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Confirmed speakers and panel members include:

Margie Apa is Chief Executive of Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand, the government’s new centralised national health organisation. She has more than two decades of health-sector leadership experience, previously serving as CEO of Counties Manukau District Health Board.

Before becoming CEO of Counties Manukau District Health Board, Margie was Director of Population Health and Strategy at the district health board. She is the first Samoan to lead a district health board in New Zealand and has also served as Deputy Director-General Sector Capability and Implementation at the Ministry of Health. In December 2021 she was named as Chief Executive of Health New Zealand, which is set to come into operation on 1 July 2022.
Margie graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in management and employment relations, and also has a Master of Public Administration (Executive) from Victoria University of Wellington.

She has been on the Board of World Vision New Zealand since 2011 and was appointed Chair of the Board in 2019.
Margie is an active member of the Pacific Island Presbyterian community and carries the honorific title Fepulea’i from her family village of Sale’aula, Savai’I in Samoa.

Riana Manuel – Te Aka Matua │ Chief Executive
Te Aka Whai Ora, Māori Health Authority
Ngāti Pukenga, Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Kahungunu

Riana Manuel is Te Aka Matua │ chief executive of Te Aka Whai Ora, Māori Health Authority. Riana is a skilled strategic, and visionary leader within the Māori and health sectors, with extensive experience leading kaupapa Māori organisations. 

Riana is a registered nurse practitioner, who has based her career in community and Māori healthcare. Prior to her appointment as Chief Executive for Te Aka Whai Ora, Riana was Nurse Director at Waikato District Health Board, Chief Executive of Hauraki Primary Health Organisation and rural iwi-based health provider Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki. 

Riana’s aim has always been to ensure people in both rural and urban areas have services appropriate to their communities, rather than applying a universal approach to healthcare. 


Dr Diana Sarfati was appointed to the role of Director-General of Health and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Health in November 2022 having acted in the role since July 2022. 

Diana is a public health physician, cancer epidemiologist and health services researcher, and she has a PhD from the University of Otago.

Diana was previously Tumuaki, Chief Executive and National Director of Te Aho o Te Kahu – Cancer Control Agency and prior to that she was National Director of Cancer Control at the Ministry of Health where she oversaw the implementation of the agency. From 2015 to 2019, Diana was the co-head and then head of the Department of Public Health and the Director of the Cancer and Chronic Conditions (C3) research group at University of Otago, Wellington.

Diana is a former member of the National Cancer Programme Leadership Board, the National Screening Advisory Group, the National Ethics Advisory Committee, the Bowel Cancer Taskforce and the National Bowel Cancer Screening Advisory Committee.
She is currently a Lancet Commissioner for the Health Systems and Cancer Lancet Commission, and a member of the International Advisory Committee to Lancet Oncology, the Advisory Committee to International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) Pacific cancer hub, IARC’s international expert group on social inequalities in cancer, and the Board of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership. 

She also led a Lancet Oncology series on cancer in small island developing states.

Dr Paul Wood is an expert in helping people and organisations strive towards their potential and flourish through change and adversity. Paul works with everyone from senior leaders at Google to at risk-teens. . He is a regular contributor in the media, an author, and his recently released second book, "Mental Fitness; Build your mind for strength and resilience every day" was another instant best seller. Paul’s passion for the pursuit of excellence and turning adversity to advantage comes from his own journey from delinquent to Doctor of Psychology. Paul uses this journey to illustrate key lessons for us all.




Elizabeth Koff AM FCHSM (Hon)
In April 2022 Elizabeth was appointed Managing Director of Telstra Health, Australia’s largest digital health company and a subsidiary of Telstra Corporation. 

Prior to this Elizabeth was Secretary, NSW Health for a six year term. As Secretary, Elizabeth was responsible for the management of the NSW health system, the largest health system in Australia with a $30 billion budget and 124,000 FTE. Key strategy achievements include the implementation of value based care across NSW, the progression of e-Health initiatives and a $2B/year capital infrastructure program. In 2020/2021 Elizabeth lead the NSW Health system through the COVID-19 pandemic and advised NSW crisis cabinet on the management of COVID-19 in NSW, and the subsequent vaccination roll out.  

Elizabeth was chair of the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) and its subsequent iteration of Health Chief Executives Forum. She is also a member of Chief Executive Women. 

Elizabeth was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday 2022 Honours. In September 2022 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Western Sydney University for her contribution to healthcare in Western Sydney. 

Becky George; 

With experience across digital health innovation and change leadership, Becky is passionate about advocating for clinicians and their consumers across the health and disability system. A registered Occupational Therapist, Fellow of Health Informatics New Zealand, and Associate Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Digital Health, she was previously elected chair of Health Informatics New Zealand board of Directors 2019/2020 and remains as an appointed Board member. She is on the Advisory Panel for the Clinical Informatics Leadership Network and a previous member of HISO, the Ministry of Health’s Health Information Standards group. As a member and previous chair of the Allied Health, Scientific and Technical National Informatics Group, she co-authored the published Allied Health National Data Set Standard and the published position statement, ‘Allied Health Leading Data and Digital Driven Services’. She is committed to ensuring high quality and effective governance for digital health is in place across our health and disability system. She shares her expertise on clinical digital governance to a range of audiences and recently worked as Clinical Director for Te Whatu Ora on the Hira Programme. As a current doctoral student studying Health Systems Leadership, Becky is driven by the belief in effective collaboration, systems leadership, and robust governance across our services to achieve lasting change.

Dr Lara Hopley is a specialist anaesthetist who has been drawn into clinical information management and the associated skill sets to make patients and clinicians lives better. She was the Clinical Advisor to Digital Innovation at Waitemata where she engaged in multiple regional and national projects including electronic orders, regional repositories for results and documents, and patient administration systems.

Vison for Clinical informatics
Helping to deploy a clinical network of safe, equitable and integrated processes built around person and whānau. Weaving clinical science and informatics to improve clinical communication, reconcile information, minimise risk and ensure continuous quality improvement


Michael Palassis is one of Australia’s leading financial and commercial advisers providing commercial, strategic and financial advice on health and hospital projects across Australia. Michael is the founder and Executive Director of Paxon Group, a national infrastructure and commercial advisory firm. 

With over 20 years’ experience in the health sector, Michael has been intricately involved in the delivery of over $25 billion of hospital and health care projects in the past five years. He has extensive experience providing specialist financial consultancy services for health departments and private providers across Australia.

Michael is a trusted adviser to Australian governments, financiers and operators for expert advice in the development, financing and structuring of major cornerstone projects and transactions. He has advised on over 100 infrastructure projects, in 6 States and 2 Territories with a combined value of over $200 billion. Recognised for his expert contribution, he is the recipient of several awards from Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, including the Best Advisory Award received for the $2 billion Northern Beaches Hospital Project in NSW.

Michael was appointed to the Board of the Australasian College of Health Service Management in 2022. Prior to establishing Paxon, Michael worked in investment banking and project finance.

Kirsten Patterson (known as KP) is the Chief Executive of the Institute of Directors and is a Chartered Member of the IoD. She is a qualified lawyer and a Distinguished Fellow of the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand, Chair of the Global Network of Directors Institutes (GNDI), and a member of the New Zealand External Reporting Advisory Panel (XRAP).  She serves on the Boards of the mental health charity, Voices of Hope, is Chair of the Brian Picot Ethical Leadership Advisory Board at Victoria University in Wellington and an Ambassador for the Wellington Women’s Homeless Trust.  A strong advocate of diversity, KP is a member of Global Women New Zealand and was one of the founding members of Global Women’s ‘Champions for Change’, a group of senior executives and directors who commit to diversity in the workplace. KP was the founder and is Executive Sponsor for Chapter Zero New Zealand – the New Zealand Chapter of the World Economic Forum’s Climate Governance Initiative - hosted by the IoD NZ to mobilise, connect, educate and equip directors and boards to make climate-smart governance decisions, thereby creating long term value for both shareholders and stakeholders.

Paul Ingle, Chief Executive, HG Australia and HG New Zealand 

Originally from New Zealand, Paul spent most of his career in the health and community sectors of New Zealand and the UK prior to joining the HardyGroup. 

Having trained and worked in specialist mental health and addiction services, he went on to become Chief Executive of New Zealand’s largest provider of mental health, addiction and wellbeing services, including social housing, specialist employment and education, that enabled the organisation to respond from a social determinants perspective. 

He has been part of spearheading significant system level transformation as the chair of industry peak bodies and a member of expert panels with cross government agency responsibilities in health, housing, employment and welfare portfolios. 

As Chief Executive for HG Australia and HG New Zealand Paul and his team are committed to the success of today’s as well as tomorrow leaders, championing the organisations mission to Find and Grow Great Leaders. 

In addition to his leadership role at HG he facilitates a number of Chief Executive Learning Sets and directly leads Board, Director General and Chief Executive recruitment assignments. 

One of the things Paul says he remains most inspired by was the opportunity to partner with young people to found Real, a national range of wellbeing and early intervention services for at risk youth.  

Paul is also committed to the celebration and strengthening of culture and diversity and actively supports and encourages Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Māori and Pasifika leadership development including via HG’s sponsorship program. 

Cam Ansell, a Chartered Accountant and the Managing Director of Ansell Strategic, brings over 25 years of expertise in the aged care sector across Australia, the US, Asia, and New Zealand. Throughout his career, he has played a pivotal role in leading significant studies that provide guidance to both the Government and the industry on policy, financial viability, and sustainability.

As an advisor, Cam has conducted thorough financial and operational reviews of retirement and aged care services and most recently led an independent survey aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of the factors influencing the New Zealand aged residential care sector and the financial performance of providers.

Cam has been instrumental in facilitating numerous mergers and partnerships among charitable entities, contributing to some of the largest transactions in aged care. His wealth of experience, knowledge and insightful advice have established him as a recognised thought leader in the sector.


Stuart’s core skill is leading the conversion of ideas into action – a change strategist. He likes to ‘help people help people’. Usually that is working with clinicians and health managers to help improve system outcomes for their communities. His experience includes the design and establishment of transformation, organisational development and improvement programmes to achieve complex change. His particular focus is facilitation, the establishment and review of major initiatives and liaison with senior executives. Having worked in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom he brings an international mindset to problem solving. He helps lead the Change Collaborative - a comprehensive portfolio of personal development programmes from foundation basics to specialised advanced for a CXO audience.



Dr Inga Hunter works fulltime at Massey University and is the Programme Director, Health Service Management programme, Massey University (Postgraduate Diploma & Master of Health Service Management. Until 2019 she worked for 20 years part time in clinical medical practice and part-time at the University. She has 32 years clinical experience in a variety of clinical settings in general practice, primary, secondary, and tertiary care in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, along with 25 years research and teaching experience in health informatics, digital/information technology and health service management. 

She has been served on a variety of international, national, regional and local groups/boards within the health informatics/digital technology domain, most recently: 
•    NZ representative to ISO/TC 215/TF7 (International Standards Organisation, health Informatics/telehealth working group)
•    Massey University Human Ethics Committee
•    Chair Research, Audit and Evaluation working group NZTF
•    NZ Telehealth Forum (NZTF) Leadership group/Governance group 
•    IMIA Telehealth working group
•    NZ representative, Asia-Pacific Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) and International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) 
•    Governance Board member Australasian Institute of Digital Health 
•    Governing Council member Australasian College of Health Informatics 
•    Health Research Council College of Experts and peer reviewer
•    Strategic ICT Governance Group/ Clinical Reference Group, MidCentral DHB
•    National Information Clinical Leadership Group 
•    Health Information Governance Expert Advisory Group
•    Executive committee member of HINZ

Louise Aitken is a Partner within Deloitte’s Consulting practice, leading Sustainability, Climate and Nature. Her driving purpose is to support organisations to advance our collective ambition of an inclusive, sustainable world. 

By building nature and people into the foundations of an organisation's vision and strategy, Louise help’s drive innovation, action and progress toward our net-zero goals, contributing to an economy where people and the planet thrive.