We are proud to introduce the following speakers

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Prof Michael Baker

Michael is a public health physician and Professor in the Department of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington, where he has worked full-time since 2003.

He has a wide range of public health research interests, with a focus on infectious diseases, environmental health, and improving housing conditions.

His work during 2020-21 has been dominated by assisting with the Covid-19 pandemic response. Michael is a member of the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 Technical Advisory Group and has been the leading architect and advocate for the Covid-19 elimination strategy.

His work on public health, and the Covid-19 response in particular, was recognised by a number of awards including: the Critic and Conscience of Society Award (from Universities New Zealand), being made a Member of the NZ Order of Merit (MNZM), his selection as the 2020 Wellingtonian of the Year, and the Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize in 2021.

Steph Dyhrberg

Steph is a partner at Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law in Wellington. In 2020, the firm was recognised as the top Employment Law Specialist Firm in the NZ Law Awards.

Steph has nearly 30 years legal experience. Steph previously worked for Russell McVeagh Wellington, Crown Law Office, and Right Management Consultants.

Steph is the New Zealand Rugby Independent Complaints Service Manager and her firm has provided an interim complaints service for High Performance Sport and Gymnastics NZ (for Sport NZ).

Steph was a finalist in the 2018 Women of Influence Awards in the Diversity category, and in December was awarded 2018 Wellingtonian of the Year for her work in tackling sexual harassment in the legal profession.

Steph is a Trustee of Mary Potter Hospice and a member of the judging panel for the Electra Business Awards (Kapiti-Horowhenua).

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John Fitzgerald

John leads the team at WorkSafe focused on Mentally Healthy Work.

He is a NZ Registered Psychologist within the Clinical Scope of Practice, who has worked in adult mental health; alcohol/drug services; and child & family psychological health. He has particular research interests in suicide prevention and non-suicidal self-injury, and professional ethics and practice. Prior to joining WorkSafe, John was a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at Massey University (Wellington).

He is a Fellow and Immediate Past-President of the New Zealand Psychological Society, a member of the Society’s Institute of Clinical Psychology and of the NZ College of Clinical Psychologists, and a member of the Psychology Panel of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

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Ben Harris

Ben is a medical microbiology scientist with over 40 years’ experience, specialises in infection prevention and control, emerging antibiotic resistance, MDRO's, epidemics, pandemics, outbreaks, detection and management, and our microbiome – they are all fascinating!

He is passionate about communication and education for the greater good, presents widely to many sectors within New Zealand and Australia, USA and Africa on a large variety of allied subjects.

‘We are all in this together’ - as individuals, communities, nationally and internationally – the more we understand, the better we can look after and foster our microbiomes and ecosystems, there are no borders.

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Martin Hefford

Martin is on secondment to the DPMC Transition Unit from his substantive role as CEO of Tu Ora Compass Health, a a position he has held for the past 8 years. Martin has 30 years’ experience in diverse health services planning and delivery roles including as: GM Integrated Care at Counties Manukau; Chief Operating Officer at Capital & Coast DHB; Group Manager Planning and Funding at Hutt Valley DHB; Senior Locality Manager in the Health Funding Authority; and Group Manager Mental Health in the Central Regional Health Authority.

He was awarded a Harkness Fellowship in 2004 to work with Kaiser Permanente in the USA. He has published internationally on primary health care and integrated care developments. Martin has three grown up children – all boys and all Wellingtonians.

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Hon Peeni Henare

Peeni is the Member of Parliament for Tāmaki Makaurau, and is of Ngāti Hine and Ngāpuhi descent. He is the Minister of Defence and Minister for Whānau Ora, as well as Associate Minister of Health (Māori Health), Associate Minister of Housing (Māori Housing) and Associate Minister of Tourism. Prior to politics Peeni worked as a businessman, broadcaster and teacher.

Politics and public service is in his blood: his father was Erima Henare, who was head of the Māori Language Commission; his grandfather was Sir James Henare, a lieutenant colonel in the Māori Battalion, member of Te Rūnanga o te Tiriti o Waitangi, and Commander of the British Empire (CBE); and his great-grandfather Taurekareka (Tau) Henare was also a Member of Parliament, for the former electorate Northern Māori from 1914 to 1938.

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Emmanuel Jo

Emmanuel specialises in mathematical modelling and Big Data in health workforces. His expertise includes turning real-world situations into mathematical models, providing health workforce models for government health initiatives and policies.

Emmanuel studied Operations Research (Decision Science).

In the year 2000 he joined American multinational information technology equipment and service consulting company Electronic Data Systems (EDS) (now the Hewlett-Packard Company) as a mathematical modeller building optimisation models of workforce allocations on a variety of commercial and government information technology projects. He joined the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) in 2004 and moved to the Ministry in 2006.

During his service at the Ministry, he has developed the Virtual Diabetes Register in 2009 and this is now being used as the official diabetes prevalence in New Zealand. He has also developed the Health Workforce Forecasting Model in 2015 for planning of health workforces.

Currently Emmanuel is an Honorary Academic at School of Medicine University of Auckland, and leads Analytics and Intelligence section within Health Workforce directorate at the Ministry of Health, New Zealand.

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Dr Ruth Large

Ruth is an Emergency Physician and Rural Hospitalist with an interest in Health Technology, she is the current Chief Clinical Officer of Homecare Medical which supplies the MoH funded National Telehealth Service. She attended Auckland School of Medicine as an adult student graduating with her MBChB in 1999 after which she worked in the Outback of Australia before returning to New Zealand to spend a short time in General Practice. Ruth completed her Emergency training in the Auckland area receiving Fellowship in 2007 and was grandparented into Fellowship of the Division of Rural Hospital Medicine in 2013. Ruth holds postgraduate qualifications in both musculoskeletal medicine and ultrasound and has worked as an Emergency Physician and Rural Hospitalist for the Waikato District Hospital from 2007-2021.

Whilst at the Waikato DHB Ruth held successive leadership roles as Clinical Director of Thames Emergency Department, Clinical Director of Thames Hospital and Community and Clinical Director of Information Services and Virtual Healthcare. Ruth has a keen interest in breaking down barriers to access to healthcare and sees Digital Technology as playing a pivotal role in healthcare transformation. She was a founding member of the New Zealand Telehealth Forum and the Clinical Informatics Lead Network. She has been the Chair of the New Zealand Telehealth Leadership Group since 2017.

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Hon Andrew Little

Andrew is currently the Minister of Health and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations. He is also the Minister Responsible for the GCSB, NZSIS, and for Pike River Re-entry. He has also been appointed as the Lead Coordinating Minister for the Government's Response to the Royal Commission's Report into the Terrorist Attack on the Christchurch Mosques.

Andrew has devoted his whole life to advocating for New Zealanders.

Growing up in New Plymouth, Andrew organised a cake-stall fundraiser for hungry and homeless African children. After university, where he studied law and philosophy, Andrew headed the Victoria University Students’ Association and New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations where he marched for better access to affordable education.

After graduation Andrew became a lawyer with the engineers’ union, ensuring employers lived up to their employment obligations to treat their staff with dignity and respect. In 2000, he was appointed EPMU national secretary and led New Zealand’s largest private sector union for a decade.

Andrew entered Parliament in 2011 with a mission to leave behind a better country – a New Zealand where everyone has the opportunities he and his wife, Leigh, wish for their teenage son, Cam.

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Moe Milne (ONZM)

Moe of Ngāti Hine and Ngapuhi descent is a mother of six and grandmother of 18 who nurtures her whanau in Te Ao Māori based in their knowing of who they are as Ngati Hine.

Moe began her professional career as a psychopaedic nurse, moving into general nursing and then psychiatric nursing. Registering as a psychiatric nurse in 1974 at Kingseat Hospital, most of Moe’s health work has been in mental health and addictions.

In 1988 Moe qualified as a teacher and taught in Kura Māori, but later found herself transition back into the health sector, working in management at the Northland Area Health Board. In 1991, Moe was employed by the Northern Regional Health authority as Locality projects manager and needs assessment, engaging with the development of the Ngāti Hine Health Trust.

In 2000, Moe became a resource person for Māori development, particularly in Hauora, and became involved as a community researcher under the training of Dr Fiona Cram. This research included Māori ethical framework for research, and traumatic brain injury in Māori children.

Moe currently carries out training for the Takarangi Competency Framework and delivers this training to DHB, psychiatrist, Emerge Aotearoa, Brain Research New Zealand, and other providers.

Moe’s participation in health, education, justice and social service has span over many years as she aims to continue to inspire health providers of Māori health and well-being, with a commitment to deliver gold standard practice for all Māori and the world.

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Dr Rob Nash

Robert (Rob) is a Northland based full-time locum General Practitioner in rural New Zealand. With a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) in 1986, Rob was awarded fellowship at the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (FRNZCGP) in 2014, and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP) in 2017.

Since gaining his qualifications, Rob has had a career pathway that includes: a Senior House Officer position - hospital locuming in Great Britain, a Junior Surgical Registrar at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Bermuda, and a locum General Practitioner/Emergency Department Clinician at Rarotonga Hospital, in the Cook Islands. Rob’s career in New Zealand includes: After-hours General Practitioner Services in Auckland, then at Auckland's first private General Practitioner-run private Accident and Medical Clinic. Along with becoming a Medical Officer of Specialist Scale (MOSS) for Whangarei Hospital AOD (Alcohol and other drug) Services, and undertaking voluntary medical work for Capri Trust Private Rehab in Auckland.

Rob has travelled to the Outback of Australia as a rural General Practitioner after overcoming a chronic and near-fatal opiate and alcohol addiction. He has been in recovery for 13 years and served as president of the Australian and New Zealand Doctors in Recovery (ADR) which was set-up to support doctors with drug, alcohol and other substance use disorders.

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Hemaima Reihana-Tait

Hemaima is a Nurse Director for Mahitahi Hauora a Primary Health Entity, in rural Northland New Zealand. Her contribution to nursing expands 39 years as a hospital based Clinical Nurse, Community Mental Health, manager, practitioner and educator- leading and implementing change for both primary community and secondary health services. Hemaima is Maori, descending from Ngati Hine, Ngati Kere, Ngati Pihere, Rangitane and Ngai Tahu tribes. She is passionate about improving Maori health outcomes through education and cultural workshop programmes, nurturing cultural competency in clinical workforce. She has a love of family history, writing short stories and music.

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Craig Young

Craig is passionate about the digital technology and communications industry because of the opportunity it offers for improving business and personal lives in New Zealand. He is currently the Chief Executive of TUANZ (the Technology Users Association) which is helping New Zealand make the most of the digitally connected world. TUANZ is an independent member based organisation representing users of tech which educates and advocates for the uptake of digital technology and the improvement of communication services across NZ including rural and regional areas. TUANZ has a proud history of providing leadership in representing the views and needs of the people and businesses that rely on technology every day. Three years ago they launched their future leaders in tech (FLINT) programme which aims to bring people together who are in their first few years of their full time career in digital tech roles or organisations. Craig has had a number of roles in the ICT industry over his career with his most recent role prior to TUANZ being at Chorus where he led the multilateral engagement with industry stakeholders and customers. He was heavily involved in providing leadership in several industry sectors including Chorus' rural broadband commitments. He was also heavily involved with commercial and regulatory efforts on behalf of TelstraClear in previous roles.