Rōpū Kaitātaki Kaiwhakahaere
Executive Leadership Team

Catherine Byrne - Pouārahi/Pouroki - Chief Executive/Registrar

Catherine Byrne is the Council's Chief Executive and Registrar. Catherine is responsible for the executive leadership and the regulatory functions of the organisation.

Catherine joined the organisation in February 2019 and has over 30 years' experience in the health sector. Catherine joined the Council from Taranaki District Health Board where she was the Executive Director of Nursing. While there Catherine drove a number of successful projects to shape and support the professionalism of nurses and setting standards of care to protect the safety of the public.

Prior to this Catherine has held a variety of leadership, management and clinical roles in Auckland and overseas.Catherine is a highly respected and experienced nursing leader. Her strong leadership and connection to the nursing workforce fosters a practice reality to the setting of professional nursing standards to protect public safety.

Cheryl Goodyer (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Ranginui) – Kaitohutohu Matua Māori/Principal Advisor Māori

In her Māori leadership role with the Council, Cheryl is responsible for overseeing the implementation of our Te Tiriti o Waitangi policy statement and framework. She works alongside Executive Leadership Team colleagues to lead the Council’s commitments, responsibilities and obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This includes providing strategic and operational advice on key iwi and Māori relationships, critical equity issues for Māori and regulatory matters to improve health outcomes for Māori. 

Previously, Cheryl has worked in the health sector for 30 years, training as a Medical Laboratory Technologist specialising in Anatomic Pathology and holding Mortuary management roles for 10+ years.

More recently, she has held senior management roles with the CCDHB Māori Health Development Group, responsible for leading the expansion, and ongoing development, of Whānau Care Services into a multi-disciplinary team including specialty clinical nurses.  Cheryl also established the Research Advisory Group-Māori and was a long-standing member of the CCDHB Clinical Ethics Advisory Group.

Cheryl is an accomplished Māori health leader with extensive professional and clinical leadership experience. She has worked across multiple services to implement a range of strategic and operational approaches including designing and delivering patient/whānau-focused services; system-wide workforce development for Māori and all staff to support the provision of culturally safe healthcare; and integrating continuous quality improvement and risk management systems to enhance health services for Māori.

Clare Prendergast - Pouroki Tuarua/Kaitohutohu Ture Mātāmua - Deputy Registrar/Senior Legal Advisor

Clare Prendergast manages the legal team and provides general legal advice to the Council. Clare registered as a nurse in 1977 after completing the Wellington Hospital programme. She completed a law degree while continuing to work part time at Wellington Hospital. Clare commenced work as a legal editor for Brookers in 1992 and has worked at the Nursing Council since 1995. She is a contributing author to Health Care and the Law and the Fundamentals of Nursing 3e on the Evolve website. She has managed the Health and Conduct areas since 2012.

Nick Davis - Pouroki Tuarua/Kaitohutohu Ture Mātāmua - Deputy Registrar/Senior Legal Advisor

Nick Davis is the Deputy Registrar for the Council and oversees the fitness to practise functions for the Council (including the conduct, competence and health processes). Nick also provides policy and general legal advice to the Council. Nick was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 2007 and has worked in private legal practice specialising in civil, criminal and family litigation before joining the Nursing Council in 2015. He provides legal advice to the Professional Conduct Committees, Health and Competence Committees as well as the Registrant Quality Committee.

Dr Annette Huntington - Pou Kairēhita Kounga/Director of Registrant Quality

Annette as Director of Registrant Quality has responsibility for nursing education and registration. Annette has extensive experience nationally and internationally in the areas of nursing education and workforce development. She was previously the Head of the School of Nursing at Massey University, which she established, and was the first nursing academic to receive a Queens Honour for services to nursing research in recognition of her expertise in, and commitment to, research into the nursing workforce. She has held statutory positions as Chair of the Nursing Council of New Zealand and as a Tribunal member of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal. Internationally she held the position of Deputy Chair of the Australia and New Zealand Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery. Annette has held international positions such as being a member of the International Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Board, Qatar, adjunct positions at universities in Australia and has undertaken research and education development with international partners.

Dr Nicholas (Nyk) Huntington - Kaiwhakahaere Kaupapahere, Rangahau me te Mahinga - Director of Policy, Research & Performance

Nicholas and his team work across the Nursing Council to lead the policy, evidence, and information aspects of the organisation’s work. He has previously held research and policy roles in a range of agencies and organisations across the education and health sectors, including the National Health, Public Health, and Health Workforce Advisory Committees, Ako Aotearoa: The National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence, BCITO, and the Industry Training Federation. He has been involved with current major reforms to the vocational education and training sector, including as a member of the TEC’s Design Reference Group for Workforce Development Councils. He also chaired the 2014-15 national review of foundation and bridging qualifications, and from 2011 to 2012 was a national committee member of the Association of Social Science Researchers Te Aka Rangahau Pūtaio Pāpori. Nicholas has written and contributed to a wide range of publications, been a member of multiple research and policy project reference groups, and from 2010 to 2020 was contracted to manage data analysis for the Council’s workforce and cohort reports. As well as qualifications in history, political science, and social science research he has recently completed his PhD at Victoria University of Wellington, which explored how policy practitioners engage with evidence.

Martyn Newman-Hall – Director of Core Business

Martyn provides thought and operational leadership for all contractual and support activities for the Nursing Council. His primary responsibility is to ensure high quality, cost effective delivery of services to the Council and to the other Regulatory Authorities that the Council supports.

Key aspects of the role relate to the technology needed to interact with our nursing community, supplier engagement, contractual relationships and communication with the wider stakeholder community.

Prior to joining the Nursing Council, Martyn has held senior leadership roles in a number of IT companies including EDS, Optimation and Unisys. More recently he has been providing business and IT consultancy services to a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sector.