NZRGPN Committee

The New Zealand Rural General Practice Network is governed by a committee of regional rural clinicians including General Practitioners, Nurses, Rural Hospital Doctors and Managers. Following the 2018 AGM the new Committee is:

Sharon Hansen

Network chairperson Sharon Hansen is a Nurse Practitioner based in Temuka. She has both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Nursing, has diplomas in psycho paediatrics and general obstetrics and in 2007 she attained Nurse Practitioner status. Sharon joined the Board in 2007 as Southern South Island region representative. By virtue of her position as Network chairperson she is also a member of the General Practice Leaders Forum.

Dr Fiona Bolden

Dr Fiona Bolden is the Network’s Deputy Chairperson. Fiona has been a rural GP for almost 25 years. She initially started in the West Country (UK) and for the past 16 years has been in the West Coast of the North Island. She served on the Network Board between 2010 and 2015, returning after a two year gap when she was solely dedicated to her practice in Raglan. She worked for Midlands PHO as a clinical lead in mental health and addictions for four years and has been on the Midlands Rural SLAT since 2012. She is part of the practice team at Raglan which won the inaugural Rural General Practice of the Year Award. Her focus is firmly on rural primary care, with a special interest in mental health. She would like to see equity for all people and sees relationships with rural communities as being a vital part of that.

Dr David Wilson

Whitianga-based GP Dr David Wilson is the Board’s Secretary. David has been based in Whitianga since 1991 where he is a full-time principal at the Mercury Bay Medical Centre. He was previously a Board member from 2003 to 2010. David has an MBBS from George’s Hospital in London (1978) and trained as a GP in Bridgwater, Somerset, England (1986-87). He has been a Member of the Royal College of GPs (England) since 1987 and became a Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of GPs in 1996. David represented the Network and the college of GPs on the Palliative Care Council from 2008 to 2014 and currently represents the college on the Cancer Treatment Advisory Group. He is also a member of the Midlands Rural Advisory Group.

Ray Anton

Ray Anton, Treasurer, holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters Degree in Management from the University of Redlands. He has been CEO of Clutha Health First for the past 12 years, a member of the Network Board previously holding the office of Secretary, and is also on the executive of the Rural Hospital Network. His first six years in New Zealand were at the Otago DHB as the strategic planner and quality manager and previous to that he worked as a consultant for KPMG Peat Marwick and for a number of hospitals.

Dr James Reid

Dr James Reid is the South Island representative on the Board. He is a rural hospital doctor and clinical leader at lakes district hospital, a Fellow of the division of rural hospital medicine (FDRHMNZ) and is involved with the administration of the rural hospital training scheme as chair of their Board of Studies. James has an MBCHB from Otago 1988, DpObst 1990. He was previously a general practitioner in Wellington

Ross Lawrenson

Ross Lawrenson is the Western Middle North Island representative on the Board. Ross is Professor of Population Health with the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis (University of Waikato) and Clinical Director: Strategy and Funding with the Waikato DHB. He first moved to New Zealand in 1981 working in Te Kuiti hospital and later became a General Practitioner in Wairoa. He then moved into a career in public health before returning to the UK to take up an academic career. In 2005 he returned to the Waikato. He is particularly committed to the development of research and in supporting environments where students can get excellent clinical experience whether in hospitals or in rural and community placements. Ross is a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners (UK), a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, Chair of the National Screening Advisory Committee and has been until recently a board member of Pinnacle Group Ltd

Kim Gosman

Kim Gosman is the Board’s Southern North Island representative. She has worked as a nurse, midwife, educator, in community health in urban and rural, and in management. In 2005 she was co-opted to work with the Network Board in a voluntary capacity. Between 2005 and 2008 a focus was preparing the Network for nurses to become equal partners and members. Kim was an elected member of the Board from 2009 to 2014 during which time she supported the Board to implement a relationship with Iwi/Maori across the country. During 2014-15 Kim was made an Honorary Board member. She was re-elected to the Board in 2016. Other offices held include trustee NZ Institute of Rural Health, Iwi/Maori Councils, Lakes and Waikato District Health Boards and Lake Taupo Hospice. Other past positions include inaugural Vice President of the College of Nurses Aotearoa for five years, foundation member of the Kaunihera O Neehi Maori, Secretary, Hutt Valley New Zealand Nurses Association, Nurse Director of Rural Health, North Island.

Rose Lightfoot

Rose Lightfoot is the new Consumer representative on the Board. Rose gained her General and Obstetric Nursing Registration at the Auckland School of Nursing and has a post basic certificate in Plunket Nursing. She holds a BA (Soc Sci) from Massey University, a Certificate in Teaching Practice (AIT), a Masters in Public Health (Hons) from Auckland University and has completed two post graduate certificates in evidence-based medicine (2000). Until November 2016 Rose was Chief Executive Officer of Te Tai Tokerau PHO with overall responsibility for the day-to-day management of the PHO with 52 GPs, seven Iwi providers, and 62,000 enrolled patients covering rural Northland from Kawakawa, north. She was also a member of the Northland Rural SLAT and involved in developing strategies for sustaining the competency and capacity for the rural workforce.

Dr Grahame Jelley

Dr Grahame Jelley is the Eastern Middle North Island representative on the Network Board.
Grahame is a General Practitioner at KeriKeri Medical Centre and is also employed by Te Tai Tokerau PHO as a Rural Clinical Advisor for the Northern Primary Health Organisations.
After completing his secondary education in Zimbabwe, Grahame trained at the University of Cape Town in South Africa in 1983. He has worked as a rural GP for 30 years in the mission hospital service, regional rural hospital service in South Africa, large corporate medical services and in solo General Practice in Zimbabwe.
Grahame arrived in New Zealand in 2000 commencing as a DHB employed General Practitioner attached to Buller Hospital on the West Coast of the South Island. This included work as a GP and as a hospital doctor.
In 2004 Grahame moved to the Bay of Plenty and during the past 12 years has mainly practised there at locations including Ohope and Whakatane, and as a volunteer GP in the Cook Islands at Aitutaki Base Hospital.
Grahame worked as a solo practitioner and then as a corporate shareholder contractor GP for Radius Whakatane. He was actively involved with the Eastern Bay of Plenty PHO and Primary Health Alliance and was employed as a Clinical Advisor to Planning and Funding with the Bay of Plenty DHB.
In his spare time Grahame enjoys sailing and other outdoor activities, and getting his “hands dirty” on his rural property in Kerikeri where he lives with his wife Renene, a nurse.

Nancy Malloy

Nancy Malloy joined the Network Board in early 2016 and is the Board’s North Island representative. She is a Registered General and Obstetric Nurse (RGON), is PRIME trained and is currently the Practice Manager at Coast to Coast Health Care based in Wellsford, a position she has held since 2013. She is also currently working in Maternity Nursing in the Birthing Unit and rest home at Wellsford. Born in Canada, Nancy completed her schooling in Hamilton before completing her RGON qualification. She has also had nursing roles in operating theatres, Occupational Health and has completed small business and General Practice management courses. Nancy has lived in a rural community for 32 years and previously established and managed a Rural PHO.

Gemma Hutton

Gemma Hutton is the new Southern South Island representative on the Board. She is currently working for the West Coast District Health Board as a Rural Nurse Specialist in Franz Josef, a role she has been in since February 2014. Coming from a rural background, Gemma enjoys the lifestyle and recreational activities that are available in such areas. She is passionate about rural health care and the provision of services to these communities. She is involved in organising healthy lifestyle and weight-loss groups in her community, as well as supporting the local St John’s volunteers with training in her own time. She is in the process of completing her Nurse Practitioner Internship.

Rhoena Davis

Northland Nurse Practitioner Rhoena Davis in the new Northern North Island representative. Ko Nga Puhi Nui Tonu te Iwi Rangatira. Ko Ngatokimatawhaurua te Waka. Ko Hokianga me Rangaumu nga Moana. Ko Tamatea raua ko Puwheke nga Maunga. Ko Te Rarawa raua ko Ngati Kahu nga Hapu. Ko Tomoniko Kanara raua ko Kawana Matenga tona Tupuna Matua.
Rhoena began her career in rural nursing in 1993 after graduating from Northland Polytechnic as a comprehensive Registered Nurse. Her first job was at the Bay of Islands Hospital in general rural nursing including paediatrics, coronary care and acute emergency care. She later undertook a role within Public Health working within small rural communities.
She has worked with the Ngati Hine Health Trust as a mobile rural nurse and later moved onto a clinical management role. In 2010 Rhoena was endorsed by New Zealand Nursing Council as a Nurse Practitioner and has subsequently maintained her rural nursing perspective within the Ngati Hine Health Trust, Te Kohanga Whakaora (Kaitaia) and the Whangaroa Health Services. Each organisation has provided a diverse arena for learning, and growing as a rural advanced nurse.
Rhoena also has representation on the New Zealand College of Nurses (Fellow); Te Tai Tokerau Nursing Leaders Group (Nurse Practitioners); Northland Rheumatic Fever Group; Northern General Practice Emergency Service Steering Group; the New Zealand Rural Nurses working group; and as a Nurse Practitioner mentor she has been part of nine aspiring nurses’ pathways to becoming Nurse Practitioners.

Rhonda Johnson

Rhonda Johnson is the Rural Nurses New Zealand (RNNZ) representative on the Board. Rhonda is a registered nurse originally from Auckland, now residing in Central Otago since 2002. Rhonda has been nursing since 1996 with roles in operating theatres and intensive care in Auckland, Scotland, and Melbourne. Her rural journey began in 2002 at Dunstan Hospital in Central Otago moving to the role of Charge Nurse for 11 years. Rhonda has recently moved into health service planning and is assisting with the early stages of planning for the new Dunedin Hospital where she brings her rural knowledge and experience.
Rhonda completed a PG Certificate in Intensive Care Nursing in 2005 and later a PG Diploma in Advanced Nursing (merit) through the Rural Institute of Health and Auckland University in 2008. She is currently completing a thesis for Masters through Otago University. Rhonda is a member of the Rural Hospital Network executive team and Rural Nurses NZ executive as chairperson.
She enjoys the diversity and challenge that rurality brings and is committed to supporting staff and guiding professional practice. Rhonda sees the benefits of increasing the rural nurse profile in NZ and a need to establish better connections across the country to develop initiatives key to rural nurses in all contexts.

Dalton Kelly

Dalton Kelly is the Network’s Chief Executive. Dalton was Chief Executive of the Cancer Society of New Zealand Inc from September 2006 to July 31, 2014. In 2006 Dalton received a QSM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for service to Hospice and Business, was made an Honorary Member of Hospice New Zealand in 2007, and in 2008 was made a Life Member of the Employers and Manufacturers Association. He is also the former Chief Executive of the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce and Wellington Chamber of Commerce.

Jibi Kunnethedam

Student sub-committee Chairperson

Jibi is a fifth-year medical student in the inaugural Taranaki Regional Rural Programme at the University of Auckland, he is the President of the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association and he serves on the New Zealand Medical Association Board, Doctors in Training Council and two advisory taskforces for the Ministry of Health. He will be stepping down from these roles at the end of this year but wishes to continue his service to the student body of New Zealand by combining his passion for rural health and student advocacy as the Chairperson and National Student Representative on the NZRGPN Committee. Growing up in Oamaru, North Otago, Jibi has strong rural roots and a passion for serving the smaller communities of New Zealand. This, combined with his experience as a student leader, has led to the development of a unique skill-set which can be used effectively as a voice for the rural health sector. He is familiar with navigating political landscapes, working successfully in a diverse team and he is genuinely interested in representing and continuing being a leading voice for like-minded students within our network.

Ben Alsop-ten Hove

Student sub-committee Deputy Chairperson

Ben is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Auckland and comes from the small South Island town of Leeston, an hour outside of Christchurch. His initial interest in rural health grew from a love of the rural lifestyle. Ben has held various student leader roles and he is the current President of the Grassroots Rural Health Club, the largest of its kind in the country.  He has been involved in a wide range of activities for the club, such as trips to rural schools to promote rural health as a career and he also presented at this year’s National Rural Health Conference in Auckland.  Ben serves as the Auckland University Medical Students’ Association Class Representative and the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association Conference Coordinator, and next year he will also be serving as the NZMSA Vice President External.  Ben, who currently lives in Hamilton, is very excited to bring rural health to a national stage.

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