Service & Excellence
Chief Executive Officer
Debbie has been instrumental in the development of Pacific health services in New Zealand over the past 30 years including as the first Chief Advisor Pacific Health to the Minister of Health. She has led the development of the Pasifika Medical Association group over the past 15 years transforming it into the largest Non-Governmental Pacific organisation in the region.
Debbie is an experienced Company Director holding current governance roles as Vice Chair Moana Pasifika Rugby and a Trustee of the Milford Foundation. She has recently been appointed as a member of the Te Niwha Steering Group – the Infectious Diseases Research Platform. She is a member of the Health Advisory Committee for the Privy Council to His Majesty King Tupou VI and is a Strategic Advisor to Te Marae Ora Cook Islands. Debbie is a member of the Pacific Expert Advisory Committee to Hon Minister Aupito Sio and has previously served for 11 years as a trustee of the Fred Hollows Foundation, was a founding Chair of Make a Wish Pacific and is a Chartered Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.
Debbie was a successful Company Director for Health Specialists Ltd which held the New Zealand Medical Treatment Scheme for 15 years, delivered a clinical workforce development program in Vanuatu for medical staff and provided health policy advice and consulting services to DFAT, MFAT, WHO, Ministries of Health in the Pacific region and provided support to Ministers of Health in Pacific countries.
Debbie has been responsible for the development of the PACMAT (Pacific Medical Assistance Team) which is a clinically expert humanitarian response group, strongly anchored in Pacific methodologies and experienced in working with Pacific communities in New Zealand and the region. She is also a trainer for FIRE New Zealand Urban Search and Rescue Service.
Debbie was invested in 2015 as a Commander of the Royal Crown of Tonga by His Majesty Tupou V for her work in the health sector in Tonga. Debbie has received several awards recognising her work including:
2022 Arataki Award for Leadership in the Community | Pacific Business Trust
2021 International Pacific Navigator Award | Tongan Business Council
2020 Pacific Excellence Award | SUNPIX Media
2019 Women of Influence Policy Award | WESTPAC
2017 Corporate Executive Award | Tonga Business Council
2016 Pacific Executive | Pacific Business Council
2015 Commander Royal Crown of Tonga | His Majesty Tupou V, Kingdom of Tonga
2011 ANIVA Study Award Harvard | Ministry of Health