New Te Whatu Ora Board Chair appointed

  • Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall

Dame Karen Poutasi has been appointed as the new Board Chair for Te Whatu Ora, the Minister of Health Ayesha Verrall announced today.

“This role is vital for continuing to lead the Government’s bold health reforms to make sure quality health services are delivered for every New Zealander,” said Ayesha Verrall.

Dame Karen, who is a medically trained doctor, has significant governance and leadership experience in the public health and education sectors.

Dame Karen is Chair of Taumata Arowai – the Water Services Regulator and Kāpuhipuhi Wellington Uni-Professional and has been a board member of Te Whatu Ora since its establishment.

She was previously the Commissioner of Waikato District Health Board and Chair of the COVID-19 Immunisation Programme Governance Group. Dame Karen’s previous executive positions have included Chief Executive of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and Director-General of Health and Chief Executive, Ministry of Health.

“I am delighted that Dame Karen is taking up the position and believe that she has the right level of experience and energy to take on such a large, exciting and complex role.

“I would like to thank Naomi Ferguson for the excellent work she did, when she stepped into the role of interim Board Chair while a permanent appointment was made,” said Ayesha Verrall.

Dame Karen commences in the role from 1 July 2023.

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