Our Board

Meet Our Board

The Board meets eight weekly.  Open public meeting are held from 5.00pm-5.30pm.  To confirm meeting dates and times phone 520-6267.

Direct Board Contact:

Alistair Sowman, PO Box 1091, Blenheim 7240

Marlborough Primary Health Board as at September 2019


Alistair Sowman – Chairman

AlistairAlistair Sowman has recently stepped down as Marlborough Mayor.  A position he held from 2004 to 2016.  Prior to that he had been a M.D.C Councillor for three years.

A fourth generation Marlburian, he grew up in Springlands and attended local primary and secondary schools before joining his family’s long-established firm of funeral directors.  He left that business after 20 years to become a garlic grower and exporter, later becoming chairman of the NZ Garlic Export Council.  He has also served as Regional President of Marlborough’s Round Table Service Club.

Currently Alistair chairs the Board of Community Law Marlborough and the governance group of the local Children’s team.

Tarina MacDonald

Tarina affiliates to the iwi of Rangitane, Ngati Kuia, Ngati Koata, Ngati Rarua and Te Ati Awa and was born and raised in Marlborough.  Tarina’s networks and background brings to the Kimi Hauora Board 30 years of insights and experience of developing maori communities, in Marlborough, Wellington and Wairarapa communities.

Tarina’s passion and drive to develop maori communities from marae, to whanau, to hapu, to iwi levels enriches our hub to understand maori communities and the development challenges maori communities face.

It is this experience and Tarina’s exceptional skills and knowledge base in: te reo maori; maori land management and maori land law; marae management; customer service; governance; management and operations; business practice development; project management processes; evaluation principles and methodologies; management and strategic thinking techniques; human resource management qualifications; contract management experience; technical writing; and public sector background derived from roles in national fora participation; facilitation & programme management; contract management, project management, community development and tertiary training  that we believe will benefit the clients of Kimi Hauora Wairau.


Greg King

In 2013 Greg retired after 39 years in Chartered Accountancy. Greg and wife Robyn have lived in Marlborough since 1980 and have long considered themselves “Marlburians”. With retirement Greg has become more involved in community bodies having recently been appointed a trustee of the Marlborough Heritage Trust and now a trustee of Kimi Hauora Wairau Marlborough Primary Health.

Greg was a founding director of Winstanley Kerridge Chartered Accountants, now WK Advisors and Accountants Ltd and remains a part time consultant to this firm. He has spent 33 of his 39 years in public practice based in Blenheim.

Greg and Robyn live on their 9 ha vineyard in Grovetown which, with help from their 3 daughters they developed in 2000.

With his experience in accountancy, 12 years on St Mary’s Board of Trustees and involvement with various company boards of directors Greg brings a strong financial background and a clear understanding of the governance role to Marlborough Primary Health. He has also been involved in a number of community projects and organisations over the years, notably a continued long involvement in the Marlborough Hospital Equipment Trust, as a Trustee and Treasurer, which has provided him experience in the operations of Health sector.

Louise McKenzie

Louise McKenzie started out nursing in her hometown of Dunedin.
She later managed an intensive care unit, before becoming an occupational health nurse when the sector was still starting out, and helped create national industry standards.

After about 20 years in health, McKenzie studied law and commerce in Dunedin.
“It was time for a new challenge, and I wanted to know more about law.”
She moved to Wellington and took short-term contracts in the medico-legal sector, before working with the Capital and Coast District Health Board.
Then she took a job in Dubai, assisting a new private health provider with the development of legislation for better standards in health care.
She stayed for seven years before returning to New Zealand, taking short-term contracts for legal work when the PHO job came up, she said.
McKenzie was tossing up between moving to Blenheim or Wanaka at the time.

“I really love Wellington but it’s so far away from Wanaka. And Blenheim is not quite as cold.”
McKenzie applied for the PHO board because she wanted to work in a health governance role.
“It seems to be quite an exciting time for them [the PHO]. They’re going through a period of growth and change. And it’s an exciting board, it’s got a really diverse group of skills.
“I love nursing and I love health, that’s why I put my name forward … I missed it, and I missed the health environment, and its challenges, and watching people mainly getting better.”
McKenzie was passionate about ensuring primary health had enough resources, and also wanted to work to improve accessibility.She took a special interest in access to GPs after struggling to enrol with one herself.


Deon Claassens

George St Medical GP Dr Deon Claassens​ grew up in South Africa, eventually attending medical school at the University of Cape Town.
“I knew I wanted to be a doctor from about the age of 11,

” he said.
“I was quite sick as a child and had a good doctor.”
As a newly qualified GP, he spent a couple of years working in Canada before moving to Auckland in 1994, where he practiced for 20 years.

He fell in love with Marlborough when he visited  friends who owned a vineyard, and he and his wife decided to make the move.

“I was working long hours and I just needed a change of pace. I loved the lifestyle, I loved the climate.”
Claassens decided to apply for the PHO to represent the “GPs on the coalface”.
“I’m not a political animal at all, and I don’t like bureaucracy at all, but I feel if I’m going to make a difference I’ve got to do something, be something, say something.
“We’ve got to get a balance of primary health and what the DHB is pushing in the primary health strategy. It’s not one or the other, it’s a combination of the two.”
Claassens decided to apply for the PHO to represent the “GPs on the coalface”.
“I’m not a political animal at all, and I don’t like bureaucracy at all, but I feel if I’m going to make a difference I’ve got to do something, be something, say something.
“We’ve got to get a balance of primary health and what the DHB is pushing in the primary health strategy. It’s not one or the other, it’s a combination of the two.”

Profiles to come:

Ruth Hamilton

Kate Gaines


Annual Report & Audited Financials

Annual Report 2017-18
2.7 MB
2018 Audited Financial Reports MPHO
1.1 MB


Clinical Governance

The Board receives advice on clinical matters from the clinical Governance Group (CGG). The Terms of Reference for this group can be found below.

The Clinical Governance Group is an advisory committee to the Board of Marlborough Primary Health  for the purpose of providing governance of clinical care within the PHO and to advise the Board on appropriate steps necessary to effect this.
Current members:
  • Guy Gardiner        Omaka Medical
    Medical Director
  • Ros Gellatly            Civic Family Health
  • Debbie Carter       Community Care Pharmacy
  • Mehdi Maleki        Lister Court Medical
  • Layla Derweesh   Picton Medical Centre
  • Rachel Unwin       Omaka Medical
  • Sarah Maskill        Omaka Medical
    Practice Manager Rep
  • Jo Muir                     Redwoodtown Medical
  • Rebecca Malin     Redwoodtown Medical
    Nurse Rep
  • Helen Pike              Springlands Health Ltd
  • Lucy Moore           Springlands Lifestyle Village
  • Mary Johnsen      Te Piki Oranga
  • Scott Cameron    Wairau Community Clinic
  • Kay Hall                  Wairau Hospital