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Leadership team

Plunket’s leadership team consists of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and the Senior Management Team (SMT). The ELT consists of seven members, and the SMT includes all members of ELT and five General Managers.

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    Amanda Malu

    Joint Acting Chief Executive

    In March 2016 Amanda was confirmed as acting Joint Chief Executive of Plunket.

    Amanda joined Plunket in 2014 as the Chief Marketing Officer and brings a wide range of marketing, communications and senior leadership experience to the organisation.


    Working across government and education institutions Amanda has led significant marketing and behavior change campaigns, including the highly successful ‘It’s not Ok’ campaign against family violence while at the Families Commission. Most recently she has held senior management roles within the science and tertiary education sectors.


    Amanda is passionate about the importance of Plunket to Kiwi families and through her leadership of the funding, marketing and communications teams she aims to ensure every family is able to access Plunket support when they need it most. A major area of focus for Amanda is securing the funding required to maintain the wide range of Plunket services available across New Zealand.


    Of Ngai Tahu descent, Amanda grew up in Christchurch and she has lived in Wellington for the past 18 years

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    Gerald Ross

    Joint Acting Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer (ELT)

    In March 2016 Gerald was confirmed as acting Joint Chief Executive.


    Gerald joined Plunket in June 2007 after many years in private enterprise which had taken him to several parts of the globe including nearly three years in Seoul.


    Gerald’s role of Chief Financial Officer sees him responsible for leading Plunket’s finance, centralised accounting (the team that supports the volunteer treasurers), legal, business services and information communications technology teams.

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    Liz Barton

    Chief People Officer (ELT)

    Liz is originally from the UK, but having made the journey to New Zealand back in 2000, now considers herself an honorary Kiwi.

    In the UK her career developed from generalist HR roles, into more specialist Organisation Development management roles, predominantly within the UK's retail sector. She moved originally to Christchurch where she worked in a number of roles including GM HR of a contracting company, and as partner in a consulting firm where her clients were many and varied, and included both the Health and Education sectors.

    Since joining Plunket after a move to Wellington, Liz has worked with her team to develop some unique and innovative frameworks and work programmes across the broad range of Organisation and People capability development.

    Liz is passionate about harnessing the capability of organisations towards a common set of goals and values.

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    Hera Black

    Chief Advisor Maori (ELT)

    Hera joined Plunket in January 2015. She is a native speaker of te reo maori me ona tikanga. Her iwi affiliations include Ngai Tuhoe, Te Whanau Apanui, Tuwharetoa.

    Prior to joining Plunket Hera held positions in the Ministry of Education, Wananga mainstream and kura education settings. She has been a Lecturer at Te Wananga o Awanuiarangi and Te Wananga of Raukawa in Early Childhood, Graduate and Masters programmes. Her most recent management position was in the National Office of the Ministry of Education.

    Hera is completing a post doctoral degree at Te Awanuiarangi.

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    Lois Van Waardenberg

    Chief Operating Officer

    In May 2016 Lois was appointed Plunket’s Chief Operating Officer.

    Lois joined Plunket in August 2015 as its Chief Information Officer and brings a wealth of IT and business experience from a career that spans consulting, start-up businesses and large corporate organisations. 

    She is experienced at both business management and delivering business strategy and transformation through IT enablement, and comes with a customer and innovation focus. Having worked in the UK and Australia, she is now settled back in New Zealand, and most recently was Head of Business Information and Technology Services at Z Energy.

    Lois has Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Music (Performance) degrees from the University of Auckland.

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    Helen Connors

    General Manager, Clinical Services

    Helen is a Registered Nurse whose career began in the primary healthcare sector.

    Helen joined Plunket in 2002 originally as a Plunket Nurse before moving into a Clinical Advisory role and more latterly into management positions.

    Helen is responsible for the leadership of the Service Development group which comprises Clinical Education, Clinical Advisory, Community Development, Pacific Health and Research/Policy/Advocacy.

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    Brenda Hynes

    Deployment Manager, ePHR

    Brenda is a Southerner through and through. She was born in Invercargill, shifted to Dunedin when she was 10 years old. She has held a variety of nursing roles, as well as working with 2 community health NGO’s in Dunedin.

    Brenda started working for Plunket in 2001 as the National Clinical Advisor Nursing, with 2 key portfolios – Family Violence and the Client Information System. Her key focus over the last few years has been the development of PlunketPlus and looks forward to its implementation in the coming years.

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  • Bram Kukler

    Bram Kukler

    General Manager Operations

    Bram joined Plunket in January 2015.

    He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise from his experiences in a range of senior Health Sector leadership roles both in New Zealand and the Netherlands. He has worked in commercial, DHB, Not-for-Profit, Health and Disability sectors. 

    Bram has a clinical background as a Registered Nurse and has also completed a Masters of Business Studies. 

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    Stephanie Shennan

    General Manager Community Development and Volunteers (ELT)

    During her time with Plunket Stephanie has worked in a number of roles within the organisation.  Starting first as a Plunket Nurse Stephanie then working as a Clinical Leader, Area Manager in Waitemata, Auckland City and also a few months in Canterbury before taking on the role of Service Delivery General Manager, which had a national overview of all the services and supports provided by Plunket.

    Now in the role of General Manager of Community Development and Volunteers, Stephanie and her team support Plunket staff and volunteers to work with the many diverse communities across New Zealand identifying their own needs and developing appropriate and relevant services.

    Although it has been 21 years since Stephanie started working for Plunket, she has not lost her passion for the organisation and loves supporting staff and volunteers across the country to do amazing work on behalf of Plunket.

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  • Roy

    Roy Goldsmith

    Acting Chief Information Officer

    Roy joined Plunket in 2016 and brings significant experience of technology, telecommunications and supplier management across several industries in New Zealand and UK. This experience has been gained through working within several large organisations in technical, leadership and management roles.

    While loving his place of birth - Liverpool, England - Wellington is now home and Roy is proud to be able to say he lives here out of choice.  He loves the people, the family values and way of life that New Zealand offers.

    He is proud of working at Plunket and the opportunity it has given him to use his experience and skills to make a real difference to children and families in New Zealand. 

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