Tūtaki i te Kaunihera
Meet the Council

The Council consists of a mixture of members appointed by the Minister of Health, and members elected by nurses. Under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003, the Council is required to elect a Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson from its members. In meeting its commitment to the principle of Pātuitanga (Partnership), and in order to facilitate goals of shared decision-making, co-governance, and demonstrated leadership through partnership, Council policies require that at least one of these positions is filled by a Māori member of the Council.

Ngaira Harker – Chairperson

Ngaira is currently Principal Advisor Kaiāwhina Workforce Development with Te Aka Whai Ora. 

Ngaira was previously Nurse Director Māori Health at Hawke's Bay District Health Board. In that role she initiated the development of a new internship, Tuakina/Teina, which saw seven university students spend their summer at the DHB working on projects to improve Māori health outcomes. In discussing this work she discussed some of her personal drivers: "We have some fantastic Māori nurse leaders however we could always do with more, so it's part of my role to mentor nurses along a leadership pathway... Having increased participation at a leadership level for Māori is essential to creating and supporting Māori models of health and ultimately improved health outcomes for our communities."

Ngaira has had a diverse nursing and education career spanning New Zealand and the United States of America. She is from Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa and has a large whānau living in Wairoa. Currently Ngaira has been seconded to lead the COVID-19 Vaccination roll-out within Hawke's Bay.

Marion Guy – Deputy Chairperson

(RN, PGDip, Master of Nursing, QSO, MInstD)

Marion is a registered nurse with 30 years of experience in the health sector across governance, leadership and clinical roles.

She graduated with a Masters of Nursing through Auckland University in 2010.

Her previous governance roles include being a member of the National Health Board, a board member of the Western Bay of Plenty PHO and a board member of the International Council of Nurses. Currently, Marion is an elected member of the Bay of Plenty DHB.

She has had several leadership roles within NZNO beginning with chair of the College of Practice Nurses, vice president for 2 years then president for 7 years on two different occasions. Clinically, Marion works in General Practice and the Out-patients Department at Tauranga Hospital, both on a casual basis.

This broad range of experience and clinical knowledge will be invaluable for her role on Nursing Council. Marion has received the award of honour from NZNO and has a Queen's Service Order for services to Nursing.

Margareth Broodkoorn

Many of you may know Margareth from her role as Chief Nurse a few years ago. Margareth is of Māori and Dutch whakapapa and is a New Zealand registered nurse with a career that includes clinical practice, leadership, operational management, strategic, governance and education roles within Aotearoa, New Zealand. Margareth was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2022.

Margareth is currently the chief executive of Hokianga Health Community Trust.

With over 30 years of experience in the health sector, Margareth is committed to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, addressing Māori health inequities, improving access to health services for all consumers, and developing an enabled, responsive culturally safe workforce.

Dr Candy Cookson-Cox

Dr Candy Louise Ramarihi Hera Cookson-Cox (Te Ure o Uenukukōpako, Ngāti Rangiteaorere, Ngāti Kahungunu, Kāi Tahu) grew up on the shores of Lake Rotorua and has spent decades learning about health, specifically suicide prevention, and teaching others.

She was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2019. And in recent years she has steered towards teaching suicide prevention in the eastern Bay of Plenty. As part of this work, she has designed, developed and delivered a National Diploma in Applied Māori Health Co-existing Disorders and a National Certificate in Suicide Intervention.

Dr Cookson-Cox has also developed a kaupapa Māori model in understanding suicide, based on Te Arawa whakapapa and co-developed a research project for Māori whānau affected by suicide.

Heather Gunter

Heather Gunter has been a nurse for over 30 years with experience in most sectors of Health Care including Primary and Community care. Her latest job has been as a District Nurse for the NMDHB. She am happily married living in the Tasman region and have 3 adult kids who no longer live at home.

Heather has spent the past few years giving talks all around New Zealand in over 100 Hospitals and Nursing Schools regarding 'Adverse Events' and 'Harm Prevention' supported by the Health Quality and Safety Commission and ACC.  She has been very privileged to have met many health care professionals on this journey and has had many stories shared with her, giving Heather a greater understanding of staff views and insight into many hospitals, what works for them and what hasn't.

Teaching about 'Critical Thinking', the 'importance of Documentation' and 'Speaking Up' is fundamental to providing quality care and the prevention of deteriorating patients. This is something very personal to her. Heather is a consumer member of the National Collaborative for Restorative Initiatives in Health and the Perioperative Steering Committee for the ANZCA.

Heather is very much looking forward to being a part of the Council and bringing to the table knowledge through learned experience.

Iosefa Tiata Paituli

Iosefa T Paituli is a Minister at Mt. Roskill’s Congregational Christian Church – of Samoa. He is married with four children and seven grandchildren, has a master’s in theology and is completing a master's in entrepreneurialism.

Iosefa worked as a financial controller for the Church in Samoa for six years and was their chief accountant for five years. He has also worked for the Bank of Western Samoa in Samoa, the Bank of New Zealand and Lion Breweries before attending Theological College in Samoa. Iosefa is passionate about his community. He was inspired to help those he met who found communicating with their healthcare providers frustrating and stressful. Today he is very involved in advocating for members of his community and being a conduit for information for those experiencing language and cultural barriers.

Iosefa enjoys reading and all kinds of sport, especially tennis. He practises yoga to meditate and clear his mind, preaches and loves to serve voluntarily. Iosefa is appointed by the Minister of Health as a lay person member of the Council.

Emmanuel (Manu) Pelayo

Manu practiced as a Registered Nurse in the Philippines before emigrating to New Zealand in 2009. He was then offered a full sponsorship and a nursing position by Auckland Metro region in acute orthopaedics.

He has held positions in the public and private sectors as a staff nurse in Medicine, Surgery and ICU, also as a Research Coordinator, Duty Manager, Clinical Nurse Advisor and Projects Improvement Manager.

In 2018, he was appointed as a Charge Nurse Manager to set up an acute medical ward in Middlemore, where he had written and implemented a new model of care. 

Manu was previously the Regional Clinical Lead for the Upper North Island for HealthCare NZ prior to joining the Ministry of Health and then Te Whatu Ora Health NZ as a Principal Clinical Advisor under the National Commissioning directorate.

He has a Master of Nursing degree from the University of Auckland, and is a doctoral candidate at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington. He also volunteers as a Youth Leader for Hato Hone St John Youth programme.

Manu is an elected health practitioner member of the Council.

Pauline Fuimaono Sanders

Pauline is of Samoan heritage, born and brought up in South Auckland with 25 years of nursing experience in Aotearoa and Australia. She has worked in various leadership roles including Charge Nurse Manager, Nursing Director and currently General Manager across secondary and primary healthcare, community and response settings. Pauline’s experience across the different health settings has provided a depth of understanding of the challenges and opportunities working within a complex system.

Since March 2020, Pauline has provided clinical and strategic nursing leadership in the Metro Auckland region Covid-19 response. This has included establishing community testing centres and managing the Northern Region Managed Isolation and Quarantine Facilities. Currently, she is the General Manager for the Whānau Home Quarantine service which supports whānau isolating at home. Pauline would like to acknowledge the important contribution of nursing that has delivered a phenomenal Covid response in Aotearoa demonstrating the leadership, expertise and commitment of the nursing profession.

Pauline is also a founding and current Board member of the Pan Pacific Nurses Association NZ established in 2015 and a Masters graduate of the Aniva Pacific Nurse Leadership Programme.

With a focus on improving health and wellbeing for Pacific people, Pauline understands a whole of health system view is critical, combined with purposeful inter-sectorial partnership to progress impactful change in response to equity. As nursing is the largest registered Pacific workforce, it is an integral part of addressing health inequities experienced by Pacific people.


Rīpeka Tamanui-Hurunui

Rīpeka (Ngāriki Kaiputahi, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki) lives in Ōtautahi with her whānau and has a large extended whānau in Gisborne near Mangatu Marae which is her tūrangawaewae.

Rīpeka is currently Te Pou Whakahāngai with Te Kaunihera Taiao ki Waitaha | Environment Canterbury Regional Council.

Prior to this, Rīpeka worked at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha University of Canterbury (UC), for 16 years in senior Māori, equity, cultural competency, and pastoral care-focused leadership roles, and served on the UC Incident Management Team as Welfare Manager.

Shortly before the first national COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, Rīpeka became the Incident Controller and led the university’s COVID response. Rīpeka also held the role of Kaihautū Taunaki Tāngata | Director of Equity, leading a multi-year work programme that analysed the nature of the equity challenges at the university, benchmarked its equity performance, and engaged staff and students in collaborative strategy building to identify critical levers to accelerate equity.

During her career, Rīpeka has championed complex and challenging transformation aspirations with an inner commitment to a vision and a future in which our tamariki and our communities will flourish.

Hariata Vercoe

Born and raised in Rotorua within a large whānau, the marae has always been Hariata's place to learn and cement the values that ground her. Hariata's whakapapa is Te Arawa on her Dad's side and  Te Rarawa on her Mum's side.

Prior to becoming CEO for Korowai Aroha Health Centre in 2012 Hariata's background was in conservation and forestry. She has an extensive background in finance, HR and the administration sector. Hariata's interest is in Māori Health and ensuring the health system is accessible, affordable, culturally appropriate, and inviting to whānau.

As a provider within the Te Arawa Whanau Ora Collective and the Te Arawa Covid Response, Hariata has first-hand insight into meeting the needs of the whānau she serves. Hariata also serves as a trustee on the Rotorua Community Hospice.