Māori, service performance and demand, clinical excellence, technology, and data governance.

iLAB key documents

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.

In addition to chairing the interRAI New Zealand governance board, Cathy holds a number of other governance roles:

  • 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.  

Nigel MillarNigel Millar (Deputy Chair)

interRAI Fellow

Dr Nigel Millar is the former 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 is a committed lifelong cyclist and an advocate for active transport.

Eamon MerrickDr Eamon Merrick

Eamon is Senior Lecturer, Nursing, at Auckland University of Technology. He is passionate about research that is directly translatable to the clinical environment. His academic work has been internationally recognised with awards for excellence in clinical governance, and quality improvement. Eamon has been an associate investigator and project manager for research projects funded by the Australian Research Council, New South Wales Health, and the Australian Commission on Quality and Safety in Health Care; as well as acting as a principal and associate investigator on several internally funded studies. Eamon has published on the topics of quality and safety in healthcare, workforce development, health service reform, and organisational design.

1592 Karen EvisonKaren Evison (Ngai Tahu)

Karen joined the interRAI Governance Board in February 2018.

She is currently Director, Strategy Planning and Funding for the Lakes District, Te Whatu Ora. 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. She is a physiotherapist by background.

Kahli Elvin

Kahli Elvin (Ngāti Ranginui)

Kahli Elvin toku ingoa Te Rūnanga O Ngāti Ranginui. Kahli is Data and Performance Analyst/Māmā Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāruahine, Taranaki.

Kahli's passion is in unlocking potential and supporting wellbeing to improve whānau outcomes to be happy, healthy and well. Being a strong advocate for people and helping them to navigate complex government and ministry systems whilst empowering people and providing knowledge and awareness of their rights lights a fire within me and warms my heart.

At Ngāti Ranginui Iwi she takes an active role in policy changes for the betterment of communities with a focus on quality and business improvement. She has developed a client management database, streamlining staff efficiency to make a difference and provide positive outcomes for whanau. I have implemented a staff wellbeing Kaupapa to support mental and physical health, overall wellbeing and happiness in mahi and person, creating a safe and healthy staff culture.

Professor Ngaire Kerse

Ngaire is a GP academic at the University of Auckland and the inaugural Joyce Cook Chair in Ageing Well.

She has led gerontology research for 2 decades focusing on maintaining independence and
equity in improving health care for older people.

She has led over 50 competitive research grants, authored over 350 papers, contributes to teaching at undergraduate and post graduate levels and
advices government on falls prevention, quality medication use and the use of data from comprehensive assessments of older people. Those with advanced disability living in aged residential care and those in advanced age (aged 85+) are of particular interest.

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