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 7th December 2013

Joe Butterfield, MNZM, FCA, FinstD, CMILT


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, is in his second term as Chair of the Southern Board and has a strong interest in health and welfare matters. He is also Chair of Southern DHB’s Hospital Advisory Committee and the Appointments and Remuneration Advisory Committee. 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. A lifetime yachtsman, Joe was a member of Yachting NZ’s governance board from 1986-95 and its president 92/95. He was its representative on the sport’s international body 1994-2008 and was an international umpire 1989/05 and is still an international judge.

Tim Ward, B Com, C A (PP)

Deputy Chair (Southland Constituency) 

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, and was elected to the board in 2013. He was a member of the DHB's Hospital Advisory and Audit, Finance and Risk Committees from 2009 and is currently Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, and a member of the DHB’s Disability Support Advisory Committee/Community and Public Health Advisory Committee, Iwi Governance Committee and the Appointments and Remuneration Advisory Committee.  

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.

Neville Cook, MBA Elected Member (Southland Constituency)

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, and has served on the joint Community and Public Health and Disability Support Advisory Committees, where he is currently appointed as a member. He 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 Councillor for Environment Southland.

Sandra Cook, LLB

Appointed Member 

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 is currently chair of Southern DHB’s Disability Support Advisory Committee/Community and Public Health Advisory Committee, and is also a member of the Appointments and Remuneration Advisory Committee, and Iwi Governance Committee. 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) 

Kaye is a Retirement and Agency Services and Trust Account Manager for Crowe Horwath, formerly 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 and Disability Support Advisory Committees and Iwi Governance Committee and has also served on the Hospital Advisory Committee, and Complaints Review and Sentinel Events 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.

Kaye is a Trustee for Number 10 Youth One Stop Shop, President of Invercargill South Rotary Club and a member of National Council of Women. Kaye was awarded the Queens Service Order (QSO) for services to Children and the Community in 2008.

Branko Sijnja, MBChB, Dip Obst, FRNZCGP, FNZMA, PGDip RPHP

Elected Member (Otago Constituency) 

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 Clutha Health First General Practitioners and is a Director of the University of Otago Rural Medical Immersion Programme, training medical students while immersed for a year in rural New Zealand.

This is Branko's fourth term on the DHB Board, the first two with the 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.  He is currently serving on the Disability Services Advisory Committee/Community and Public Health 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, (which operates Balclutha's Hospital and General Practice, Clutha Health First).  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) 

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 has 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. He is also currently a member of the Hospital Advisory Committee and the Appointments and Remuneration Advisory Committee.

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.

Mrs Mary Gamble,  SRM, SCM, B.Sc, M.Sc

Elected Member (Otago Constituency) 

Mrs Gamble is a retired midwife who worked for many years helping hundreds of Otago women to deliver their babies. She also has a strong background in health management and governance.

In 2005 Mary wound up her high profile midwifery practice and was recruited as a Research Manager at the University of Otago's faculty of Health Sciences. After two years she was appointed to the foundation team charged with the establishment of a new medical school at the University of Limerick, Ireland. By July 2011 the Medical School had graduated its first Medical Doctors and Mrs Gamble fulfilled the roles of Research Development Manager and then as the Clinical Liaison Manager ensuring that students were appropriately placed for their clinical training both in hospitals and in GP practices.

Prior to returning to Ireland, Mrs Gamble was twice elected to the Otago DHB in 2001 and 2007 and so has six years health governance experience prior to her recent election to the Southern District Health Board. She is also serving on the Southern DHB’s Hospital Advisory Committee.

John Chambers, FRCS (Ed), FACEM

Elected Member (Otago Constituency) 

Dr John Chambers is a Dunedin-based Senior Emergency Medical Officer who has worked in Dunedin Hospital for over 20 years.  John is an active member of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and a member of New Zealand Faculty Board of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, and a member of the Southern DHB’s Hospital Advisory Committee.

John is also is the Director of a small business Chambers Consultancy (2007) Ltd, and health services consultancy, and is employed 0.05 FTE as an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer of the Dunedin Medical School, University of Otago.  He continues to work full time as an emergency specialist seeing and treating a wide variety of patients and has a particular interest in the use of ultrasound in emergency diagnosis and care.

Tony Hill

Appointed Member 

Tony Hill is a self employed Queenstown businessman, resident for 37 years, with a background in tourism and aviation and currently operates a property and project management business.

Tony has a strong interest in rural healthcare and since 2003 has been actively involved in the health sector, having served on a number of boards and committees. He was previously a Southern District Health Board Advisory Committee member 2004 to 2007 and was as an appointed member of the Wakatipu Health Reference Group from 2011 to 2014. Tony is currently the Chair of the Southern PHO Community Advisory Committee and is also a member of the DHB’s Hospital Advisory Committee, Audit and Risk Committee, and the Iwi Governance Committee.

Tony is a member of the Institute of Directors, serves on boards involved in education and forestry and is currently the Executive Secretary / Manager of Lakes District Air Rescue Trust, and an Executive Director of the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation.

Tuari Potiki

Appointed Member 

Tuari Potiki is of Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe and Waitaha descent. He is currently the Director of Maori Development at the University of Otago, responsible for Maori development activities and developing and maintaining the institution’s Treaty-based relationships with iwi and Maori providers.

Mr Potiki has worked widely in the health, education and justice sectors and has more than a decades experience in strategic and executive management roles.

He was previously the General Manager Strategic Operations at the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand (ALAC). Prior to that Tuari worked as the Social Development Manager at the Ngai Tahu Development Corporation.

Tuari has also held a part-time role since 1996 as a Senior Advisor Maori for the University of Otago's National Addiction Centre in Christchurch and is currently the Chair of the Board of the New Zealand Drug Foundation. He has previously served a term as an appointed member on the Canterbury District Health Board. Tuari is Deputy Chair of Te Runaka o Otakou and also affiliates to Awarua, Oraka-Aparima, Hokonui and Waihopai  runaka. Tuari is a member of Southern DHB’s Hospital Advisory Committee, Audit and Risk Committee, and the Iwi Governance Committee.


Contact the Chairman, Board and Southern DHB Secretaries by emailing or

Telephone +64 3 476-9443 (Otago) or +64 3 21 47282 (Southland).