Wahine Māori appointed Chief Executive of Hawke’s Bay DHB

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Keriana Brooking, (Ngāti Pāhauwera and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa) has been appointed as the new chief executive for the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board.

Hawke’s Bay DHB Board Chair Shayne Walker says, "It's a great signal to the sector. Institutional racism is recognised, it's blatant and obvious, it's been found by the Waitangi Tribunal Claim WAI2575. We acknowledge that it's there and we talk about it often and frequently and the need for us to understand what it is and to address it. So it is a good tohu, or signal, to have a wahine Māori with a moko kauae even, to come through this leadership role to work with all of us to make a difference."

Currently the Ministry of Health’s Deputy Director-General Health System Improvement and Innovation, Ms Brooking is actively involved in supporting the Ministry of Health with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ms Brooking’s references and ability come with the strongest endorsement from the Director-General and a number of other highly skilled health professionals. She has held senior positions at the Ministry of Health since 2014 including General Manager and Deputy Chief executive Midlands Health Network. Prior to this role, she was chief executive to Tūranganui Primary Health Organisation (PHO) and planning and funding manager for Tairāwhiti DHB," Walker says.

Ms Brooking has strong links to Hawke’s Bay. Her father was born and raised in Wairoa before he moved to Oamaru where he raised his own family.

“She brings with her a strong focus on ensuring there is ongoing improvement in equity throughout the health and disability system," Walker says.

When she is not working in the health sector, Ms Brooking keeps fit and active. Both she and her husband, Jack, have participated in Iron Māori events over a number of years.

Ms Brooking says she is excited to join the DHB when she takes up the role on October 5.