Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC)

The Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) provides Pharmac with input from a consumer point of view.

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The role of the Consumer Advisory Committee

The Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) gives Pharmac a consumer perspective on its work. CAC advises Pharmac on areas like:

  • our strategies, policies and operational activities around funding, access to, and optimal use of medicines
  • how we can best communicate our decisions, policies and strategies with consumers
  • how and when it is best for Pharmac to engage with consumers on its work.

In November 2021, the committee’s remit was extended to allow them to advise on medicine funding proposals. We also more strongly centred Te Tiriti and health equity expertise in the CAC Terms of Reference.

CAC's relationship to Pharmac

The CAC is an advisory committee to the Pharmac Board. All members of the CAC are appointed by the Board. CAC provides written reports to the Board, and the CAC Chair attends Board meetings as an observer. The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022 requires Pharmac to convene the CAC.

Read s50 of the Act – NZ Legislation website(external link)

Meetings of the CAC

The Consumer Advisory Committee meets each month via videoconference and meets for a more in-depth, full-day meeting three times a year.

The minutes from the full-day Consumer Advisory Committee meetings are posted here once they're finalised.

Download the latest CAC minutes

Consumer Advisory Committee members

CAC members are appointed by the PHARMAC Board for a term of three years, though they may be reappointed for an additional term, up to a maximum of six years.

Members are from a range of cultures, backgrounds and ages and draw on their networks and experience to provide consumer and community perspectives to PHARMAC. 

Lisa Lawrence has long dark wavy hair, that she wears loose. She smiles at the camera. She's a Maori woman who appears to be in her 30s.

Lisa Lawrence (Chair) (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Ruapani)

Lisa lives in Whakatu and is Kaiwhakahaere of the Motueka Family Service Centre, providing health and social services to Māori and the wider community. She is President of the National Council of Women NZ and is also a member of the New Zealand Psychology Board. In her spare time she likes fishing for Blue cod in the Marlborough Sounds.

Hazel Heal is an older Pākehā woman. She has short cropped brown hair. She is looking a little sternly at the camera..

Hazel Heal

Hazel is a patient advocate for people living with hepatitis C and is particularly interested in improving access to medicines.  She has recently completed her law degree and is a co-founder of Global Health New Zealand, an organisation looking at international issues around medicine access, population health and human rights. In her spare time, she likes to walk her dogs and tackle a large garden. Hazel lives in Dunedin.

A younger Pacific woman with a warm smile. She has long dark hair, that is parted down the middle. .

Nele Kalolo 

Nele is a Samoan-born, South Auckland raised Tama'ita'i Samoa. She is currently studying at the University of Auckland and has completed a Certificate in Health Science. Nele was an Auckland DHB Rangatahi Cadet in 2019/20 where she focused on the provision of culturally appropriate mental health services. She is currently a multidisciplinary advocate for Māori and Pasifika youth with various roles in the Auckland District Health Board, University of Auckland, and Southsea's Healthcare.

Robyn is a mature Māori woman with a tamoko. Smiling with warm professionalism.

Dr Robyn Manuel (Te Rarawa, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Kurī and Te Aupōuri)

Robyn is currently a secondary school teacher living and working in Rotorua. She has a PhD in Chemistry and has been involved in teaching and providing advice to education institutions about Māori issues, including Māori health for many years. Robyn has been appointed as a Māori representative on the CAC.

Mary Schnackenberg is an older Pākehā woman with a short blonde bob hair cut. Her smile looks like she's trying to suppress a laugh..

Mary Schnackenberg

Mary is a lifelong blind person who has championed accessibility issues in many areas, including health and transport.  She trained as a librarian and worked for the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind for many years.

She currently has a company that provides advice on supporting the needs of people with disabilities. In her spare time, she enjoys attending live concerts and audio described performances. Mary currently lives in Auckland.

Tui is a Māori woman. She has a traditional moko kauae tattoo on her lips and chin. She also has a Māori design tattoo on her forehead. She's wearing a black shirt and pounamu (greenstone) pendant. The shirt is open a little to show that Tui's chest is al.

Tui Taurua (Ngāpuhi)

Tui has a background as a user of, and advocate for, mental health services. She has been on advisory groups in the past and has a focus on leading and developing quality improvement processes. Tui currently lives on the Papakainga in Waitangi.

Sione Vaka is a middle aged Pacific man. He has some light stubble, and a broad warm smile. He's dressed in a suit with no tie..

Dr Sione Vaka

Sione was born in Tonga and moved to New Zealand in the late 1990s. He is a nurse who has moved into academia and has a Ph.D. exploring the meanings of mental illness for Tongan people. Sione is currently employed as an Associate Professor at the University of Waikato.

In his spare time, he loves playing music and spending time with his community and family. Sione currently lives in Auckland. Sione is appointed as the Pasifika representative on the CAC. 

Janfrie Wakim is an older Pākehā woman with shortish grey hair. She has a warm open smile..

Janfrie Wakim

Janfrie is a mother of four and grandmother to 10 mokopuna; now retired from work in early childhood, secondary and tertiary education and shared ownership of community pharmacies with her late husband.

A founding member of the Child Poverty Action Group she has been active in numerous voluntary organisations over many years. In her spare time, she revels in the company of her whānau and friends, garden, books, movies and podcasts. Janfrie currently lives in Tāmaki Makaurau /Auckland.

r Vivien Wei Verheijen is an Asian woman of middle-ish age. She has shoulder length dark hair. Her smile is warm and professional..

Dr Vivien Wei Verheijen

Vivien has been involved in many advisory positions during her career, particularly in supporting the needs of New Zealand’s ethnic communities.

Vivien was born in China and moved to New Zealand in the early 2000s. She has a PhD in public policy and has a strong commitment to actively engage with, and give voice to, the community.

In her spare time, she likes to research and travel. Vivien currently lives in Auckland.

Who to contact

If you would like to find out more about the Consumer Advisory Committee or raise a consumer issue with them:



Consumer Advisory Committee
PO Box 10254
Wellington 6143
New Zealand