As all our conference speakers make their biographies and photos available they will be published here for your interest.


Keynote speakers

Norma Campbell

Norma is a Midwifery Advisor - Quality and Sector Liaison for the New Zealand College of Midwives (over the past 16 years) and within this role she manages the Midwifery Standards Review (quality assurance process for midwives) and Resolutions Committees (complaints process for women) for the College. She has also been a member of the International Confederation of Midwives Council for the past ten years.

Norma has been involved in a number of expert advisory groups including  being the current Chair of the National Maternity Monitoring Group and previously Chair of the National Breastfeeding Advisory Committee. She has been involved in developing and supporting the Maternity Quality Initiative nationally and supporting the Maternity Quality and Safety Programmes in DHBs. Norma is still a practising midwife , with extensive clinical midwifery experience.


Alison Dewes
, BVSc, MSc.Cert IV adult education (Melb), SNM, ASNM (Massey) 

A fourth generation dairy farmer and second generation veterinarian, Alison is a firm believer that our future food production systems have to be profitable and resilient while protecting and replenishing ecological health. Her Masters of Science (2015) focused on how Upper Waikato dairy farms can be profitable while achieving the lowest possible environmental impact. She previously worked for Nestle Australia in Business Development & Quality Assurance, Commonwealth Bank in lending, and managed Intelact Australia. She has skills in animal health and nutrition, agricultural business performance, adult education, policy and ecosystem health. She was elected to the NZ Veterinary Board in 2015 and is on the National Environmental Reference Group for Landcorp and in the past two years has been an expert agricultural witness on 6 regional plans across NZ. She was a finalist for the NZI sustainability champion in 2014, received a commendation for community impact for her work with farmers, and a finalist in the 2015 Women of Influence Awards in Public Policy.

Lesley Elliott

Lesley Elliott describes herself as nurse and mother.  Lesley lives in Dunedin and is the mother of two adult sons who both live in Australia.  Her only daughter Sophie died at the hands of a former boyfriend in 2008 in the safety of her own home.  She was only 22 years old.  Since then Lesley has committed herself to ensuring young people in particular can recognise the signs in an abusive relationship that she and Sophie missed.  To do this Lesley set up the Sophie Elliott Foundation and, through a partnership with New Zealand Police, developed the one day workshop for year 12 students, Loves Me Not

A long serving nurse in Dunedin Hospital's Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit Lesley has been recognised for her work to help curb New Zealand's statistics around family violence.  Awards include a Paul Harris Rotary Fellowship, the Next Woman of the Year title, Supreme Award at the Westpac/Fairfax Media Woman of Influence Awards and in 2015 was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours.  Lesley has co-authored two books, Sophie's Legacy and Loves Me Not- How to keep Relationships Safe.

Nigel Latta

Born and raised in Oamaru, Nigel first attended Otago University, where he completed an MSc in Marine Science. He then moved to Auckland where he trained as a Clinical Psychologist and graduated with a Master of philosophy with 1st class honors in Psychology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology.  

Nigel has worked for the last two decades in a number of agencies including Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation, Sex Offender Treatment Programmes, Family Therapy agencies, Child Youth and Family, Probation Services, and extensively in private practice.

He continues to work as a clinical psychologist in private practice consulting with organizations and agencies from throughout the country, and has lectured on a number of senior courses at the New Zealand Police College.

He has written a novel and seven non-fiction books which are now published in nineteen countries and ten languages. He presented the critically acclaimed television series "Beyond the Darklands", which was based on his work as a forensic psychologist. "Beyond the Darklands" ran for five seasons in New Zealand. It has screened in Australia, Sweden, Spain and recently in several Latin American countries. He presented the top rating "Politically Incorrect Guide to…" Series which has run for three seasons in New Zealand, and in 2012 presented the same series for Channel Nine in Australia. In addition to this Nigel has also presented documentaries on how to help children cope after the Christchurch earthquake, and how parents can help teenage drivers stay safe on the road.

Nigel's recent projects include a documentary series which screened on TVNZ in 2014 and investigated some of the important issues within our society including,  alcohol, education, sugar/obesity, poverty and inequality, child abuse, crime and punishment. His most recent project, a six part popular science primetime series titled "Nigel Latta Blows Stuff Up", screened in 2015 TVNZ.

In 2012 Nigel was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to Psychology as part of the Diamond Jubilee Queen's Birthday Honours List.

A sought after speaker Nigel has presented keynotes at a range of industry and corporate conferences both in New Zealand and overseas. His particular gift is blending real world pragmatism, the latest psychological research, and humour in an engaging and thought provoking manner that has relevance to a wide range of audiences and organizations. His specific interests include the psychology of success, dealing with difficult people, mental toughness, decision making skills, leadership, the process of change in an organisation, the 'myth' of happiness and stress management.


Donna Matahaere-Atariki Co-Producer - Ngai Tahu, Taranaki (BA, MPhil)

Donna Matahaere-Atariki was born in Tuatapere Western Southland and educated in both Invercargill and Dunedin. Donna has broad cross sector knowledge as an experienced CEO and governor within the public, NGO and Voluntary sectors. A former senior executive with Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Donna has been involved in a range of post-settlement affairs including the brokering of MoU. She has extensive experience as a policy director for government responsible for the research, international and monitoring portfolios at Te Puni Kokiri. As an academic within the University of Otago Donna's published research interests have covered Whanau Development, Whanau Resilience, Maori Women and Co-production. Donna's most recent expertise reflects her experiences in organisational structures and change management, business start-ups, coaching and facilitation and models of governance. Donna is currently on the Well South Primary Health Network, Alliance South, Chair of the MoH NGO Council, University of Otago Council, a Gambling Commissioner and is Chair of Otakou Runanga.


Roger Strasser

Professor Roger Strasser is a leader in the global reform of health professional education. Recognizing the importance of context and community in medical education and research, Professor Strasser has gained an international reputation for developing and refining novel strategies to train health professionals in and for rural communities. As a result of his formative work in his field, Professor Strasser has become one of the world's foremost authorities in rural, socially accountable medical education, as well as a sought-after speaker and advisor.

Prior to moving to Northern Ontario in 2002 with his wife of over 30 years, Professor Sarah Strasser, and their five children, Roger Strasser was Professor of Rural Health and Head of the Monash University School of Rural Health in Australia and had an international role with the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) as Chair of the Working Party on Rural Practice from 1992-2004.  


Matt Vickers

Last year, Lecretia Seales rose to public prominence with her decision to apply to the High Court to have the right to choose how she died. Given her progressive and terminal brain cancer and the prognosis she received from her doctors, she sought the choice to have a doctor-assisted death should her suffering have become intolerable. Seales v Attorney General was a landmark case that clarified the law on assisted dying in New Zealand and reignited the public debate on the choices we should have at the ends of our lives. Lecretia Seales was named New Zealander of the Year by the New Zealand Herald.

Her husband, Matt Vickers, was by her side during her illness and her court case and has continued her campaign for assisted dying laws. He authored a blog, Lecretia's Choice, which documented Lecretia's illness, her legal battle, and her death. Last year he spoke at TEDx Christchurch on Lecretia's campaign. He is writing a book on Lecretia's life and work which will be published later this year.

Matt holds a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Victoria University of Wellington, and leads the emerging markets product division at global accounting software company Xero, where he has worked since 2009.  



Concurrent speakers

Richard Adamson

Richard Adamson has worked in various roles at Bank of New Zealand for the past 9 years, spending the last 5 years specialising in financing the Health sector throughout the South Island. Currently based in Christchurch Richard has oversight across the South Island and is supported by a team covering the North Island. 

Being actively involved daily with clients across the Health spectrum gives Richard a detailed understanding of client's unique requirements and the complexities that come with business ownership within the medical sector. Having a portfolio of health professionals allows sharing of best practice ideas, connecting people with appropriate skills and partnering with business owners to achieve their goals and ultimately allow them to spend more time treating their patients. Richard has a real passion for supporting younger Health Practitioners into practice ownership and helping existing owners achieve their goals, either personal or professionally as they move through their careers.

I will be presenting a session to provide information on financing the purchase of a practice or shareholding, positioning your practice for sale and an update on what is happening in the market at the moment.


John Ayling 

John operates his own business providing a range of contracted and consultancy services to a number of health care and disability service providers. He currently chairs the PHO Alliance. Recent roles have included being Chair of Access Homehealth Ltd [the operating arm of Rural Women New Zealand], prior to its sale in late 2014 and Chair of the West Coast Primary Health Organisation from which he has recently retired after 9 years in the role. He was the inaugural Coordinator for the National Cardiac Surgery Clinical Network and has undertaken a variety of roles in management of emergency services including being the Chair of the former Pandemic Influenza Reference Committee which assessed the capability of the health sector to manage a pandemic of influenza.

Emma Bilous

Since 1998 I have provided a remote rural midwifery service in Wanaka, Central Otago as a self-employed community based midwife offering birthing services at home, at the primary unit of Charlotte Jean in Alexandra and in the tertiary setting of Queen Mary, Dunedin. During this time I have lived the reality of the changes to the provision of maternity services in an area with an increasing birthing population which is geographically isolated in terms of maternity facilities and support.

In the past five years I have also been employed as a lecturer in the Bachelor of Midwifery degree programme at Otago Polytechnic, which provides a blended model format of midwifery education across the lower South and North islands.

I work as a rural midwifery locum and mentor and provide mentorship for newly graduated midwives in the Midwifery First Year of Practice Programme. I have a special interest in the provision of rural maternity services and care

David Bratt

Dr David Bratt is first and foremost a General Practitioner who spent 30 years in front-line general practice enjoying the delivery of individual face-to-face health services. In 2002 a new opportunity presented itself to improve patients' access to specialist secondary services and close the gap in the primary/secondary interface with his appointment to the new position of GP Liaison and Primary Care Advisor to Capital and Coast DHB. This exposure to a large multilayered organisation required a whole new set of skills and an understanding of the relatively slow pace of change possible compared to a typical small business general practice. A further leap into the unknown occurred in 2007 with his appointment to the new position of Principal Health Advisor to the Ministry of Social Development. This is General Practice at a systems level – working with a population around the wider social determinants of health – employment, income, housing, education, and access to health services. In this position he had to opportunity to work on collecting together the substantial body of evidence on the health benefits of work, and the significant adverse health outcomes of worklessness.

Mark Bryan

Mark qualified from Glasgow in 1988, and after 7 years in the UK in rural practice he moved to rural practice in New Zealand. He is a founding director of VetSouth, which was set up in 2006, and which now employs around 50 vets and services almost 300,000 dairy cows. 

As Managing Director of VetSouth, his prime responsibility is for business development. He has a Masters in Epidemiology, and splits his time roughly 50% clinical; 50% research; and 50% management work.

He is also Managing Director of XLVets in New Zealand, Director of West Coast Vets, and sits on the board of the New Zealand Veterinary Association. At home he runs a few kids, 1700 breeding ewes, has a shareholding in a local dairy farm, and is also a member of the Alpine Search and Rescue Squad. 

Joe Cain (BSc, MBA) Senior Manager,  Business Development, Hospital to Home ANZ

As Senior Business Development Manager, Joe's major focus is fortifying organisational partnerships with Australia and New Zealand's public and private care providers offering innovative solutions in Ambulatory, Aged and Inpatient Care. Joe has national commercial experience in product development, product management and business development across remote pathology, remote monitoring and remote diagnostics in NZ metropolitan and remote healthcare systems. His foremost objectives are to initiate, foster and expand Hospital to Home programs which produce measurable health, financial and operational outcomes for all members of the care journey. Joe's current projects involve utilising innovative funding models such as Social Impact Bonds and risk sharing models with a view to align incentives of stakeholders in these partnerships.


Born and brought up in Dundee, Scotland, Struan graduated from the University of Aberdeen on 1987 and completed his GP training in rural Aberdeenshire. 

A year with Greenpeace brought him to Aotearoa in January 1991, where he met his future wife, and (after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing) stayed.

Since 1996 he has been a rural doctor in Golden Bay. A keen teacher, he is also a Professional Practice Fellow with the Department of General Practice and Rural Health at the University of Otago, Dunedin.

Struan is a Fellow of the Division of Rural Hospital Medicine of New Zealand and a Distinguished Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.


Sue Crengle

Dr Sue Crengle's Iwi affiliations are Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe, and Waitaha.  She is a General Practitioner and Public Health Physician.  She obtained her medical, MPH and PhD degrees from the University of Auckland.  She was a Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy in 1999-2000.  She works part-time at Invercargill Medical Centre and part-time as a researcher.  She is a member of the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee, on the Board of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, and is a member of He Ahuru Mowai (national Maori cancer leadership group) and Te Waipounamu Maori Cancer Leadership group. 

Consultant and Senior Lecturer Dept O&G Dunedin Hospital  and Otago University

RANZCOG Councillor,   NZ Chair of  Specialty Training and a Convenor  of  RANZCOG  examinations and NZ Diploma  and Certificate of Womens' HealthDistance- taught courses.

Current Research Interests include Fetal growth restriction, Pre Term labour and Pre eclampsia . conditions  associated with HPV in placenta and the female and male  genital tract.  Also Access to Womens' Health   care in rural areas.

Teaching interests   includes  both  undergraduate and  postgraduate  courses and multi-disciplinary workshops in Emergency Obstetrics. Also  convenes  Clinical  Anatomy and Basic Surgical Skills Workshops  for specialty trainees.

Celia has and has lived rurally with her husband and grown up family  on their farm in the  Mackenzie Country for 35 years. She  has worked as O&G  specialist over this time in both rural, provincial and tertiary units in South Island of  NZ. She also provided cover for the solo  rural GP. 

Previously she established womens health programmes in under-privileged communities overseas.

"Obstetrics, Gynaecology and delivery of  health care to all women in NZ,  embraces aspects of both medicine, surgery ,and some procedures  particular to conception, obstetrics and pelvic floor management.  This  has made a wonderfully interesting career I which  would do all over again. I enjoy  sharing my  experiences  with another generation."

Pam Doole 

Pam Doole has worked for the Council in a variety of roles including  professional standards manager where she was responsible for the approval of PDRP programmes, the recertification audit and competence review. In her present role her strategic projects have included the review of the Code of Conduct and proposals for nurse prescribing. Before joining the Council she was Director of Nursing at Hutt Valley DHB for six years and the professional development and recognition programme coordinator for two years. She has also worked as a nurse in various clinical areas at Wellington Hospital. Pam has a Bachelor of Arts in history, a Diploma in Nursing and a Master in Philosophy (Nursing) (with Distinction).


Susan Dovey

Susan Dovey is a general practice researcher, a Professor in the Department of General Practice and Rural Health at the Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, and Convenor of Rural Research. Professor Dovey's research reflects the breadth of primary health care, covering a broad range of clinical, policy, and health services research topics and involving collaborations with general practitioners, primary care nurses, community pharmacists, and others. She has many international affiliations, having worked in the UK, Australia, and the United States, she is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Primary Health Care, and she has authored more than 150 scientific papers and reports. As well as including a rural dimension in most of her research, for some time now a major research interest has been in patient safety. She is currently studying the epidemiology of harm in rural and urban, large and small New Zealand general practices, supported by a grant from the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

Elwyn Eastlake

Following early careers in personnel management and marketing Elwyn has spent the last 25 years involved in health sector.

He is currently coordinating the RNZCGP response to the introduction of Community Based Attachments for PGY 1&2 doctors with a particular emphasis on working with medical schools and the College's GPEP programme to ensure there is sufficient capacity within general practice for all training requirements.

Elwyn is a resident of rural Wairarapa giving him a keen interest in the future of the rural health sector.

Alison Eddy

Alison is a practising midwife and deputy chairperson of the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Committee.  She is based in Christchurch and works as a Midwifery Advisor at the New Zealand College of Midwives.


Kyle Ford

Kyle Forde is the CIO at WellSouth Primary Health Network (PHO). He has a twenty year history of innovation within the IT industry, and he brings to all his work a true passion for exploring and facilitating the ever-growing relationship between IT and the public health sector. Kyle is also on the board of Anglican Family Care and through this medium too, he intends to use his knowledge and experience to help the Dunedin community.


Pragati Gautama

Trained in the UK , Pragati has made New Zealand her home for the past 20 years - and can truly say that Rural Medicine is a passion. She is a Clinical leader for the Division of Rural Hospital Medicine and is involved as a trainer for EMST and APLS courses.


Felicity Goodyear-Smith

Felicity Goodyear-Smith is a general practitioner and academic head of the Department of General Practice & Primary Health Care, University of Auckland. She is responsible for oversight of the general practice component of the MB ChB curriculum. The aim is to give medical students rich and rewarding experiences in general practice and community-based care, especially in rural settings, so that they consider rural and /or general practice as a career. With numbers of medical students growing each year, she is always keen to recruit and retain high quality rural teaching practices.


Belinda Green

Belinda Green is a cardiologist at Dunedin Public Hospital and has wide experience in many aspects of cardiology gathered from working in Edinburgh, Cape Town and Dundee  and spent the last  15 years in New Zealand. She lives with her husband and son and several inexpertly trained dogs.

Fraser Hamilton

Fraser Hamilton is a General Practitioner in Hamilton.  He also works as a Medical Officer for the Cardiology Clinical Trials Unit at Waikato Hospital. In July 2014 he became the GP Champion for the Heart Foundation helping to advocate for, and support the delivery of, cardiovascular risk assessments and management.


Jason Hill  MBChB FRACP FRCP Edin

Jason Hill is the current Clinical Leader for Gastroenterology and endoscopy services in Southern DHB. Having steered the service out of difficult waters he will oversee the (long overdue and well publicised) upgrade of the Gastroenterology Unit in Dunedin Hospital as well as creating a service that would be capable of managing the future roll-out of a population bowel screening programme in the district.

Jason is a graduate of the University of Leeds. After initially pursuing a surgical career, he subsequently completed postgraduate exams in Medicine and moved to New Zealand in 2006 to complete specialist training in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine. He was awarded Fellowship of the Australasian College of Physicians in 2013 and became a Fellow of the Royal College Of Physicians of Edinburgh in 2014. In addition to a busy clinical workload, he actively participates in regional and national initiatives to improve endoscopy quality and access, endoscopy training for medical, surgical (and in 2016) nurse endoscopists and has been expert reviewer for BPAC guidelines.


Gemma Hutton

Gemma Hutton is a Rural Nurse Specialist in Franz Josef Glacier, a rural and remote town on the West Coast of New Zealand. Prior to this role she has worked in Emergency and Public Health and has found entering into Rural Nursing an exciting and challenging new role. She completed her PG certificate and is starting her PG diploma this year with hopes of achieving her Nurse Practitioners one day. Gemma received the NZNO Young Nurse of the year award in 2015.


Rhonda Johnson  RN, PGDip Health Sciences in Advanced Nursing, PG Cert in Intensive Care Nursing

Initially worked in Operating Theatres and ICU in Auckland, Melbourne and Edinburgh.  Settled in Central Otago and commenced the role of Charge Nurse in Dunstan Hospital's rural acute medical ward in July 2005.  Completed a PG Cert in Intensive Care Nursing at La Trobe University, Melbourne while working at The Alfred Hospital ICU.  Further study through the Rural Institute of NZ and the University of Auckland lead to a PG Dip in Advanced Nursing in 2009.  Juggles an 0.8FTE as Charge Nurse together with being a Mum to 3 young boys. 


Tania Kemp

Nurse Practitioner. Of Te Atiawa, Nga Mahanga O Tairi decent, I am a 6th generation Pitt Islander, (Chatham Islands). My background is rural to the bone! I've worked on South Island West Coast, Pitt Island, the Chatham Islands and Waimate, Sth Canterbury. I'm on the board of the Rural General Practice Network and I also sit on the NZ Nursing Council. 

Chris Chamberlain 

Primary Health Care RN. Born in Nelson and worked in many different areas and places. I have worked in education- tutor, Intensive/ coronary Care Units, Diabetes specialty, rheumatology and General Practice. Spent some years in Australia and USA-  before returning to South Canterbury 

Debi Lawry

I have worked in the health sector, as a registered nurse for 40 years. My career has taken me from specialisation to generalisation. I spent many years working in Neonatal Intensive Care Units at National Womens Hospital and Middlemore Hospitals. During this time I moved away from hands on care in the incubator to other roles which included Clinical Nurse Educator, Charge Nurse and Clinical Nurse Consultant. All these roles involved supporting nurses to provide excellence in clinical care.

Fifteen years ago I left Auckland and moved to Dunedin to take up a role as Nurse Director at Dunedin Hospital. This professional leadership role covered clinical areas such as Child and Women's Health, Public Health, General and Specialist Surgery, Intensive Care and Theatres and Emergency Department. 

The breadth of this experience prepared me for my current role as Nursing Services Manager at Dunstan Hospital in Central Otago. I continue to support nurses in every way I can, so they can have the skills, knowledge and resource to provide the best care possible for our patients, and to work collaboratively with our colleagues to achieve the health outcomes that our community deserve.


Patrick Manning

Patrick Manning is a consultant endocrinologist for the Southern District Health Board and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Otago.  He has over 20 years' experience as a consultant endocrinologist and has published extensively in the area of diabetes and endocrinology.


Brendan Marshall 

Brendan grew up, did his medical training and the majority of his post graduate training in Queensland. During that time he met a Kiwi lass who eventually decided that 36mm of rain per year and 40 degree days should make way for 3.6m of rain per year and views of the snow covered Alps and thus he and his expanding family (2 kids with a 3rd on the way in May) now call Greymouth and the West Coast home. 

Brendan believes that there is much truth to rural pipeline training concept. He went to a workshop as a teenager about the need for rural doctors, took a rural scholarship and completed many of his placements at medical school in regional or remote locations, before eventually completing rural general practice training. This meant rotations through Cairns, Cape York and Thursday Island, Christchurch (yes that's right!), Mossman, and finally Longreach.  

There are many overlaps with training a rural workforce in NZ to Queensland. In relation to medical graduates he is particularly interested in the opportunities that the MCNZ community placement (PGY1/2) offers and aware of the pressures increasing graduate numbers has placed on training. He is part of a group attempting to stream line a training scheme for those interested in RHM and GP training on the Coast. He also has a particular interest in procedural training of GPs. While he has attended many rural conferences in Queensland it is the first time at such an event in NZ and he looks forward to meeting colleagues from around the country.  

Al McCone

Al McCone completed his Masters Degree in Psychology at the University of Canterbury prior to joining the Army.  

Over the next 30 years he filled many positions including Chief HR Officer for Army and Commandant of the New Zealand Defence College.  Al deployed to Bougainville as the Senior New Zealand Officer, and also served in East Timor.

Al become HR Manager for Landcorp Farming Ltd in 2011.  

In September 2014 Al joined WorkSafeNZ as the Programme Manager Agriculture.  In this position he is responsible for the implementation of the Safer Farms Programme.

Bridget-Mary McGown MMgt (Health Services), BHSc, CTRS 

Bridget-Mary is the Manager of Alliance South and leads the Alliance Programme Office. She has significant health experience having worked in primary, secondary and community settings. Bridget-Mary is passionate about the opportunity that "Alliancing" presents to bring about transformational system change as we develop new ways of working.


Ryan McLane

Ryan McLane has worked in public health in a range of settings over the past two decades, including managing a public health unit in the Alaskan arctic for a number of years; leading a clinical team in an Ebola Treatment Unit in Sierra Leone; and providing direct care for populations as diverse as indigenous Siberians, undocumented agricultural workers in California, and civilians caught in civil conflict in Guatemala. During his seven years in New Zealand he has previously worked with the Southern District Health Board and the University of Otago Medical School. He holds degrees in Nursing and History from the University of Alaska, a Masters in International Relations from Troy State University, and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His PhD work with the University of Otago focused upon the 1918 influenza pandemic in the Samoas, Tonga, and Fiji. He is currently employed by the New Zealand Ministry of Health's Communicable Disease Team.


Garry Nixon

Dr Garry Nixon has worked as a Rural Generalist at Dunstan Hospital in Central Otago since 1991.  He is a rotational supervisor for registrars at the hospital. He is a Senior Lecturer in Rural Health with the University of Otago, Director of the Dunedin School of Medicine's Rural Postgraduate Programme and Chair of the Division of Health Sciences Rural Working Party. He chaired the working party that lead to the recognition of rural hospital medicine as a new scope of practice and was the first chair of the RNZCGP Division of Rural Hospital Medicine.  He is a member of the RNZCGP's Education Advisory Group.


John Petrie

John Petrie is a Rheumatologist at QE Health (previously known as Queen Elizabeth Hospital) in Rotorua.

He was trained in Auckland, graduating BSc and MB ChB from Auckland University Medical School.  After three years advanced training in rheumatology within New Zealand he spent a further two years as an Honorary Senior Registrar at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge. On his return he was appointed as one of a group of Rheumatologists and Orthopaedic Surgeons working closely with a spectrum of Allied Health Professionals at what was the National Centre for Rheumatic Disease.

His primary clinical interest remains the diagnosis and holistic management of rheumatological conditions and chronic musculoskeletal pain including back pain and fibromyalgia syndrome.

Brent Pownall

Brent is the Commercial Director for Pacific Edge Diagnostics New Zealand, the commercial arm in New Zealand and Australia for NZX-listed Cancer Diagnostics Company Pacific Edge Limited (NZX: PEB). Pacific Edge specialises in the discovery and commercialisation of diagnostic and prognostic tests for better detection and monitoring of cancer. Brent has significant experience in the development, commercialisation, and strategic marketing of biologics and biomedical products in New Zealand, Australia, Asia and the United States.


Tracey Reid RN CNE Pgdip Rural Nursing, PGcert Hsci

Returned to NZL in 2005 from working in Australia for 5 years in critical care environments, where I took up a position at Dunstan Hospital's Rural secondary inpatient ward. In 2006 was awarded the Clinical Nurse Educator position which I remain in as well as working in the inpatient ward and HDU area. I am also a CORE instructor with NZRC.


Paul Rowe, BA, BBS

Paul is support manager for two of Alliance South's Service Level Alliance Teams (SLATs) – Urgent Care and Rural Health.  He is relatively new to the health field, having worked at WellSouth for the past three years.  He is an experienced researcher and analyst who has previously worked in the corporate sector in New Zealand and the UK.


Sharon Sandilands

I have been working in Diabetes Specialist Service, Secondary Care for 11 years, and  completed a Masters Degree in Clinical Nursing while working as a Diabetes Nurse Specialist in Nelson.  I completed a Prescribing Practicuum which enabled me to commence Diabetes Nurse Prescribing when this was authorised by Nursing Council in 2012.  This service enables increased access to specialist diabetes care in rural New Zealand, providing a holistic service without the barrier of cost.

I joined the rural hospital team in Central Otago at Dunstan Hospital in 2012, and provide diabetes care to a population of 40,000 people across Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes.  I work in conjunction with a Dietitian, we teach Carbohydrate Counting and have the capability of commencing people on insulin pumps. We work with families across the life span, including diabetes in pregnancy and  paediatrics. We run telemedicine clinics in conjunction with a Paediatric Endocrinologist in Dunedin, saving families many hours of travel to their 3 monthly clinics.   This role also supports General Practice Teams across the region in managing people with Type 2 Diabetes.

Marian Scanlan
Alcohol and other drugs practitioner 

My introduction to addictions came via an ACC-related rehabilitation some 20+ years ago that prompted a volunteer working involvement with people at risk of blood borne viruses that led to an interest in addiction via people who inspired and encouraged me towards the study needed for working in the addiction field.  Study required practicum time in outpatient and residential setting and the completion and presentation of a research project and it was the outcome of this study that laid the foundation for my interest in working with AOD clients in rural areas. 

In brief, my study project took a five year retrospective look at trends in the difference in first presentation of 130+ male and female clients from urban and rural (55) areas who had attended a residential treatment programme for chronic alcohol use.  Trends identified were; the age difference in between urban and rural clients (rural client were older and fewer overall),they were less likely to have a mental health diagnosis of (anxiety or depression or ASPD), they  had a greatly increased likelihood of being diagnosed with diabetes or peripheral neuropathy, were more likely to have drink driving offences, and although it took longer for rural clients they did eventually catch up their city counterparts in the area of relationship difficulties. 

The rural client group were also less likely to have access to local supportive social networks and services providers that their urban counterparts.   They were also more likely to be in denial. 

Jo Scott-Jones

Jo Scott-Jones  is a GP in Opotiki, a small town on the East coast of the North Island of New Zealand, he is the Chairperson of the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand, and sits on the WONCA rural health working party as representative of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners. He is chairperson of the RNZCGP Rural Chapter. He is an enthusiastic rural teacher, and social media promoter of #ruralhealth @opotikigp.


Amanda Sommerfeldt

Amanda is from the United States and graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in 2006. She completed training in Family Medicine at McLeod Regional Medical Center in 2009, and finished a family medicine fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine in 2010. Amanda has worked full time in hospice and palliative medicine since then, and she and her family made the move to New Zealand in January 2016. She is currently the Medical Director and Palliative Specialist for Hospice Southland in Invercargill. Her special interests include advance care planning and complex symptom management. 


Sue Stewart

It's all about the Planning.  
With a doctor in my household I understand that finding time to concentrate on planning for anything, let alone retirement that seems a long way off, is a tough ask.  However, the satisfaction gained from feeling in control, and the long term benefits are immeasurable.  With a Plan you are able to make better financial decisions and therefore ensure your current strong income flows maximise your future retirement position.

At MFAS we seek to make the investment pathway for our clients as smooth as possible and use sophisticated planning software to assist. I will demonstrate how the use of software will provide analysis for investment planning answering vexing questions such as; How Should I Allocate Current Assets to Suit My Objectives, How Much do I Need in Retirement, or for those nearing retirement,  How Much Can I Spend?

Within this session I will not be promoting "product" but rather providing ideas to enable well informed financial decisions for attendees.

Taumarunui Community Kokiri Trust

A Kaupapa Maori Organisation that is a leader in innovative models of care since 1989 beginning as a Maori Health Committee and today encompassing comprehensive service delivery in: Primary and Secondary Health care, Education, Social Services, Budgeting Advice, Maori & Pasifika Trade Trading Education, Care for the elderly and Family Violence intervention.

Christine Brears;  CEO - A Visionary for wellness and motion.
Key in the development of Maori Health, Social Service and Education in a Rural Community. Christine has been a mover of innovative models of care in rural communities, growing a  team of multi-disciplinary practitioners 
Beginning as a member of a Maori Health Committee more than 27 years ago, Christine  today leads a Multi-disciplinary Organisation made up of GP practices, Social Services, Early Childhood Education and a Lifestyle Home for the Elderly employing more than 100 kaimahi in both clinical and non-clinical roles who are predominantly Maori. Christine presents the Trust's vision of "restoring, enhancing mana, confidence and wellbeing in our communities" – through innovative models of care

Piki Taiaroa; Operations Manager- Maori development is a passion of Piki's – ensuring that our most vulnerable have access to quality services such as health, education and social services.  Piki will present the data the reflects the innovation of  Taumarunui Community Kokiri Trust's integrated model of care with both a clinical and non-clinical setting.

Toni-ann Beekmans; Nurse navigator in GP & Family Start worker; A qualified Registered Nurse Toni-ann came to Taumarunui Community Kokiri Trust as a Family Start practictioner which is a homebased programme that aims at improving health and education outcomes for children aged 0-5 years and their families.  This year Toni-ann has also taken on a part time role as a Nurse Navigator in our GP clinic providing an integrated model of care for patients with long term conditions.  Toni-ann will be presenting our Innovation - GP integrated model of care – Toni-ann demonstrates the positive outcomes achieved by engaging the individual through a client centred focus rather than the 'presenting illness."

Vida Tangihaere; Whanau Ora Navigator – Smoking Cessation Practitioner – A qualified Family Start practitioner, Vida is presenting the successful integrated model of care for Smoking Cessation.  The model of care empowers individuals and whanau to lead a healthy lifestyle through physical activity programmes such as Waka Ama and healthy eating such as growing your own Mara Kai and engaging whanau in real time such as their place of work, shearing events and more.  This integrated model of care shows the organisation leading Smoking Cessation.

Rob Walker

Mary Glendenning Chair of Medicine, Professor in Medicine 
Head of Department, Department of Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago.
Consultant Nephrologist and Head of Nephrology, Southern District Health Board.

Academic Qualifications: MB ChB Otago 1979, MD Otago 1990, FRACP 1985, FAHA 2010, FASN 2010 

Prof Walker is a clinical and academic nephrologist with extensive experience in the areas of clinical and experimental nephrology research with a particular emphasis on cardiovascular risk factors in chronic kidney disease and hypertension. Areas of research interest include dialysis outcomes in the elderly; cardiovascular risk factors associated with renal disease; hypertension, obesity and inflammation; the impact of insulin resistance on cardiovascular risk factors; drug induced nephrotoxicity; the impact of drugs and exercise on kidney function; mechanisms of chronic kidney fibrosis; and genetics in renal disease. This research has resulted in over 210 refereed journal papers. He is the director of 'The Kidney in Health and Disease' Research group based at the University of Otago. He has over 210 peer-reviewed publications. 

Present research/professional specialty; Kidney disease, dialysis and transplantation; Cardiovascular risk factors in chronic kidney disease; Drug nephrotoxicity – drug-induced kidney injury; Oxidative stress in Chronic Kidney Disease; mechanisms of chronic interstitial fibrosis; renal denervation and sympathetic nervous system in CKD; Interventions in acute kidney injury; Renal genetics and developmental abnormalities - renal cystic disease; Kidney function in endurance sports 

Greville Wood
General Practitioner, Methadone Medical Officer West Coast DHB. 

Schooled in Zimbabwe, medical training in Cape Town, South Africa, with the aim of working rurally. 

One of the first GPs to be vocationally trained in South Africa. I worked as a general practitioner with extensive Hospital, surgical, occupational health and emergency department experience whilst working in Durban, South Africa. 

Moved to Greymouth, New Zealand, in June, 1999. I love living here. I have worked as a GP for the West Coast DHB and in many other roles as the need arose. These have included paediatrics, medicine, orthopaedic surgery, accident and emergency, mental health and dementia and in Westport. 

In 2000 the Psychiatrist covering the methadone service retired and he asked if I would like to take on the role of the Methadone Medical Officer. I knew very little about methadone but accepted the challenge and I am now one of the longer serving methadone medical officers in this area in the country. It has been a steep learning curve but the experience has enriched my practice. I look forward to sharing how our service functions at this conference. 

David Young

Graduated from University of Otago Medical School 1975. Dermatologist based in Dunedin since 1983. Currently working at Dunedin and Southland Hospitals, Student Health, private clinics in Alexandra and Queenstown every fortnight plus undertaking short term dermatology locums in Australia twice a year. General dermatologist with special interests in paediatric dermatology, systemic treatment of severe inflammatory dermatoses and skin cancer