In addition to the Executive Committee Members the other Council Members are:

RHAANZ Profile4Katie Milne – Katie was elected President of Federated Farmers of NZ in 2017, the first woman to hold the position in the organisation’s 118-year history. Her national board portfolios include Rural Health and Workplace Health & Safety, encompassing all aspects of farmers’ health and wellbeing, including mental health. She has made it her mission to increase understanding between urban and rural Kiwis, and to tell the positive stories of New Zealand farmers. Katie and her husband Ian are dairy farmers at Rotomanu on the West Coast of the South Island. She is a director of Westland Milk Products, the third largest independent dairy company in New Zealand, and in 2015 was named Dairy Woman of the Year and Women of Influence (Rural) Award winner.


RHAANZ Profile3Neil Bateup – Rural Support Trusts. Neil is a north Waikato dairy farmer having been a farmer all his life. Neil has served his community and industry in a number of roles, including School Committees, Boards of Trustees, Federated Farmers and served on Shareholder Councils of Livestock Improvement and Fonterra for a number of years. He also chairs a Community Trust which owns and operates a 200 person Retirement Village which includes a Rest Home/Hospital Unit. Neil chairs the Waikato Hauraki/Coromandel Rural Support Trust which along with 13 other Trusts across NZ provide an 0800 help service to rural people in need. He chairs the RSTs on the National Adverse Events Committee, along with one other on the Farmer Wellness Group.


Roger PartonRoger Parton – Rural Contractors New Zealand. Roger is the Chief Executive of Rural Contractors New Zealand, Managing Director of Partonius Ltd, a company providing Executive Director and management services to trade associations and not for profit organisations, Chief Executive of Aggregates & Quarry Association of NZ Inc., Director of Responsible Gambling Consulting International Ltd., Director of HelpCentre Ltd. and Director of Rural & Remote Human Services Ltd. Roger has a wealth of experience in governance and management roles throughout the rural sector. He is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management and a Member of the Institute of Directors.


Dr Chris HenryDr Chris Henry – Kaikoura Health Te Ha o Te Ora. Chris is an experienced Rural GP and Rural Hospital specialist, passionate about getting the best possible integrated care for rural communities. Moving from the UK in 1992, Chris practiced in Lyttelton before he and his wife Esther decided to take their five young children to work in the very remote Tokelau Islands. On his return to New Zealand, Chris spent four years training in Emergency Medicine in Christchurch, and then moved to Kaikoura where he joined the local practice in 2005.

A strong advocate for rural health, he was chair of the Kaikoura Hurunui PHO in 2009 and 2010, and a board member of Rural Canterbury 2010–2014. He is a member of the Emergency Care Coordination Team for Canterbury and the West Coast. Chris happened to be Christchurch when the 2011 earthquake struck, and went to assist with rescue efforts. In 2016 he was awarded the New Zealand Bravery Medal for the role he played at the collapsed CTV building. In 2017 Chris and his colleague Dr Andrea Judd were awarded the Peter Snow Memorial award for their work following the Kaikoura earthquake in November 2016.


rachael-pretoriusRachael Pretorius – College of Nurses Aotearoa NZ. Rachael is a Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care with Prescribing rights. She currently works at the Martinborough Health Centre. Prior to moving to the South Wairarapa she was based in the wider Auckland region where she held a range of nursing roles across general practice and Maori health providers. During 2013 – 2015 Rachael was the nursing representative for Procare’s clinical quality education committee.


cathy-brownCathy Brown – Dairy Women’s Network. Cathy is a dairy farmer, kiwifruit and avocado orchardist based in Tauranga. She has a comprehensive understanding of the NZ dairy industry and the rural sector in general. Cathy has been a trustee of the Dairy Women’s Network since 2009 and was their Deputy Chair 2010-2014. In 2011 she was a government appointee to the National Advisory Committee for the Rural Broadband Initiative. Cathy’s core values are focused on improving herself, family and community and her personal interests are bridge, gardening, walking, fishing and family sports.


Sharon WardsSharon Wards – Sharon is the Chief Executive of Tararua Health Group, a private company comprising two general practice sites and a community hospital located in Tararua, nestled between Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay which employs up to 100 staff. The range of services provided by the group encompasses general practice primary healthcare, practice nursing, community nursing, hospital, maternity and radiology services.