Executive Leadership Team

Whanganui District Health Board is led by an Executive Leadership Team appointed by the chief executive and Board.

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Russell Simpson - Chief Executive


“I have worked in both the public and private sector at clinical, management and executive levels. My previous role was as a national General Manager in the Home and Community support sector. Prior to that I worked across Hutt Valley and Wairarapa DHBs as an Executive Director. I originally trained as a physiologist specialising in pain management and neurophysiology. I am passionate about improving the health of our community with a strong whole-of-health system approach, in partnership with our intersectoral partners and our community."


Chief Executive expenses 

Chief Executive expenses: June 2018 - June 2019 (Excel spreadsheet) 

Chief Executive expenses: July 2017 - June 2018

Chief Executive expenses: July 2016 - June 2017

Chief Executive expenses: July 2015 - June 2016

Chief Executive expenses: July 2014 - June 2015

Chief Executive expenses: July 2013 - June 2014

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Rowena Kui - Director of Maori Health

"I am of Te Ātiawa descent. I am a nurse and midwife by training and have an extensive experience in working in Māori health, rural health, and health service planning and development. I enjoy leadership and the opportunity to by impart my knowledge and experience to support other to grow and develop. I am passionate about Māori health. I believe that the Māori concept of whānau ora  provides the perfect framework for the district health board and community providers to deliver services in such a way that collectively we can make a significantly positive impact on the health of Māori whanau and the health of our most vulnerable population groups."

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Lucy Adams - Director of Nursing


"I took up the role of director of nursing at Whanganui DHB in May 2019. Prior to this I was employed at Waitemata District Health Board as an associate director of nursing and have had clinical governance nursing director positions in Queensland, Australia.


"I trained as a comprehensive nurse in the late 1980s and worked at Auckland DHB, and specialised in neurosurgery and neurointensive care before transferring to emergency nursing. During my tenure at Auckland DHB I was involved in the change management programme and was an occupational health and safety advisor.  I then joined the New Zealand Police and continued in an occupational health and safety role and was a key project manager for the implementation of stab resistant body armour, along with other projects. I was then appointed to St John as a health emergency manager where I implemented the MoH emergency management project, the Emergo Train system.


“I have worked in Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean, in public and private hospitals, on cruise ships and in rural and remote areas. I have a Bachelor of Nursing, Masters in Health Sciences and an MBA.” 


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Paul Malan - General Manager, Service and Business Planning 

"Before coming to Whanganui DHB in September 2018, I spent 12 years with Hawke’s Bay DHB – first in finance and then in planning and funding. Prior to that, I worked in the private sector gaining experience in financial services, investment banking, business consultancy, tourism, manufacturing and agriculture. My academic training is in Economics and Public Health and that perfectly complements my interest in the public sector’s role in a well-functioning, developed economy. I am passionate about effectiveness of the public sector and how we partner with the private for-profit and not-for-profit sectors to provide equitable and valuable services to the communities that we are part of.  


"I grew up in a rural community in Zimbabwe and have always admired the ingenuity that is evident in small communities with a strong identity – I get a sense of those factors in Whanganui. My wife grew up in Hastings and we returned to Aotearoa New Zealand with our two sons in 2001."