Executive Leadership Team


The ELT membership is decided by the Director-General of Health, and includes:

Photo of Stephen McKernan. Stephen McKernan: Acting Director-General of Health and Chief Executive

Stephen McKernan is a former Director-General of Health and former public service chief executive. He is currently a Senior Partner at EY in New Zealand and is taking a leave of absence from his position to carry out the role.

During his time as Director-General of Health in New Zealand from 2006-2010, Stephen established and led a number of programmes that resulted in significant improvements within the health system. These included improvements in child immunisation numbers, elective surgical procedure rates and reductions in smoking rates.

Stephen led the national response to the 2009 influenza epidemic.

He represented New Zealand on the Executive Board and Programme Budget Committee of the World Health Organisation and at the annual Commonwealth Fund Symposium on Health System Performance.

Before becoming Director-General of Health in 2006, he was the Chief Executive of the Hutt Valley and Counties Manukau District Health Boards. He earned a reputation for driving successful change and implementing innovative programmes within primary health care, and in encouraging lifestyle change.

Photo of Hamiora BowkettHamiora Bowkett: Chief Strategy and Policy Officer

Hamiora was appointed Chief Strategy and Policy Officer on 1 July 2016 after acting in the position for three months. Born in Rotorua, he affiliates to Te Arawa and Te Rarawa iwi and Ngāti Rangiwewehi.

Hamiora's role at the Ministry of Health focuses on the strategy component of the main budget process; understanding the performance of Vote Health; leading policy development processes particularly in mental health and primary care and leading the Ministry's contribution to cross social sector projects.

Hamiora has extensive experience in both the public and private sector in New Zealand. He has held positions at a range of government departments including the New Zealand Treasury; the Ministry of Education; Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry of Social Development.

Prior to taking up his position at the Ministry of Health he was a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he worked across a wide range of areas in the public sector including Treaty of Waitangi/Māori Development, Social Development, Education, Justice and Health. He was involved in a number of projects in the health and social sector including the business cases for the redevelopments of Christchurch, Burwood and Grey Base Hospitals; work with a number of district health boards; capital projects in the Justice sector and the reforms for the Whānau Ora approach.

Photo of Jill Lane. Jill Lane: Director, Service Commissioning

Jill Lane began her career in the public health and disability system as a nurse, working in a range of settings in New Zealand and overseas.

She moved into health management and leadership roles including as a Chief Operating Officer at Hutt Valley DHB from 2005 to 2010 before moving to the Ministry as DHB performance manager in 2011.

In 2012 Jill became Director of National Services Purchasing, responsible for most of the Ministry’s centrally funded and purchased services. In 2014 she completed New Zealand’s two-year public service senior leadership development programme.

Photo of  Stewart JessamineDr Stewart Jessamine: Director Protection, Regulation and Assurance

Born and raised in Scotland, Stewart joined the public service in 1993. Stewart’s career has taken him from rural general practitioner to Director of Protection Regulation and Assurance. In his 24-year career at the Ministry of Health he has undertaken a number of roles including Group Manager of Medsafe, and Director of Public Health. Stewart completed his Master’s in Public Health in 2002 and was admitted as a Fellow of Royal Australasian College of Medical Administration in 2007.

Stewart’s experience within the Ministry of Health demonstrates he is an articulate advocate of pragmatic risk management. Stewart has a unique perspective on the cultural, ethical, linguistic and political challenges that face regulators and public health officials when communicating about risk and risk management.

Stewart has been directly involved in dealing with complex public health issues such as the New Zealand response to Ebola, and other major public health and regulatory issues relating to medicines and medical device safety, tobacco control, water fluoridation and rheumatic fever. Internationally, Stewart is one of the Western Pacific’s representatives on the Executive Board of the World Health Organization and is Chair of the General Assembly of SNOMED CT International – the International Standards Organisation that developed the standardised medicines and medical devices terminology used in New Zealand and over 30 other countries.

Anne-Marie CavanaghAnn-Marie Cavanagh: Chief Technology and Digital Services Officer

Ann-Marie joined the Ministry of Health as Chief Technology and Digital Services Officer in December 2016.

She has led global teams in digital health innovation within Europe and, most recently, was Head of Digital Strategy for Novartis Pharmaceuticals in Switzerland.

Originally from the UK, Ann-Marie studied at the University of Liverpool where she trained as a clinical pharmacologist. Since graduating, she has worked in different roles within the health care industry, ranging from small start-up agencies through to global organisations with a focus on digital health innovation.

Photo of Stephen O'Keefe

Stephen O'Keefe: Chief Financial Officer

Stephen is the Ministry's Chief Financial Officer joining us in May 2016 and is responsible for the finance function, sector payments operations and risk management. 

Prior to joining the Ministry he was GM Strategy and Transformation at KiwiRail. Before KiwiRail, Stephen was with Fonterra for over 20 years in a number of senior finance leadership roles in New Zealand, Australia, USA, Middle East and France. 

Stephen lives in Wellington with his wife and four children and is a passionate road cyclist in his spare time.

Photo of Stephen BarclayStephen Barclay, Chief People and Transformation Officer

Stephen’s career spans several industries and has generally involved implementing change in large listed or high-profile organisations in New Zealand and overseas.

These experiences have included delivering the 34th America’s Cup event in San Francisco, initiating a joint venture with Carter Holt Harvey and reorganising a number of New Zealand’s largest private sector organisations following mergers or acquisitions.

Stephen has a BE (Civil) from Auckland and an MBA from Melbourne.

Photo of Jill BondJill Bond: Executive Director, Office of the Director-General

Jill is the Executive Director, Office of the Director-General. She has responsibility for the machinery of government and communication functions within the Ministry.

She has a Master of Business Administration from The University of Waikato and a Master of Public Administration from Victoria University of Wellington. Jill is an ANZSOG alumnus.

Jill is a career public servant and has held a variety of senior operational and strategic roles within Housing, Education and now Health. She was the General Manager Housing Services with responsibility for the provision of services and accommodation across New Zealand. In Education she was General Manager Special Education, Acting Deputy Secretary Special Education and Associate Deputy Secretary Sector Enablement and Support.

Jill has a passion for leadership and management development and was the author and co-facilitator of the Leader Within Programme – a programme designed to develop organisational leadership and management capacity and capability.

Photo of Alison ThomAlison Thom: Māori Leadership

Alison’s values and interests are grounded in her positive experiences of whānau and community, being a member of the unique iwi of Ngāpuhi and her professional identity as a social worker.

Her leadership roles have been across the public, not-for-profit and iwi sectors, commonly with an interest in improving the wellbeing and welfare of New Zealanders, particularly Māori. She began her social work career in the Ministry of Māori Affairs before working for a number of years in various roles at Child, Youth and Family. She led SAFE, a sex offender treatment programme, her own Iwi’s organisation, Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi O Ngāpuhi and worked in senior roles at Te Puni Kōkiri, Corrections and the Ministry of Education.

With the challenge of the new Māori Leadership role, Alison looks forward to working with the executive leadership team, across the Ministry and sector to make the significant shifts required to improve Māori health.

Photo of Jane O'MalleyJane O’Malley: Chief Nursing Officer

Jane has spent her working life in the health sector in a variety of clinical, academic, management and leadership roles. She joined the Ministry of Health in September 2010 from the West Coast District Health Board, where for the previous five years she had been the Director of Nursing and Midwifery.

From 1997 until 2005 Jane was Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychological Medicine, Christchurch School of Medicine, University of Otago. Jane was also President of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) from 2001 until 2005.

Jane has a Masters Degree from New York University and a PhD from Victoria University of Wellington. She holds an NZNO Award of Honour for services to nursing.

Photo of Andy SimpsonAndrew Simpson: Chief Medical Officer

In November 2017, Andy accepted the permanent position of Chief Medical Officer, having acted in the role since March 2016.

Prior to this he was the National Clinical Director, Cancer, providing strategic and clinical leadership to the Ministry's cancer programme. He was also the champion for the Faster cancer treatment health target.

A medical oncologist by training, Andy is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators.

Prior to joining the Ministry in 2012, Andy held a number of clinical leadership roles, these included Executive Director (Clinical), Medicine Cancer & Community at Capital and Coast DHB, and the Clinical Director of the Central Cancer Network.

The Chief Medical Officer works alongside the Chief Nursing Officer to provide clinical leadership and advice across the Ministry and the sector to support the design, planning, implementation and evaluation of health service delivery.

Photo of Michael HundlebyMichael Hundleby: Director Critical Projects

Michael joined the Ministry in 2010 as the Director of DHB Performance. In 2013 he became the Acting National Director of the National Health Board until it was disestablished in 2016. Michael is now the Director of the Ministry’s Critical Projects, including major hospital redevelopment projects underway in Christchurch, Greymouth, and Dunedin. 

Prior to joining the Ministry, Michael held senior roles with several District Health Boards, including as the General Counsel/Company Solicitor at Canterbury DHB, and Acting CE of Hutt Valley DHB. 
Michael has a law degree and has practised at commercial law firms in Christchurch and Tauranga.

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