Full name: Southern Health and Disability Ethics Committee

Short name: Southern HDEC

Abbreviation: STH

OHRP(external link) ref: IRB00008713

Please note it is inappropriate to contact committee members directly regarding HDEC matters.


Terms of reference

Download Southern Committee Terms of Reference [DOCX, 35 KB]

Membership and attendance

The 11 April 2023 meeting was cancelled due to inability to make quorum.

Dominic Fitchett (Chair)

Membership category: Lay (the Law)
Date of appointment: 5 July 2019
Current term expires: 5 July 2022

Dominic is the current acting chair of the Southern HDEC. Dominic qualified from the University of Otago with a BA/LLB and is a solicitor at Malley & Co Lawyers in Christchurch. He has practised law in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom, primarily as a property specialist, since 2004.

Dr Devonie Waaka

Membership category: Non-Lay (Intervention Studies)
Date of appointment: 13 August 2021
Current term expires: 12 August 2022

Devonie graduated in medicine from the University of Otago in 1996 and holds a Master of Medical Science (Drug Development) from the University of New South Wales (2012). She has extensive clinical research experience, and has been involved in the planning and implementation of numerous early phase trials in New Zealand and Australia.

In addition to her HDEC role, Devonie is a member of the Standing Committee on Therapeutic Trials (SCOTT), and is currently studying Te Reo Māori at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

Amy Henry

Membership category: Non-Lay (Observational Studies)
Date of appointment: 13 August 2021
Current term expires: 16 August 2024

Amy is a registered nurse researcher who promotes and protects the health of Pacific People to ensure Pacific people receive equitable healthcare. Amy was a recipient of the Health Research Council of New Zealand PhD Scholarship 2020 and is striving towards completing a PhD to become a researcher in Pacific Health.

Associate Professor Nicola Swain

Membership category: Non-lay (Intervention and Observational studies)
Date of appointment: December 2021
Current term expires: December 2024

Nicola is a researcher and academic with over 20 years’ experience in the health sector.

Nicola is currently employed as an Associate Professor in Health Psychology at the University of Otago, where she is also an Honorary Associate Professor. She has a range of governance experience including being a member of the Human Rights Tribunal, member of the Medical Sciences Council and President of the New Zealand Pain Society.

Nicola has also been a previous member of the Southern HDEC from 2012 to 2014.

Tuifa’asisina Neta Tomokino

Membership category: Lay (Consumer/Community Perspectives)
Date of appointment: July 2022
Current term expires: July 2025

Tuifa’asisina Neta Tomokino – “O le ala i le pule o le tautua” The pathway to Leadership is through Service. Tuifa’asisina Neta is born, bred & educated in Tamaki Makaurau. She holds Matai titles from the villages of Vailoa Palauli & Savaiinaea from Salailua Savaii in Samoa. Why this is important, it’s the blessings of her ancestors that have guided her to where she is today. This proverb best describes her passion to serve. Neta started her working career within the Public Sector spanning over 30 years from Inland Revenue, Ministry of Social Development and eventually ending up at the New Zealand Immigration Service before joining a Non-Government Organisation, Whanau Waipareira & Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency for over 10 years. She continues through the obstacle course and roller coaster ride of life happily married with 4 children, heavily involved in the care of her 54 year old brother who has cerebral palsy as well as the main carer for her elderly mother who was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.

Dianne Glenn

Membership category: Lay (Consumer/Community Perspectives)
Date of appointment: July 2022
Current term expires: July 2025

Dianne has a long history in advocating for people with disabilities, having both lived experience and family members with disabilities. Much of Dianne’s advocacy for disabled people has been through NGO’s – Business and Professional Women New Zealand of which she is a Life Member, through the International Federation of BPW on which she served as an Executive Board Member representing Asia and the Pacific, and through the National Council of Women of New Zealand. She contributes to several Periodic Reports to United Nations Monitoring Committees (e.g. the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the UN Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women), which then make recommendations to the Government for improvement. This work, plus Dianne’s environmental initiatives at the Auckland Regional Council which included the 0800SMOKEY Campaign to reduce air pollution, contributed to her Honour, Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Following on from the ARC, Dianne was appointed to the Auckland Conservation Board for a 4-year term and in 2013 was elected to Counties Manukau District Health Board where she contributed to improvements in maternal perinatal care, disability services, youth health and culminated in the successful funding of a new Spinal and Stroke Rehabilitation Unit in Manukau. She is also a member of the Lottery Individuals With Disabilities Committee that grants funds to disabled people, to continue to volunteer in the community.

Dianne originally trained as a Home Economics, Science and Biology teacher before retraining as an Art, Craft and Art History teacher then moving to manage an adult community education programme, employing 60+ part time tutors.     

Dr Maree Kirk

Membership category: Lay (Consumer/Community Perspectives)
Date of appointment: 3 July 2023
Current term expires: 2 July 2026

Dr Maree Kirk is a wellbeing and capability consultant. She has a considerable career background in health, education, disability advocacy and as contract Teaching Fellow at the University of Waikato. She was a member of the original Local Working Group for Individualised Funding and Self- Assessment and Assessment Processes for the New Model of Disability Support Services. She is the Director of the Bay of Plenty Down Syndrome Association Inc. a national charitable trust and the Director of the Network of Expertise, a national PLD approach to building educational capability across school teams.

Maree’s PhD focus was wellbeing and the concepts, across agency collaboration to improve life outcomes for children and young people and provided the foundation for the theory of wellbeing for children and young people with a disability. She has presented her research both nationally and internationally.

Maree is currently involved in facilitation, building capability, and developing networks across Government agencies, schools, community groups, allied professionals, and disability organisations for professionals, practitioners, individuals and whānau.


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