Our Executive Leadership Team, headed by Chief Executive Ailsa Claire, is responsible for all operational issues at Auckland DHB.


Ailsa Claire 

OBE Chief Executive

Ailsa was appointed as Chief Executive of Auckland District Health Board in October 2012, following a distinguished career in the UK's National Health Service (NHS). At the NHS, Ailsa held a number of senior roles in provider and commissioning organisations, as well as roles on advisory committees. Awarded an OBE for services to healthcare, she is passionate about patient-centred care, changing the way patients and the public relate to the healthcare sector, and making use of the latest advances in technology. 

As a New Zealander, Ailsa is proud to lead New Zealand's premier DHB, which is dedicated to innovation, research and staff seeking to do the right thing for patients and their whānau.


Margaret Dotchin 

Chief Nursing Officer

Margaret completed her nursing training at Middlemore Hospital as a registered general and obsetric nurse in 1985. Margaret worked in a variety of roles as a registered nurse both at Middlemore Hospital, National Women’s Hospital and overseas prior to her first senior nursing role as charge nurse gynaecology oncology, National Women’s in 1990. She was appointed to the role of Chief Nursing Officer, Auckland District Health Board in July 2012. Prior to this Margaret held the position of Director of Nursing for Adult Services, Auckland District Health Board.

Margaret has held both general management and nursing leadership roles across Adult Health Services and Women’s Health Services in her long history of working at Auckland District Health Board or its predecessors. She is passionate about nursing and the contribution the profession brings to the delivery of safe, high-quality, compassionate, family-centred care – balanced with financial sustainability.    

Key roles and responsibilities:

  • Professional accountability and leadership
  • Infection control
  • Falls and pressure injuries
  • Patient and whānau experience

Dr Margaret Wilsher 

Chief Medical Officer

Margaret was appointed Chief Medical Officer in 2010. A medical graduate of the University of Otago, she trained as a specialist in respiratory medicine at Green Lane Hospital and undertook post fellowship clinical and research training in London. After a number of years as a practising clinician and clinical academic, she has assumed an increasing number of clinical leadership and and administration roles in health. A key component of the CMO role is ongoing clinical practice. Margaret considers this essential as she sees the hospital when it is busy, experiences the same challenges as her clinical peers and importantly, hears patient stories at source. 

Margaret has a number of health leadership responsibilities outside of the Auckland District Health Board, including membership of the partnership groups overseeing major capital investment in Canterbury and Southern DHBs, advisory roles to ministry and minister of health. She has also held leadership roles within her clinical profession. 

Key roles and responsibilities:

  • Medical professional accountability and leadership
  • Research
  • Clinical Practice Committee
  • Patient safety
  • Auckland Academic Health Alliance

Meg Poutasi

Chief of Strategy

Meg is an experienced senior leader with a demonstrated history of high performance in public service, having previously served as Director of Partnerships for the Department of Conservation as well as Director of the State Services Commission in Auckland. A partnership specialist with a background in law, she has worked with mana whenua across her career and has worked internationally as the Chief Executive of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation. She was also Associate Crown Counsel at the Crown Law Office.

Key roles and responsibilities:

  • Organisational strategy
  • Patient and public participation
  • Partnerships with health organisations
  • Communication
  • Innovation
  • Strategy deployment and performance improvement
photo of chris hutton

Chris Hutton

Acting Chief People Officer

Chris came to Auckland DHB in September 2017 as an experienced senior HR leader with a career in diverse market sectors across New Zealand and Australia.  Until her appointment as Acting Chief People Officer in February 2019, Chris led a team of 30 HR managers and professionals across Auckland DHB.  Chris includes in her career highlights, having been awarded the Australian Human Resources Institute’s Workplace Relations Award in 2012 recognising outstanding workplace practices promoting a harmonious and productive workplace.

Key roles and responsibilities

  • Employee experience
  • Employment and industrial relations
  • Organisational development and culture
Debbie Holdsworth

Dr Debbie Holdsworth

Director of Funding, Auckland & Waitemata DHBs

Key roles and responsibilities:

  • Lead funding directorate across both Auckland and Waitemata District Health Boards
  • Ensure funds are allocated effectively and efficiently for health outcome


Dame Naida Glavish

Chief Advisor Tikanga, Auckland & Waitemata DHBs

Key roles and responsibilities: 

  • Relationships with mana whenua and Mātā Waka
  • Cultural support to all staff, patients and their whānau


Joanne Gibbs

Director Provider Services

Key roles and responsibilities:

  • Provider integration operational management
  • Accountable for all services and employees in provider functions
  • Provider arm performance

photo of Shayne Tong

Shayne Tong

Chief Digital Officer

Shayne comes to Auckland District Health Board with extensive experience in IT and digital experience in both operational and large complex transformation delivery. Most recently, Shayne worked as the Chief Information Officer at Genesis Energy but has also held senior positions at Fletcher Building as well as Barclays Group and Goldman Sachs in the United Kingdom.

Key roles and responsibilities:

  • IT enabled transformational change
  • Electronic health record
  • Digital by Default
  • Business intelligence
  • healthAlliance/IT service contracts

Rosalie Percival

Chief Financial Officer

Key roles and responsibilities:

  • Corporate governance and risk management
  • Estate strategy and facilities management
  • Supplier contract management
  • Commercial services

Sue Waters

Chief Health Professions Officer 

Key roles and responsibilities:

  • Professional accountability and leadership
  • Health and Safety
  • Family violence and child protection
  • Disability and rehabilitation
  • Corporate governance and risk management

photo of Karen Bartholomew at her desk

Dr Karen Bartholomew

Director of Health Outcomes, Auckland & Waitemata DHBs

Key roles and responsibilities:

  • Health needs assessment
  • Planning and reporting
  • Population health
  • Healthy workplace