​​​​​​​New board members for Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora


GP Dr Jeff Lowe and former Inland Revenue Commissioner Naomi Ferguson have been appointed to the board of the organisation that runs the country’s public hospitals, Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand.

Health Minister Andrew Little announced their appointments today, along with the appointment of Steven McJorrow (Ngāti Kahungunu) to the board of Te Aka Whai Ora – the Māori Health Authority.

“Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand is the New Zealand’s largest employer, operating 84 hospitals, employing 82,000 people and caring for the health of the entire country,” Andrew Little said.

“Dr Lowe’s appointment strengthens the board’s clinical awareness and adds a primary-care voice, which is important as Te Whatu Ora seeks to achieve a better alignment between the work of GPs and hospitals.

“Naomi Ferguson is widely recognised as an effective leader of significant change in large organisations, including Inland Revenue, and her experience will be valuable,” Andrew Little said.

Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare said Steven McJorrow’s senior commercial and financial leadership experience will further strengthen the Te Aka Whai Ora board.

“Steven McJorrow  is an experienced finance executive with extensive knowledge of strategic analysis and planning in the private sector in New Zealand and overseas, including the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia and the United States,” Peeni Henare said.

“He brings a strong commitment to pae ora, whanau and wai ora, as well as extensive experience in finance, strategic analysis and planning that complements the clinical, governance, community and public sector skills of other board members.”

Andrew Little said both boards were well set for continued hard work ahead.  

"The new members of these boards share a dedication to improve the country’s health and well-being. Our health entities are in strong hands to continue to provide oversight of this transformational work,” Andrew Little said.

Dr Lowe and Naomi Ferguson join Rob Campbell (chair), Amy Adams, Tipa Mahuta, Dame Karen Poutasi, Vanessa Stoddart and Dr Curtis Walker on the board of Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand.

The other members of board the Te Aka Whai Ora – the Māori Health Authority are Tipa Mahuta (chair, Waikato, Maniapoto, Ngāpuhi), Sharon Shea (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Hako), Fiona Pimm (Ngā Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha), Awerangi Tamihere (Ngāti Kauwhata, Rangitane, Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Kai Tau), Dr Mataroria Lyndon (Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Wai, Waikato) and Dr Sue Crengle (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mamoe, Waitaha). The remaining vacancy on the Te Aka Whai Ora board will be filled in the New Year.


Dr Jeff Lowe

Dr Jeff Lowe trained at Otago University and graduated in 1984. He is a GP with particular interest in travel medicine and working with children. He worked at Karori Medical Centre as a registrar and locum before becoming a partner.  He is a trainer in general practice and has a role teaching general practice to doctors training in this speciality. He is currently chair of General Practice New Zealand, a trustee of Cosine Primary Care Network, and a board member of the Federation of Primary Health Aotearoa and Collaborative Aotearoa.

He also recently worked on Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand’s Planned Care Taskforce and COVID-19 Health System Preparedness group.

Naomi Ferguson

Naomi Ferguson brings more than 20 years senior leadership experience in the public sector in New Zealand and the UK to the board of Te Whatu Ora. She was the first woman to be appointed Commissioner of Inland Revenue and led the organisation between 2012 and 2022.

She is on the board of Education Payroll Ltd and on the Ministry of Justice’s Risk and Assurance Committee.  Her previous governance roles have been in the tax administration, health and social welfare sectors in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and in international forums such as the OECD.

She also served as a trustee of Diversity Works New Zealand and was the founding sponsor of the Government Women’s Network.

Steven McJorrow (Ngāti Kahungunu)

Steven is an experienced finance executive. He is currently the chief financial officer of Pāmu Farms of New Zealand (Landcorp Farming Ltd) where he is responsible for the finance, technology, procurement and transformation office functions.

He is a director of land development joint venture Wharewaka East Ltd and of farm management software company FarmIQ, and is a past director of animal genetics company Focus Genetics. His previous roles include chief financial officer of a private investment company in Melbourne, group financial controller for the Australian Wheat Board, head of decision support for a retail bank and working in strategy consulting.