Board Members

District health boards consist of seven members who are elected by the community, and up to four members who are appointed by the Minister of Health.

The board is responsible for overall governance of the Whanganui District Health Board and is accountable to the Minister of Health. Board members work together in a financially responsible manner and in the best interests of the health of the district's whole population to achieve the district health board's objectives.

Board members do not manage the Whanganui District Health Board. That is the responsibility of the chief executive, who is appointed by the board, and the staff who report to the chief executive.

More information about district health boards can be viewed on the Ministry of Health website.

Whanganui District Health Board members

Ken Wheelan, grey haired in a blue checkered shirt, suit jacket and glasses

Ken Whelan – Board chair /Appointed / First term

My background is in nursing background but I’ve been in management for more than 20 years. Overall, I have had more than 40 years’ experience in both the New Zealand and Australian health sectors.


Currently I’m Crown Monitor for Counties and Waikato DHBs and chair the Eastern Bay of Plenty primary health organisation.


Previously I was chief executive of Northland and Capital Coast District Health Boards and Deputy Director General of Health Performance and Purchasing in New South Wales.


In Queensland I was chief executive of the Townsville health district, a large tertiary facility in north Queensland where the population was spread over a large geographical area which meant equity of access to care was a significant challenge.


Prior to returning to New Zealand, I was chief executive of Metro North in Brisbane.


As the new chair of Whanganui DHB, I’m looking forward to working with the Māori advisory board, Hauora a Iwi, local health providers and other community organisations.

Annette Main Deputy Board chair / Elected / Second term

I am pleased to be serving my second term on the board. Prior to my election to the WDHB in 2017, I served as Whanganui Mayor for six years, following 12 years as an elected member on the Manawatu Whanganui Regional Council (Horizons).  


As a business owner and passionate advocate for our regional community, I am now pleased to be contributing to our regional community health outcomes by providing governance experience and practical input, which assist to maintain and enhance existing health services, and provide equality in the ability to access services and achieve positive health outcomes for our communities.

Graham Adams / Elected / Third term

I was first elected to the DHB in 2004 and served just the one term. I was elected again in 2016.

My entire working career has been in various branches of the finance industry - primarily in banking but also as a sharebroker/financial advisor.


Although born in Wanganui it was not until 1974 that I first came to live here when I was appointed to manage the National Bank branch, a term lasting 6 years before being appointed Funds Manager in Head Office, Wellington. I resigned in 1984 and returned to live here permanently.


My chief interest these days is with the Grey Power organisation, having served a term as national treasurer as well as many years in various capacities in Wanganui. I am a board member of Age Concern and am also the sole remaining original trustee of the Akoranga Education Trust founded in 1985 whose "raison-detre" is to provide scholarship and other assistance to students who are from the Wanganui district.


I look forward with keen anticipation to participating constructively in a governance role in the progress of our DHB.


Charlie Anderson / Elected / Second term

During the 1970s when there were no dedicated rescue helicopters or fixed wing air ambulances, I was a helicopter pilot who regularly flew sick or injured people to the closest hospital.


During my 40-year career as a helicopter pilot, I was privileged to witness, and be part of, the establishment and growth of New Zealand’s excellent air ambulance and rescue services.


In 1996 I was again privileged to be awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for my role in rescue work and life-saving flights.


In my time as CEO for Air Wanganui Commuter, we carried out approximately 500 air ambulance flights a year from Whanganui alone.


Understandably, I remain committed to the ongoing development of aero medical support, Whanganui’s air ambulance service, the Whanganui District Health Board and our district’s health services overall. In addition to my role as a WDHB board member, I am also a third-term district councillor.


Talia Tiori Anderson - Town / Appointed / First term

Ko Talia Tiori Anderson-Town tōku ingoa. I te taha ō tōku matua ko Ngāti Maru (Hauraki) tōku iwi, I te taha ō tōku whaea ko Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa, Ngā Rauru, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Te Atihaunui-a-Pāpārangi me Ngāti Kahungungu. Nō reira ko Rātana tōku tūrangawaewae, tōku kainga.


I am a director and audit partner of Silks Audit Chartered Accountants Limited Whanganui. I am a Chartered Accountant and Qualified Auditor with Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand, Appointed Auditor of the Office of the Auditor General and Licensed Auditor registered with the Financial Markets Authority. I have over 15 years of audit experience while having the roles of graduate, senior auditor, audit manager and engagement partner.


I was appointed to Whanganui DHB in December 2019. I am very pleased to be able to contribute to the governance of the Whanganui DHB and as a mother of three young children it is important to me to maintain and enhance existing health services and to provide easy access and progressive outcomes for our whānau and our people.


Philippa Baker-Hogan / Elected / Sixth term

I was elected on the Whanganui District Health Board in 2004 and have also been a councillor for the Whanganui District Council since 2006.


I have over 20 years experience in the health system. I am a qualified medical radiation technologist and am currently managing a primary health practice.


Mary Bennett / Appointed

Ko Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi, Ngāti Tuwharetoa me Te Atihaunui a Pāpārangi nga Iwi. Ko Mary Bennett tōku ingoa.


I am humbled to be appointed to the Whanganui District Health Board and to contribute to the governance of WDHB. I joined the Board on the eve of the announcement of the health reforms - a time of challenge, opportunity and hope for a system that delivers more equitable outcomes for all.


After a number of years in the public service in Wellington I returned home to Whanganui to be amongst whānau. I have been involved in iwi governance since 2014, having been appointed to the Paepae (Board) of Te Kaahui o Rauru, Board of Te Oranganui Trust and Hauora ā Iwi, the Iwi Relationship Board of WDHB. It is these connections and conversations that I bring to the WDHB table.


Access and affordability of quality health services are crucial to improving community wellbeing and I believe Iwi, communities and the WDHB are poised and ready to lead system changes that are right for our people and our region.


Josh Chandulal-Mackay / Elected / First term

I feel privileged to have been elected to the Whanganui DHB and to be able to contribute to our public health system.


My involvement in health extends back to my school years when I began volunteering at Nazareth Rest Home and the Home of Compassion, providing assistance to diversional therapists and interacting with elderly people dealing with loneliness, cognitive decline and dementia, bereavement and loss of independence.


While studying psychology and politics at Massey University I completed training as a voluntary Youthline counsellor and carried out that role for two years. In 2016 I completed my degree and returned to Whanganui where I was elected as a Whanganui district councillor and, in 2019, re-elected for a second term.


I am deputy chair of Youth Services Trust Whanganui which provides healthcare services for people aged between 10-24, and I joined the board of Age Concern Whanganui in 2019. I hold governance roles on St Anne’s Catholic School board of trustees and the Hakeke Street Community Centre Trust. I am also an independent marriage and civil union celebrant, enjoy a full social life in Whanganui and am looking forward to focusing on equity and outcomes during my term on the DHB.

Stuart Hylton / Elected / Third term

I was appointed to the Board in June 2014 and elected for a second term in 2016, appointed as deputy Board chair and chair of the Combined Statutory Advisory Committee.


I’m Whanganui born and educated and currently run my own consultancy business offering services that include strategic development, business planning, policy advice, regulatory management and waste management advice.


I hold the statutory role of Whanganui’s District Licensing (Alcohol) Commissioner. My academic qualifications and professional background traverse 25+ years in local government covering a multitude of disciplines.

I have held a number of director or trustee roles over the years and are currently involved in both the Central Districts and Whanganui Cancer Society Executive, as well as being a Director in Whanganui Rotary Club, a Waimarie Operations Trustee, a Whanganui Education Trustee and a George Boulton Trustee.

I’ve always believed that living a healthy, active lifestyle ultimately assists overall health, wellbeing and independence. Therefore, I generally advocate for emphasis within our primary and preventative health care systems.

I look forward to serving on the Whanganui District Health Board and working with management to continually improve community access to a responsive and integrated health care system.

Judith MacDonald / Elected / Fourth term


I was elected to the Whanganui District Health board in 2010. I have worked in the Whanganui district as a clinician and senior manager since the early 1980s initially at Taihape Hospital and latterly in Whanganui.


I hold a range of directorships and chair multiple committees related to health and social issues. Currently, I am a director of Taihape Health, Whanganui Accident and Medical, and Gonville Health Ltd.


My family and I have lived in this district all our lives and it is important to me that we have a range of quality health services for our people.



Soraya Peke-Mason Appointed / First term

(Ngāti Rangi, Ngāti Apa, Atihau-nui-a Paparangi, Ngāti Uenuku, Ngāti Haua, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Tamateraa – Hauraki Waikato, Te Iwi Morehu)


It was humbling to be appointed to the Whanganui DHB in December 2019. I come with experience in private enterprise, iwi, community and land development and have sound governance experience.


I spent many years working in Australia in the construction, tourism, and hospitality sectors with a short stint in health before returning home to Whanganui in 2000. Since then I have been immersed in local and central government politics, iwi and Māori land development and am director of my company, Land Trust Management Services Ltd. From 2007-2019 I was a member of Rangitikei District Council.


Based in Ohakune, I am chair of the post-settlement governance entity, Te Totarahoe o Paerangi – Ngati Rangi, and have been appointed to Whanganui Community Foundation. I also sit on marae and land trusts.


I am humbled and pleased to continue being of service to the people of our districts’ and putting good governance experience to sound use in this important role on WDHB.