Our people

The team

Mary Schumacher ONZM – Chief Executive

Mary joined Hospice NZ in 2006 moving from the role of Chief Executive at Mary Potter Hospice – a role she held for 10 years. Mary holds a Masters in Social Work and previously managed community, rest home and private hospital services for older people.

Rachel Wilson –  Communications & Sponsorship Manager (2IC)

Rachel joined the team at Hospice NZ in 2004 after spending three years as a fundraiser with Mary Potter Hospice. Rachel has a Diploma in Business majoring in Marketing. Prior to joining hospice, Rachel spent two years as a fundraiser for the New Zealand Red Cross in the Otago/Southland region.

Chris Murphy – Project Leader

Chris joined Hospice NZ in August 2015. Chris is a Registered Nurse and has practiced in England, Wales and New Zealand. Chris has worked in New Zealand for 23 years, which has included working with Hospice Waikato, Te Omanga Hospice and Mary Potter Hospice. Her specific experience and specialist qualifications include palliative care, community practice, caring for older people, management, education and quality. Chris has a MA (Applied) Nursing and a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Nursing (Palliative Care).

Moira Marcroft – Corporate Partnerships

Moira joined the team in September 2015. She has a strong background in corporate and community partnerships, fundraising, events and business development. Moira has experience working at a national level at the Cancer Society of New Zealand and also local experience in her previous role as Fundraising Manager of Hospice North Shore.

Ria Earp – Advisory Maori Services (contract role)

Ria joined the Hospice NZ team in early 2018 from her previous role as CEO of Mary Potter Hospice in Wellington, a role she held for eleven years.  Prior to Mary Potter Hospice, Ria was the Deputy Director General, Māori Health for the Ministry of Health for nine years. This had followed a long career as a senior manager in the public service across a range of portfolios.

She is the current Chair of Te Rōpū Taki Māori, the Māori advisory group for Hospice New Zealand.  Ria has a deep interest in Māori community development and is of Ngāti Whakaue and Ngāti Pikiao descent.

Leah Tonks – Data Analyst

Leah joined the Hospice NZ team in 2019 after  7 years in various roles with Totara Hospice (South Auckland) including administrator with education, volunteer services, managing the reception team, progressing through to clinical administration and for the last 3 years in the role of Clinical ICT administrator and Data Analytics.  Leah has a strong interest in data and the way in which information can be used to inform service development and identify needs.

The Board

Hospice NZ is governed by a Board which implements the national body’s vision and strategic plan. The Board  are elected representatives from amongst the hospice membership.

Dr Richard Thurlow  (PhD) (Chair) is the Chief Executive Officer of Waipuna Hospice in Tauranga. He has worked in the hospice movement for 11 years (nine as CEO) after a 20-year career in research science. Richard brings a strong interest in IT and data analysis and experience of management, planning, project management and leadership.

Ria Earp sits on the Board as Chair of Te Rōpū Taki Māori and Advisor Māori Services.  Ria held the role of CEO at Mary Potter Hospice for 11 years, prior to that she was Deputy Director General, Māori Health for the Ministry of Health for nine years.  Ria has a deep interest in Māori community development and health services. She has a BA (Anthropology), MA (Applied in Social Work) and MBA from Victoria University.

Dr Bill Taine MBChB, FRACS is a board member with Hospice South Canterbury in Timaru.  Bill joined the local hospice board after retiring from his career as an orthopaedic surgeon. Bill began with the hospice as a gardener and handyman, becoming a Board member in recent years.  From a governance perspective Bill has also been involved in the NZ Orthopaedic Association, Bidwill Trust Hospital, Run Timaru and South Canterbury DHB as Medical Advisor and CMO.   Bill joined the Hospice NZ Board in April 2018.

Jane Williams is Deputy Chair of Hospice Tairawhiti in Gisborne where she also volunteers in a patient support role. She has a clinical background as a registered nurse having worked in a variety of community clinics around the East Coast and Ngati Porou Hauora.  Jane brings extensive trustee experience having served with her local Kohanga Reo, primary and secondary schools and with a government funded group charged with improving educational outcomes for the East Coast.  She is also in her third term on the Hospital Advisory Committee, and sits on the Eastland Helicopter Rescue Trust and is Chairperson for Eastwoodhill, the National Arboretum of New Zealand.

Dr Ann McKillop is a trustee and Board Chair of North Haven Hospice in Whangarei, joining the Board in 2017.  Ann is a Doctor of Nursing and currently holds a senior lecturer role with The School of Nursing at Auckland University.  Her professional research and teaching platforms are located in primary health care and health professional education with a particular interest in the implementation of evidence and change to improve patient outcomes particularly for those underserved by the health system, in particular for Māori

Sam Ready is a Chartered Accountant and is currently a Manager in the Financial Planning and Analysis team at Xero. Prior to joining the team at Xero, he worked for two of the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms gaining experience within both Corporate Finance and Audit. Sam has an interest in Pasifika community development and brings a strong financial and accounting background, with experience across a range of different clients and sectors.  Sam has experience with not for profit groups including schools, sports clubs, Maori settlement trusts (in forestry and fisheries assets) and Wellington’s Mary Potter Hospice

Clinical advisors to the Board

Professor Rod MacLeod MNZM has held many clinical leadership roles across the countries hospices during a long and distinguished career.  Prof MacLeod was recognised for his services to Hospice and Palliative Care in 2015.  Having recently retired from his most recent role as a Senior Palliative Care Specialist at Harbour Hospice (Auckland) Rod now holds a variety of roles including Clinical Advisor to Hospice NZ .  Rod is very well respected nationally and internationally as a clinician, researcher, academic and poet.

Wayne Naylor has been Director of Nursing at Hospice Waikato in Hamilton since September 2012. Over his nursing career he has worked primarily in oncology, haematology and palliative care. He has been a Research Nurse, Clinical Nurse Specialist and Nurse Lecturer. Wayne also spent almost four years as a Senior Analyst for the Palliative Care Council of New Zealand before moving to his current role.

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