New board chair offers wide-ranging experience


16 December 2019


Whanganui District Health Board chairman Ken Whelan.

Ken Whelan, with more than 40 years’ experience in both the New Zealand and Australian health sectors, is the new chair of the Whanganui District Health Board.


The appointment was made by Health Minister David Clark earlier this month.


Mr Whelan has a nursing background but has been in management for more than 20 years.


Previously chief executive of Northland and Capital Coast District Health Boards, he was Deputy Director General of Health Performance and Purchasing in New South Wales.


In Queensland he was chief executive of the Townsville health district which was a large tertiary facility in north Queensland where the population was spread over a large geographical area, meaning equity of access to care was a significant challenge.


Prior to returning to New Zealand, he was chief executive of Metro North in Brisbane which had a budget of over A$3 billion and employed 18,000 staff.


Mr Whelan is currently Crown Monitor for Counties and Waikato DHBs and chairs the Eastern Bay of Plenty primary health organisation.


As the new chair of Whanganui DHB, he is looking forward to working with the Māori advisory board, Hauora a Iwi, local health providers and other community organisations.


Also, appointed to the board were Soraya Peke-Mason, a former Rangitikei district councillor; Materoa Mar of Te Tihi o Ruahine Whanau Ora Alliance; and Talia Anderson-Town, audit principal at Silks Audit Chartered Accountants.