GP Dr Jeff Lowe and former Inland Revenue Commissioner Naomi Ferguson have been appointed to the board of the organisation that runs the country’s public hospitals, Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand.

Health Minister Andrew Little announced their appointments today, along with the appointment of Steven McJorrow (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Moe) to the board of Te Aka Whai Ora – the Māori Health Authority.

“Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand is the New Zealand’s largest employer, operating 84 hospitals, employing 82,000 people and caring for the health of the entire country,” Andrew Little said.

“Dr Lowe’s appointment strengthens the board’s clinical awareness and expertise, which is important as Te Whatu Ora brings together what was a disjointed health system and we put greater emphasis on treating people early and keeping them well so they don’t end up in hospital.

“Naomi Ferguson is widely recognised as an effective leader of significant change in large organisations, including Inland Revenue, and her experience will be valuable,” Andrew Little said.

Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare said Steven McJorrow’s senior commercial and financial leadership experience will further strengthen the Te Aka Whai Ora board.

“Steven is an experienced finance executive with extensive knowledge of strategic analysis and planning in the private sector in New Zealand and overseas, including the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia and the United States,” Peeni Henare said.

“He brings a strong commitment to pae ora, whanau and wai ora, as well as extensive experience in finance, strategic analysis and planning that complement the clinical, governance, community and public sector skills of other board members.”

Naomi Ferguson would bring more than 30 years senior leadership experience in the public sector in New Zealand and the UK to the board of Te Whatu Ora. She was the first woman to be appointed Commissioner of Inland Revenue and led the organisation between 2012 and 2022.

Andrew Little said both boards were well set for continued hard work ahead.  

"The new members of these boards share a dedication to improve the country’s health and wellbeing. Our health entities are in strong hands to continue to provide oversight of this transformational work,” Andrew Little said.

Dr Lowe and Naomi Ferguson join Rob Campbell, Amy Adams, Tipa Mahuta, Dame Karen Poutasi, Vanessa Stoddart and Dr Curtis Walker on the board of Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand.

The other members of the Te Aka Whai Ora – the Māori Health Authority Board are:

  • Tipa Mahuta, (Waikato, Maniapoto, Ngāpuhi)
  • Sharon Shea (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Hako)
  • Fiona Pimm (Ngā Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha)
  • Awerangi Tamihere (Ngāti Kauwhata, Rangitane, Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Kai Tahu)
  • Dr Mataroria Lyndon (Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Wai, Waikato)
  • Dr Sue Crengle (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mamoe, Waitaha).