Amanda Malu

Manahautū | Chief Executive

Ka hiki ake aku kamo...

Manahautū | Chief Executive

Ka hiki ake aku kamo ki oku mauka Hikaroroa, tū mai Te Taari Te Kaumira, me Uretāne

Ka kaukau ake i ōku awa Waikouaiti me Waihao

Ka hoe tōku waka ko Takitimu

Ka noho i waenganui tōku hapū  Kāti Huirapa

Ka moe ki ōku marae Puketeraki me Waihao

Ka awhitia e tōku iwi ko  Kāi Tahu

Ko au te mokopuna a Mere  Harper

Ko Amanda Malu tōku ingoa

Nō reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.


In September 2016, Amanda (Kāi Tahu) was confirmed as Chief Executive of Whānau Āwhina Plunket, following six months as Acting Chief Executive.

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

Working across government and education institutions Amanda has led significant behaviour change campaigns, including the highly successful “It’s not OK" campaign against family violence while at the Families Commission.

Amanda’s passion for making a difference is evident in many of the roles she has held, from the very beginning in her first role as Te Pou Hereka, Māori Liaison Officer at Lincoln University, where she was responsible for recruiting and supporting tauira Māori into tertiary education through to Whānau Āwhina Plunket today. 

Amanda has led Whānau Āwhina Plunket’s strategy to become a pro-equity organisation, a journey that continues today.  Amanda is proud of Whānau Āwhina’s commitment to ensuring the organisation is focused on playing its role in addressing the inequities of the health system.

Amanda is mum to six adult children and humbly acknowledges her own deep whakapapa connection to Whānau Āwhina Plunket through her Great great grandmother, one of Whānau Āwhina Plunket’s founding Tāua, Mere Harper.


Denise Shera

General Manager, Service Delivery

Born and bred in Moerewa, Denise...

General Manager, Service Delivery

Born and bred in Moerewa, Denise is proud of her humble upbringing in Te Tai Tokerau! Her life experiences and memories have influenced her outlook on life. Denise is dedicated to doing all she can to create positive service delivery for tamariki and their whānau.

As a mother of two Denise believes that all tamariki count! With over 13 years working for Whānau Āwhina Plunket Denise has worked in numerous roles in IT, PlunketLine, Transformation and Operations.

"Change is never easy, but always possible”.


Hera Black

Te Pou Whakarae | Chief Advisor

Taiarahia te Maunga  ...

Te Pou Whakarae | Chief Advisor

Taiarahia te Maunga  
Ohinemataroa te awa  
Otenuku te marae 
Tuhoe, Tūwharetoa, Whānau Apanui ngā iwi  

Hera is the newly appointed Te Pou Whakarae, Chief Advisor at Whānau Āwhina Plunket. Previously the Chief Advisor Māori, Hera was instrumental in implementing Kaupapa Māori strategies that strived for better health and wellbeing outcomes for all whānau and mokopuna in Aotearoa.  

Born in Ruatoki, Bay of Plenty, Hera currently lives in Masterton. Her career spans more than 20 years within the education sector. She is a proud champion of Te Reo Māori and Te Ao Māori, with extensive experience as a teacher, lecturer and manager. Hera is also a proud member of the Māori Women’s Welfare League, establishing partnerships within both the Iwi sectors and Māori communities. She has overseen a range of governance roles within the Ministry of Education, Wananga (university), early childhood education sectors. Hera recently worked closely with Health Boards as an advisor during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Hera was fortunate to be the New Zealand ambassador for the Oceania Exhibition (2018 – 2019) in England representing all Iwi, hapū and whānau of Aotearoa. Her purpose in life is striving to reduce the inequity among Māori whānau, doing her part to ensure a better future for all mokopuna.   

Me mahi tahi tātou mō te oranga o te iwi 
We should work together for the wellbeing of everyone. 

Katie McEwan

General Manager People & Culture

E rere taku manu ki...

General Manager People & Culture

E rere taku manu ki te tihi o Aoraki         

Rere iho taku manu mā te awa o Waimakariri   

Tau ana taku manu ki te whenua o Waitaha

Ko Ngāi Tahu te mana whenua, te iwi whakaruruhau

Nō Airani ōku tīpuna

Nō Ōtautahi ahau


Katie joined Whānau Āwhina Plunket in December 2021 as General Manager People & Culture. This broad leadership role encompasses communications and stakeholder engagement, Māori development, human resources and organisational development.

Katie is passionate about values-based organisations that improve the lives of New Zealanders, with former roles across the public sector, commercial business and iwi enterprise.

An experienced executive leader, Katie is passionate about service excellence and value creation for internal and external stakeholders. Katie is a registered organisational psychologist and enjoys drawing on behavioural science to understand what makes people and organisations tick.

Louise Eunson

General Manager Performance Risk & Governance

I whānau mai au...

General Manager Performance Risk & Governance

I whānau mai au i te taha o Edinburgh
I raro i te maru o te maunga o White Hill
He uri ahau no England, no Ireland, no Scotland
Kei te noho au kei Te-Whanga-nui-a-Tara
Ko Louise Eunson toku ingoa
Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.


Louise Eunson joined Whānau Āwhina Plunket in 2020 as Head of Performance and Assurance and was appointed as General Manager Performance, Risk and Governance in August 2021. Prior to joining Plunket, she worked for over 8 years at the Ministry of Health where she held a variety of leadership roles in risk, planning, performance, and reporting - most recently in the Office of the Director-General.

Originally trained as a Chartered Accountant (ICAEW) with PwC, Louise has since worked with a variety of consulting firms, commercial organisations and public sector entities in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. With over 20 years’ experience, Louise brings a wealth of risk, governance, assurance and performance expertise to Whānau Āwhina Plunket.

A proud Scot - born and raised in Edinburgh - Louise came to Aotearoa New Zealand with her kiwi husband in 2011. Now a Whānau Āwhina Plunket māmā to a daughter and boy/girl twins, Louise has recently experienced first-hand the wonderful mahi of our nurses and is proud to work for an organisation that is committed to making a difference to the health and wellbeing of our precious tamariki.

Having studied French and Italian to degree level, her love of languages and learning about cultures different to her own has been reignited since moving to Aotearoa New Zealand. She is actively working on growing her understanding and knowledge of Te Ao Māori and tikānga, and is committed to increasing her knowledge and use of te reo Māori in her daily interactions.

Matthew Kenny

General Manager Finance Technology & Commercial

 Ko Matt Kenny tōku...

General Manager Finance Technology & Commercial

 Ko Matt Kenny tōku ingoa
No Te Whanganui-a-Tara ahau
Engari I tipu ake au ki Ahitereiria
Tēnā koutou katoa

Matt joined the leadership team in September 2021.

Matt is a Chartered Accountant with financial and senior level leadership experience across the health, government, wholesale supply and manufacturing sectors. Prior to joining us he was the CFO of Callaghan Innovation and prior to that has held a number of CFO roles.

He began his career at global accounting firm Deloitte, where for 13 years he provided accounting and business advisory services to a diverse range of clients.
Matt is dad to two amazing tamariki and enjoys playing golf.

Radha Balakrishnan

Kaitohu Matua - Chief Strategic Advisor

As Kaitohu Matua -...

Kaitohu Matua - Chief Strategic Advisor

As Kaitohu Matua - Chief Strategic Advisor, Radha provides strategic advice and support directly to the chief executive and ELT, and works alongside the organisation to support the delivery of key strategic initiatives focused on delivering equitable outcomes for all our tamariki and whānau.

Radha joined Plunket in February 2017 as our Chief Advisor – advocacy, policy and strategy and was responsible for strengthening Plunket’s relationships with our key stakeholders.  She leads our relationship with the Ministry of Health.

Radha has extensive policy, advocacy and legal experience and has been instrumental in setting up the policy and advocacy function of Plunket.  She began her career at the Wellington Community Law Centre in the 1990s, where her passion and commitment to social justice was crystallised. She has brought to Plunket her strong research and critical analytical skills that have been strengths in her career working in Government and Crown entities.

Radha is also a practising Solicitor.

Radha is a passionate advocate for Plunket and is committed to ensuring the organisation becomes an empowering, adaptable and innovative organisation that is grounded in evidence and best practice.

Zoë Tipa

Chief Nurse

Te Kohurau te mauka

Arai te Uru te...

Chief Nurse

Te Kohurau te mauka

Arai te Uru te waka

Arai te Uru te tai

Oraumoa te awa

Poutaiki te pā neherā

Moeraki te kaika

Uenuku te marae

Ko Zoe Tipa ahau

E noho ana ahau ki Kirikiriroa


Zoe is the newly appointed Chief Nurse for Whānau Āwhina Plunket. As a registered nurse, she has worked in aged care, Māori health, Well Child Tamariki Ora and nursing. Completing her PhD in 2021, Zoe investigated Māori experiences of Well Child Tamariki Ora services. Zoe is dedicated to ensuring her PhD research influences how health professionals engage with whānau.

In particular, Zoe developed a framework to guide the cultural responsiveness of practitioners and their work with whānau. This ensures whānau get what they want and need from Well Child Tamariki Ora services. She is passionate about supporting nursing practice that enhances the strengths of whānau by building authentic relationships. 

E tau hikoi i runga i ōku whariki
E tau noho i tōku whare
E hau kina ai tōku tātau tōku matapihi

Your steps on my whariki (mat), your respect for my home,
Opens my doors and windows