Together we advocate, grow, and inspire health leaders for better health outcomes for all in Aotearoa.

ACHSM – Aotearoa is the professional organisation for health and disability leaders and managers in New Zealand. Through a nationwide network, members connect in a supportive, encouraging and nurturing environment. Our role is to grow the knowledge, skills and competencies of effective leaders/managers at each point in the system.

Via a Memorandum of Understanding, ACHSM - Aotearoa is a branch of the Australasian College of Health Service Management. We value the international network and wide range of learning opportunities that belonging to the ACHSM College provides for our members. 

ACHSM – Aotearoa has a National Council and holds a range of activities such as the Journal Club; webinar, fellowship and certification programmes; mentorship and professional advice.  There are four regions: Northern, Midland, Central and Southern for networking and support.  

We are a member organisation with an established professional pathway to provide professional support for those doing postgraduate leadership and management studies through to those in executive, policy, research, academic and governance roles.  We welcome member engagement and love to hear your ideas and how we can best support you on your career pathway and in your professional role.

Interested in joining ACHSM – Aotearoa? Please get in touch using the contact form on this page.



Upcoming ACHSM – Aotearoa events

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ACHSM – Aotearoa National Council Members


Catherine Cooney MNZM FCHSM CHE


Cathy Cummings FCHSM CHE


Therese Jeffs FCHSM CHE

Branch Councillors

Jagpal Benipal FCHSM CHE 'The Fellowship Coordinator is an Ex-Officio Member of the Council'
Paula Murray FCHSM CHE
Dave Nicholl FCHSM CHE

Craig Tamblyn FCHSM CHE
Dr Christine Clark FACHSM CHE

Natalie Lindsay MCHSM
Jacqueline Jeffs – Student Member

Aotearoa Branch Council office bearers

Catherine Cooney



Cathy was appointed President of ACHSM-Aotearoa in June 2021. She is the Director of Kowhai Health Associates Limited, a health consultancy company established 2012. She has been involved with ACHSM-Aotearoa (formerly NZ Institute of Health Management) since 1998 and completed her ACHSM Fellowship in 2010.

Cathy is a Registered Nurse and Midwife, the Chief Executive of Lakes District Health Board from 2001 to 2012 and the Director of Nursing and Midwifery from 1994-2000. She has a background in governance, health sector leadership, executive management, public health nursing and community development.

Cathy is currently the Chair of Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology; Chair of interRAI NZ Leadership Advisory Board; Independent Facilitator Kaiāwhina (non-regulated) Workforce Plan; Chair Whānau, Community and Social Services Workforce Reference Group; a member of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal; Co-Chair for Healthy Families Rotorua; a member of Institute of Directors; and a Fellow and Censor of the College of Nurses, Aotearoa. She is also very involved in her local community including as a Judicial Justice of the Peace and Convenor of her church Community Facing Ministries.

Cathy was awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours Awards for her contribution to health and the community.

Jagpal Benipal

FCHSM CHE PhD MBS (distinction) BHSc RCompN

ACHSM (Aotearoa) Fellowship Program Coordinator
Service Development Manager Primary Care Integration, Service Development & Innovation Waikato District Health Board and Senior Honorary Lecturer, The University of Auckland.

Jagpal is currently employed as a Service Development Manager Primary Care Integration at Waikato DHB. He has worked in the health sector since 1988 in a variety of clinical nursing, leadership and management within the DHB environment. He has lead quality improvement, workforce and service development initiatives, and has made substantial contributions through innovations in hospital, primary and community care services. Jagpal’s background in quality improvement and workforce development, both in clinical and leadership excellence, is supported by his academic credentials in health sciences, business studies, and PhD research related to acute admissions. Jagpal has also made a substantial contribution to development of a Bachelor of Nursing, and Postgraduate leadership & quality improvement courses at The University of Auckland. Jagpal has presented numerous papers related to quality improvement, leadership and health service management, at national and international conferences and has contributed to a book entitled ‘Making Quality Improvement Work’. Jagpal received Silver Fern Award in 2019 for recognising his outstanding to the College. (Local branch – Hamilton).


Cathy Cummings


Director, Specialist Advisor, The DAA Group

Cathy is director of The DAA Group, a health accreditation and auditing agency.

Cathy has wide and in-depth experience in health and disability services, having worked in the health sector as a registered nurse in New Zealand, Australia and in the United Kingdom.

Cathy has extensive auditing and quality management experience in most sectors of health. She has managed a quality auditing agency for more than twenty-five years and has in-depth expertise in certification, accreditation, contracts and issues-based auditing, as well as standards development.

Cathy has extensive experience in standards development having been a member of numerous standards development committees in NZ. For this work she has been awarded the Standards NZ Meritorious Service Award.

Cathy is also a member of the Australian Council for Healthcare Standards committee and is an international surveyor for ISQua – the organisation that accredits the accreditor.

Cathy is a member of the Institute of Directors.

Therese Jeffs



Thérèse is the Chief Executive of The Care Village, Ngongotahā, Rotorua. She is a Registered Nurse with a Graduate Dip Business Studies, PG Infection Control and PG Dip Health Management. She has worked in health for over 45 years and spent over 30 years in senior management, training and development, auditing, change and project management.

Inspired by the Dutch De Hogeweyk care model for those living with dementia, Thérèse has successfully led, designed, built, and introduced the first New Zealand interpretation of a homelike model of aged care based on lifestyles.

In 2020 The Care Village was the winner of the Supreme NZ Aged Care Association EBOS Healthcare Overall Excellence in Aged Care Award.

Paula Anne Murray

FCHSM CHE PgDip BSc RN MNurs DHsc Candidate

Paula has been a fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management (ACHSM) since 2017.  She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Kakariki Hospital but over the last 20years has held a number of senior executive roles in the New Zealand Private hospital setting.  Most recently  focusing on the commissioning of new private surgical hospitals, to support the health needs of New Zealanders. Paula prides herself on being a strong communicator, a skillful networker and life long learner and is committed to developing a future workforce as we move into a more digitalised healthcare system. Paula's doctoral study is focused on the  impact computerised clinical decision support systems are having on the decision latitude of nurses.

Dave Nicholl


Service Manager Medicine, Christchurch Hospital

Dave has worked for Canterbury District Health Board, (now Te Whatu Ora, Health New Zealand), since 2011, managing General Medicine, Dermatology and Clinical Pharmacology.
Prior to this, he managed the audit programme for the South Island Alliance Office, commissioning audits of DHB-funded health services around the South Island.
Before moving to Christchurch, he managed the quality audit programme within the Disability Services Directorate at the Ministry of Health.  As well as extensive experience working in Quality and the operational side of health delivery, David has experience working in the disability field, previously with IHC and the Christchurch City Council.  He currently sits on the Disability Steering Group for the Canterbury District Health Board.

Craig Tamblyn


Craig became a Fellow of ACHSM in December 2018, joining the New Zealand Council in that same year.

Craig has also been the health representative on Whānau Āwhina Plunket Board since 2016 and over this time, has developed an understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by national health NGOs.

Craig is currently the Chief Executive of Hospice Waikato, the only hospice in New Zealand that, in addition to its adult service, has a children and young person’s service palliative care service - Rainbow Place. This service provides end-of-life care to children and psychological support to siblings and family members.

Previously, Craig has held varied management roles in government and non-government health, the disability, volunteer and community sectors and understands the environments in some detail. Craig is a registered nurse, with a business degree in health service management, an MBA from Massey University and Post Grad Cert (Leadership and Governance) from Waikato University.

Dr Christine Clark


Christine Clark is Chief Executive and visionary of Kalandra Group, a family-based organisation focussing on improving the lives of the vulnerable person, not just in New Zealand but internationally. Kalandra was established to do something about this, improve education, develop training that was quite different and to source products that are normally not affordable.

Christine has been Chair of several boards and associations that advocate for improving lives of communities, strengthening education, and supporting vulnerable people. Christine has been a guest speaker on multiple forums, encouraging people to collaborate and look for opportunities because she passionately believes that by working together there is strength.  

A Registered Nurse, a fellow of the Australasian Council of Health Service Management and a Doctor of Health Science, Christine is the mother to two daughters both of whom work in Kalandra, grandmother to Spencer aged 9, Savannah and Lucas (twins) aged 2 and pseudo mum to two dogs and two cats.  In her spare time Christine enjoys half marathons completing over 60 of these and has been known to race cars and owned a Harley.


FCHSM CHE RN RM BA Hons MA PGDip (Management) Hon Prof

Before joining Pinnacle, Jan was the managing director for Bupa villages and aged care in Australia and New Zealand and was Bupa’s global chief nurse.

She is a registered nurse and midwife and has held various senior nursing and management posts in the UK, New Zealand and Australia across the public and private sectors.

Jan's career in health spans forty-nine years. She was chief operating officer at Waikato DHB for eight years and was closely involved in the redevelopment programme as well as managing the operational and financial day to day performance of the provider arm. Her time with Bupa included working with nurses across the globe as well as having overall responsibility for the retirement villages and aged care facilities across Australia and New Zealand.

Jan has served as a member of the Nursing Council of New Zealand, as a board member of the New Zealand Aged Care Association and the national Aged Care Steering Group and represented nursing on the national InterRAI board.

Jan is a Fellow of the College and a Certified Health Executive. She was awarded an Honorary Professorship at the University of Waikato in 2022.

Natalie Lindsay

MCHSM RN BN MA (Appl Nurs) PhD candidate

Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington

Natalie is a nurse academic leading the Health Leadership and Management specialisation within the Faculty of Health at Victoria University of Wellington.  Having worked as a registered nurse in New Zealand and in the United Kingdom, Natalie has expertise in clinical nursing, and leadership and management roles in the public hospital setting. Natalie is committed to lifting the capability and capacity of students to advance their careers and improve the health outcomes for those in Aotearoa New Zealand. She has developed academic programmes and courses, collaborating with stakeholders to respond to health sector needs.  Supervising Masters research and teaching postgraduate (domestic and international) students from across the health sector, Natalie supports diverse learning needs to develop critical inquiry and intellectual rigour.  Through her role, Natalie is influencing the development of the health workforce, organisational culture and performance, and quality and strategic outcomes. Natalie's PhD study focuses on nursing leadership practices and the influence of team and organisational culture on these.

Jacqueline Jeffs


Student Representative

Jacqueline is a student member of ACHSM and is currently studying a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science, Leadership and Management. She is the Quality Manager at an aged residential care facility in Rotorua. Before this role, she worked in Pathology as a Medical Laboratory Scientist for over 15 years, holding several Team Leader Roles in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

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