20 Dec 2021

Chief executives of interim Health New Zealand and interim Māori Health Authority named

5:07 pm on 20 December 2021

Counties Manukau District Health Board's Fepulea'i Margie Apa has just been named the chief executive of the interim Health New Zealand.

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Fepulea'i Margie Apa has been named as the new chief executive of the interim Health New Zealand. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Hauraki Primary Health Organisation and Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki's Riana Manuel will be the chief executive of the interim Māori Health Authority.

Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority will become permanent entities on 1 July - replacing the 20 district health boards.

Fepulea'i Margie Apa said her work with the Counties Manukau community has prepared her well for the role.

"Working with you [Counties Manukau] over the last 14 years and more proudly the last three as CEO, through measles, through Whakaari, through Covid on top of our usual pressures serving a high needs community, who are deserving and entitled to so much more," she said.

Manuel said she was determined to see improvement in the health sector for her people.

"We can no longer operate as an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, we must shake off that mentality and be prepared to be the change that our people long for," she said.

Riana Manuel said she was looking forward to bringing Te Tiriti to life in the sector, alongside Health New Zealand's new chief executive, Fepulea'i Margie Apa.

Te Korowai o Hauraki chief executive Riana Manuel at Wharekawa Marae where a Covid-19 testing centre has been set up.

Te Korowai o Hauraki chief executive Riana Manuel. Photo: RNZ / Andrew McRae

Both Apa and Manuel have about 25 years' experience each in the health sector.

Health Minister Andrew Little said both have strong connections to Māori and Pacific communities that had been underserved by in the health system.

"Addressing inequity needs to be the responsibility of the entire health system, and we need to have these voices represented across all levels and organisations," he said.

Margie Apa and Riana Manuel are expected to start their respective chief executive roles in the first quarter of 2022.

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