Established in 2003, CAG is made up of consumer stakeholders appointed from across the health and disability sector, who act as a "sounding board" for HDC's work. CAG members are selected for their ability to highlight health and disability service consumer concerns from their communities.
The current group is made up of members with different lived experiences, from a range of backgrounds and ethnicities, and living in different parts of Aotearoa.
LGBTIQ Takatāpui Representative
Sophie has been a dedicated advocate for her Takatāpui whānau and iwi Māori from a young age. With an inherent inclination to serve her people, Sophie has occupied plenty of spaces that have allowed her to make a solid contribution to the fight for equality across her communities.
Having previously served as the Queer Rights Officer for Auckland University Students Association (AUSA) in 2018 and 2019, Sophie has been involved in a myriad of student-led initiatives and support networks that sought to improve the quality of care and treatment of queer students on campus. Now based in Tauranga Moana, she enjoys attending LGBTQI+ focused kaupapa and events, and being politically active in the Waiariki.
Sophie is a kaupapa driven, staunchly determined, feet-to-whenua type who strives to bring the unheard voices of her communities to the forefront of important conversations.
Sophie Elstob Gradwell
Similarly to their tīpuna, Sophie Elstob Gradwell is a traveller, currently residing in Ōtautahi, they have spent time in most parts of Aotearoa and travelling to other places in the world. Sophie is a kaitūhono for Whānau Whanake, working in the community supporting 0–25-year-olds and their whānau to live well, despite experiences of chronic health, disability, adversity, and trauma. This mahi utilises Sophies lived experience to support others in their own health journeys.
Sophie is a rangatahi leader of ROAR – Rangatahi Ora Activity Rōpū, which uses a ‘by rangatahi for rangatahi’ approach to supporting the health outcomes for rangatahi in Ōtautahi. This focuses on creating opportunities for rangatahi to build leadership and self-efficacy, to find their voice and wants for the world they live in.
Through this mahi Sophie has become passionate in advocacy work and using themselves as a voice mechanism for rangatahi. Using both Sophie’s experiences with disability, mental health and adversity, and the stories of the rangatahi and their whānau they work alongside, Sophie advocates for better outcomes for all, creating opportunities to share voices and experiences to support change in the community.
Growing up in Samoa as a Samoan-European, Jordon faced physical challenges due to his Cerebral Palsy. From his early experiences, Jordon developed a passion for advocating and awareness-raising, which led him to undertake a number of activities.
Jordon has successfully climbed eleven of the world’s tallest towers to raise awareness of disability. Following these climbs, Jordon went on to sail competitively for Samoa in the European and World Championships.
The passion to roll up his sleeves and get the job done, and to provide a fair and just society for everybody to be heard, saw Jordon define and develop a new Youth & Pacific Advocate role at the Cerebral Palsy Society of New Zealand. This role represents over 700 young people living with Cerebral Palsy. Jordon is currently studying towards a Master’s in Human Rights while working as a disability advocate.
Jordon has many connections within disability, youth and Pacific communities.
Latoatama "Latoa" Halatau
Latoa Halatau is involved in Pacific and disability matters both locally and regionally, as the manager of Visionary Living Services, and as the Vice Chair of the Asia Pacific Disability Forum (APDF) and the Co-Chair of the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF), which has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. At an international level, Latoa represents both PDF and APDF on the International Disability Alliance. Latoa was also part of the New Zealand disabled peoples organisation delegation to the 2014 United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) Country Review into progress on the implementation of the convention.
Following his involvement with the Ministry of Health's (MOH's) New Model project from 2011–2013, Latoa was nominated by the Minister for Disability Issues to serve on the Enabling Good Lives National Leadership Group. Working with MOH, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Social Development, the Leadership Group has contributed to the planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of the Enabling Good Lives demonstration in Christchurch and Waikato. The Enabling Good Lives trial is part of New Zealand's Disability Action Plan 2014–2018.
Frances Hartnell has worked in leadership roles across a range of businesses where she has established and executed strategies to define cultures, structures and systems, and built key community partnerships. Frances is recognised for her ability to "forward think" and for her understanding of public and private sector trends.
Frances has worked as the Director of Manukau Pacific Markets Ltd and been a Fulbright Scholar, studying Economic Development. In a voluntary capacity, Frances is the director of the Kairos Oceania Charitable Trust and member of the Selwyn College Community Education Advisory Group. Frances is a member of Creative NZ's Pacific Creative Arts Committee.
Dame Rangimarie Naida Glavish "Naida" ONZM. JP
As Chief Advisor Tikanga Māori Health for Waitematā and Auckland District Health Boards Dame Naida leads the organisation in managing relationships with mana whenua and iwi Māori from a tikanga perspective, and provides assistance in managing Treaty of Waitangi risks.
Dame Naida is the author of the Tikanga Best Practice Policy which is used nationally across many of the DHBs and some organisations in the private sector. Dame Naida is also the chairperson of her tribal iwi Te Rūnanga o Ngati Whātua.
In the 2011 New Year Honours, Naida was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to Māori and the community. In the 2018 New Year Honours, she was promoted to Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DNZM), also for services to Māori and the community.
Ramari Maipi was appointed the first Māori community health worker in the Waikato region. Ramari trained under Dr Peter Dunn at the Waahi Marae Health Centre. She assisted in the development of community health screening, and on the development of Whānau Ora.
Ramari has previously worked for the Waikato District Health Board, where she was involved in the cervical screening research done in the region. Since 1992, Ramari has worked for Raukura Hauora O Tainui. Her current position focuses on Māori Women's Health, and Cervical and Breast Promotion and Screening. Ramari lives in Huntly.
Jenna Maguren lives in Lower Hutt, Wellington, and attends Manaaki Disability Trust five days a week for various programmes, where she enjoys arts, crafts, and other activities. Jenna is also in a network group and receives support from Community Connections. Jenna is involved in Special Olympics ten-pin bowling.
Jenna has been a member of People First for over 11 years and has recently been voted in as President of the Central Region for People First. She is also the president of her local People First group in Lower Hutt.
Jenna is committed to speaking up for disability rights and representing her peers. Jenna has been on various advisory groups in the past, including giving a speech about the impact of banking changes on people with learning disabilities at a Banking Forum in 2021.
Jenna is a confident public speaker and is friendly and sociable.
Jenna enjoys going to church every week, hanging out with friends, and watching Shortland Street.
Jenna feels privileged to be part of the Health and Disability Commissioner’s consumer advisory group, and looks forward to participating in meetings.
Nilima Venkat MNZM JP
Nilima Venkat lives in Auckland. She migrated to New Zealand in 1994 from India, after living in Nigeria for 20 years. Nilima is the Project Manager and social worker for Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust, an organisation that provides social services to elderly and disabled people of Indian and South Asian descent.
In her work in the voluntary sector, Nilima is a founder member and trustee of The Asian Network Inc., a Voluntary Community Coordinator for the Office for Senior Citizens (representing nationwide Indian and South Asian seniors), a member of the Counties Manukau Police South East Asian advisory board, a trustee of the Sahayata Trust (a counselling service for ethnic communities in the Auckland region), and the President of the Indian Women's Club.
Nilima has extensive experience and understanding of Asian health and disability sector issues through her work, as well as personal experience of a chronic health condition.
Older Person representative
Born in Switzerland, Peter Oettli emigrated with his family when he was in his teens. After his University studies he was appointed as lecturer in German at the University of Waikato, where he followed an academic career for 39 years during which he advanced to the position of Professor, serving as Head of Department, Dean of Humanities and Pro Vice-Chancellor.
After having worked mainly with young people for his entire career while becoming older himself (without noticing it!), Peter was elected to the Council of Age Concern Hamilton, serving as its President for two terms. After four years of service on the national Board of Age Concern New Zealand, Peter was elected its National President in April 2016 and served in that capacity until his retirement in 2020. He is still active on the Board of Age Concern Hamilton.
In the course of his work with Age Concern, Peter developed a keen interest in healthcare, particularly of older people. He has, of course, also been a lifelong consumer of health services. His medical needs increased when he was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes in 1996.
Peter is married, has three adult children and three delightful grandchildren.
Mental Health representative
Tui’s first experience of hospitalisation was in 1977 and her work in mental health and addictions began in 1995. She has over 27 years’ involvement with the sector, beginning as a community support worker, through to being an influencer as a Tāngata Whaiora advocate advisor where she weaves the collective voice of Māori, furthering her personal active recovery mana motuhake transformation through Mātauranga Māori Te Ao Māori kaupapa (2001).
Tui has worked in clinical, NGO, DHB and Iwi organisational settings, and today she is on numerous governance boards. She lives on the Papakāinga on her native whenua in Waitangi and sits and represents her hapū not only as kaikaranga for the Te Tiriti o Waitangi Marae (Ngāti-Rahiri rāua Ngāti Kawa) but as a collective voice of Ngāpuhi leaders on behalf of the Confederations of Chiefs for her tupuna of Ngāti Rehia descent under the auspice of the Te Whakaputanga (1835).