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.