About A Better Start

Healthy and successful lives for tamariki

Board

The Challenge Board provide management oversight, advice and support to the Challenge and its leadership.

Dr Pat Tuohy

Dr Pat Tuohy

Dr Pat Tuohy is A Better Start National Science Challenge’s new Board Chair. He brings with him a wealth of experience in the health sector and until recently was the Ministry of Health’s Chief Advisor for Child and Youth Health.

He has spent 10 years as a senior lecturer in Community Paediatrics at the Otago Clinical School of Medicine and was a Director of Child Health Policy for Plunket.

Pat is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of our tamariki and addressing inequity.

Materoa Mar

Materoa Mar

Materoa Mar is of Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Whatua and Ngāti Porou descent and is Director – Māori Health for a large Primary Healthcare Organisation based in Palmerston North and also leads the Whanau Ora Alliance Te Tihi o Ruahine

Professor Christa Fouche

Professor Christa Fouche

Christa Fouche is Professor of Social Work at the University of Auckland and Director of Pūtahi Rangahau Ngātahi, a Centre that builds evidence of promising practices in communities through affirming partnerships. She serves as Associate DVC Research in the University’s Office of Research Strategy and Integrity where she is involved in the development of strategic research initiatives and researcher development opportunities across the University.

Dr Collin Tukuitonga

Dr Collin Tukuitonga

Associate Professor Collin Tukuitonga is the Associate Dean (Pacific) at the University of Auckland.  He has served as Secretariat for the Pacific Community Director-General since November 2013, and has previously held a number of senior positions in the Public Health arena, including at the New Zealand Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization.

Amber Clark

Amber Clark

Amber is the current Kaiārahi, Strategic Manager, Hauora for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. For the past two decades Amber has translated between worlds, as an inter-cultural navigator for various institutions and groups, both māori and mainstream in the areas of hauora and education. She has had the privilege of holding representative positions for her hapū and Iwi, and has worked directly with whānau whānui as a practitioner in preventing violence and as a registered midwife working with Rakatahi Maōri, as a contract manager, researcher and educator

Sharon Shea

Sharon Shea

BA/LLB (Auckland), MSc (distinction, Oxford), MNZM, for services to Māori health and development
Tribal affilitations: Ngati Ranginui, Ngati Hine, Ngati Haua, Ngati Hako

Sharon was appointed Chair of the Bay of Plenty District Health Board in April 2021. She was the Northern Regional Health Authority’s Strategy Manager and a key member of its Māori Health Team. She helped write the first contracts between Māori health providers and government. She was a strategic and operational leader for multiple Māori health teams. Sharon has supported Māori health and wellbeing through her consulting business, Shea Pita and Associates Ltd. 

Former Board Members

A Better Start National Science Challenge thanks our former Board members for their service, advice and support to the Challenge and its leadership.

Pat Snedden

Pat Snedden

Board Chair

Board tenure: 1 August 2015 – 12 May 2020

PROFESSOR PETER CRAMPTON

PROFESSOR PETER CRAMPTON

Board tenure: 1 August 2015 – 21 May 2021

Dr Monique Faleafa

Dr Monique Faleafa

Board tenure: 1 August 2015 – 31 December 2019

Associate Professor Papaarangi Reid

Associate Professor Papaarangi Reid

Board tenure: 1 August 2015 – 30 April 2019

Professor Jim Metson

Professor Jim Metson

Board Chair

Board tenure: 1 January 2016 – 31 December 2018

Distinguished Professor Dame Jane Harding

Distinguished Professor Dame Jane Harding

Board tenure: 1 August 2015 – 31 December 2015

Acknowledgement

We would like to acknowledge the contributions of those who helped in our set-up phase:

Distinguished Professor Dame Jane Harding of the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland, Distinguished Professor Niki Davis of the University of Canterbury, Distinguished Professor Richard Faull of the University of Auckland, the late Emeritus Professor David Fergusson of the University of Otago and Cathy Wiley of the New Zealand Institute of Educational Research.