Appointments at Ministry of Health

Media release

27 May 2016

The Director-General of Health, Chai Chuah, has announced two further permanent appointments to the Ministry of Health’s Executive Leadership Team.

Nick Robinson will become Chief Client Officer and Dr Stewart Jessamine will take up the role of Director Protection, Regulation and Assurance.

Mr Robinson comes from Contact Energy where he was General Manager Corporate Affairs.  He has a background in organisational change and in customer insights in his roles with Contact Energy and, before that, with BP international.  

Dr Jessamine is well known in the health sector from his leadership of the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (Medsafe) and, in the last two years, as Acting Director of Public Health.  He is an expert on medicine regulations and a member of the World Health Organisation’s Executive Board.

Mr Chuah also announced the extension of Hamiora Bowkett, as acting Chief Strategy & Policy Officer for 12 months until May 2017 and Dr Andy Simpson as acting Chief Medical Officer until the end of January 2017. He will not be making permanent appointments into those positions in the meantime.

The Ministry of Health is in the midst of a transformational change programme designed to prepare it to lead the health sector as it implements the New Zealand Health Strategy over the next 10 years. Its executive leadership was re-designed and the new 12 person structure put in place from 1 March 2016. 

With these announcements permanent or long-term appointments have been made to all of those positions, except that of the Chief Technology & Digital Services Officer. An announcement about this role is expected in early July.

A former Deputy Director-General, Cathy O’Malley, has also been appointed to lead the Ministry’s social sector work programme and to continue to support primary care and community pharmacy. 

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