Lakes District Health Board's newest member Ngahihi-o-te-ra Bidois has seen too many of his friends and whānau die young.
That's why he hopes to use his new position to help his people live longer, healthier lives.
Bidois, who took out the vacant seat left by Dr Des Epp, who did not stand, joins re-elected members Dr Johan Morreau, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, Christine Rankin, Janine Horton, Rob Vigor-Brown and Lyall Thurston.
In a Facebook post, Bidois said he thought he was "the happiest man on Mount Panorama here at Bathurst today after receiving the phone call confirming my appointment to the Lakes District Health Board".
Speaking to the Rotorua Daily Post, Bidois said his children pursuing careers in the health sector was largely behind his drive to seek election on to the district health board.
"They want to make a positive difference to the health of our people and so do I. Our dinner table discussions and reading their assignments outlined the health problems and disparities that are occurring for Māori people.
"I am very humbled and pleased to be appointed and consider this appointment to be very important for many people and many reasons. Three of those people are my mum who died when she was 43, my friend Darcy Hunter Junior who died when he was 42 and my sister who died last year aged just 52.
"They are representatives of many whānau and friends who have died too young. I want to help our people live longer."
He said he planned to contribute and serve the community wherever he could in the new role.
"I bring a huge amount of experience at the governance level and am highly qualified to think outside the box so I hope to hit the ground running. I will also be calling in a few favours from mates and mentors who said they would tautoko (support) me through their vast experience and wisdom in the health sector.
"I know the health sector is highly demanding, at times highly stressful and at times discouraging. However, the rewards of helping people live longer, healthier and more inspirational lives is worth the hard work."
Lakes District Health Board serves a population of about 100,000 and covers 9570sq km.
It stretches from Rotorua across to Kāingaroa and Mangakino, and past Taupō down to Tūrangi.
The board's boundaries take in the two main iwi groups of Te Arawa and Ngāti Tūwharetoa.
The Bay of Plenty District Health Board results are yet to be released.