Leadership team

Plunket’s Leadership Team (PLT) is made of the following members.

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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

    Chief People and Transformation Officer

    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

    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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    Richard Ashworth

    Chief Technology and Innovation Officer

    Richard joined Plunket in October 2016 as Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, bringing a wealth of experience in IT to the role, with a strong focus on outcomes.

    Richard has experience in building effective IT teams, delivering great digital initiatives, working with business stakeholders to help fix issues and seize opportunities, and building a strategic vision for IT.

    At the Commerce Commission, he was responsible for bringing structure to the IT processes and governance and providing a strong strategic direction for IT. Prior to that at ACC he was responsible for Business Intelligence, for establishing a PMO, and for establishing and running the business partnership model between IT and the rest of ACC. He also had a lead role on the privacy breach response taskforce and was acting CIO there for 4 months.

    Richard wants to contribute to New Zealand Society and believes strongly in the ability of Plunket to make the difference of a lifetime. He believes Plunket has a massive opportunity to help all New Zealand children and their whānau, and is honoured to be part of such an iconic organisation.

    Born in the UK, Richard has lived in Wellington for most of his life and is a lifelong Wellington Lions supporter. Married with 2 adult children, Richard enjoys pottery, classic cars, music and travel.

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    Duncan Scott

    Chief Commercial Officer

    Duncan was appointed Acting Chief Commercial Officer in March 2017. Prior to this, he worked closely with Plunket to help shape the new Leadership Team and to develop the blueprint for Plunket’s future support services and strategic capability.

    Duncan is a chartered accountant with 20 years’ experience of working in finance and organisational change leadership roles in both New Zealand and the UK.  As an Executive Director at PwC Management Consulting, he brings a breadth of financial and commercial expertise to the role. He also has a wide range of experience in leading organisations through transformational change, most recently with the Ministry of Health.

    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.  This is reflected in his past roles, including two years at the Ministry for Education, and he is the Chair of the Board of Trustees at his children’s school.  This is why he is excited by the opportunity to contribute to Plunket continuing success:  he is a strong believer in the organisation’s objectives and its strategic direction. He feels privileged to work at Plunket, an organisation where he can help to make a real difference in the lives of NZ families.

    Originally from England, Duncan moved to Wellington in 2004. He has two young kiwi children who have both been through Plunket and is planning to stay in NZ to raise his children.

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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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  • Radha Balakrishnan

    Chief Strategy and Performance Officer
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  • Linda Biddle

    Chief of Operating Performance (Acting)
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