Leadership team

Plunket’s Leadership Team consists of the Chief Executive and three Deputy Chief Executives, supported by the Chief Nurse and Kaitohu Matua - Chief Advisors.

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    Amanda Malu

    Chief Executive

    In September 2016 Amanda was confirmed as Chief Executive of Plunket, following six months as Acting Chief Executive.

    Amanda joined Plunket in 2014 as the 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 marketing and behaviour 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 opportunity that Plunket has to make a real difference in the lives of all children and their families and through her leadership, aims to ensure every family is able to access Plunket support when they need it most.

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

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    Liz Barton

    Deputy Chief Executive - Corporate Services

    Liz moved to Christchurch from the UK way back in 2000 and after seven amazing years on the mainland, made the south coast of Wellington her home. Liz and her family love all that this beautiful part of Aotearoa has to offer!  

    Liz began her career in the UK’s retail sector working across a broad range of management disciplines.  She specialised in HR and Organisation Development and took on a number roles in this field. After moving to New Zealand she worked in a number of roles including GM HR of a contracting company, and as a partner in a consulting firm where her clients were many and varied, and spanned a broad range of industry sectors.

    Since joining Plunket, Liz has held a number of executive roles including GM HR and Chief People and Transformation Officer, and is now Plunket’s Deputy Chief Executive, Corporate Services. During this time she has also experienced the full range of Plunket services as a client! Liz’s most important role of mum has given her a whole new perspective on the incredible difference that Plunket makes.

    She is particularly inspired by the work we are doing to achieve more equitable outcomes for our Māori tamariki and is passionate about harnessing the capability of Plunket’s incredible people to achieve our ambitious goals. 

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    Linda Biddle

    Deputy Chief Executive - Operations

    Linda (Ngapuhi, Ngai Te Rangi) is from Whangarei and joined Plunket in February 2016 as the Regional Manager of Northern Operations, and became the Chief of Operational Performance in December 2017.

    With 30 years’ experience in the Justice Sector, Linda has done everything from Operations to Service Design and Delivery, to Human Resources and Change Management. She also has an Executive Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Australian and New Zealand School of Government.

    But the thing that gets her out of bed each morning is her passion for people.

    From when she first started at the (then) Department of Justice, straight out of high school, the thing that led Linda to work in management was her drive to see people treated well at work, and for them to be supported to thrive – and that’s something she’s carried with her for her whole working life.

    And as a Māori woman, she is also committed to doing all she possibly can to create positive change for tamariki and health (and system-wide) equity for Māori.

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    Duncan Scott

    Deputy Chief Executive - Transformation

    In his role as Deputy Chief Executive Transformation, Duncan is responsible for the on-going transformation of Plunket into a future-focused organisation that can deliver on its strategic goals, and that will make good on the Board’s commitment for Plunket to be a pro-equity organisation with a focus on providing better outcomes for Māori tamariki.  He is directly responsible for leading Plunket’s ambitious transformation programme, as well as organisational capability, Kaiārahi Māori, Māori Strategic Programmes, Policy & Advocacy.

    Duncan joined Plunket in October 2017 as Chief Commercial Officer. In his first two years, Duncan led a number of programmes and other initiatives that have supported the modernisation of Plunket.  These included transitioning Plunket from a group of 18 areas societies into a single national charitable trust, and implementation of a long term financial sustainability strategy that is securing the future of Plunket for generations to come.  As Chief Commercial Officer, Duncan was responsible for setting-up and leading Plunket’s new commercial team, comprising of finance, property, fleet management, procurement, fundraising, sponsorship, branding and risk.  Duncan was appointed as Deputy Chief Executive in September 2019. 

    Duncan is a chartered accountant with over 20 years’ experience of working in finance and organisational change leadership roles in both New Zealand and the UK.  Prior to joining Plunket, he was an Executive Director at PwC Management Consulting, from where he brings a breadth of financial and commercial expertise and experience.

    Duncan is passionate believer in the importance of providing every New Zealand child with the best possible start in life, and with the opportunities to make the most of their talents and interests.  He is excited by the opportunities to continue to contribute to Plunket’s continuing success, and he is committed organisation’s objectives and its strategic direction.  Originally from England, Duncan moved to Wellington in 2004. He has two young kiwi children who were both Plunket babies and is planning to stay in NZ to raise his children.

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  • Radha Balakrishnan2

    Radha Balakrishnan

    Kaitohu Matua - Chief Strategic Advisor
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  • Kaitohu Matua - Chief Advisor Māori Health

    Currently vacant
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    Dr Jane O'Malley

    Chief Nurse

    Dr Jane O’Malley joined Plunket’s Leadership team as Chief Nurse in March 2018.

    Her appointment follows seven years with the Ministry of Health as Chief Nursing Officer, and prior to that Jane was Director of Nursing and Midwifery for the West Coast District Health Board.

    Jane brings a wealth of leadership experience and knowledge to Plunket from her time in the health sector and is highly respected both within Plunket and across the nursing sector for her diverse nursing experience and strategic focus.

    As a former President of the New Zealand Nursing Organisation and a former clinical nurse manager and academic, Jane understands the importance the role nurses and health workers play in the health of New Zealanders, in particular through early intervention, using modern and innovative nursing practice.

    Jane believes that partnerships are a key to the success of the relationship between nurses and whānau and by working together, and alongside others in the health and social sectors Plunket will continue to make the difference of a lifetime by improving health and social outcomes for all New Zealand tamariki and whānau.

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