Te Aka Whai Ora has today announced the resignation of Board member Sharon Shea, effective from 1 February 2023.

Te Aka Whai Ora Chair Tipa Mahuta (Waikato, Maniapoto, Ngāpuhi) says Sharon has been a vocal advocate for support and investment in tangata whenua and priority populations including our Pasifika, Rural, Asian and Takatāpui communities.

“Sharon has played a huge role helping guide our Board through some intense periods including the development of Pae Ora as the previous Chair of the Interim Maori Health Authority, and Te Pae Tata Interim New Zealand Health Plan 2022.

“We will miss her input around the Board table, and her experience but we thank her for her mahi and wish her all the best for the future”.

Sharon (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Hako) says she will leave the Board with a full and warm ngākau heart.

“It has been an absolute privilege to serve the people of Aotearoa New Zealand, the Government, and the health sector workforce over the last decade, or so.

“I have been particularly grateful for the opportunity to play a leadership role in the recent reforms, and especially, the establishment and governance of Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora. I truly believe that by working together we have the ability to create transformational change that will improve the life expectancy and oranga of all New Zealanders.

“As a person of both tangata whenua and tangata tiriti heritage, I am proud that we have been able to open the sector’s eyes to what ‘good looks like’ in hauora from a tangata whenua perspective, but there is still a long way to go. With this in mind, I have decided that my time and skills are best focussed on implementation in the health system.

“I wish the Board and all of the Te Aka Whai Ora and Te Whatu Ora whanau well”.

Te Whatu Ora Chair Rob Campbell has acknowledged Sharon’s mahi and leadership.

“I am very sad to see Sharon leave. She was an initiator and guide of Pae Ora from the start. She has contributed mightily to getting both Te Aka Whai Ora and Te Whatu Ora underway, and has been a personal mentor and support in all aspects of the health services system and te ao Māori to me. I am deeply grateful to her.”

Te Aka Whai Ora Board appointments are made by the Minister of Health. Sharon’s resignation allows for two vacancies on the Board.