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BOPDHB chair resigns to focus on national roles

Sharon Shea . Supplied image.

Bay of Plenty District Health Board chair Sharon Shea has resigned to focus on her two new national roles.

Sharon’s new roles are co-chair of the Māori Health Authority and a board member of Health New Zealand. Her resignation is effective from December 16.

Sharon says the time has come for her to step away, as her workload with the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand is significant.

“In September, I asked the Minister of Health if I could resign from the BOPDHB to focus on my new governance roles,” says Sharon.

“I’m humbled to be able to continue to push for equity and a better health system through these two new governance roles, and I need to dedicate the bulk of my time there as there is a significant amount of mahi to do to get the new system up and running successfully by June 30 2022.”

Sharon has held the leadership role since March 2020, when she agreed to become the interim chair, and was later appointed to the chair in April this year. Sharon was the first Māori board chair for the BOPDHB.

“It’s been a real privilege to serve the Bay of Plenty community, and work alongside my colleagues on the board. I want to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of the BOPDHB board, the team, and our Iwi Runanga partners who all show manaakitanga every day to ensure the health and wellbeing of the community.

“It’s been a challenging time with natural disasters and Covid-19. While we’ve made some gains, such as thinking differently about how the system can pivot to meet challenges, there is still more work to do.

“I’m particularly proud of our relationships with our Māori Health Runanga and the work we are doing together to uphold our Te Tiriti o Waitangi inspired relationship.”

Current BOPDHB Board member Bev Edlin has been confirmed by the Minister of Health to replace Sharon. She will assume her role on December 16.

Bev has an extensive governance resume, as a fellow and a chartered director of the Institute of Directors, fellow of GovernanceNZ.

She has been chair and served on a number of boards and trusts over the past 19 years including Netball Waikato.

Bev says she is looking forward to the opportunity.

“The BOPDHB continues to respond to a number of unique and long-term challenges, including the aftermath of the Edgecumbe floods, White Island eruption and more recently the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Financial sustainability and the planned transformation of the health system is requiring us to work even more jointly with the Ministry of Health and consultants, to ensure our people throughout the Bay of Plenty will continue to receive the appropriate health services they require.

“I am committed to working with our dedicated management team, Iwi and our diverse and very talented board members to provide constructive input as the DHB prepares for a new future.

“I sincerely thank Sharon, for her dedication and hard work and know all members of the Board want to wish her all the very best for her new roles. Her extensive skills, experience and strong leadership will ensure these new organisations navigate carefully and clearly through the many challenges a health system like ours faces.”

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