Directors of Nursing

Deanna Telfer

Acting Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Northland DHB

Website: Northland District Health Board

Jocelyn Peach

Director of Nursing, Waitemata DHB

Jocelyn Peach, Director of Nursing, Waitemata DHB.

Website: Waitemata District Health Board

I prepared as a nurse at Middlemore Hospital, registering in 1978. My post registration clinical specialities are trauma and cardiothoracic nursing and I continue to have a strong interest in clinical nursing. I am proud of leading the introduction of the Professional Development and Recognition Programme in 1988 which influenced the practice of nurses and the national programme. I have worked in Chief Nurse and Director of Nursing & Midwifery roles in the Auckland region since 1990.

I joined Waitemata in March 1999, serving the communities of North Shore, West Auckland and Rodney district. I am proud of the positive changes we have made together over the past ten years as the organisation has continued to grow in size, complexity and opportunity to serve the population of 520,000. I have enjoyed the challenge as we have put systems and processes in place to support the growth and to support the staff and to ensure patient safety.

My commitment is to support the safest clinical practice environment possible – with the right people in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing to achieve the right outcome for each service user. The skill of nurses or midwives is critical to safe clinical outcomes. I work to ensure that nurses and midwives have the support they need to practice professionally, to develop as innovative, dynamic practitioners at the leading edge of service delivery and to make a positive contribution.

Margaret Dotchin

Chief Nursing Officer, Auckland DHB

Photo of Margaret

Website: Auckland District Health Board

Margaret completed her nursing training at Middlemore Hospital as a Registered General and Obstetric Nurse in 1985. Margaret worked in a variety of roles as a registered nurse both at Middlemore Hospital, National Women’s Hospital and overseas prior to her first senior nursing role as Charge Nurse Gynaecology Oncology, National Women’s in 1990.  

Margaret was appointed to the role of Executive Director of Nursing, Auckland District Health Board (ADHB) in July 2012. Prior to this Margaret held the position of Director of Nursing for Adult Services, ADHB. Margaret has held both General Management and Nursing Leadership roles across Adult Health Services and Women’s Health Services in her long history of working at ADHB or its predecessors.

Margaret is passionate about nursing and the contribution the profession brings to the delivery of safe, high-quality, compassionate, family-centred care – balanced with financial sustainability.    

Jenny Parr

Chief Nurse & Director of Patient and Whaanau Experience, Counties Manukau DHB

Website: Counties Manukau District Health Board

Jenny Parr, Director of Patient Care & Chief Nurse and Allied Health Officer, Counties Manukau DHB.

Jenny Parr commenced as Chief Nurse & Director of Patient and Whaanau Experience at Counties Manukau Health in January 2017.

Prior to that, Jenny had held a number of senior nursing, professional and management roles over 22 years both in Auckland, NZ at Waitemata DHB and in London, England. This includes Executive Director of Allied Health Scientific and Technical, Director of Nursing and Patient Experience and Director of Infection Prevention and Control.

Throughout her career Jenny's international experience working within complex systems, has enabled her to articulate strategy in terms of key deliverables and pursue her passion for bringing people together across the system to enhance patient experience, health outcomes and staff experience.

Jenny is a Registered Nurse and qualified midwife with an Doctorate of Health Science (DHSc) (AUT 2019). As Chief Nurse & Director of Patient and Whaanau Experience, Jenny is working with senior leaders to bring together the expertise around patient experience, standards and safety to create a whole of system patient experience function within Counties Manukau Health.

Sue Hayward

Director of Nursing, Waikato DHB

Sue Hayward. Director of Nursing, Waikato DHB.

Website: Waikato District Health Board

Sue Hayward has been Director of Nursing and Midwifery (DON/M) since February 2008, and has been nursing since graduating in 1977. Sue’s clinical background is neonatal, and has worked in neonatal units and services in the Hutt, Whangarei and Christchurch Women’s hospitals. Sue is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor of Nursing, Postgraduate Diploma in Health Management and Masters in Health Sciences.

The role of DON/M Waikato District Health Board (Waikato DHB) reports to the CEO providing advice and guidance to the CEO and Executive team. Sue heads a team of Clinical Nurse and Midwifery Directors who in turn provide professional oversight, delivery of education and all aspects of practice development to nurses and midwives.

On a national level Sue is:

  • Chair of the Nurse Education Advisory Team- reporting to the DHB Directors of Nursing
  • Chair of the Midland NENZ - reporting to National NENZ
  • Represents the DHB DoN’s on the Cardiac Surgical network.
  • Chair of the A.C.E (Accelerated Choice of Employment) Governance Group

Sue has also been the Chair of the NETP project group, and was a member of the Safe Staffing Healthy Workforce committee of Inquiry. 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.

On a local level the key activities are set out in the Nursing and Midwifery strategic plan.  In summary our focus is on:

  • Recruitment and retention.
  • Developing the right staff and skill mix for each specialty.
  • Developing a clear pathway for nurse practitioner development and inclusion within the organisation.
  • Leadership capability of nurses and midwives.
  • Implementing the recommendations of the COI Safe Staffing and Healthy Workplace
  • Develop a culture that expects and encourages nurses and midwives to be involved and engaged, at every level of the organisation.

Julie Robinson

Director of Nursing, Bay of Plenty DHB

Julie Robinson, Director of Nursing, Bay of Plenty DHB.

Website: Bay of Plenty District Health Board

Julie has a B.A (Social Sciences) with a Masters in Health Management.

Julie works in conjunction with the Nursing Leadership Team to ensure nursing contributes to excellence in integrated patient and family centred care for the population of the Bay of Plenty District Health Board.

Nursing has identified the following strategic priorities for 2014 - 2017:

  • patient safety
  • a strong confident nursing workforce
  • dynamic sustainable leadership
  • kaitiaki of health resources
  • integrated health.

BOPDHB Nursing Leaders want to recruit and retain high calibre staff with the proper balance of knowledge, skills and experience to have Bay of Plenty District Health board seen as a place of opportunities and excellence in nursing.

Serita Karauria

Acting Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Safety

Website: Tairawhiti District Health Board

Gary Lees

Director of Nursing, Lakes DHB

Gary Lees, Director of Nursing, Lakes DHB.

Website: Lakes District Health Board

Gary has been a Nurse for 25 years and has worked in a variety of mental health settings covering clinical, managerial and professional roles. He moved to New Zealand in April 2006 to the role of Director of Nursing and Midwifery for Lakes DHB.

Gary’s previous role was managing the learning and development system for an NHS Trust in the UK as well as being the Organisational Development lead. His main interests are organisational culture and how it is impacted by leadership practice, complex adaptive systems, partnership development and organisational learning.

There are about 500 Nurses employed directly by Lakes DHB. There are also large numbers of Nurses working in varied roles within the Lakes communities. The provider arm of the Lakes District Health Board provides secondary hospital and community based health care services to the people of the region. Lakes DHB has hospitals at Taupo and Rotorua that have a combined total of 210 beds.

Chris McKenna

Chief Nursing Officer (Hospital & Primary Care), Hawke's Bay DHB

Website: Hawke’s Bay District Health Board

Chris has been a nurse for 25 years and has worked in a variety of acute settings, largely in Intensive Care and Emergency Care, her career spanning  a range of health leadership, managerial and education roles. Chris is well known in Hawke’s Bay and has been part of many health developments over the years, of late working with the PHO to strengthen linkages with developing nursing capability.

Chris has been Director of Nursing for Hawke's Bay DHB since 2010 and is a member of the Executive Management team plus a member of a number of health sector groups and represents HBDHB nursing at a governance level regionally and nationally.

Building sector relationships and developing capability and supporting clinicians across the sector to practice at the ‘top of their licence’ is core to the role. The role supports nursing working collaboratively and interdisciplinary, so as to provide a quality environment for our patients/clients. Chris has a Masters of Nursing.

Lyn Wardlaw

Director of Nursing, Taranaki DHB

Photo of Lyn Wardlaw

Lyn Wardlaw commenced as the Director of Nursing for Taranaki DHB as of 20 May 2019.  She has previously worked in Australia as a Director of Nursing/Midwifery and Facility Manager for Mareeba District Hospital and also Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Torres & Cape Hospital Health Service. 

More recently Lyn was the Operations Manager for Theatres, PACU, Endoscopy, Inventory and CSSD across Waitemata District Health Board.  Lyn originally trained and worked as a registered nurse and well child nurse in New Plymouth before undertaking her midwifery training. 

Lyn looks forward to supporting, advocating and adding value to the nurses and midwives across Taranaki.

Website: Taranaki District Health Board

Lucy Adams

Director of Nursing, Whanganui DHB

Website: Whanganui District Health Board

Lucy Adams photo

Lucy took up the role of director of nursing at Whanganui DHB in May 2019. Prior to this she was employed at Waitemata District Health Board as an associate director of nursing and has had clinical governance nursing director positions in Queensland, Australia.

 Lucy trained as a comprehensive nurse in the late 1980s and worked at Auckland DHB, and specialised in neurosurgery and neurointensive care before transferring to emergency nursing. During her tenure at Auckland DHB Lucy was involved in the change management programme and was an occupational health and safety advisor. Lucy then joined the New Zealand Police where she continued in an occupational health and safety role and was a key project manager for the implementation of stab resistant body armour, along with other projects. She was then appointed to St John as a health emergency manager where she implemented the MoH emergency management project, the Emergo Train system.

Lucy has worked in Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean, in public and private hospitals, on cruise ships and in rural and remote areas. Lucy has a Bachelor of Nursing, Masters in Health Sciences and an MBA.

Celina Eves

Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery, MidCentral DHB

Website: MidCentral District Health Board
Email: Celina.Eves@midcentraldhb.govt.nzCelina Eves photo

Celina has vast experience in healthcare provision. Celina has worked as both a nurse and a midwife and held executive director and very senior positions in both nursing and midwifery management, leadership, supervision, project management and staff development in the UK and in Saudi Arabia.

Celina joined MidCentral District Health Board as their executive director of nursing and midwifery in January 2018, she is accountable for ensuring high standards of quality patient care and services are maintained, including patient care and experience. One of Celina’s key roles is to ensure the on-going development of the nursing and midwifery services within the whole DHB to ensure that the needs of the patient underpin practice and care.

Chris Kerr

Director of Nursing, Hutt Valley DHB

Website: Hutt Valley District Health Board
Email: Chris Kerr, HVDHB Chief Nurse

Chris has worked in the New Zealand Health sector since completing her nursing training at the Wellington Hospital School of Nursing in 1983, with her nursing career including secondary and aged residential care, with a predominant focus in the primary care sector since 1992. Her primary care experience includes practice nursing; nurse manager of a Maori Health Provider; and clinical leadership for a large PHO.  

Since 2009, Chris has held clinical leadership roles at Compass Health PHO, including Clinical Director, Chief Operating Officer and Acting CEO.  This work included reportable event management; complaints and privacy officer roles; sub regional District Health Boards (Wairarapa, Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast) integrated care work, service planning, integrated care, development of new models of care, and emergency management.

Chris is a member of the Nurse Executives of New Zealand and College of Nurses groups.  

She is passionate about nursing leadership; empowering and supporting nurses to work to the level of their expertise and training, and to adapt to changing models of care; the development of the nursing workforce so that nurses are equipped for not only today, but for the challenges facing healthcare in the future; and is committed to supporting the safest practice possible with a focus on patient safety.  

Chris has completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Primary Care (with distinction) from Otago University - graduating in 2004.  She has worked alongside the Health, Quality and Safety Commission promoting the reporting of and learning from adverse events, and contributing to the review of the National Adverse Event Reporting Policy (reviewed document released 2017).

Michele Halford

Executive Nursing Leader, Wairarapa DHB

Website: Wairarapa District Health Board 

Emma Hickson

Chief Nursing Officer, Capital & Coast DHB

Website: Capital & Coast District Health Board
Email :

Pamela Kiesanowski

Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Nelson Marlborough DHB

Website: Nelson Marlborough District Health Board

Pamela Kiesanowski was appointed Director of Nursing and Midwifery for the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board in December 2014.

Prior to this Pamela held a number of clinical and management roles within the Nelson Marlborough and Canterbury District Health Boards.  She has also worked in the primary healthcare sector and held several clinical nursing roles in London.

The role of Director of Nursing and Midwifery for Nelson Marlborough differentiates from a larger city role due to its vast geographical spread.  The District covers from Blenheim on the east coast to Takaka in the north and as far south as Murchison.  Nelson Marlborough also has one of the fastest growing ageing populations within New Zealand, requiring a significant focus on integrated care, working closely with the primary healthcare sector.

As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, Pamela provides input into the strategic plan to meet the overall goals of the District.  Her vision for nursing and midwifery is to build a strong leadership team; develop the workforce; and support new initiatives to provide quality care, in an empowered and safe working environment.

Brittany Jenkins

Director of Nursing, West Coast DHB

Website: West Coast District Health Board

Mary Gordon

Executive Director of Nursing, Canterbury DHB

Website: Canterbury District Health Board

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. In 1990, she took a year out of practice for full time study to complete what was then the Advanced Diploma of Nursing at CPIT. Following this Mary returned to the West Coast and established the health promotion service working with health protection, public health nurses and rural nurses providing health education and health promotion campaigns.

In 1995, Mary was appointed as the nursing leader for the West Coast; whilst based in Greymouth she developed the nursing consultancy team that provided senior nursing leadership, professional direction and support to nurses throughout the West Coast region. Since then she has worked in Hawkes Bay, South Canterbury and Counties Manukau before returning to Canterbury in 2002.

Mary is a member of the Executive Management Team and 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. Nursing is integral to achieving an integrated health system and our focus to achieve this and ensure we have a vibrant and sustainable workforce includes focusing on 5 strategic goals, these being:

  • Growing our Workforce
  • Attracting our Workforce
  • Enabling our Workforce
  • Extending our Workforce
  • Succession Planning

This collaborative approach extends to the wider South Island within the Alliancing model; Mary chairs two of the SI Alliances, these being the SI Workforce Hub (also known as SI Regional Training Hub) and the SI Quality & Safety Alliance.

Mary is a member of Nurse Executives of NZ, College of Nurses, Aotearoa, Lead Directors of Nursing and until recently was a member of the National Health Board (2009-2014).

Lisa Blackler

Director Patient, Nursing and  Midwifery, South Canterbury DHB

Website: South Canterbury District Health Board

Jane Wilson

Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer – Southern District Health Board

Website: Southern District Health Board

Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer.Jane was appointed to the role of Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer in August 2017.

Prior to this, Jane was Director of the Commissioner’s Office (since October 2015) and Acting Director of Nursing Operations.  Jane has held a number of nursing leadership positions at Southern DHB since returning home in 1991 after spending several years working and studying in London, including clinical nurse specialist, nurse educator, charge nurse manager, service manager and nursing director.

Jane is committed to working closely with colleagues across all disciplines and is continuously building connections nationally and internationally to advance clinical practice and build capacity and capability within the broader health system - all in the context of best serving her community.  The most satisfying part of her role is getting out and about amongst staff and teams who work most closely with patients, clients and whanau to find out what she can do to improve their experience so they can improve the experience of others – doing more of what matters most.

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