22 June 2022

Health New Zealand has announced the significant appointment of Dr Nick Chamberlain as the National Director of the new National Public Health Service.

Announcing this new permanent appointment, interim Health New Zealand Chief Executive Fepulea’i Margie Apa said Dr Chamberlain was an outstanding fit for the role.

“Dr Chamberlain is uniquely qualified, with a broad range of experience across the health sector,” Margie Apa said.

“As well as serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the Northland District Health Board since 2011, he has held national roles as lead DHB chief executive in primary care and public health.

“He brings outstanding experience in clinical governance and patient safety, improving the patient journey, chronic care management, and preventing avoidable hospitalisation. Dr Chamberlain was a general practitioner by training and practice and will bring professional experience of how primary care and public health can integrate to improve population health and wellbeing.

“I know that his appointment as leader of our new National Public Health Service will positively impact the lives of New Zealanders, particularly around longstanding inequity in many of our health outcomes.

“Dr Chamberlain is my first permanent appointment at Health New Zealand, and I am delighted to have him in this role.”

Dr Chamberlain described his new role as a transformational opportunity to revitalise public health in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“I’ve always worked to support wellbeing as being at the centre of healthcare. From my experience in Northland, I also know we need a wider health system which actively addresses inequity, reduces need and promotes wellness.”

As lead of the new National Public Health Service, Dr Chamberlain will bring together the 12 existing public health units, Te Hiringa Hauora (the Health Promotion Agency), and several former Ministry of Health functions – including screening, immunisation, and COVID-19 response services – in one national team of teams.

“I’m fully committed to a service which ensures that Aotearoa New Zealand is always ready to respond to any threats to public health in a coordinated, proactive, equitable and innovative way.”

Margie Apa has also thanked Jo Gibbs for her service as Interim National Director, National Public Health Service over the past six months.

“Jo has taken on a huge workload during this time and interim Health New Zealand has been able to benefit from her expertise. I sincerely thank her for her leadership in this transition.”

Tracey Schiebli replaces Dr Chamberlain as new interim District Director for Tai Tokerau.

Dr Chamberlain takes up his new role on 1 July.