The Commission’s consumer advisory group was established to carry out the following functions.
- Advise the board and chief executive on strategic issues, priorities and frameworks from a consumer perspective.
- Identify key issues for consumers and organisations, such as:
- responsiveness of existing providers to patients/consumer/families/whānau
- strategic direction of the Commission's programmes
- measuring and examining safety and quality.
- Engage with the Commission’s consumer network, national and international clinical advisory groups, and the wider health and disability sector on the Commission’s consumer engagement activities and interests.
Frank Bristol (Whanganui)
Most of his working life Frank, with his late wife Joy, has worked in horticulture including vegetable growing, vegetable seed breeding and plant nursery work. He continues with a small farm producing heritage apples, chilli sauce and heirloom tomato seeds. See www.bristol.co.nz.
Frank is the current manager of Balance Aotearoa, which provides Mental Health & Addictions peer support, advocacy and consultancy services. Through Balance, Frank provides consumer leadership, consultancy and liaison for Whanganui DHB’s Mental Health and Addictions Service as the Consumer Advisor.
Frank is passionate about approaches that are based on peer support, self-care, relationship-care and developing healthier communities for all. These philosophies are embedded in the programmes like Korimana, PeerZone and Intentional Peer Support that Balance Aotearoa delivers. He has been a speaker on self-management at various mental health conferences in New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, United States and Canada. Balance Aotearoa has partnered with the Ministry of Health under the Disability Action Plan on rights-based issues associated with the current Mental Health Act. Frank supported his late wife Joy on a difficult journey negotiating the abysses in the regional cancer services over the last two years.
Frank is a member of the Whanganui DHB Board Combined Committees. He is also on the National Te Pou Mental Health & Addiction Information and Data and Clinical Reference Groups, the Commission’s Mental Health & Addiction Quality Improvement programme’s stakeholder group, the National MHA KPI Sponsors and Reference Groups, and is a life member of CCS Disability Action.
Martine Abel-Williamson (Auckland)
Martine is a member of the Commission’s consumer network, and the deteriorating patient programme’s Expert Advisory Group. From 2007 until February 2018 she worked in various roles for Manukau City Council and then Auckland Council, including as Policy Advisor Disability and Strategic Advisor Disability. She now runs her own business as a disability advocate.
Since emigrating from South Africa in 1996, Martine describes her experiences navigating the New Zealand health system as a blind person to be 'interesting and often challenging'.
She is currently Treasurer at the global level of the World Blind Union, an international entity fostering wellbeing and aspirations of blind and vision impaired persons. At regional World Blind Union Asia-Pacific (WBUAP) level, she is Regional UN Advocacy Network Co ordinator. In these roles she has travelled the world to assist building international capacity in disability services in developing countries, as well as liaising at world-wide level in areas of systemic advocacy, specialising in access to the environment and transport. She chairs Auckland Disability Law, the only disability-specific community law centre in New Zealand. She has held governance roles with the Workbridge Council, the Guide Dog Society, Disability Connect, Independent Living Service, and Blind Citizens NZ.
Muriel Tūnoho (Wellington, Ngati Raukawa)
Muriel is President of E tu, one of New Zealand’s largest unions. She is passionate about health equity, citizen’s rights and justice, and has extensive governance experience in the private and health sectors.
Muriel is chair of the Hutt Union & Community Health Service (HUCHS) which is a ‘Very Low Cost Access’ practice. She leads the HUCHS’ Patient Advisory Group, where patients with diabetes have co-designed a regular exercise class, and they are valued for their leadership and influence to improve our health services.
Muriel is also a member of the Ministerial Advisory Group for Health, a board member for Healthcare Aotearoa – a national collective of community and iwi owned providers, and a community representative on Te Awakairangi Health Network Board.
Rowena Lewis (Mortimer) (Auckland – Chair)
Rowena is a partner at North Shore-based law firm Lewis Callanan. At her legal practice Rowena has an increasing number of older people as clients and has concerns that many of their health needs are not represented. These concerns, along with her personal experience of being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, guide her motivation to work with health consumers.
Rowena has served on many health consumer-related groups, including as the consumer representative on the Cross Sector Alliance Governance Group (ACC, HQSC, MOH) focusing on improving falls and fracture service outcomes for older people, the Cancer Governance Board for Northern Region consumer representative, and consumer member of ProCare Health Limited’s Clinical Guidance Committee. She is also former chair of the Northern Cancer Network’s Consumer Reference Group and was an advisor on the implementation of the guideline into suspected cancer in primary care as part of the former New Zealand Guidelines Group.