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Board members

Board membership

The Board has 11 members. Seven are elected and the remaining four are appointed by the Minister of Health, by notice in the Gazette. The Board serves for a term of three years.

DHB Board members are accountable to the Minister of Health (through the Chairperson of the Board), for the performance of the DHB.

West Coast DHB Board Members and Biographies (February 2020)

Hon Rick Barker (Chairman) – APPOINTED

This is Rick’s first term as Chair of the West Coast District Health Board. 

Rick was a Member of Parliament for 18 years representing Hastings and then the enlarged seat of Tukituki and was then a List Labour MP.

Rick is also currently: the Principal of Rick Barker Consulting; Deputy Chair of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council; Director Port of Napier; and a Commissioner on the Representation Commission.  Rick led the negotiations for the Crown with the iwi of Hauraki, with Ngati Kahungunu in the Wairarapa and Whanganui Lands Settlement Trust, to settle their historic claims with the Crown.  He is also a Qualified Hearings Commissioner for the Resource Management Act, and offers training courses in negotiation skills for groups.  Rick holds a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Victoria University Wellington.

Rick says “I come from five generations of West Coast miners; I was born in Greymouth hospital; had my appendix out there; my gran who raised me died there. This is not just a job for me, it’s personal.”

Tony Kokshoorn (Deputy Chairman) – APPOINTED

Tony is an appointed member of the West Coast District Health Board and is currently Deputy Chair.  This is his first term on the Board.

Tony has served as Grey District Mayor since 2004.  He has various business interests in Greymouth and his charitable work supports rural New Zealand in addition to his involvement throughout the Pike River Mine disaster.

Tony is Patron of the MS Parkinsons Society.

Chris Auchinvole – ELECTED

This is Chris’s second term on the West Coast District Health Board.

Chris was previously a Member of Parliament from 2005 until his retirement in 2014.  He has been involved in many community activities on the West Coast and is also a Justice of the Peace

Chris understands that the West Coast has a small population in a large area and that communications and transport systems are challenged by topography, demography, distances and inclement weather.   His view is that the costs of these conditions have to be understood at every level of health provision to ensure adequate funding and the best services for the population.

Susan Barnett – ELECTED

Susan was born and raised in Reefton, and is a fourth generation West Coaster.

She is a Registered Nurse of 38 years and has spent most of her time working in Health in the Reefton Area.  She currently works for WCDHB as a Public Health Nurse and also undertakes on-call work for multiple areas including: Practice Nursing; District Nursing and as a Registered Nurse at the Reefton Health Centre.

Susan has been a member of the Inangahua Community Board for the last 6 years.

Sarah Birchfield – ELECTED

This is Sarah’s first term on the Board.

Sarah lives and works in Greymouth as an Office Manager.  She is married with two children.

She has previously been involved with the WCDHB, as Vice Chair of the Consumer Council, consumer representative on the WCDHB Child and Youth, WCDHB Advisory and CDHB/ WCDHB Disability Action Plan committees.

Helen Gillespie – ELECTED

Helen was elected to the West Coast District Health Board in October 2007 and is Chair of the Quality, Finance, Audit & Rick Committee.

Her previous work with the Canterbury West Coast Sports Trust (Sport West Coast) gave her a perceptive insight into the health system.

Coming from a non-medical professional background, Helen adds an important perspective to the health board, without any medical conflicts of interest.

Her extensive knowledge of the opportunities and challenges which face the health system on the West Coast means that she can continue with momentum in the work to obtain the health services and facilities that everyone will benefit from.

Anita Halsall-Quinlan – ELECTED

This is Anita’s first term on the Board.  She is a born and raised fourth generation West Coaster living in Westport.

Anita owns and manages a small business in Westport along with a business of which she is owner/director with her husband.

Anita has a genuine passion for the people of the West Coast and their well-being.

Peter Neame – ELECTED

Peter is a retired psychiatric nurse and general nurse of 41 years and health campaigner of almost as many years.  He was elected to the Board in 2013 and is currently Chair of the West Coast Advisory Committee.

He has served on the West Coast Electric Power Board, West Coast Area Health Board and West Coast District Health Board , and the Regional Council.  He has represented Nurses as an elected union representative in both New Zealand and Australia.

Peter is the author of 5 books from prospecting and treasure hunting to suicide and mental health. He is a long term health campaigner and member and Research Officer of White Wreath Action Against Suicide.


Edie has been involved in the Health and Disability sectors for more than 25 years, starting out with the Canterbury Area Health Board as an Industrial Engineer and then Accountant.

During the Health Sector reforms of 1993 she continued her Accountant role for a few years with Healthlink South Ltd before becoming a Principal with Ernst and Young. She is now a professional Director with nearly 20 years Governance experience in a variety of Health, Education, Economic Development, Funding, Broadcasting, Research and Philanthropic Organisations.

Edie was first appointed as a member of the West Coast DHB in 2013. She has previously been an appointed member of both the Canterbury DHB and the South Canterbury DHB.

Edie is of Te Arawa, Tuwharetoa, Ngati Apa, Ngati Kuia, Rangitane and Ngai Tahu descent.

Nigel Ogilvie – ELECTED

Nigel resided in Hokitika (22 years) and is passionate about the West Coast.  He is a registered nurse and the Practice Manager at Westland Medical Centre.

His current role involves providing comprehensive primary care services and after-hours emergency care. He also have strengths in palliative care, adolescent health, and health education.

Nigel has extensive experience in governance and has previously been an active board member of West Coast Primary Health Organisation and Poutini Waiora (formerly Rata Te Awhina Trust).

As a District Health Board member, Nigel is working to ensure transparency and efficiency in the way that health dollars flow from the government to the community. He feels strongly that we should be using our funding to provide the best possible health outcomes for West Coasters.

Francois Tumahai – APPOINTED

Francois is an appointed member of the West Coast District Health Board.

He is of Ngati Waewae and Ngati Whatua descent and while born in Wellington he spent much of his childhood living at the Arahura Pa near Hokitika.

Based in Christchurch as an engineer he became actively involved in Ngati Waewae in the mid 1990s and joined the executive in 2007 before being appointed Chair in 2008.

Francois is involved in many boards including health provider Poutini Waiora. He is a Director of Poutini Environmental and also General Manager of Waewae Pounamu which is Ngāti Waewae’s commercial Pounamu outlet in Hokitika.


Page last updated: 22 September 2020

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