National Youth Health Leadership Group

The cross sector National Youth Health Leadership Group (the Leadership Group) has been established to provide expert advice and recommendations to the Ministry of Health (the Ministry) on youth-related topics and services, especially for our priority groups: rangatahi Māori, Pacific young people, rainbow rangatahi, rangatahi in care and disabled rangatahi.

In Budget 2019, Government committed to extending and enhancing School Based Health Services (SBHS) as an action to “inspire active, healthy and creative children and young people” in the Government’s Child and Youth Wellbeing Current Programme of Action. For 2020, the Leadership Group is tasked with advising the Ministry what an extended and enhanced model of SBHS should look like for the rangatahi of Aotearoa and the steps needed for the appropriate implementation of the enhancements.  


The Leadership Group is a group of twelve Youth Health professionals selected for their expertise in developing SBHS models and workforce, their experience working with young people, and their wider contributions to the Youth Health sector. This group of twelve represent a variety of regions (including rural), health professions, and workplaces with different current models of school-based health care delivery.  

Māori and Pacific peoples are represented in the Leadership Group and the group is advised by a Kaumatua. Part of the initial work will be to establish the process and people who will ensure that Treaty obligations, cultural safety, and equity are embedded throughout the way that the Leadership Group works. Youth Health as a field of practice recognises the importance of including the voices of rangatahi in its decision-making and system analysis. The Leadership Group will work to determine the best process for incorporating the voices of youth and our priority groups into the project.   

Leadership Group Memership
First name Last Name job title/ role location (region or city)
Anita Balhorn SYHPANZ Chairperson,NYHLG Chairperson, Manager Youth Health Service, Youth Health Nurse Specialist Hawke's Bay
Aniva Lawrence GP, Clinical Director Youth Health Mahitahi Hauora Northland
Bridget Farrant Adolescent physician Counties Manukau
Christine Cammell Clinical Director, Te Puna Manawa HealthWEST, Professional Teaching Fellow, University of Auckland, Project Lead, NZ School Nurses Website Auckland
Emily Oughton Youth Health doctor, General Practitioner Wellington
Kate ChiTar Nurse Practitioner, Youth School Health Counties Manukau
Lee-ann O'Brien Manager, Whanake Youth Nelson
Liz Read HBDHB Public Health Nurse Manager Hawke's Bay
Rachel McGillan Youth Health CNS and Nurse Consultant Whangarei
Sue Bagshaw Youth Health Primary Care specialist, Doctor Christchurch
Terryann Clark Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Auckland Whangarei
Vicki Shaw Youth Health doctor Manawatū

To find out more about School Based Health Services, see Youth Health Care in Secondary Schools: A framework for continuous quality improvement

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