Board Members

Board Members

The Board is responsible for overall governance of Southern DHB and is accountable to the Minister of Health.   The Board's role is one of stewardship, direction-setting and monitoring the DHB's overall performance against its goals.   The day-to-day management of the DHB is the domain of the Chief Executive.

The Board consists of seven elected members (four from the Otago constituency and three from the Southland constituency) and up to four members appointed by the Minister of Health.   The Minister also appoints the Board Chair and Deputy Chair.

Current Board Members

(term commenced 6th December 2010):

Joe Butterfield, F.C.A.


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Joe Butterfield is a chartered accountant who has spent his working life as a partner/director of the accounting firm Footes Ltd Chartered Accountants (and its predecessors) to which he is now a consultant.

Joe, who is from Timaru, has a strong interest in health and welfare matters. He was Chairman of South Canterbury District Health Board (SCDHB) from 2000-2009, until he stood down after his term had expired. He was a member of Health South Canterbury (the predecessor to SCDHB) and served as its Chairman from 1996 until 2000. He has also served on the Ministry of Health National Capital Committee and District Health Boards New Zealand.

As well as roles in health and finance, Joe has extensive experience in the transport and agricultural sector and has held directorships in companies including Intercity Holdings Ltd and its subsidiaries, Ritchie's Transport Holdings, the Port of Timaru and the South Canterbury Regional Development Board. Joe is also a Fellow of the NZ Institute of Directors and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport.


Paul Menzies, LLB

Deputy Chairman (Southland Constituency)

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Paul Menzies is a Winton-based lawyer who has been a partner at Menzies Forrest Marshall Solicitors since 1983.

Paul, an elected member of the Board since 2001, was appointed as Chair of Southland DHB on 10 March 2009, and Deputy Chair of Southern DHB on 10 December 2010 following the merger of Otago and Southland DHBs.

He has served on a number of public and private sector boards and committees over the years.

Positions include previous Chair of the Southland Hospital Advisory Committee (HAC) from 2001-2010 Otago DHB HAC member from 2001-2007 and current Chair of the Southern DHB HAC. Paul is a past President of the Southland Law Society and was appointed Chairman of Rugby Southland this year.

Neville Cook, MBA

Elected Member (Southland Constituency)

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Neville Cook was a member of the NZ Police for 36 years, retiring as District Commander of the Southland District in 1999.  He practiced as a financial advisor for three years and later as a public event organiser until 2004 when he took over management of the Readings Cinema Complex in Invercargill. He has a Master's degree in Business Administration (1998).

Neville was originally appointed to the Southland DHB Board in 1998 as a community representative.  He was reappointed by the Minister of Health for a further term, but later successfully stood for election.  He has also served as Chair of the DHB's Disability Support Advisory Committee, then was made a member of the joint Disability Support and Community and Public Health Committees, has served on the Hospital Advisory and Audit and Risk Committees and has been Deputy Chair of Southland DHB.

Neville was District Governor for Rotary in 2000 for the Southern area and has been actively involved with DARE and Victim Support organisations since their inception in the 1980's.  Neville is currently a member of the Invercargill Licensing Trust, the Invercargill Licensing Trust Foundation and a Councillor for Environment Southland. 

Sandra Cook LLB

Appointed Member (Term commenced 25 August 2011)

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Sandra Cook is Otautau based and is affiliated to the Iwi of Ngāi Tahu.  She is currently employed as Principal Advisor for the Office of the CEO of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. Sandra, who holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) has been actively involved with Ngāi Tahu and Māori affairs since 1995. 

Her roles have included providing legal and policy advice on the protection of the customary rights of Ngāi Tahu as the co-manager of the Settlement Implementation Unit (which later became the Legal and Risk Services Unit) Whānui within the Ngāi Tahu organisation. She also was employed as an external consultant to a variety of clients such as Government Departments, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, other Iwi organisations and private commercial companies.

Sandra has significant local health governance experience, including having served as a Director for the Takitimu Primary Health Organisation (PHO), as a member and then Chairperson of the Murihiku PHO Māori Governance Group and was a ministerial appointment on the Primary Health Organisation Community Council

Kaye Crowther QSO

Elected Member (Southland Constituency)

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Kaye is a Retirement and Agency Services Consultant for WHK Southern, Invercargill, with over 40 years' experience in Estate, Trust and Financial Services together with 35 years' experience in the health and social sectors. Kaye has been an elected member of the Southland DHB Board since 2007 and was re-elected to the Southern DHB Board in 2010. She is also a member of Southern DHB's Community and Public Health Advisory Committee and from 2007-10 served on the Iwi Governance, Hospital Advisory, Community and Public Health and Complaints Review committees.

Kaye is a past New Zealand President and Board member of the Royal NZ Plunket Society (Inc) (1996-2007), council member of Water Safety New Zealand and was a member of the Ministry of Health National Breast Feeding Advisory Committee.

She is also a member of the Invercargill City Council's Child Friendly City Initiative Committee, serves on the Advisory Panel for Number 10 Youth One Stop Shop, is a Member Invercargill South Rotary and the National Council of Woman. Kaye was awarded the Queens Service Order (QSO) for services to Children and the Community in 2008.

Mary Flannery, LLB

Elected Member (Otago Constituency)

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Mary Flannery is an Alexandra-based lawyer who has been an Associate for Bodkins Alexandra since 2004. She and her husband Wes also run a sheep and cattle farm in the Ida Valley, Central Otago.

Mary has been involved in health services at a governance level in Central Otago for the past 12 years. She has been a trustee of the Rural Otago Primary Health Organisation and Immediate Past Chairperson of Central Otago Health Incorporated, the sole shareholder of the company that runs Dunstan Hospital. This is Mary's first term as an elected Board member of Southern DHB.

As well as health, Mary has governance experience in the community and educational sectors, as a former member of the Vincent Community Board (an amalgamation of the Earnscleugh Manuherikia and Alexandra Community Boards) for nine years and as Chairperson of the Poolburn School Board of Trustees.

Malcolm Macpherson, BSc, Post Grad Dip Sci, PhD

Elected Member (Otago Constituency)

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Malcolm Macpherson has spent more than twenty years working on community health issues as a trust member, district councillor, and former mayor of Central Otago District Council (2001-2010). He spent a period as Communications Officer for Healthcare Otago.

Malcolm served four terms on the Otago District Health Board and then Southern DHB (his fifth term). He has also been a member of the Otago Hospital Advisory Committee, Rural Consultative Subcommittee and chaired the Central Otago Rural Health Advisory Group. He has served on the Otago/Southland combined Disability Support Advisory Committee and now chairs Southern DHB's combined Disability Support and Community and Public Health Committees.

Malcolm has extensive governance and managerial experience in the education and business sectors, including current membership of the Otago Polytechnic Council, Central Lakes Trust (owner of Pioneer Generation), and the Otago Community Hospice board. He is a shareholder of Medco Properties Ltd (owners of the Alexandra Medical Centre) and director of Centennial Health Ltd. He is president of Central Stories Museum and Art gallery, chairman of the Jolendale Park Charitable Trust and a member of the Roxburgh Gorge Trail Charitable Trust.

Tahu Potiki

Appointed Member

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Tahu Potiki is Otago based and is affiliated to the Iwi of Kai Tahu and Kati Mamoe. He has spent many years working in Māori development and was the CEO of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu for six years. In this role he was responsible for the overall strategic leadership of the tribe's corporate operations. Tahu also has a background in Māori Health and worked as a qualified social worker for many years.

Tahu has served on four South Island District Health Boards (DHBs), including as a Ministerial appointment on both the Otago and Southland DHBs, before being appointed to the Southern DHB Board. He has also been a member of Southland and Otago DHBs' Hospital Advisory and Audit Finance and Risk Committees and is a member of Southland DHB's Iwi Governance Committee (IGC).

Tahu is a board member of the Māori Television Service, New Zealand Council for Educational Research, Relationship Services NZ and Environmental Science and Research. He is also the Ōtākou representative to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

Branko Sijnja, MBChB, Dip Obst, FRNZCGP, FNZMA, PGDipRPHP 

Elected Member (Otago Constituency)

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Dr Branko Sijnja has worked in rural hospitals and has been a General Practitioner in Balclutha for over 30 years. He practices part-time at Balclutha General Practitioners Ltd and is a Director of the Otago University's Rural Medical Immersion Programme, training medical students to work in rural New Zealand. He is also employed by Clutha Community Health Company Ltd as a Medical Advisor.

This is Branko's third term on the DHB Board, the first two with Otago DHB and then Southern DHB following the merger. He has been a member of the Otago DHB's Community and Public Health Committee in 2005, 2008 and since June 2010 has been a member of the Southern DHB Hospital Advisory Committee and the combined Community and Public Health and Disability Support Advisory Committees. He is also the Chair of Southern DHB's Clinical Advisory Committee.

Branko has a long involvement in the reform and delivery of health services (primary and secondary) at a local and national level. He is a Board member of the Clutha Community Health Company Ltd, Clutha Health Incorporated (which owns Balclutha's Hospital Clutha Health First) and is an executive member of the Otago Division of the New Zealand Medical Association. He has also served on various Ministry of Health Steering Committees and Reference Groups.

Richard Thomson BA (hons), MA, and Dip. Clin. Psych

Elected Member (Otago Constituency)

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Richard is a Dunedin-based businessman who owns and runs the Acquisitions national chain of retail stores. Prior to this he was a lecturer in psychological medicine at the Dunedin School of Medicine, Otago University. He has also worked in private practice as a clinical psychologist.


Richard has been an elected member of the Otago DHB, now Southern DHB, for the past 11 years. He spent seven of these as Chair of the Otago DHB and has chaired most Board committees, including the Otago DHB Community and Public Health, Disability Support and Hospital Advisory Committees. Richard is also an elected member of the Dunedin City Council, a trustee of the Healthcare Otago Charitable Trust and is Chairperson of the Hawksbury Community Living Trust.

Richard is a strong advocate for health issues. He played a key role, alongside the Southland DHB Chair, in the progressive coming together of the Otago and Southland DHBs.

Tim Ward, B Com, C A (PP)

Appointed Member

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Tim Ward has been a partner (Business Advisory and Tax) at Chartered Accountancy Firm BDO New Zealand Ltd since 1987 and has both private and public sector governance experience.

Tim was appointed to the Southland DHB Board by the Minister of Health in September 2009 and was then appointed to the Southern DHB Board in December 2010.


He has been a member of the DHB's Hospital Advisory and Audit, Finance and Risk Committees since 2009. Tim was also Chairman of the Spicer and Oppenheim National Partnership for a three year term that concluded at the time of the merger to form BDO. He has also been a member of BDO's National Management Board until he retired from this position in April 2008.

Other positions include membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, the role of Proprietor's Appointee to the Verdon College Board of Trustees since 1991 and membership of the Southern Institute of Technology's Business Consultative Group. Tim was a Minister's appointee to the council of Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) in April 2010 and stood down from membership of the advisory group at the time of that appointment.

Stuart McLauchlan (Crown Monitor)

Contact the Chairman, Board and Southern DHB Secretaries by emailing or Telephone +64 3 470-9707 (Otago) or +64 3 21 47282 (Southland).