Capital and Coast District Health Board logo

Our Citizens Health Council supports and enables our communities to have a say in the design and delivery of health services in the greater Wellington region. The Citizens Health Council does this by facilitating discussions between communities and the district health board (DHB). This helps ensure that the voices of people using health services are heard at every level of decision making, including board level.

The council is made up of a diverse group of people whose experience, networks and discussions with our wider communities will help inform the DHB’s future planning and design of health services for our region.

Citizens Health Council members

  • Diana Crossan Chairperson

    Diana was the Chief Executive for Wellington Free Ambulance from February 2013 to 26 May 2017.Prior to this she worked in the management team at AMP and has held several senior roles in the public service. Diana was Chair of the JR McKenzie Trust for 10 years and also the Ngai Tahu Savings Scheme, Whai Rawa for 9 years.

    She was New Zealand’s Retirement Commissioner for 10 years and is on several boards in the private, public and community sectors. These focus on justice and wellbeing for New Zealanders and include work with disadvantaged women and families, financial literacy, financial products and support for refugees.

    Diana was appointed Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2019 New Year honours.
  • Gregg Coyle

    Having been a health service provider, director, health academic, health educator, a consumer of health services and has contributed to Greg’s broad perspective and understanding of the health system. He says it has all come together to give him a view that is unique to his position with the Citizens Health Council.

    Being on the council gives Greg the opportunity to discern the messages from consumers and give CCDHB a view of the systems that are operating. He sees parts of the health service in the region being well supported, while others are not, describing it as a chain with a few broken links. He is keen to use his skills to find the broken links and advise where they should be joined back up.

    Greg is a senior manager at Salvation Army, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa and holds relationships with Ministry of Social Development, Department of Corrections, University of Otago, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He also sits on the NZ Parole Board and is a director of Career force Industry Training Organisation. All that while being an avid home brewer, browsing his overflowing bookcases, writing for journals, and keeping fit in order to keep up with his four grandchildren.

    For the future, Greg looks forward to the day when we have a health system rather like when his parents were growing up. At time, when people had knowledge of how to be healthy and had the confidence manage their own health without much help from the health system. We need doctors on tap not doctors on top. We need communities who know each other and can help out when their neighbours are unwell.
  • Ria Earp

    Ria welcomed the opportunity as a member of the Citizens Health Council to look ahead at the sorts of health issues Wellington people want to see. She believes it’s important to start looking to the future now, because changes in health take time to develop.

    Her vision is simple. It’s for all people to access the services and the health care they need. She believes there is a difference between what people consider they need and what the health system is able to provide, so she wants to contribute to bridging that gap, or at least bringing the two closer together.

    Ria’s experience includes being a hospital social worker in her early career, a senior public servant in health and social services, as well as being CE of Mary Potter Hospice for over ten years. She is keenly interested in looking at health across the whole of the country, and in particular at ways to improve Maori health outcomes. Ria is about to join the board of Wellington Free Ambulance.

    Family is important to Ria who has two grandchildren, and loves reading and walking. She’s planning to take up the ukulele. Dealing with the nitty gritty of life, she wants to do something that deals with a different part of her brain. She feels exercising all parts of her brain allows her to see things differently, to see the wider picture and how pieces connect.

  • Mae Tapasu

    A desire to be part of a group that brings the voice of community to the table in order to influence future thinking is what attracted Mae to the Citizens Health Council. Born and bred in Porirua from Ngāti Porou descent, she has a real passion for her community and the families within it.

    She brings strong focus on people and strategic thinking which comes from her 20 years with IRD. She enjoys coaching and developing people to see and fulfil their potential, and has been around and mentored youth and young adults over many years. In fact, some are having their own families now.

    Mae says there are times when people need a little help to see in themselves what others including herself sees in them, and that will feature in how she adds value to the Citizens Health Council. Not being from the health sector, she brings fresh eyes and a passion for doing something meaningful.

    Her experience of seeing people going through health issues and clinicians talking above their heads is a key driver, because if people don’t understand what’s happening and why then it doesn’t mean anything and can be overwhelming. Understanding and taking control is important. Health needs to involve them, not be done to them.

    Bringing services closer to home fits naturally with the community she comes from.
  • Brad Olsen

    Brad joined the Citizens Health Council because he wants to make sure people can access the healthcare they need, where they need it, when they need it, as they need it.

    He believes all people should be able to live healthy and fulfilling lives with easy and timely access to healthcare on their own terms. It means access to healthcare should not be cumbersome, rather the health system should work for people, not the other way round.

    With the Citizens Health Council’s focus on the future of healthcare, Brad is committed to looking strategically at the health system and using his ability to connect and engage with people to discover their hopes, dreams and expectations of their wellbeing.

    Being an economist drives Brad’s thinking. His work in policy has shown him how plans and actions relate to and impact real peoples’ lives.

    Brad has been involved in youth development since the age of 15. He helped set up the Octane Youth Health Clinic in Northland before moving to Wellington for University. He was also named New Zealand’s 2016 Queen’s Young Leader for his involvement with youth development.
  • Jenny Rowan

    As past Mayor of Kapiti, Jenny has been involved in a lot of discussions and issues relating to health needs. Always in her mind is her family, and what healthcare system she would like to see for them.

    Kapiti, when she became mayor, had a chronic shortage of doctors, a high youth suicide rate and a rapidly ageing population. Given its locality, access to healthcare services was not easy. Jenny worked solidly to bring services together to improve the outlook for those affected, and their families.

    In her non-mayoral life Jenny has solid experience working to improve mental health and drug abuse support services through her involvement with dairy farming wives and the high suicide rate among farmers, with the gay and lesbian community, and advocating for marriage equality.

    Her 16 years as a commissioner in the environment court exposed her to environmental health issues, in particular how the environment affects Maori health outcomes. She’s experienced in emergency management and civil defence and has done three tours of recovery amongst people who’ve been deeply traumatised.

    She joined the Citizens Health Council to hear the voices of the people who are on the receiving end of healthcare. For Jenny, it’s important to give all people the knowledge, the confidence and skills to manage their own health.

    Her vision for the future is focused strongly on what she would like to see for herself and her own family when it comes to health services, and she feels that requires education and attention on serious issues, like the effect of sugar which she believes is having a “tsunami” effect on peoples’ health.
  • Debbie Leyland

Last updated 27 August 2019.