Ministry of Social Development – Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora

Debbie Power, Chief Executive.  Debbie Power is currently the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development. She has previously held many senior roles within MSD, including Deputy Chief Executive; Service Delivery, Deputy Chief Executive; Office of the Chief Executive, and Regional Commissioner for Northland. She has also held senior roles in the wider public sector, including Statutory Deputy State Services Commissioner. Debbie’s evidence includes an overview of the role and functions of the Ministry that are relevant to this stage of the Inquiry.

Barry Fisk, General Manager Te Kahui Kahu.  Barry Fisk is currently the General Manager of Te Kāhui Kāhu at the Ministry of Social Development. He has been employed by the Ministry of Social Development or its predecessors since 1976 and has held a number of senior roles including Assistant Director Corporate Services for Manukau District, Regional Executive Officer for South West Auckland Region, Regional Commissioner for Social Development, Auckland and a number of Director roles as part of the Work and Income Executive team. Barry’s evidence will include information on the role of Te Kāhui Kāhu and the accreditation of care providers.

Arran Jones, Executive Director of Te Mana Whakamaru Motuhake/Independent Children’s Monitor.  Arran Jones is currently the Executive Director of the Independent Children’s Monitor which is currently hosted by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD). Arran has held a number of roles within MSD including Deputy Chief Legal Advisor. He has also held a number of leadership roles within MSD including working in the Office of the Chief Executive, at Work and Income and he led the Partnerships and Programmes workstream in the “Investing in Children” programme that established Oranga Tamariki. Most recently prior to his current role, Arran was the Head of Privacy at Accident Compensation Corporation. Arran’s evidence will be focused on the establishment of and role of the Monitor and its future direction.

New Zealand Police – Ngā Pirihimana o Aotearoa

Andrew Coster, Commissioner of Police.  Commissioner Andrew Coster  With a career that spans over 25 years including serving in frontline and investigative roles, Andrew Coster became Commissioner of Police in April 2020.  Commissioner Coster has worked in a variety of Police leadership roles that have taken him around New Zealand, including Area Commander in Auckland City Central and District Commander for the Southern Police District.  Commissioner Coster has led significant policing developments and initiatives, including research into how Police can ensure it is delivering policing that is fair and equitable for all our communities and he is overseeing a major expansion of Te Pae Oranga (community panels) that seeks to keep low-level offenders out of the criminal justice system.  In 2020 Commissioner Coster introduced three new priorities to the New Zealand Police: Be first, then do (strengthening how and who we are as an organisation); Deliver the services New Zealanders expect and deserve; and focused prevention through partnerships.  Commissioner Coster will speak to these initiatives at the hearing.

Tania Kura, Deputy Commissioner: Leadership & Capability.  Deputy Commissioner Tania Kura  Recruited in Invercargill where she was born and raised with a whakapapa linking her to Tainui, Tania Kura (Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Te Kanawa) joined Police in 1987.  She has since worked in in a variety of uniform, investigative and leadership areas including youth, intelligence, O/C station and operational field training.  She became the first female police officer to be appointed to the position of Deputy Commissioner when appointed in 2020.  As Deputy Commissioner – Leadership and Capability, Tania Kura’s areas of responsibilities include Training (Royal New Zealand Police College), Employment Relations, Leadership and Development, Integrity and Conduct, Safer People, and Frontline Capability (including Emergency Communications Centres).  Deputy Commissioner Kura will speak to Police culture and training at the hearing.

Ministry of Health – Manatū Hauora

Dr Diana Sarfati
, Director-General of Health.  Dr Diana Sarfati (MBChB, MPH, PhD, FNZCPHM) is currently the Director-General of Health, and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Health, and has been appointed to the role while Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission carries out appointment processes for the permanent position.  Dr Sarfati is a public health physician, cancer epidemiologist and health services researcher, and her substantive role is Tumuaki Chief Executive and National Director of the Cancer Control Agency Te Aho o Te Kahu.  From 2015-2019, Dr Sarfati 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.

Dr John Crawshaw, Director Mental Health and Addiction.  Dr John Crawshaw (MBChB, FRANZCP) is currently the Director of Mental Health and Addiction, which are statutory roles under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992, and Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 2017.  Since 1 July 2022, Dr Crawshaw has also assumed responsibility for the statutory and regulatory functions for the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003, under the delegated authority of the Director-General.  Dr Crawshaw’s background is forensic psychiatry, and he has previously held a number of senior management positions, including as General Manager of Mental Health, Elderly and Disability Services for Capital Coast Health (Crown Health Enterprise) between 1993-1998, and prior to returning to New Zealand in 2011, he was the Chief Forensic Psychiatrist and Chief Executive Officer of Statewide and Mental Health Services in Tasmania, Australia.

Dr Arran Culver, Acting Associate Deputy Director-General Mental Health and Addiction.  Dr Arran Culver (MBChB, FRANZCP) is currently the Acting Associate Deputy Director-General, Mental Health and Addiction.  Prior to taking up his current role, Dr Culver worked for two and a half years as the Chief Clinical Advisor for the Mental Health and Addiction Directorate (as it then was) at the Ministry of Health.  Dr Culver is a child and adolescent psychiatrist, and has worked in the mental health sector for 25 years.  Dr Culver was previously the Deputy Director of Mental Health at the Ministry of Health from 2012-2015.

John Whaanga, Deputy Director-General, Māori Health.  John Whaanga (Ngāti Rakaipaaka, Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Rongomaiwahine) is the Deputy Director-General, Māori Health.  John originally joined the Ministry of Health in 1993, as a foundation member of the then newly established Māori Health Directorate, Te Kete Hauora. He then spent six years working in the Ministry, culminating in management roles in both public health and Māori health (as Manager, Te Kete Hauora). Following that, John worked for KPMG Consulting for 2 years and then for over 10 years he ran his own management consulting company, Kaipuke Consultants Limited. Previously, John played a pivotal role in supporting his iwi in crown negotiations. In 2018, John was acknowledged in parliament for his work in successfully negotiating a $100 million Treaty of Waitangi settlement for Ngā Iwi me Ngā Hapū o Te Rohe o Te Wairoa – this was the culmination of over 30 years work.  John then undertook a number of significant roles in tertiary education, including as: Chief Advisor Wānanga, Tertiary Education Commission; Deputy Chief Executive, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa; and Chief Operating Officer, Taratahi Institute of Agriculture.  John returned to the Ministry and took up his current position in 2019.


Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People

Geraldine Woods, Acting Chief Executive.  Geraldine Woods is the Acting Chief Executive of Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People. Geraldine is responsible for providing strategic leadership of the new agency and across the system. She has a long history of working to improve outcomes for disabled people.   Over the last two years she was a Chief Advisor to the Health and Disability Review Transition Unit and also provided strategic advice to the Disabled People Establishment Unit. From 2014-2018 she was the Executive Director supporting the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Queensland. From 2005-2010 she was the Deputy Director-General Disability Support Services at the Ministry of Health. Her evidence will include an overview of the background to the establishment of Whaikaha and the outcomes it intends to achieve. 

Amanda Bleckmann, Deputy Chief Executive, Service Delivery.  Amanda Bleckmann is the Interim Deputy Chief Executive Operational Design and Support at Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People. She supports the Chief Executive to collaborate and influence across the system to advance the rights and wellbeing of all disabled people, tāngata whaikaha Māori, Pacific disabled people and their families.   Before this, she worked at the Ministry of Health’s Disability Directorate in a number of roles since 2004, including Group Manager and Manager and Portfolio Manager.  She held a number of management roles in mental health services prior to this.  

Hannah Kerr, General Manager, Policy.  Hannah Kerr is Group Manager Strategy and Policy at Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People.  She is responsible for working in partnership with the disability community to develop policy and strategy to realise Whaikaha’s aspirations for disabled people.  She has 20 years of experience working in policy in both Aotearoa New Zealand and the United Kingdom.  Most recently she was the former Group Manager Strategy, Policy and Performance – Disability, and before that the Disability Policy Manager at the Ministry of Health. 

Ministry of Education – Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Iona Holsted, Chief Executive and Secretary for Education.  Iona Holsted is currently the Secretary for Education and Chief Executive of Te Tāhuhu (the Ministry of Education).  A trained teacher, she has held senior roles in the public sector including Chief Executive and Chief Review Officer of the Education Review Office, Deputy Chief Executive Ministry for Social Development and Deputy Commissioner State Services Commission. Iona’s previous roles have also included leadership of a community-controlled primary health care service, five years with the Public Service Association and President of the Student Teachers’ Association of NZ.  Iona’s evidence includes information about Te Tāhuhu and its role and operations pertinent to this hearing.

David Wales, National Director Learning Support and Special Education.  David Wales is the National Director Learning Support Delivery within Te Mahau.  He has held this position for eight years and holds a PhD.and a Diploma in Clinical Psychology.  Prior to joining Te Tāhuhu David worked for the New Zealand Department of Corrections for 20 years – holding a range of senior positions including Director of Psychological Services, and other senior roles leading the development of effective rehabilitation interventions.  He spent 10 months on secondment to the Treasury where, as Manager Analytics and Insights, he established a new team to conduct system level analysis on government data to provide a cross-agency evidence base for policy makers to develop solutions to social issues.  Earlier in his career he worked in the alcohol and drug treatment field and in a regional forensic psychiatry service in the United Kingdom.  In his current role he has led the shift in Te Tāhuhu’s focus from special education to the wider notion of learning support and introduced better ways of delivering specialist services to children with learning needs. 

Rachel Vink, Manager National Service Support and Guidance.  Rachael Vinck is Te Tāhuhu’s Manager, National Service Support and Guidance, Learning Support Service Delivery, Te Pae Aronui.  Rachael has worked in Learning Support service delivery since she graduated in 2002. Initially, as a speech language therapist working directly with whānau and educators before a range of regional leadership roles, and now in her national role, managing a team of specialists providing advice on evidence based and inclusive learning supports in the New Zealand education system.

Yvette Guttenbeil Po’uhila,  Ko Moana nui a Kiwa Ahau, Ko au ko Moana Nui a Kiwa. Yvette’s heritage spans the Pacific and found roots in Tonga and Aotearoa. She is a daughter of the Pacific migration, settlor of central west Auckland and co-navigator with her whānau, her chosen whanau and the systems and spaces that they have collectively encountered, some successfully others not so.  In her current position, Yvette manages the Auckland Pacific work programme, seeking and creating opportunities for Pacific learners, their families and communities to thrive in learning, achievement and lived experiences. Yvette has been in this role for 3 years. Previously, she has managed education area teams, regional early learning teams, network and assessment teams in Auckland and Te Tai Tokerau.  Yvette has also worked with Child Youth and Family, Auckland Public Health, Health Research Council and Pacific Community Health.  She has been principal investigator for research projects for Family Violence and Gambling and continues to have an interest in sovereignty and integrity of research, data and insights.  Yvette has recently been seconded to work on the Te Mahau operating model.

Education Review Office – Te Tari Arotake Mātauranga

Nicholas Pole, Chief Executive

Lynda Pura-Watson, Deputy Chief Executive – Evaluation and Review Maori

Jane Lee, Deputy Chief Executive – Review and Improvement


Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand

Robyn Baker, ONZM, Chair

Lesley Hoskin, Chief Executive



Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Children

Chappie Te Kani, Chief Executive.  Chappie Te Kani is currently the acting Chief Executive Officer of Oranga Tamariki. Chappie first joined Oranga Tamariki as Deputy Chief Executive Governance and Engagement, and before that he held several senior public servant roles, including Assistant Commissioner at the Public Service Commission, Head of System Assurance and Continuous Improvement at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) and Acting Chief Executive at Te Arawhiti. Chappie is the lead witness for Oranga Tamariki and his evidence will focus on role and functions of Oranga Tamariki and its predecessor.

Peter Whitcombe, Chief Social Worker.  Peter Whitcombe is the Chief Social Worker, which is a Deputy Chief Executive role within Oranga Tamariki. Peter has had a long career in Oranga Tamariki and its predecessor agency, beginning as a social worker. He has held General Manager roles for Youth Justice and Care, was Senior Responsible Owner for the Care Standards Programme, and a Children’s Team Director. Peter also led the establishment of our Crown/Iwi partnership with Ngāi Tahu, the first of our National Strategic Partnerships. Peter’s evidence will include the provision of care, entry into care and youth justice.

Nicolette Dickson, Deputy Chief Executive – Quality Practice & Experiences.  Nicolette Dickson is currently the Deputy Chief Executive Quality Practice and Experiences at Oranga Tamariki. Nicolette is a registered social worker with over 20 years of experience as a social work practitioner and leader. After joining Child Youth and Family, she has held a range of practice and leadership roles across the organisation in care and protection and also in youth justice as a site, operations and regional manager. Nicolette has held senior national roles as General Manager Practice and co-directed our new Practice Framework. Nicolette’s evidence will include monitoring and oversight of the care system, entry into care and the provision of care.

Frana Chase, Director Youth Justice Transformation Whanau Care in Service Delivery.  Frana Chase is currently the Director Transformation, Te Oranga o te Whānau at Oranga Tamariki. Frana was a Pou Mana Whakahaere — Ratonga Awhina when she first joined Oranga Tamariki. Prior to this, Frana was the CEO of an iwi-led Health Authority, a Whānau Ora Manager for the Taumarunui, Whanganui and Waikato regions, a social worker and a technical advisor to the Iwi Chairs Forum for Whānau Ora. Frana’s evidence will focus on how tamariki and whānau Māori experience care.

Aiolupotea Sina Aiolupotea-Aiono, Chief Advisor Pacific.  Aiolupotea Sina Aiolupotea-Aiono is currently the Chief Advisor Pacific, Office of the Chief Executive at Oranga Tamariki. Before joining Oranga Tamariki, Sina was the Deputy Chief Executive Regional Partnerships at the Ministry for Pacific Peoples and has served at a governance level as a member and chair of several boards in local and central government, as well as in the NGO and local community sectors. Sina is from the villages of Falelima, Paia, Siufaga, Fa’ala Palauli in Savaii, Samoa and holds two chiefly Ali’i titles of Aiolupotea and Toleafoa. Sina’s evidence will focus on issues affecting Pacific Peoples in the context of the care system.

Claudia Boyles, Chief Advisor Disability.  Claudia Boyles is the Chief Advisor Disability, Office of the Chief Executive at Oranga Tamariki. Before joining Oranga Tamariki, Claudia held senior advisory roles in the public service including Principal Advisor roles at ACC and in the Ministry for the Environment. Claudia has an extensive background in public policy including work in America and Australia with extensive leadership experience across different sectors. Claudia is a disabled person, a paraplegic and wheelchair user. Claudia’s evidence will focus on issues affecting disabled people in the context of the care system.

Paula Attrill, General Manager International Casework and Adoption in Service Delivery.  Paula Attrill is currently the General Manager International Casework and Adoption at Oranga Tamariki. Paula’s experience with Oranga Tamariki and its predecessor is extensive, spanning almost 30 years. Paula’s career has largely focused on frontline services in either a site/region or in roles overseeing these. Paula worked for the Secretariat supporting the Expert Advisory Panel, before joining the Investing in Children Programme. In her current role, Paula has also been Senior Responsible Owner for National Care Standards implementation. Paula’s evidence will focus on historical matters relating to entry into care, caregivers and adoption services.

Department of Corrections – Ara Poutama Aotearoa

Jeremy Lightfoot, Chief Executive.  Jeremy Lightfoot is the Chief Executive of Ara Poutama Aotearoa | Department of Corrections. In this role he is responsible for the safe management and wellbeing of prisoners and community-based offenders, and for ensuring that the corrections system operates in accordance with the purposes set out in the Corrections Act 2004. Previous roles included the Deputy Chief Executive at Corrections and the Deputy Controller at NZ Customs.  Jeremy’s evidence will cover the safe custody and welfare of all people in Corrections’ management.

Juanita Ryan, Deputy Chief Executive, Health

Neil Beales, General Manager Custodial and Chief Custodial Officer.  Neil Beales is the General Manager Custodial and Chief Custodial Officer at Ara Poutama Aotearoa | Department of Corrections, as well as the Department’s Spokesperson. In this role Neil has oversight of custodial policies and practices, including those relating to youth managed by Corrections. Neil’s previous roles include being Prison Manager at Auckland Prison, and prior to that has also held various roles in the English and Welsh Prison Service.

Jessica Borg, General Manager Psychology and Programmes.  Jessica Borg is the General Manager Psychology and Programmes at Ara Poutama Aotearoa | Department of Corrections. In this role Jessica has oversight of psychology and rehabilitation services and programmes available to all people in Corrections’ management, including on trauma-informed care. Jessica is a registered psychologist with a clinical scope of practice, and as well as acting as a clinical psychologist has had a range of management roles including Manager Medium Intensity Psychology Programmes at Corrections.

Rebecca Barson, General Manager Reintegration and Housing.  Rebecca Barson is the General Manager Reintegration and Housing at Ara Poutama Aotearoa | Department of Corrections. In this role Rebecca has oversight of reintegration services and programmes available to all people in Corrections’ management. Rebecca has held management roles at Corrections including, prior to her current role, Manager Contracted Rehabilitation Programmes.


Office of the Children’s Commissioner – Manaakatia a Tātou Tamariki

Judge Eivers, Children’s Commissioner
Glenis Phillip-Barbara, Former Assistant Māori Commissioner for Children
Fiona Cassidy, Executive Director

Ombudsman New Zealand – Te Tari o te Kaitiaki Mana Tangata

Peter Boshier, Chief Ombudsman

Ministry for Pacific Peoples

Laulu Mac Leauanae, Secretary.  Laulu Mac Leauanae is Secretary for Pacific Peoples and Chief Executive of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples. He is of Samoan descent and holds the Chiefly title of Laulu from Fa’ala. His aiga hails from Fa’ala, Iva and Sa’anapu. Since Laulu started in the role in July 2017 he has led the development of a bold and unifying vision for Pacific communities in New Zealand, and has secured new investments and Pacific-led initiatives to lift the economic, social and cultural wellbeing of Pacific peoples. Laulu actively contributes to the public sector’s diversity and inclusion programme and leads Pou Mātāwaka, which aims to eliminate ethnic pay gaps. In prior roles, he was Chief Executive of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation and the General Manager of Pure Pacifika Limited, a company that exported horticultural products from the South Pacific primarily into Asian markets.  Before this Laulu worked in the primary healthcare sector for ProCare Health Limited and started his career practicing as a lawyer. Laulu’s evidence covers Priority Groups; Monitoring, Oversight and Safeguarding; and Funding and Resourcing.

Aiono Matthew Aileone, Deputy Secretary for Policy.  Aiono Matthew Aileone is the Deputy Secretary for Policy at the Ministry for Pacific Peoples. Aiono leads the teams responsible for developing key polices and research to further the Ministry’s Lalanga Fou vision. His role includes overseeing the establishing of the cross agency Lalanga Fou DCE’s group and the Ministry’s business cases developed for the wellbeing budget. Previous roles included 15 years as a diplomat, trade negotiator and policy officer and legal advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Te Puni Kokiri – Ministry of Māori Development

Dave Samuels, Chief Executive and Secretary for Māori Development.  David (Dave) Samuels (Waikato and Te Whakatōhea) is Secretary of Māori Development and Chief Executive of Te Puni Kōkiri. He has held this role since 2019, having previously been posted overseas with MFAT to support increasing NZ’s access to Middle East and Asian markets. He began his career as an infantry officer in the New Zealand Army. Dave’s evidence focuses on the role of Te Puni Kōkiri as it has been variously understood, its relationships within the public sector, the lessons we have learnt over the years, and how those lessons might inform the Commission’s recommendations for future action.

Grace Smith, Deputy Secretary – Strategy, Finance and Performance.  Grace Smith (Ngāti Kahungungu, Ngāti Rakaipaaka) is Deputy Secretary Strategy Finance and Performance at Te Puni Kōkiri. Her role includes co-leadership of the Whai Kāinga Whai Oranga Māori housing initiative in partnership with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. She was previously Deputy Secretary Organisational Support at TPK, and before that was Director of the Waitangi Tribunal and the Māori Land Court at the Ministry of Justice.

Te Kawa Mataaho – Public Service Commission

Peter Hughes is currently the Public Service Commissioner and Head of Service | Te Tumu Whakarae mō Te Kawa Mataaho. Peter took up the role of Public Service Commissioner on 4 July 2016. His career spans more than 35 years in various roles across the Public Service. Before joining the Public Service Commission, he served as Secretary for Education (2013-2016). He started his career in the Public Service as a clerk at the Department of Social Welfare and his roles have included providing policy advice, working in the field and senior executive management. Peter was Chief Executive at the Ministry of Social Development for 10 years, and before that was Secretary for Internal Affairs, Chief Executive of the Health Funding Authority, and Deputy Director-General of Health.

Hannah Cameron is currently the Deputy Commissioner, Strategy and Policy | Kaikōmihana Tuarua, Te Tohutohu Rautaki me te Kaupapa Here. Hannah’s career in public service spans 22 years, starting in 2000, providing policy advice to successive governments in both New Zealand and the UK, including supporting Ministers of the Crown. Hannah joined Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission in 2018. She leads the Commission’s system reform work and machinery of government functions, providing advice and innovative tools to support the future design of the public sector. Hannah is also responsible for the Commission’s data collection and analysis functions, which inform the Commission’s work on Public Service design and reform. Prior to working at the Commission, Hannah has held leadership and policy positions in the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Education.

Heather Baggott is currently the Deputy Public Service Commissioner & Deputy Commissioner, Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion | Te Pou Turuki mō Te Kawa Mataaho. Heather (Ngāti Maniapoto and Te Atiawa) is the first Māori appointed to the role of statutory Deputy Public Service Commissioner. She was appointed in 2021 following the passage of the Public Service Act 2020. In this role she has particular focus on the Māori-Crown aspects of the public service reforms and system-wide efforts to improve leadership development and diversity and inclusion across the public service. Heather joined the Commission in 2018. Her career in public service spans 24 years, starting with the Ministry for the Environment and then with the Ministry of Justice and Office of Treaty Settlements where she worked closely with iwi/hapū and communities on Treaty settlement claims. Heather has held senior positions in both organisations as well as the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, where she is currently also the acting Secretary for Culture and Heritage.