Central Otago Health Services has appointed two new directors to help with the health system transition from district health boards to Health New Zealand and the Maori Health Authority.

Tracy Paterson, the chairwoman of Central Otago Health Inc, announced the new directors last month – Francie Diver, of Alexandra, and Richard Thomson, who splits his time between Dunedin and Alexandra.

Richard Thomson

Central Otago Health Services is the operating company that manages Dunstan Hospital and associated community allied and nursing services covering the towns of Wanaka, Cromwell, Alexandra and surrounding areas.

Mrs Diver has been involved in community and Maori health in Central Otago for more than 30 years, including as director of Uruuruwhenua Health and as tangata whenua representative for Central Otago Health until stepping down recently.

Mr Thomson is a past chairman of the Otago District Health Board and was an elected member of the Southern District Health Board. He was an assistant commissioner running the SDHB after the board was replaced by a commissioner team and is a trustee of the Healthcare Otago Charitable Trust and a director of other organisations, including Dunedin City Holdings.

Mrs Diver said it was a wonderful opportunity to take part as a director after spending 23 years on Central Otago Health working on behalf of the community and on the rebuild of Dunstan Hospital.

“I come from a strong Maori community background and I’m looking forward to working alongside the high calibre of directors involved in the governance of Dunstan Hospital,” she said.

Mr Thomson said he was delighted to be involved with Central Otago Health Services as a director after enjoying a long relationship with them from the district health board side of the fence.

“During my time as chair of the Otago DHB I worked actively to achieve the rebuild of Dunstan Hospital, so it seems fitting to be able to continue that involvement by taking up a director’s role,” he said.