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.
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 Public Health and Disability Act 2000 requires Pharmac to convene 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
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 (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.
Leslie (Les) Robinson (Deputy Co-Chair) (Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāti Maniapoto)
Les has a background in legal and governance roles. He has previously managed mental health NGOs and has had advisory roles in a District Health Board. He has a particular interest in Māori models of governance. Les runs an entertainment company involving teaching, performing, writing and recording music. In his spare time he enjoys spending time in and around the ocean and enjoying its kai. Les currently lives in Tauranga.
Tui Taurua (Deputy Co-Chair) (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 Papakāinga in Waitangi. In her spare time, she likes to attend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, sing Māori waiata with her guitarist husband, Haami Peihopa and spend time with her animals, two dogs and a cat. Tui is appointed as a Māori representative on the CAC.
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.
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 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.
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. in exploring the meanings of mental illness for Tongan people. Sione is currently employed as a lecturer at AUT and works as a Nurse Lead at Counties Manukau DHB. 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 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.
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.
If you would like to find out more about the Consumer Advisory Committee or raise a consumer issue with them:
Mail:Consumer Advisory Committee
PO Box 10254