National 12 March 2021
Kia ora

Congratulations to our new National Executive team. See who your representatives are and read about what else is happening and coming up.

New National Executive

After several weeks of voting, members elected their representatives to serve on the National Executive for the next three years.

The Executive is made up of a President, a Vice President, and two members from each region, along with the immediate past President.

The new National Executive is:

Dr Julian Vyas (respiratory paediatrician, Auckland) – President
Dr Andrew Ewens (emergency medicine, Waitematā) – Vice President
Professor Murray Barclay (gastroenterologist, Canterbury) – immediate past President

Region 1 – Northland, Waitematā, Auckland, Counties-Manukau
Dr Julian Fuller (anaesthetist, Waitematā), Dr Sylvia Boys (emergency medicine, Counties-Manukau)

Region 2 – Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Lakes, Taranaki
Dr Annette van Zeist-Jongman (psychiatrist, Waikato), Dr Andrew Robinson (anaesthetist, Lakes)

Region 3: Tairawhiti, Hawkes Bay, Whanganui, MidCentral, Wairarapa, Hutt Valley, Capital&Coast
Dr Nathalie de Vries (paediatrician, MidCentral), Dr Kai Haidekker (radiologist, Hawkes Bay)

Region 4: Nelson-Marlborough, West Coast, Canterbury, South Canterbury, Southern
Dr Katie Ben (anaesthetist, Nelson-Marlborough), Dr Seton Henderson (intensivist, Canterbury)

We want to acknowledge the contribution of outgoing National Executive member Dr Paul Wilson, and his years of service in the role of National Secretary.

The new National Executive will take office in April and a new National Secretary will then be appointed.

Save the Date – Creating Solutions Virtual Conference 2-3 July

ASMS and the Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust run by Drs Phil and Sue Bagshaw are co-hosting a virtual conference – Creating Solutions: Towards health equity outcomes for all - on 2-3 July. It will aim to define some solutions to the chronic health disparities that affect the people of Aotearoa New Zealand. It will look at health leadership and attitudes, education, structure, funding and workforce. We are in the process of developing the agenda and confirming some great local and international speakers – but this will not be a chalk and talk fest. It will generate an outcomes document, which will include conference papers, along with a practical change agenda which will go to government. Look out for further information in the coming weeks.

Mentoring opportunity

If you would like to mentor a Year 4 medical student, please sign up to the ASMS-New Zealand Medical Students’ Association Clinical Mentoring Programme. The programme places fourth year students in one-on-one mentoring partnerships with ASMS members. The aims are to develop and foster wellbeing and resilience, reduce isolation, and provide insight and advice to med students, while at the same time upskilling clinicians in communication and mentoring. The programme is informal, with those paired up simply recommended to meet three or more times during the year. If you would like to take part sign up here. If you have any questions, please email

Māori Health Authority

ASMS and the New Zealand Medical Association have issued a joint statement backing a fully empowered Māori Health Authority with full commissioning rights as a new pathway to deliver health equity for Māori.
The final report of the Health and Disability System Review included a recommendation for a Māori Health Authority. However, Review members were split on whether it should have the power to commission and fund services.  An “alternative view” in the report called for these greater powers. Read our press release here.

Calling artists who doctor

We have had considerable interest in our proposed art exhibition featuring the work of senior doctors and dentists. The “Artists who Doctor” exhibition would coincide with the ASMS Annual Conference in November and would be curated and held at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington. We are trying to get an idea of final numbers and are still calling for expressions of interest from any member who would like to be involved. Artwork can include ceramics, sculpture, paintings, photography, jewellery, needlework, soft materials or fibre. If you’d like to take part or want to find out more, please contact our senior industrial officer Lloyd Woods at asap.

Vote in the Medical Council elections

If you are a registered doctor, please vote and help shape the direction of Te Kaunihera o Rata Aotearoa Medical Council of New Zealand. Voting for the elections for four medical members to join Council governance is open now until 26 March. Last month, all registered doctors should have received an email from with information about the 11 candidates, and a unique pin and password for voting online. Please read it and cast your vote today. Find out more.

JCCs and industrial officer contacts

Due to recent Covid level changes and other factors, some JCC meetings have had to be postponed and rescheduled. You can find an updated list of when JCCs are being held in your DHB here.  We have also had some reshuffling with our industrial officers and their responsibilities. We have two new industrial officers starting with us very shortly but until they are up to speed, you can look to see which industrial officer to contact in your region here.

We have also now had four days of MECA negotiations so look out for a separate MECA Matters update shortly on how the talks are progressing.

Ngā mihi

Sarah Dalton