group photo Whānau, Consumer and Clinician Digital Council members group photo Whānau, Consumer and Clinician Digital Council members group photo Whānau, Consumer and Clinician Digital Council members

Whānau, Consumer and Clinician Digital Council Māori Co-Chair Jared Renata (front row, centre left) and Co-Chair Dr Robyn Whittaker (front row, centre right) with Council and support team members.

Whānau, Consumer and Clinician Digital Council Māori Co-Chair Jared Renata (front row, centre left) and Co-Chair Dr Robyn Whittaker (front row, centre right) with Council and support team members.

Whānau, Consumer and Clinician Digital Council

Our Whānau, Consumer and Clinician Digital Council is a link between the Te Whatu Ora Data and Digital Executive and clinicians, consumers, whānau, hapori and communities.

Grounded in Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles, the Council plays a significant role in our engagement with diverse stakeholders and working with Māori to give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

The Council helps shape data and digital technologies to enable improved and equitable health outcomes across Aotearoa – New Zealand. 

Council members

Canaan Aumua

Role on Council:  Clinician


Affiliation/Speciality: Pasifika, Public Health Medicine/GP


Locality: Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), Northern


Canaan Aumua is a public health medicine registrar in the process of completing his basic training (Masters of Public Health) at the University of Auckland. In addition to postgraduate study, he works part-time in general practice, which provides him with first-hand experience with digital technology in community healthcare, and the issues encountered by both patients and clinicians.


Being a Pacific clinician, Canaan has a passion for serving our communities, and ensuring both Māori and Pacific peoples have a voice at all levels of the health system. Technology will only become more central in the day-to-day provision of healthcare, and therefore it is imperative that these technologies serve Māori and Pacific communities in the most equitable way.


Canaan not only brings this passion to serve but the cultural values that underpin our beautiful, and diverse Pacific cultures. Additionally, Canaan brings his own unique expertise and skills in health innovation, communication, governance, and leadership.

Deborah Bush

Role on Council:  Consumer and Whānau


Locality: Ōtautahi (Christchurch), Te Waipounamu


Deborah co-founded Endometriosis New Zealand in 1985. She developed the world’s first Menstrual Health and Endometriosis me® programme for schools and, in 2023, launched What about me®?, the first digital menstrual health and endometriosis eLearning platform.


Deborah initiated CME (Continuing Medical Education) and workplace programmes, and challenged government policy to develop the Clinical Pathway for the Treatment and Management of Endometriosis in New Zealand (2020).


Deborah’s private practice EPP (Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain) Well-health Coaching integrates into 3 Endometriosis Centres of Expertise in New Zealand. She is Founding Principal of the World Endometriosis Organisations (WEO), a member of the Pain in Children Special Interest Group for the NZ Pain Society, is a Director on the World Endometriosis Society (WES) Board, and is excited about her appointment to the newly established Whānau Consumer and Clinician Digital Council.

Natalie Clarke

Role on Council:  Clinician


Affiliation/Speciality: General Practitioner, FRNZCGP, HISO member,
                                    Pinnacle Clinical Lead, University of Auckland Honorary Lecturer


Locality: Taupō, Te Manawa Taki


Natalie is originally from Canada and has dedicated the past 12 years to working as a GP and healthcare lead within the Taupō–Tūrangi community. In this role, she has focused on strengthening connections within the healthcare community and improving the wellness of patients, whānau and clinicians. 


Natalie has special interests in developing digital standards as well as exploring innovation within primary care.  Natalie plans to use her voice to help enhance the journey of both patients and providers within the digital space.

Karl Cole

Role on Council:  Clinician


Affiliation/Speciality: Ngāi Tahu, General Practitioner/Health Informatics


Locality: Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), Northern


Karl works as a GP in Papatoetoe, South Auckland. He set up and is a co-owner of a purpose-built multidisciplinary Health Hub. His other role is Chief Clinical Information Officer at Te Whatu Ora Data and Digital – Northern Region.


Karl has worked in various clinical, strategic, and operational roles and is well connected in the sector across both community and hospital level care, with much of his work focused on linkages. 


Karl served in the New Zealand Defence Force as a medical officer for 15 years, which involved deployments in UN missions including as the medical officer to the New Zealand Special Forces.


Karl has extensive experience within ICT-enabled change and is passionate about patient-centred care with an emphasis on self-management.

Samantha Davenport

Role on Council:  Clinician


Affiliation/Speciality:   Midwifery/Women’s Health/Health Science Leadership/     National Maternity Services


Locality: Kirikiriroa (Hamilton), Te Manawa Taki


Samantha is currently Director of Midwifery at Te Whatu Ora Waikato, having worked in the maternity sector for over 22 years, both in hospital settings and as a Lead Maternity Carer.


Samantha has a passion for driving data and digital in health to support midwives in utilising their time to be midwives and care for wahine, pepi and whānau; improving equity, health outcomes and overall experiences of the maternity services. Afterall, this is where our journey begins.

Sandra Hanchard

Role on Council:  Consumer and Whānau


Affiliation/Speciality: Pasifika


Locality: Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), Northern


Sandra is Pacific (Tongan) researcher based at the University of Auckland investigating equity in heart health outcomes for Māori and Pacific peoples, with a focus on discharge planning for heart failure.


Prior to her work in health equity, Sandra had two decades industry experience in the analytics and digital sector, most recently in South-East Asia building community programmes for data literacies.


Given lived experience of health inequities in her own kāinga, Sandra is highly motivated to contribute to programmes of digital transformation in the health sector that will result in improved wellbeing for our communities. There is significant potential for data and digital to improve our everyday lives through enabling inclusive engagement with health services.

Lara Hopley

Role on Council:  Clinician


Affiliation/Speciality: Anaesthesia, Clinical informatics


Locality: Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), Northern


Lara is a Specialist Anaesthetist who has of necessity been drawn into clinical information management and the associated creation of virtuous cycles. As Clinical Advisor to Digital Innovation at the former Waitematā District Health Board, now Te Whatu Ora Waitematā, she is engaged in multiple regional projects including electronic orders, regional repositories for results and documents, and eReferrals with a focus on eCommunication between primary and secondary care. 


Lara has ventured further and further out of the anaesthesia and hospital realm, getting knee deep during COVID by leading the development and roll out of a paperless swab collections system.  She is now passionately involved with Te Whatu Ora Te Tai Tokerau to develop and deploy a computer system to support the community and mental health teams, with a strong team determined to change the model from provider centric to person and whānau led care.

Virgil Iraia

Role on Council:  Consumer and Whānau


Affiliation/Speciality: Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Whatua, Ngāi Tuhoe, Ngāti Kahungungu


Locality: Hauora a Toi, (Bay of Plenty), Te Manawa Taki


Virgil currently works in the digital space with Te Whatu Ora Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty, as a Clinical Applications Specialist. This role has provided him with valuable insight into digital health and the digital health inequities which currently exist for Māori.


Outside of this mahi, Virgil is fully involved with his marae and hāpu, which are located in the isolated, remote areas of Te Urewera.  Recent government policy and initiatives have enabled installation of digital infrastructure into these remote areas for the purposes of connecting local communities with the digital world.


Virgil brings to the Council strategic insight of whānau and consumer views, technical insight, leadership and professionalism.

Georgina Johnson

Role on Council:  Consumer and Whānau


Affiliation/Speciality: Ngati Porou, Ngati Raukawa


Locality: Tairāwhiti, Te Manawa Taki


Georgina was born and raised in Ngāti Porou, and previously held the role of Tairāwhiti Chair of the Consumer Council until taking on her role as Kaiwhakahaere Kaupapa Tui Te Ora - Long Term Conditions and Digi-Hauora (Telehealth) at Te Whatu Ora Tairāwhiti in May 2022.


Georgina is the Chair of the Fire and Emergency NZ Local Advisory Committee and was previously Vice Chair with Alzheimer’s Tairāwhiti and remains an active Justice of the Peace within the Tairāwhiti region.


Georgina’s passion is advocating and helping people and whānau wherever possible.


Georgina is extensively involved in how data and digital technology could meet the needs of all whānau in Tairawhiti by working on what amazing examples are available in Aotearoa and moving towards innovations for our communities.


Georgina’s passion is that communities are drivers, navigators and connectors of the best recommendations that work for our communities. Providing this insight will be a valuable contribution to equitable and accessible healthcare in Tairāwhiti and nationally.

Manawanui (Mana) Lowe

Role on Council:  Consumer and Whānau


Affiliation/Speciality: Tainui, Ngāti Te Ata, Ngāti Tawhirikura me Ngāti Te Whiti - Te Ati Awa,    Ngāi Tahu, 


Locality: Whakaoriori (Masterton), Central


Tēnā koutou katoa. Ko Manawanui Lowe toku ingoa.


Mana is employed by a community-based Māori health service as an Addictions Clinician and Counsellor specialising in Forensic Practice. The holistic kaupapa or philosophy of the service sees culture as an enabler of health, including whānau, whenua, and whakapapa. Whānau can access te reo Maori, Rongoa, Mirimiri, and Whānau Ora services as part of their wellness journey.


Mana has many professional, personal, and whānau experiences, engaging with multiple health services, and as a result, intends to work diligently towards having the wider whānau voice and local community solutions well understood, and embedded, in our digital system changes and solutions.

Rachel Morris

Role on Council: Clinician


Affiliation/Speciality:  Ngāti Raukawa


Locality: Whakatane, Te Manawa Taki


Rachel has a passion for embedding equitable, practical models of care through collective consideration of the physical and digital design, and operational aspects. She is a health planner at Jacobs, a former project manager in large complex digital hospital projects and a qualified Radiation Therapist.


Rachel is keen to ensure digital initiatives have measurable benefits that support people and whānau being empowered in health care treatment and that the change management associated with the shift is carefully considered. 

Ryan Radecki

Role on Council:  Clinician


Affiliation/Speciality: Health Informatics/Emergency Medicine


Locality: Ōtautahi (Christchurch), Te Waipounamu


Ryan is a specialist Emergency Physician and a recent transplant from the United States, where he also holds a board-certification in Clinical Informatics.  Ryan’s original career path was in cognitive science and interaction design, and he has carried those skills forward to a Master's degree in Health Informatics, and a fellowship in Patient Safety and Quality with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.


In addition to his work in Waitaha Canterbury, Ryan is an editor for the medical journal Annals of Emergency Medicine, recorded a medical literature podcast, has authored over fifty peer-reviewed publications, and given nearly eighty invited talks.  While he was primarily a rower for most of his life, he squeezes in mostly running these days, between herding children and folding laundry.


Ryan is particularly interested in solving problems of information visibility, clinical decision-support, and secondary reuse of clinical data.

Jared Renata

Role on Council:  Consumer and Whānau

Affiliation/Speciality: Ngāti Kahungunu

Ko Ruahine raua ko Kauhehei ōku maunga

Ko Makaretu me tukituki ōku awa

Ko Roto a Tara te waiū

Ko Takitimu te Waka

Ko Ngāti kahungunu te iwi

Ko Ngati marau me Te Whatuiapiti ngā hapu

Ko Renata Pukututu te tipuna

Ko Rakautatahi raua ko Pukehou ōku Marae

Ko Takapau te turangawaewae engaging e noho ana au ki Whakaoriori

Ko Jared Renata ahau


Jared recently changed jobs at the end of last year doing a job that he loves, which is supporting our tane at Whaiora in Whakaoriori.


Jared is happy to be a part of the Council in helping create change for our community. 

Karen Shaw

Role on Council:  Clinician


Affiliation/Speciality: Nursing/Emergency Medicine


Locality: Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington), Central


Karen qualified as a nurse in 1997, completed her MSc in advanced clinical nursing practice in 2005 (remotely) and also completed a Certificate in Designing and Facilitating eLearning.


Karen has worked in emergency medicine where she helped set up the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Minor Injuries role in Hutt Hospital. This role helped Karen fulfil not only a professional desire to see nurses achieve more of what they are capable of but to provide a better and faster service to those patients with less life threatening but nonetheless debilitating injuries.


Karen moved to work as a university lecturer in undergraduate nursing and then a professional development coordinator and has had experience in eLearning design and other digital platforms. Karen started her current role just over two years ago and is the Clinical Informatics Manager at Capital, Coast, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa Districts.


Karen sits as a clinical advisory on the Cybersecurity Governance Group at Te Whatu Ora as well as the Clinical Informatics Leadership Network (CiLN) Advisory and the Nursing and Midwifery Informatics Special Interest Group Executive (NMI). 


Karen and her husband emigrated to New Zealand in 2004 and are raising their two girls here. 

Mark Shirley

Role on Council:  Clinician


Affiliation/Speciality: Physiotherapy/Allied Health, Data, Health Pathways


Locality: Ōtepoti (Dunedin), Te Waipounamu


Mark is a passionate and committed member of our Allied Health workforce and with private practice experience and is strongly placed in governance and leadership.   


Mark has worked as a physio for 20 years and more recently spent time developing a number of innovative care pathways through New Zealand with funders including ACC, private business, and the public health system.


Mark is the Chief Innovation Officer for Habit Health and is keen to progress the clinical voice across the digital space.


Mark has been on the Hira Clinical Advisory Group for around two years and is interested in using data to improve the health of all New Zealanders and ensuring data in the private health sector is embedded into future discussions.

Belinda Tran-Lawrence

Role on Council:  Consumer and Whānau




Locality: Taranaki, Te Manawa Taki


Belinda is a 47-year-old cisgender woman with personal lived experience of breast cancer and whānau experience of cardio issues.


Belinda is the founder and chair of the Aotearoa NZ Breast Cancer Community, a secondary school teacher by training and currently works in the tertiary sector, alongside a range of other community and health advocacy work.


Belinda and her whānau have lived in Taranaki for the last 20 years, however she and her husband are currently in the Cook Islands as he is working there as a marine photographer.


Belinda has a mixed cultural background with a Pakeha mother, Trinidadian father, and her husband is Vietnamese and a former refugee. This, along with difficult upbringings and the rainbow identities of all three of her children (as they have grown) has given her a wealth of experience as minorities and a different perspective in many areas.

Susan Haynes Veart

Role on Council:  Consumer and Whānau


Affiliation/Speciality: Ngāti Tūwharetoa/Ngāti Maniapoto


Locality: Whanganui, Central


Susan Haynes Veart is 52 years old, of Ngati Tuwharetoa/Ngati Maniapoto iwi and born and raised in South Auckland, relocating to Whanganui six years ago. Susan has three children, aged 27, 22 and 14.


Susan has worked in the Social Services sector for 25 years, in Mental Health, Disability, Whānau Ora & Community Advocacy.


Susan’s son is disabled, and she is committed to advocating for equitable outcomes for the disabled community, particularly for Tāngata Whaikaha Māori to be able to access information and support in a culturally appropriate way. Susan also has a long term health condition herself.


Susan enjoys spending time at the beach, antiques, travelling, great coffee, reading and  is an op-shopper/garage saler extraordinaire!

Robyn Whittaker

Role on Council:  Establishment Chair, Clinician


Affiliation/Speciality:  Public Health Physician, Clinical Director Innovation (i3)


Locality:  Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), Northern


Robyn was asked by the Interim Chief Data and Digital to establish the Council based on the role of the Health System Design Council in the Northern Region.


Robyn is a public health physician and researcher in the co-design of digital health interventions for consumers and whānau, particularly to support healthy behaviour change. She has been working in innovation in the health system for around 10 years.


Robyn has a special interest in the governance of the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in clinical practice.

Support Team

Janine Croft

  • Role on Council:  Support
  • Affiliation/Speciality: Programme Management
  • Locality: Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), Northern
  • Janine has a background in transformation across both strategy & delivery.  Janine started working in health in 2022 and has been leading the update of the Northern Region IS Strategic Plan.


Lance Elder

  • Role on Council:  Support
  • Affiliation/Speciality: Digital Transformation
  • Locality: Ōtepoti (Dunedin), Te Waipounamu
  • Lance has been working in digital health for a number of years and currently works in the Southern District as Director of Digital Transformation.


Matt Hector-Taylor

  • Role on Council:  Strategy and Support
  • Affiliation/Speciality: Generalist
  • Locality: Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), Northern
  • Matt started working in health IT in 1999 in process, strategy, business case and delivery roles. Matt was engaged on a part-time basis by the Northern Region health system in 2017 to support the establishment and execution of the regional IS Strategic Plan.


Sarndrah Horsfall

  • Role on Council:  Support
  • Affiliation/Speciality: Consumer Engagement
  • Locality: National
  • Sarndrah has experience across the health sector and more recently in her role she has now has an outside in perspective around the impact of digital health and innovation on whānau, consumers and communities and how do we create sustainability.