Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall

Dr Ayesha Verrall is a Cabinet Minister in the New Zealand Government. She holds the portfolios of Health and Research, Science and Innovation.

Before entering Parliament in 2020, Dr Verrall was an infectious diseases physician at Wellington Hospital and an epidemiologist at the University of Otago. She served on national technical advisory focussing on tuberculosis control and immunisation. She was instrumental in developing New Zealand’s Covid-19 response.

Since she became the Minister of Health, Dr Verrall has driven the Covid-19 recovery, worked to reduce surgery waitlists and strengthened public health including:

  • Developing New Zealand’s Smokefree 2025 Action Plan.
  • Promoting the fluoridation of drinking water.
  • Scrapping the $5 co-payment on prescriptions.

Ayesha grew up in Te Anau. She attended University of Otago medical school and worked as a junior doctor in Wellington. Ayesha completed her specialist training in Singapore and her doctoral studies on tuberculosis in Indonesia.

Ayesha lives in Wellington with her partner Alice and their daughter. They enjoy exploring the New Zealand outdoors.

Ayesha Verrall - 2023 Headshot