Tūtaki i te Kaunihera
Meet the Council

Safaato'a Fereti - Chairperson

Safaato’a was a Ministerial appointment to the Nursing Council in June 2014. She was born in the village of Safaato'a, Samoa, and grew up and was educated in Dunedin. Safaato'a graduated from Christchurch Polytechnic School of Nursing and has had a long and distinguished career as a nurse. Over the last 30 years, Safaato'a has worked as a clinician, educator, and manager in nursing. She is currently the Clinical Nurse Director, Division of Medicine and Clinical Support Services, Counties Manukau Health, which requires her to provide professional governance and leadership for nurses within her divisions.

She is undertaking her doctorate of health sciences and is the president of the Pan Pacific Nurses Association. She has a particular interest in Pacific health and Pacific workforce, using her clinical leadership and managerial experience combined with her Samoan cultural values, to influence and affect change for positive Pacific health outcomes.

  Dr Kathy Holloway - Deputy Chairperson

Dr Holloway is currently the Director of the Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health at Victoria University of Wellington. She is a Board and Fellow of the College of Nurses Aotearoa. A registered nurse originally trained at Wellington Polytechnic, Kathy completed her doctorate in 2011. Many specialty nursing groups nationally articulate the contribution they can make to addressing healthcare needs using her doctoral work.
Through her academic research and global engagement Kathy is involved in clarifying the potential of nursing expertise to improve the patient experience and inform workforce planning models.
Dr Holloway was appointed by the Minister of Health to the Nursing Council in July 2015 and again in 2018.


Maria Armstrong

Maria Armstrong graduated in 2008 and has since completed a Master of Nursing. Her experience is broad, working in rural and urban hospitals in New Zealand and the UK across a range of disciplines as a staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist and charge nurse. Maria has a diverse work background that includes general surgery, general medicine, emergency medicine, perioperative anaesthetic care, aeromedical, emergency surgery, and infectious disease. She is a skilled and experienced change manager who has a track record of transitioning to new roles and rapidly delivering excellence. Maria’s experience enables her to draw on a broad range of nursing governance and management experience across complex health systems. Maria is currently employed as a charge nurse at Auckland District Health Board and has previously been a director of the NZNO. She joined the Council for the first time in 2018 following success in the VOTE17 elections.

Joanna Hart

Joanna Hart lives in the Bay of Plenty and is a New Zealand-trained nurse working in accident and emergency healthcare. She has 20 year's experience nursing in diverse settings, from operating theatres to emergency departments to clinical research, in both the private and public sectors, in New Zealand and abroad. Joanna joined the Council for the first time following success in the VOTE17 elections.


Iosefa Tiata Paituli

Iosefa T Paituli is a Minister at Mt. Roskill’s Congregational Christian Church – of Samoa. He is married with four children and seven grandchildren, has a master’s in theology and is completing a master's in entrepreneurialism.

Iosefa worked as a financial controller for the Church in Samoa for six years and was their chief accountant for five years. He has also worked for the Bank of Western Samoa in Samoa, the Bank of New Zealand and Lion Breweries before attending Theological College in Samoa. Iosefa is passionate about his community. He was inspired to help those he met who found communicating with their healthcare providers frustrating and stressful. Today he is very involved in advocating for members of his community and being a conduit for information for those experiencing language and cultural barriers.

Iosefa enjoys reading and all kinds of sport, especially tennis. He practises yoga to meditate and clear his mind, preaches and loves to serve voluntarily.

Joanne Hewlett

Joanne Hewlett is a primary school teacher based in Auckland. She has three children – two of them born with severe intellectual and physical disabilities (one passing away 12 years ago, the other now a young adult living in a supported care situation). Joanne’s experiences with disability and death prompted her to co-author a book on the topic from a parent’s perspective, which was published in 2011. She has also had many opportunities to speak to a variety of audiences, including nursing students and staff, on good nursing and care from a parent’s point of view. She is a lay member on the Performance Assessment Committee of the Medical Council and believes strongly in the importance of good-quality medical care.

She is particularly passionate about the importance of protecting the most vulnerable and being a voice for those who are either unable or are limited in their ability to speak out.

Monina Hernandez

Monina Hernandez is a Ministerial appointee and the first Filipino to sit on the Council. She is a lecturer and doctoral candidate at Massey University, and an advocate for the rights of marginalised sectors in the community. She has worked as a high-risk postpartum ward nurse and  NICU nurse, and a clinical nurse specialist for infection prevention and control before joining the academe.

She is a founder and the current president of the Filipino Nurses’ Association of New Zealand and Leadership Succession Committee member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honour Society of Nursing (Sigma Nursing). Sigma Nursing is a global community of nurse-leaders with over 135,000 members in more than 90 countries. She previously served as an elected as a director of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation and was a finalist for Women on Boards, Governance New Zealand's Emerging Governance Leader Award in 2019.

Monina’s nursing experience spans more than 27 years in two countries. Monina worked as a community health nurse, nurse-midwife and university lecturer before settling in Aotearoa. She has published books and has received recognition for her advocacy work in the Philippines. Monina graduated as Most Outstanding Student of the Philippines’ premier university - the University of the Philippines Manila in 1991. She holds a master's of nursing degree with honours from the University of Auckland and has been recognised in the Filipino community with a Filipino-Kiwi Hero for a Health Professional.

Tania Kemp

Tania is from Pitt Island in the Chatham Islands, and is of Ngā Māhanga a Tairi, Taranaki and Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri descent. She is a nurse practitioner (NP) and owner of the Pleasant Point Health Centre in South Canterbury. Tania has worked in primary healthcare in rural care in rural and remote areas around New Zealand for the past 20 years. Tania has a special interest in the clinical mentoring of undergraduate nurses and NP candidates. She hopes her experience in rural primary health care will bring a different perspective to the Council. Tania was a Ministry of Health appointee to the Nursing Council in July 2015.

Dr Dianne Wepa

Dr Dianne Wepa originates from Hastings and her iwi is Ngāti Kahungunu. Dianne’s Phd focused on how Māori engaged with healthcare services. She has published journal articles and textbooks, and provided Keynote presentations on Cultural Safety and Clinical Supervision. Dianne is a registered social worker with interests in mental health, youth health and Māori health. Dianne’s current governance roles include the National Animal Ethics Committee, Audiologist Society Complaints’ Board and Lotteries Commission Health Research Committee. Dianne teaches a range of courses such as Māori Mental Health at AUT and First Peoples’ Health at the University of South Australia. Dianne is currently supervising research students on topics such as the impact of digital technology on suicide prevention, the social impact of dementia and fathers' use of Kangaroo Care with newborn babies.