Governance Group

  • Dr Will Edwards


    Will is a Director of Taumata Associates a Māori public health research and development consultancy based in South Taranaki.  As the previous chair of Te Korowai o Ngāruahine he led the Iwi Data Leadership Group for the National Iwi Chairs’ Forum representing 75 iwi.  Will serves on a number of boards including Te Korowai o Ngāruahine, Parinihi ki Waitotara Incorporation, Tuiora and Taranaki Futures. He also serves on the boards of New Plymouth’s Te Kopae Piripono Māori immersion early childhood education centre, the Hāwera High School Board of Trustees, and Te Reo o Taranaki.  He is chair of the Tangahoe Tribal Trust and is on the Health Research Council of New Zealand Māori Health Committee and is a Co-investigator on the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study. His PhD in Public Health focused on Māori Positive Ageing. Will descends from Taranaki, Ngāruahine, Tāngahoe, Pakakohi and Ngāti Ruanui iwi.

  • Dr Di McCarthy

    Di has extensive experience in a number of senior management and governance roles in the tertiary education, science and health sectors. She is the Chair of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, a Director of Bragato Research Institute and a member of the governance boards of the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies, and the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge. She is a Trustee of the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research and the Hearing Research Foundation (NZ).  She was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Education in 2008, a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand for her services to Science in 2015, and a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to science, business and women in 2016.

  • Garrick Cooper

    Garrick Cooper is currently a lecturer at the University of Canterbury at the College of Arts. His research is driven by pursuing practices of ‘decoloniality’. This includes understanding the ways in which coloniality reproduces and sustains itself and  how these realities may be transformed. Garrick’s whānau is from Tauranga Moana and Hauraki. He also has whakapapa links to Ngāti Apakura and Ngāti Manawa. He has previously been the board member of Te Ipukarea National Māori Language Institute (Auckland University of Technology). Garrick Cooper’s research profile (University of Canterbury)

  • Professor Helen Nicholson

    After graduating from the University of Bristol, Professor Nicholson worked as a doctor in hospital and community settings before taking up an academic position in the Department of Anatomy at Bristol. She moved to the University of Otago in 2000 to become Professor of Anatomy and subsequently became head of the Department of Anatomy. In 2007 she was appointed Dean of the Otago School of Medical Sciences (now School of Biomedical Sciences), and in 2011 was the Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) for six months. Professor Nicholson was appointed as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) in February 2014. In this role she was responsible for the strategic development of the University’s international profile involving recruiting and supporting international students; enriching internationalisation of the curriculum; and fostering partnerships with some of the top universities in the world so that the University of Otago sustains its role as a leading teaching and research organisation in the international arena. Professor Nicholson was appointed inaugural Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) in mid-2015. The current role focusses on strengthening external engagement, raising the profile of the University of Otago and attracting high quality domestic and international students to study at Otago.  Helen’s current external appointments include membership of the Confucius Institute Board, the Executive of the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists and she is an Associate Trustee of Men’s Health Trust New Zealand.

  • Dr David Schaaf

    David is currently a Public Health Advisor at Counties Manukau Health DHB. Prior to that, he was at the Ministry of Health implementing ‘Ala Mo’ui: Pathways to Pacific Health and Well-being 2014 – 2018 which is the Ministry’s strategic document for monitoring the Health Sectors performance on improving the health of Pacific people in New Zealand. Previously, he had worked at the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs as Principal Research Analyst. David has been a senior research fellow at the School of Population Health at the University of Auckland. His research interest has been on chronic disease prevention.

  • Adrienne von Tunzelmann

    Adrienne has served on a variety of government and non-profit boards and charitable trusts, which has included the board of Pharmac, an interest she has continued as an appointed member of Pharmac’s Consumer Advisory Committee. Her other governance and community roles include the boards of Age Concern NZ (national Vice President) and Osteoporosis New Zealand, the Bay of Plenty DHB Consumer Council  and the Tauranga Community Housing Trust (Patron). Following her 14 years serving on the Council of Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, she has taken up an appointment as the Council’s External Adviser. Past roles have included President of the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce, trustee of the University of Waikato Foundation and Bay of Plenty Community Trust and Chair of the NZ Women’s Refuge Foundation. Her professional position as Principal Consultant with independent public policy specialist firm McKinlay Douglas Ltd follows a senior executive career in the public sector and in Parliament, with experience in government policymaking and legislation. Adrienne holds Masters degrees in Economics (Canterbury) and Public Policy (Victoria) and is a Chartered Fellow of the NZ Institute of Directors. Adrienne was made a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order for her services to governance and the community in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours.