About » Our Governance Board

Our 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.

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.  

Marty Rodgers (Māori representative)

I am a mother, grandmother, aunty, cousin and sister. These are the most important roles I undertake everyday. However, I am also a Health Manager, who started in Mental Health in the 1990’s as the closures of the big Mental Health asylums were beginning.

I have worked across a number of portfolios including Child Health, Women's Health, Public Health, Funding and Planning and Maori Strategy & Development in state services, DHB settings and community settings.

I am currently the acting General Manager Maori Health Northland DHB and its an absolute privilege to be working at home for my whanau, hapu and iwi.

I am looking forward to using my skills, experience commitment and relationships to add value to InterRAI and a team working on solutions to ensure that Māori kaumātua and kuia have access to timely and effective services across our many communities.

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 is General Manager of 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 and 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 joined the interRAI Governance Board in February 2018. She is currently 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. She is a physiotherapist by background.


Nicola Ehau

Nicola is Group Manager, Te Puna Waiora Planning and Funding, Hauora Tairawhiti.
Nicola's career in health began over 40 years ago, when she trained as a nurse in Auckland. Growing up in Ruatorea, she was excited to return to the community of her childhood years later to take up the role of Group Manager, Planning and Funding at Hauora Tairāwhiti in 2017.

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. 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, Health protection and promotion provider services.

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.

Pita Paul

Pita is a Whānau Ora facilitator for Hauora Tairāwhiti.

Pita has spent twenty five years working for equality in health services for Māori consumers. A significant part of this work focuses on community-based development initiatives for whānau, hapu and iwi. Pita offers expertise and energy to bring about innovative change to a clientele that is in itself changing demographically, socially, and economically. He sees great potential for future development of health services for tangata whenua, and Aotearoa New Zealand.

Pita holds mana in the community. He is regularly called upon as a guest lecturer and as professional advisor for Māori health. He speaks about health system equity confidently, and from a wealth of first-hand and more general knowledge. He provides powerful insights on the everyday experiences of Māori, in the health system and in daily life.  

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.



Sue is the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer for Waikato District Health Board. She leads a team of senior nurses and midwives who in turn provide professional oversight, delivery of education, establishing and monitoring care standards and all aspects of practice and practice development to nurses and midwives.

National activities include:

  • Chair of the Nurse Education Advisory Team
  • Chair of the Midland DHB Directors of Nursing
  • Member of the national Job Evaluation Review Committee
  • Chair of ACE (Accelerated Choice of Employment) Governance Group.

Sue has been actively engaged over the years in establishing a consistent NETP (nurse entry to practice), was a member of the Safe Staffing Healthy Workforce Committee of Inquiry which has resulted in Care Capacity Demand Management. She has been involved in setting up the ACE (Accelerated Choice of Employment), a centralised recruitment process for all newly graduated nurses going into NETP or NESP (nurse entry to specialty practice). Sue has been involved in the development and launch of the University of Waikato's new school of nursing, where she holds an honorarium professorial role.

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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