A project report was consulted widely with the recommendations being endorsed as a way forward for the development of a new Midland Mental Health and Addiction Clinical Governance structure.

As part of Phase II an Implementation Plan was developed and an Expression of Interest with clear expectations of what would be expected of members was sent out across the region. Following a selection panel process, the first meeting of the group occurred in February 2012.


Meet the Members

Rees Tapsell - Director of Clinical Services, Waikato  

rees-tapsell.jpg(MBChB, FRANZCP, Certificate of Clinical Teaching)

Sector Linkages and Networks - Psychiatry, Maori, Policy, Research, Management/Governance

Profile - Clinician-Forensic and general adult psychiatrist in public and private practice 15 years. Significant Teaching/training roles. Multiple service developments Tanewhakapiripiri, Te Iho, PUAWAI and Time for Change.

Clinical Director (8 years-differing capacities). Chair multiple committees (local/regional/national/bi-national).  Board Director (2 DHBs, 1 Australasian NFP org, one commercial board). Researcher (2 book chapters, 8 peer reviewed articles)

Skills that I bring to the Network - I have strong clinical and leadership expertise with established clinical networks into key stakeholder groups or representative nominations from the key stakeholder groups reflecting:

  • A regional focus
  • Service development experience
  • Strategic leadership skills
  • Evidence of leading, influencing and communicating sector change
  • Understanding of accountability frameworks
  • Responsible decision making
  • Clear understanding of the role and functions of clinical governance at a leadership level

Strong communication skills with established relationships with key stakeholder groups / networks where information can be fed to and from the network.  Senior Strategic planning and funding expertise with a good understanding of national and regional drivers.  Service management and leadership expertise (DHB (WDHB) NGO (Hauora Waikato) and Primary (Midland Health Network))

  • A regional focus
  • Service development experience
  • Strategic leadership skills

Expertise in working with Maori Consumer/Family expertise.  Specialist service expertise e.g. ECD PUAWAI: Midland Regional Forensic Psychiatry Service.  Proven track record for delivering results.

Michael Bland - Service Manager, Lakes


  • Registered Nurse (Registered General Nurse, Registered Sick Children's Nurse).
  • Master of Philosophy
  • PG Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
  • Bachelor of Science (Hons) {Patho-physiology and nursing

Sector Linkages:

Regional Director of Training represents Midland Region within Health Workforce New Zealand. Direct report to HealthShare CE and indirectly reporting to Midland CEO and Chairs


Long history in nursing leadership and education. A spell in planning and funding, managing mental health and addictions portfolio. More recently Clinical Nurse Director (Waikato DHB), leading the Professional Development Unit.

Based in this newly appointed position since October 2012.


Sound knowledge of workforce and training methodologies. Influence to develop initiatives within the Midland region, particularly around training and education. Good links with Health Workforce New Zealand and the other three regional directors of training.

As part of Phase II an Implementation Plan was developed and an Expression of Interest with clear expectations of what would be expected of members was sent out across the region.  Following a selection panel process, the first meeting of the group occurred in February 2012.

Michael O'Connell - Clinical Nurse Director/Professional Advisor, Lakes 

michael-o-connell.jpg(RN (RGON, RPN), BN, MA (Applied) Adv.Cert AT, JP, Member of College of Mental Health Nurses, NZIHMgt)

Sector Linkages and Networks - National Directors of Nursing (MH&A).  Lakes MH&A Local Advisory Group.  Lakes Post-vention Governance Group.  Local Child and Youth Mortality Review Group (LCYMRG).  Strong linkages to NGO partners.  Previous Reference Group member of Midland Clinical Governance Project (2011).  Member of MOH facilitated ‘Integrating Secondary Services into Primary Health’ project group 2010 - 2011.

Profile -  Born in Rangitikei.  Many years in clinical nursing and teaching health / wellness at undergraduate and post-graduate.   Reference and Steering Group Member in many Mental Health & Educational change processes.  National Governance Group in Tertiary Education (10 years). Regional Governance for ‘Supporting Families’ Manawatu for 5 years.  Currently involved in Clinical Governance for MH & A Service and Lakes DHB Governance Team (2 plus years).  Current consultancy work with Tertiary Sector and ACC.

Skills that I bring to the Network

  • Change management
  • Service development skills and pragmatic experience
  • Strategic thinker and planner
  • Broad skills in MH scope and secondary/primary health integration
  • Tertiary education training
  • Research background
  • Sound relational and networking skills. 
Phyllis Tangitu - General Manager Maori Health, Lakes

phyllis-tangitu.jpgAs Crown agents, DHBs are required to act in a manner that is consistent with the Treaty of Waitangi principles of partnership, participation and protection in the delivery of health and disability services, in order to address disparities in health.

The lead GM Maori Health will  liaise with HealthShare on behalf of the Midland DHBs’ General Managers, Maori Health, to ensure identification of, and advocacy for, issues around Maori health and inequalities.

Wendy Langlands - Clinical Services Managers, Taranaki

w-langland.jpgSector Linkages

  • Taranaki Local Advisory Group for MH& A ( TLAG)
  • National MH & A Managers Forum
  • Primary
  • Midland Health Network
  • Tui Ora Ltd
  • National Maori PHO Coalition
  • NGO
  • Pathways
  • Workwise
  • Government
  • NZ Police
  • Housing New Zealand
  • Child Youth and Family Services
  • Academic
  • Western Institute of Technology


I am a very experienced manager with 25 years plus experience in the health sector with a demonstrated track record of success in providing effective leadership, direction and improvement in service delivery and health policies. I have held a number of leadership positions both clinically and managerially, my most current as a senior manager at TDHB overseeing Older Peoples, Mental Health and Addiction Services for the provider arm.

I am frequently sought as a specialist services subject matter expert in the area of Older Peoples Health.

I am experienced in clinical governance at a specialist services level- being a current member of TDHB’s Mental Health & Addictions Clinical Governance Group.

The following is a brief summary of my experience to date:

  • Taranaki District Health Board
  • Service Manager- Mental Health Addictions and Older People
  • Manager Older Peoples Health & Mental Health Implementation Manager
  • Manager Older Peoples Health, Taranaki Base Hospital
  • Manager Hawera Hospital, Hawera Hospital
  • Nurse Manager Clinical Services, Hawera Hospital
  • Nurse Manager Emergency Department, Hawera Hospital
  • Charge Nurse Paediatrics, Taranaki Base Hospital


  • Excellent subject matter knowledge and experience in the area of Older Peoples Health.
  • Extensive knowledge and understanding of health systems and issues; regularly consulted and regarded highly as a leader.
  • Comprehensive management experience, ie skills in strategic, planning, policy analysis and development, facility management, risk management, financial control and analysis, project management and change management.
  • Demonstrated record of providing effective leadership, direction and vision, building sustainable working relationships that result in the achievement of goals and objectives.
  • Energetic, compassionate, and competent professional
  • A role model for improving inequalities and Maori responsiveness.
  • Energetic, motivated.
Debbie Barrow - Service Manager, Tairawhiti

debbie-barrow.jpgCredentials: Registered Nurse - mental health ( Dip HE) Master of Science - Mental health Practice

Sector Linkages: Working within Tairawhiti District Health Board Mental health services. I have developed a range of networks and contacts at a local and regional level.

Profile: I originally trained in the UK as a registered nurse in mental health and worked there for 10 years as a nurse and in management positions, mostly within acute inpatient settings. In 2006 myself and my family moved to NZ and resided in Auckland. I worked for 6 years at Counties Manukau DHB within the mental health service, and my last position with that organisation was as a service manager with responsibility for the acute inpatient unit, the regional low secure in patient unit, mental health services for older people, psychiatric liaison and the regional dual disability team.

We as family decided to move out of Auckland and I applied for an accepted a service manager role within challenge trust based in Gisborne. I enjoyed this time within the NGO and it taught me a huge amount in relation to service responsiveness and flexibility but I realised my passion lay within the acute sector and I applied for the service manager role within Tairawhiti DHB, where I have been since December 2011.

I enjoy the challenges my current role offers me and the opportunity to stay connected to operational issues whilst still influencing strategy decision making.

Skills: I come with a wide range of experience at a local and regional level in relation to service improvement. I am passionate about providing high quality services to clients who access our services and I believe that a competent and able work force who have the right value base and attitude is pivotal in influencing how services are perceived by clients.

I have experience in developing and implementing work force plans and ensuring that supports are put in place to ensure that these are successful. In previous roles I supported workforce developments through a range of initiatives including facilitating access to training and developing new roles that supported workforce development.

I believe I have strong communication skills and I am able to engage people from a wide range of settings. I have previously managed regional services and so have an understanding of the factors that need to be addressed.

I would bring with me a solution focused approach and a commitment to ensuring that the workforce is enabled to provide the service requirements in line with local, regional and national direction.

Other Members

  • Dr Sharat Shetty - Clinical Director MH&A, Taranaki DHB
  • Dr Diana Rangihuna, Consultant Psychiatrist, Hauora Tairawhiti
  • Dr Darren Malone, Clinical Director MH&A, Lakes DHB
The Midland Clinical Governance Network is supported by the Midland Regional Network - Mental Health and Addictions Team:
  • Eseta Nonu-Reid - Midland Region Director
  • Akatu Marsters - Midland Senior Administrator
  • Steve Neale - Midland Workforce Lead