Health Coalition Aotearoa AGM & Conference

Health Coalition Aotearoa is holding its annual AGM and Conference from 8.30am on Friday the 5th of August in the Grand Hall of Parliament Buildings, and streaming online.

The theme is Tackling unhealthy products in the new health system. It’s a great opportunity to share the latest research and knowledge, and network with the key players shaping our population health system and other HCA members.

The Conference agenda can be found here: HCA Conference – Agenda

The Conference is kindly supported by the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Toi Mata Hauora, Hāpai Te Hauora and the Heart Foundation NZ.

Speakers include:

The conference will be opened by Hon Andrew Little, Minister of Health.

He will address the commercial determinants of health in the new public health structures.

A full agenda will be released closer to the time. The AGM will held at the end of the conference, in the afternoon.

Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall will present on the Smokefree 2025 legislation. 

Dr Ayesha Verrall is the Minister for COVID-19 Response, Minister for Research, Science and Innovation, and Minister for Seniors. She is also the Associate Minister of Health. Ayesha is an infectious diseases doctor. She is passionate about preventing illness so that every New Zealander can enjoy good health and live a free and full life. Ayesha is a Labour list MP from Wellington, and has previously been the Minister for Food Safety. In 2019 Ayesha was elected to the Capital and Coast District Health Board on a Labour ticket. She is an expert on vaccines, tuberculosis and COVID-19. During the COVID-19 pandemic response, Ayesha was instrumental in efforts to improve New Zealand’s contact tracing.

Dr Sandro Demaio, keynote speaker.

Dr Demaio is the CEO of VicHealth Australia. An influential public health physician, Dr Demaio has a focus on addressing the determinants of chronic disease, and effective communication of public health policy to inspire action. He will be sharing lessons we can learn from Australia on curbing the commercial drivers of ill-health.

Shane Bradbrook will present on the Smokefree 2025 legislation.

Shane (Tāmanuhiri, Rongowhakaata, Kahungunu) is active and experienced across the Iwi space in both government and non-government contexts, domestic to international, Shane was a chair for the Iwi Chairs Forum. He was also Chair of the Consumer Advisory Committee for PHARMAC and a Committee Member for the agency’s Te Rōpū Awhina Māori. He was a Delegate to the UN-WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) which was responsible for inclusion of Indigenous Peoples clauses and a Board Member for the Framework Convention Alliance. 

Shane also attended the UN Ad Hoc Interagency Taskforce re Tobacco Control and was a recipient of the Nigel Gray International Award to an outstanding tobacco control advocate. Shane was the architect of the Māori Affairs Select Committee inquiry of the tobacco industry in Aotearoa which has led to an end-game strategy being adopted.

Rangimarie Hunia will present on what the Mana Kai proposal means for government food policies.

Rangimarie co-chairs the Aotearoa Circle Leadership group on Mana Kai. She was appointed an alternate director of Te Ohu Kaimoana at the beginning of 2015 before being appointed a full director in November 2015, and Chair in July 2019. The first wahine Chair in the history of Te Ohu Kaimoana. In December 2021 she was appointed a Director of Moana New Zealand.

In 2016, Rangimarie was appointed Chief Executive of Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei Whai Māia. Whai Māia is responsible for the well-being of its 5,000 tribal members and focuses on education, health, employment and environmental areas.

She played an active role as a member of the Iwi Working Group that was established to facilitate understanding and iwi decision making in response to the 11-year Review of Māori Fisheries Settlement entities. Rangimarie is also a member of Global Women and was a finalist in the Westpac Women of Influence Awards 2014.

Kristen Maynard will present on Te Tiriti o Waitangi and alcohol law

Kristen (Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ruapani) will be presenting the key findings of the work that was undertaken to better understand how Te Tiriti o Waitangi could be given appropriate effect in alcohol law. This mahi was commissioned by Te Hiringa Hauora, in preparation for the upcoming review of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

Kristen has over 20 years of policy advice and management experience in government agencies, including the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand/Health Promotion Agency. In 2018 she returned home to Tūranga-nui-ā-Kiwa and is undertaking some consultancy work, while pursuing a PhD in public policy at Victoria University of Wellington.

Ms Sharon Shea Board Member, Te Aka Whai Ora (Māori Health Authority) and Tumu Whakarae, Shea Pita & Associates, will contribute to the public health infrastructure panel discussion on commercial determinants in the new health system.

Ms Sharon Shea (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Hako) has significant governance and leadership experience across the health, disability and community sectors. She is a Co-chair of the Māori Health Authority, and board member on Health New Zealand. 

Ms Shea was Chair of the Māori Expert Advisory Group on the Health and Disability Sector Review. Previous roles in health management have included regional and national roles in Māori health strategy, funding, Māori provider and workforce development (as part of government sector agencies).

Ms Shea is the owner/operator of a private public sector management consulting company, Shea Pita & Associates Ltd, and has extensive experience in system and service design, strategy, outcomes-based commissioning and data.

Professor Diana Sarfati will contribute to the public health infrastructure panel discussion on commercial determinants in the new health system. 

Diana is the current Acting Director General of Helath and was the National Director of Cancer Control and Chief Executive of Te Aho o Te Kahu, the Cancer Control Agency in New Zealand. Her role is to provide national leadership for, and oversight of cancer control, to provide policy advice to the Government, and to be accountable for ensuring progress towards the goals and outcomes in the New Zealand Cancer Action Plan.

Previously Diana was Head of the Department of Public Health and Director of the Cancer and Chronic Conditions (C3) research group at University of Otago, Wellington. She is a current member of the International Advisory Committee to Lancet Oncology, the Advisory Committee to International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) Pacific cancer hub, IARC’s international expert group on social inequalities in cancer, the Academic Advisory Committee on the International Cancer Benchmarking Project, and she led a 2019 Lancet Oncology series on cancer in small island developing states. Diana is a former member of the NZ National Cancer Programme Leadership Board, the National Screening Advisory Group, the National Ethics Advisory Committee, the Bowel Cancer Taskforce and the National Bowel Cancer Screening Advisory Committee.

Dr Andrew Old will contribute to the public health infrastructure panel discussion on commercial determinants in the new health system.

Andrew will be taking on the role as Deputy Director-General of the Public Health Agency on July 18, 2022. He is currently the Associate Chief Medical Officer at Waitematā District Health Board. He has been seconded to the COVID-19 response since early 2020, most recently as Chief Clinical Officer for the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre. He has a strong background in public health leadership at Auckland and Waitematā DHBs, as well as clinical experience as a medical doctor. He is the chair of the Metro Auckland Clinical Governance Forum and was awarded the 2018/19 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy and Practice for New Zealand.

Dr Nick Chamberlain will contribute to the public health infrastructure panel discussion on commercial determinants in the new health system.

Nick is the National Director of the new National Public Health Service. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Northland District Health Board since 2011. He has 15 years of clinical experience as a general practitioner and 21 years of senior leadership and management experience in DHB operational and management roles bringing professional experience of how primary care and public health can integrate.  Nick was Lead DHB CEO for Public Health and Chair for the Public Health Advocacy Steering Group.

Sally Hughes, Fiona Sing and Christina McKerchar will present on the Launch of Junk Food Marketing campaign

Sally Hughes: Until recently Sally was the Acting Manager of the Health Improvement Team at Auckland Regional Public Health Service. She has been involved in public health for over 30 years. In that time, she has worked in government, non-government organisations and as a health sector consultant.  These wide-ranging roles and contracts have exposed her to most of the issues vital to the health of populations. She joined the Auckland Regional Public Health Service in late 2016 after 5 years at the Heart Foundation. Prior to that Sally had been 10 years at the Ministry of Health in a variety of public health roles.

Fiona Sing: Fiona is a PhD Candidate at the University of Auckland where she is studying how regulatory mechanisms can restrict the exposure of children to unhealthy food and beverage marketing under the supervision of Prof. Boyd Swinburn and Dr Sally Mackay. She has a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and a MSc in Global Health from the London School of Economics. She previously worked as a public law lawyer and at World Cancer Research Fund International as the Policy and Public Affairs Manager. Her current consulting work focuses on aiding governments design legislation to prevent non-communicable diseases for UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and others.

Christina McKerchar: Christina is of Ngāti Kahungunu, Tūhoe and Ngāti Porou descent. She trained as a nutritionist, and worked for a number of years, for Te Hotu Manawa Māori a national Māori Health provider. She has also worked for Agencies for Nutrition Action, a coalition group of non-government organisations who have an interest in nutrition. Christina has completed her PhD entitled: Food availability for Māori children: A rights based approach.


The Conference and AGM is only open to HCA members. If you or your non-governmental organisation is has an interest in protecting public health from harmful products (alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy food), and no commercial conflicts of interest you can join HCA for no cost as an organisational member or an individual member.


HCA members can choose to attend online or in person, but are encouraged to attend in person if possible, to make the most of the day.

Registrations are open now, and tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite here.  Please note the Terms and Conditions of the event before purchasing, including Covid-19 policies and that you must be a current HCA member to attend. Attendees will be emailed further detailed instructions and a full agenda and AGM papers closer to the time.

In-person numbers will be strictly limited due to venue capacity, and total ticket numbers available do not reflect the limited seats. In-person tickets, including Early Bird sales will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. 

For any questions about the event or ticket types, email with ‘Conference & AGM query’ in the subject line.