Executive Leadership Team

Whanganui District Health Board is led by an Executive Leadership Team appointed by the chief executive and Board.

Russell Simpson - Chief Executive


I have worked in both the public and private sector at clinical, management and executive levels. My previous role was as a national General Manager in the Home and Community support sector. Prior to that I worked across Hutt Valley and Wairarapa DHBs as an Executive Director. I originally trained as a physiologist specialising in pain management and neurophysiology. I am passionate about improving the health of our community with a strong whole-of-health system approach, in partnership with our intersectoral partners and our community.


Whanganui District Health Board is disclosing the Chief Executive’s expenses, gifts and hospitality as part of its commitment to transparency and accountability.

Chief Executive expenses: July 2020 - June 2021 (Excel spreadsheet) 

Chief Executive expenses: July 2019 - June 2020 (Excel spreadsheet) 

Chief Executive expenses: June 2018 - June 2019 (Excel spreadsheet) 

Chief Executive expenses: July 2017 - June 2018

Chief Executive expenses: July 2016 - June 2017

Chief Executive expenses: July 2015 - June 2016

Chief Executive expenses: July 2014 - June 2015

Chief Executive expenses: July 2013 - June 2014 

Nadine Mackintosh - Executive Officer

I am of Ngāti Hineuru, Ngaa Raruru Kiitahi, and Ngāti Ruanui decent, and am a highly accomplished and experienced executive officer with more than 10 years experience supporting chief executives, boards, chairpersons, and high-level leaders within the health sector.


I have been supporting the office of the chief executive at the Whanganui District Health Board since 2018, having previously served as the board secretary across the Wairarapa, Hutt Valley and Capital and Coast District Health Boards.


Louise Allsopp - General Manager Patient Safety Quality and Innovation


I am originally from the Dorset in the south of England. I trained as a pharmacist in Bath before moving to New Zealand in 2002.

I joined the Whanganui District Health Board as a mental health pharmacist and then became pharmacy manager and Allied Health Manager before taking over in Patient Safety, Quality and Innovation.

I have enjoyed a number of leadership roles including, most recently, being incident controller at the Emergency Operations Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rowena Kui - Kaiuringi Māori Health & Equity

I am of Te Ātiawa descent. I am a nurse and midwife by training and have an extensive experience in working in Māori health, rural health, and health service planning and development. I enjoy leadership and the opportunity to by impart my knowledge and experience to support other to grow and develop. I am passionate about Māori health. I believe that the Māori concept of whānau ora  provides the perfect framework for the district health board and community providers to deliver services in such a way that collectively we can make a significantly positive impact on the health of Māori whanau and the health of our most vulnerable population groups.

Lucy Adams - Director of Nursing and Chief Operating Officer


I took up the role of director of nursing at Whanganui DHB in May 2019. Prior to this I was employed at Waitemata District Health Board as an associate director of nursing and have had clinical governance nursing director positions in Queensland, Australia.


I trained as a comprehensive nurse in the late 1980s and worked at Auckland DHB, and specialised in neurosurgery and neurointensive care before transferring to emergency nursing. During my tenure at Auckland DHB I was involved in the change management programme and was an occupational health and safety advisor.  I then joined the New Zealand Police and continued in an occupational health and safety role and was a key project manager for the implementation of stab resistant body armour, along with other projects. I was then appointed to St John as a health emergency manager where I implemented the MoH emergency management project, the Emergo Train system.


I have worked in Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean, in public and private hospitals, on cruise ships and in rural and remote areas. I have a Bachelor of Nursing, Masters in Health Sciences and an MBA.



Ian Murphy - Chief Medical Officer


I trained at the Auckland University School of Medicine before working at Waikato Hospital as a junior doctor. That was followed by sports and exercise medicine fellowship (FACSEP) training, initially in Auckland followed by a stint in Australia where I began a long involvement with professional team sport.


Returning to New Zealand, I spent seven seasons with the Hurricanes Super Rugby franchise as well as working in private practice. In 2012, I became Chief Medical Officer with the NZ Rugby Union, a job which has evolved to include improved player safety and welfare. I have also held similar roles with NZ Cricket and Paralympics New Zealand through this time.


Alongside my role with the Whanganui District Health Board, I am currently employed as a Principal Clinical Adviser with ACC.


I grew up in the rural Whanganui community of Brunswick and attended school here. I moved back to Whanganui four years ago with my wife and four children and am loving every minute of it.


Andrew McKinnon – General Manager Corporate


I began this role in November 2019 and I am happy to be back in Whanganui, as I spent my early childhood growing up in the region at Koriniti and Aberfeldy.


Before taking up this role, I spent 13 years as Chief Financial Officer at University of Waikato. Previously I was Finance Manager at Victoria University of Wellington and prior to that, Treasurer at Tranzrail Limited. My career began as an auditor at KPMG in Wellington.


Throughout my career I have always focused on supporting organisations by developing solutions to enable organisational objectives. I am both solutions and customer service focused and am looking forward to continually improve what we do here at the WDHB to achieve our vision of thriving communities.


Alex Kemp - Chief Allied Professions Officer

I initially trained as a Speech and Language Therapist and have over 20 years clinical experience across different areas of health from cradle to grave and home to hospital, based mainly in Christchurch and Auckland, before moving to the UK in 2004.


In the UK, I worked as a clinical specialist at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, and in a senior leadership position at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust, before returning to New Zealand to work as the Allied Health Lead at Whakatane Hospital, for the Bay of Plenty District Health Board.


When our family moved back to New Zealand we wanted a sense of community and work/life balance.  Connection and the outdoors are very important to us and we believe Whanganui is a place that can offer us the community we want our young children to grow up in.


My passion is to ensure Whanganui DHB continues to work with the community and within the community to empower people to take charge of their own health. DHBs are part of a wider health system and we need to work with others to ensure we give the greatest benefit to its users.  I am passionate about reducing inequity for Māori and ensuring we honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi in all that we do.