The chief executive of Manaia Health Public Health Organisation has resigned and will take up a role leading the Auckland City Mission.

Chris Farrelly, who has been CEO of the PHO since its founding in 2003, will leave the job on May 20 to become CEO/City Missioner of Auckland City Mission.

Since Mr Farrelly joined Manaia PHO the organisation has grown to be a leading PHO in New Zealand, contributing significantly to the development of integrated primary healthcare in Northland and health improvement for some of the region's most vulnerable, board chairman Andrew Miller said.

"Manaia Health PHO, at its heart, is a strong cohesive organisation with a team of committed, passionate and highly skilled staff. However, the strength, vision, work and success of Manaia extends far beyond the organisation and its staff," Dr Miller said.


"Under Chris' leadership, Manaia has been a catalyst in bringing people together and has been part of a wider collective where the whole has become much greater than the sum of its parts."

He said strong relationships have been established with member general practices, Maori organisations, community groups, DHB, NGOs, government organisations and other PHOs throughout New Zealand.

"This collaborative spirit has seen significant in-roads into addressing some of the key determinants of poor health such as poverty, particularly child poverty and food poverty, and sub-standard housing.

"Chris has been a champion in making much of this happen in Northland," Dr Miller said.

Mr Farrelly has worked in Northland's health system for 25 years, after he joined the then area health board in 1991 and worked in the area of HIV/Aids care, support, education and advocacy. For three years he managed Dargaville Hospital and worked to bring the Dargaville Medical Centre on to the hospital site.

"We congratulate Chris on his new appointment and wish him well as he takes on the significant role of CEO of the Auckland City Mission."

Mr Farrelly wasn't available to comment at edition time yesterday.