Hawke's Bay District Health Board has appointed a new chief executive, Keriana Brooking, who is set to start her new role on October 5.
Brooking is currently the Ministry of Health's deputy director-general health system improvement and innovation.
She said she was excited to join the DHB and looked forward to working with staff, other DHBs, health and disability service providers and the wider Hawke's Bay community.
Brooking has strong links to Hawke's Bay. Her father was born and raised in Wairoa before he moved to Oamaru where he raised his own family.
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Brooking said Hawke's Bay had always played a big role in her life.
"There is something about this special part of New Zealand, the people and the way they live, acknowledging what is great about the region and what could be different and better," she said.
Both she and husband Jack have taken part in Iron Māori events over several years and have friends and whānau in all parts of Hawke's Bay.
Hawke's Bay DHB's board chairman, Shayne Walker, said he was delighted to announce the appointment.
"Brooking is a very experienced senior health leader who will bring her breadth of knowledge in not only health system improvement and innovation, but in her ability to lead with influence and capability to Hawke's Bay."
Walker said she was actively involved in supporting the Ministry of Health with the Covid-19 pandemic.
"While we have some time to wait before she takes over at the district health board, the organisation is in a good position with its skilled interim chief executive Craig Climo at the helm," Walker said.
"We have been very fortunate having Mr Climo in the interim chief executive role who has agreed to stay on until October.
"The support of a chief executive, currently in the role, has meant we have been able to maintain the functions of the DHB during this critical time. It has also allowed the board the opportunity to appoint a new chief executive without time pressures."
Walker said the appointment process for a new chief executive began in December, following the resignation of former chief executive Dr Kevin Snee, and has followed a robust process.
"We are delighted Ms Brooking accepted our offer. She is of Ngāti Pāhauwera and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa descent, and brings with her a strong focus on ensuring there is on-going improvement in equity throughout the health and disability system," he said.
"This focus will help ensure we continue to improve the equity focus on health services we provide to our community."
Brooking's references and ability come with the strongest endorsement from the director-general and a number of other highly skilled health professionals.
Not only has she held senior positions at the Ministry of Health since 2014, she has also held senior roles in primary care as general manager and deputy chief executive Midlands Health Network. Prior to this role she was chief executive to Turanganui Primary Health Organisation and planning and funding manager for Tairawhiti DHB.