Our Board

Te Pātaka Whaioranga is governed by a Board appointed by the Minister of Health. The Board has up to 6 members – the Chair and up to 5 Directors – with a mix of skills and experience.

On this page

Hon Steve Maharey (Chair)

Steve Maharey (MA (Hons), CNZM) is an independent director and consultant.

From 2008 until 2016, Steve was the Vice-Chancellor of Massey University. From 1990 to 2008 he was the Member of Parliament for Palmerston North. He served as a Senior Cabinet Minister holding a wide variety of portfolios including Education, Social Development and Research, Science and Technology between 1999 and 2008. He served as a City Councillor in Palmerston North from 1986 until 1989.

Earlier in his career Steve was a Jnr Lecturer in Business Administration (1976 to 78) and a Lecturer/Snr Lecturer in Sociology (1978 to 1990) at Massey University. He was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 2008.

Steve joined the PHARMAC Board in August 2018. He was appointed for a 3-year term effective from 1 August 2018.

Dr Jan White (Deputy Chair)

Jan WhiteJan (MBBS, MHP, FRACMA, FNZIM) is a medical practitioner who has worked in health management, strategy and policy for over 20 years.

Jan was trained in Australia and has worked in a number of institutions and organisations across the country. She came to New Zealand in 1999 to take up the position of Chief Executive of Health Waikato and, later, the Waikato District Health Board. Her most recent appointment was as Chief Executive of ACC which she left in 2011. She continues to consult, predominantly in the health sector, in both New Zealand and Australia. During her career, Jan has been a member of a wide range of governance bodies including Trusts, cooperative societies and subsidiaries of Crown Entities.

Jan was appointed to the PHARMAC Board in October 2012, and was appointed Deputy Chair for another 3 year term effective 9 April 2019. 

Nicole Anderson

Nicole Anderson

Nicole Anderson (DipAcc, DipBus, DipMgt, PGDPH) is a consultant with a background in accountancy, health and business development.

She has worked primarily with organisations advancing Māori and Iwi, and with various public sector and private organisations, focusing on policy, economic and commercial development.

A chartered member of the Institute of Directors (CMInstD), Nicole is a member of various public and private sector governance bodies, including Director of Northland Inc, Fluid Chemicals Ltd and Manea Footprints of Kupe Ltd.  Chair of Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail Trust and a member of the NZ Conservation Authority.

A past member of the AUT University Council and Chair of the Council’s Maori Education Working Group and past Chair of the Auckland Human Health & Disability Ethics Committee and Northland Conservation Board.

Ko Ngāpuhi tōna iwi, nō Hokianga ia. Ka noho ia ki Kerikeri ki te taha o tōna whānau.

Nicole joined the PHARMAC Board in June 2014, and was reappointed for another 3 year term effective 13 June 2017.

Prof Ross Lawrenson

Ross LawrensonRoss is a medical practitioner and Professor of Population Health, with a special interest in primary care and health services research.

Ross trained as a general practitioner in the UK and worked in Wairoa as a rural GP before going into health services management with the Waikato Area Health Board. He returned to the UK for a time as a senior lecturer and then Professor of Primary Health Care. His research centred on health outcomes research and pharmaco-epidemiology using large general practice databases. He has a particular interest in evidence-based medicine and has taught the principles of EBM at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

He is a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners, UK, Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health, UK and Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine. He was a Member of the GPRD International Advisory Group, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) UK, and a non-executive for the Surrey and Sussex Strategic Health Authority. Since returning to New Zealand in 2005 he has been Deputy Chair of the New Zealand Guidelines Group, Chair of the National Screening Advisory Group, a board member of Pinnacle Group Ltd, board member of the NZ Rural General Practice Network, a member of the Ministry of Heath’s Prostate Taskforce and a member of the Ministry of Health Cancer Registry Board. As well as his role as Professor of Population Health with the University of Waikato, Ross is also the Clinical Director of Strategy and Funding for the Waikato District Health Board.

Ross was appointed to the Board for a 3-year term effective from 21 September 2016.


Dr Claudia Wyss

Claudia WyssDr Claudia Wyss (BHB, MBChB, MBA Harvard) is an independent director, former medical doctor and experienced healthcare executive and consultant.

Claudia is recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading health sector experts and change agents. She has over 25-years’ experience in the health industry, including as a Chief Executive, Manager for McKinsey & Company, medical doctor & expert adviser to governments, hospitals and health systems. In these roles, she has been instrumental in leading or supporting large-scale health system changes in New Zealand, the US and UK.

Dr Wyss received her medical degrees at the University of Auckland and her MBA from Harvard Business School. She joined the PHARMAC Board in November 2019.

Dr Elizabeth Zhu

Elizabeth ZhuDr Elizabeth (Liz) Zhu (MD) joined the PHARMAC Board as a Future Director under the Institute of Directors in New Zealand Future Directors initiative. The initiative is designed to identify and grow the next generation of New Zealand directors.

Liz is a former medical doctor and experienced healthcare leader and consultant.

She trained in orthopaedic surgery in the United States and has worked globally on value-based health care for the Boston Consulting Group. 

Liz is the Medical Officer at Southern Cross Health Society. 

Learn more about the Future Director initiative(external link)

PHARMAC Board Governance Manual

The Board has approved the PHARMAC Board Governance Manual providing an overview of the Board’s statutory duties and setting out the governance principles for the Board’s performance and conduct. 

April 2021: The Manual is under review.