Our leadership team

Executive Management Team

The Executive Management Team is responsible for management​ matters of the district health board. The Executive Management Team reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer who in turn reports to the Chair of the District Health Board.

David is Chief Executive of the Canterbury and West Coast District Health Boards – responsible for the health services for over 550,000 New Zealanders, and the leadership of over 10,500 direct employees and thousands more NGO health sector workers contracted by the DHB.

He is a big picture thinker and has particular skills in leading change, and motivating and mobilising others to be part of the transformation. David is passionate about health and what’s possible when people grasp the vision and work collectively for the greater good. The achievements of the Canterbury Health System are testimony to his leadership. David has overseen the creation of what has been identified as one of the most integrated health systems in the world by The Kings Fund (an independent charity working to improve health and health care based in the UK).

In 2011 David was awarded the highest standing award by the NZ Medical Association for exemplary leadership for the devastating earthquakes in Canterbury. In 2014 David was made a member of the NZ Order of Merit for services to health.

Originally from Canterbury, David has worked in both the private and public sectors, in NZ and the UK.

Evon worked as tutor, social worker and Divisional Manager with the Social Welfare Dept in Dunedin before moving to Christchurch to take on the role of South Island Regional Manager for ACC.

Appointed as CEO of Crown Public Health when it was established in 1996, Evon’s role changed to General Manager, Community and Population Health when Crown Public Health was merged into the Canterbury District Health Board in 2001.
Evon has an MBA through Massey University and is interested in golf, movies, reading and cooking. Evon is married with two daughters.

The Canterbury and West Coast DHBs directly employ more than 10,500 people, and thousands more work across the broader Canterbury and Coast health systems. Michael is responsible for leading our people strategy and building the capability of our health system.

Michael previously held the position of Programme Director for the West Coast DHB. In this role, he worked with the Executive Teams on the West Coast and Canterbury to lead and drive the programme of change to transform West Coast health services.

Before beginning in health, Michael worked on a range of leadership and capability building challenges in industries including financial services, energy, manufacturing and the public sector, with work experience in Asia and the Pacific, North America and New Zealand. Michael has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Canterbury, and an MBA from Henley Business School in the UK.

Mary was appointed as Executive Director of Nursing for Canterbury in September 2002 and has been nursing since graduating in 1984.

Mary’s clinical background has been diverse with a generalist focus across acute medical, surgical and cardiology.

Mary works with her colleague Directors of Nursing and other nursing leaders within the Canterbury Health System to achieve the vision of an integrated health system for the people of Canterbury.

Carolyn has extensive experience in the health sector, particularly in the area of primary care. She has also worked with the Southern Regional Health Authority, Transitional Health Authority and the Health Funding Authority, with a focus on the primary, secondary and disability sectors.
Carolyn was a director of New Zealand’s drug governing body, Pharmac for two years and has also worked as a consultant within the health sector.

Prior to joining the Canterbury DHB Carolyn was the Chief Executive Officer of Partnership Health Canterbury Primary Health Organisation.

Hector is of Te Rarawa and Te Aupouri descent from the far north and is married with three children. Hector left the Regular Force of the New Zealand Army in 1992 with the rank of Captain, to manage Ngā Hau E Whā National Marae in Christchurch. In 1996 he was seconded to the United Nations as Military Observer in Israel and Syria for 12 months, before returning to Canterbury to take up the position of Business Development Manager in Crown Public Health. Hector was given the added responsibility for Hauora Mātauraka, the Māori Health Promotion team of Crown Public Health, in 2001 before taking up the position of Executive Director, Māori and Pacific Health in 2004.

Hector tutors in the use of taiaha (traditional Māori long club). Hector has a post graduate diploma in Telecommunications from Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne and is a Nidan (2nd Degree black belt) in Seido Karate.

Dr Nightingale was appointed to the position of Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for Canterbury DHB in September 2016. She previously held the roles of Director of area Mental Health Services for Canterbury DHB and Chief of Psychiatry.

Dr Nightingale has a strong interest in medical law and clinical leadership and is passionate about ensuring patients’ experience of healthcare is the best it can be.

In addition to her medical degree, Dr Nightingale has a Masters in Bioethics and Health Law. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (FRANZCP) and the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA). She has been a government appointee to the Mental Health Review Tribunal since 2009.

Karalyn joined the Canterbury District Health Board in February 2011. Prior to taking up this position she was a senior advisor at the Ministry of Health. She has extensive health sector experience, having worked for Hawke’s Bay District Health Board and has also spent time working in the office of the Minister of Health. She was a communications consultant for many years, working for a wide range of clients including public relations companies and advertising agencies. She has considerable experience in crisis communications, external and internal communications.

She holds tertiary qualifications in marketing and is a member of the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand.

Stella trained as a speech language therapist, eventually becoming President of the New Zealand Speech Language Therapists Association. Stella has worked in the public health system, private practice, education and welfare.

Since moving to Allied Health leadership roles Stella has been involved in fostering excellence in clinical standards, research and innovation, quality and patient safety. She established the allied health governance and leadership role at Counties Manukau DHB and was appointed to the new role for Canterbury and West Coast in May 2010.

Justine has a strong background in the financial, banking and commercial sectors, working for large scale organisations such as​ NZ Post, ASB Group Investments and Westpac Bank.

Justine has extensive experience in strategic financial leadership, particularly in complex organisations, through large change programmes. With diverse examples such as leading organisational responses to legislative changes ( Financial Advisors Act, Pie Tax, Kiwisaver) and the implementation of alternative commercial models (franchising, new model retail postal outlets).

Justine is a member of the New Zealand Charted Accountants Institute, the New Zealand Institute of Directors and chairs the National DHB CFO committee.

General Management Team

Pauline Clark is the General Manager of the combined CHCH- CHCH Women’s Hospitals’ campus where by 2019 the new Acute Services Building will also be operational.
Prior to taking up her current role Pauline held various senior operational roles in the CDHB. In her present role she works closely with the medical, nursing and allied health clinical leaders on the combined campus to achieve an environment where patients receive timely, effective and safe clinical care. Pauline also promotes the input of non-clinical teams that work in partnership with clinical staff, the patient, their family and the wider community of health providers across Canterbury into the model of care, seeking to bring to life the values of the CDHB.

Pauline trained as a Registered Nurse in New Zealand and then as a Registered Midwife in Australia before returning to New Zealand and undertaking a Masters in Public Management at Victoria University.

Dan Coward holds the position of General Manager for Older Persons Health, Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation. Within that role he oversees responsibility for Community Dental Services and supporting West Coast Orthopaedic Services .

Dan joined the Canterbury District Health Board in 2013 following a career in the New Zealand Fire Service spanning close to 17 years and working in a number of senior leadership and operational roles. This included the Director Strategic Redevelopment for Christchurch.

Dan was seconded in a project role to the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and State Services Commission to identify better public services as a result of the earthquake. This led on to working with Christchurch Central Development Unit in support of the central city plan.

Dan holds a Masters in Occupational Health and Safety, alongside several other graduate and postgraduate qualifications including executive leadership.

Kirsten is the General Manager of Canterbury Health Laboratories (CHL) and West Coast DHB Laboratory. CHL is the leading medical diagnostic reference laboratory in New Zealand with laboratory links and collaborative partners throughout New Zealand and the World.

Kirsten has extensive leadership experience within the health and laboratories sector, holding various leadership positions and managing high performing teams in a complex environment since 1999, including Section Head of the Virology and     Molecular Microbiology services and Operations Manager.

Kirsten led the laboratory post the 2012 earthquakes, at which time oversaw an immediate and stabilising response to all lab services for Canterbury and supporting a 200% increase in volumes and accommodation of private lab services.

Kirsten holds a Master of Science (Medical Laboratory Science), alongside several other training and tertiary qualifications.​

Prior to Toni ‘s appointment as General Manager – Mental Health, her first role was as a Social Worker within mental health, then holding a number of senior and clinical roles since joining the Canterbury District Health Board in 1994. 

Toni has established strong relationships across health, community and social sectors, locally and nationally and has effectively led Specialist Mental Health Services and the wider mental health sector during a period of unprecedented increased demand as a result of post-earthquake issues.

Toni has a strong interest in evidence-based decision making and the power of using data and information well.

Page last updated: 20 October 2018

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