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Committee members

NEAC has up to 12 members who are appointed by the Minister of Health for a term of up to three years.

The members of NEAC are representative of a broad range of disciplines, professions and interests. Members bring expertise in ethics, health and disability research, health service provision and leadership, public health, epidemiology, law, Māori health and consumer advocacy.

Current members of NEAC are listed below.


Neil PickeringPhoto of Neil Pickering.

Acting Chair

Membership role: Health Research Council nominee

Neil is a senior lecturer in the Bioethics Centre at the University of Otago. He has published on a range of ethical issues and has been a member of a number of research projects both in New Zealand and in his previous job in the United Kingdom. His primary area of research is philosophy of mental health, and his book The Metaphor of Mental Illness was published by Oxford University Press in 2006 in their International Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry series.

He was a member of the University of Otago Human Research Ethics Committee from 1999 to 2005. He was also on the Health Research Council of New Zealand Ethics Committee from 2005 to 2010 and was acting chair from 2007 to 2008. He is currently a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry and a member of the committee of the Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law.

Appointed April 2013 and reappointed July 2016. Appointed Deputy Chair September 2016.


Adriana Gunder QSMPhoto of Adriana Gunder.

Membership role: Community/Consumer

Adriana Gunder has a doctoral degree in biological sciences and a post-doctoral degree in biophysics. She was involved in biological and medical research for many years, mainly in Italy and the United Kingdom.

Adriana had polio when she was an infant; as a consequence, she feels strongly about disability and accessibility issues and is involved with disability organisations. In 2012 she was elected to the Board of the New Zealand Red Cross (2012–2014). She is also involved with community and charity organisations (Cancer Society, SPCA, CCS Disability Action and Friends of Madill’s Farm). Adriana is a Justice of the Peace. She served on the New Zealand Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal (2010–2015) and is currently a member of the Medical Sciences Council.

Adriana was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for service to the community in June 2012.

Appointed October 2011, reappointed October 2012 and March 2016.


Maureen HoldawayPhoto of Maureen Holdaway.

Membership role: Health researcher

Maureen is the deputy director for the Research Centre for Māori Health and Development, Massey University, and a registered nurse with extensive experience in primary health care.

Maureen has worked in the health and education sectors for many years. Her key areas of research expertise are in Māori and indigenous health development, primary health care and health workforce development.

Maureen has collaborated on national and international studies focusing on indigenous health and development. She is a named investigator on two core programme grants for the centre, a number of individual Health Research Council of New Zealand grants and other research involving significant collaborations within Massey University and with other universities and health service providers, both nationally and internationally.

Appointed June 2012 and reappointed October 2015.


Kahu McClintockPhoto of Kahu McClintock.

Membership role: Māori member

Kahu McClintock (Waikato/Maniapoto, Ngāti Mutunga and Ngāti Porou) is the Manager Research at Te Rau Matatini. Kahu has worked in the health and disability sector for over 20 years, with a special focus on Māori health research and child and adolescent mental health. Kahu holds a Dip Nursing (Psychiatric), Higher Dip Teaching, B Ed, M Phil (Māori), D Phil (Psychiatry).

Kahu was a Member of the Māori Health Committee, New Zealand Health Research Council from 2008 to 2014, and Chair of Ngā Kanohi Kitea Community Research Committee, New Zealand Health Research Council during that term.  She is the lead for Te Rā o Te Waka Hourua.

Appointed July 2015


Wayne MilesPhoto of Wayne Miles.

Membership role: Health professional

Wayne is director of Awhina Research and Knowledge, Waitemata District Health Board and a clinical associate professor at the Department of Psychological Medicine, The University of Auckland. He has had extensive experience as a psychiatrist, a clinical leader and a clinical researcher.

Wayne has been an HDEC member for seven years and is a member of the Health Research Council of New Zealand College of Experts. He is Deputy Chair of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Practice, Partnership and Policy Committee, and is a New Zealand Medical Association board member. Past roles have included president of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and Chairperson of the Council of Medical Colleges in New Zealand.

Appointed November 2012 and reappointed March 2016.


Photo of Liz Richards. Liz Richards

Membership role: Community/consumer

Liz Richards is an independent director currently chairing the Top of the South Health Alliance and is a trustee for the Tasman Bays Heritage Trust. Previous roles include Chair of the Upper South A Health and Disability Ethics Committee and Deputy Chair of the Canterbury Community Trust and the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board. Liz has also been active in governance roles for a number of community organisations in the Nelson region.

Liz has worked in health promotion and public sector housing management as well as lecturing in housing studies at Salford University. She has a Professional Qualification of the Chartered Institute of Housing and an MA in Housing from the University of Central England in Birmingham.

Appointed October 2015.


Photo of Hope Tupara. Hope Tupara

Membership role: Health professional

Hope works from home, mostly in private contract research and as a practising midwife. She has a MA Midwifery and a PhD Public Health. She has published papers in the New Zealand College of Midwives Journal, the Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics and the American Journal of Bioethics. 

Hope has a special interest in iwi development, the Māori Women’s Welfare League and Whānau Ora.

Appointed October 2015.


Photo of Dana Wensley. Dana Wensley

Membership role: Lawyer

Dana Wensley has an LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland, and a Ph.D. (Medical Law and Ethics) from King’s College London. She is interested in issues that transcend the traditional boundaries between law, medicine, and ethics, with a specialisation on regulatory responses to emerging genetic technologies. She has held posts as research fellow at the Human Genome Research Centre (University of Otago) and assistant editor of the Bulletin of Medical Ethics (London).  She currently serves as consumer representative on the Hospital Advisory Committee of the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board.

Appointed October 2015.