Board Candidates

Candidates for the NZMA Board: All members may vote for these positions. You may vote for up to three candidates.



Michael Chen-Xu

I am a PGY2 based in Wellington, a member of the NZMA DiTC, and have a proven record of accomplishment and governance with the NZMSA.

In this fiscal environment, government sees health as a cost to be limited. Health is an investment, and the NZMA must ensure health is seen in this way. Short-term thinking on health and its social determinants is to the detriment of patients and our profession.  I believe the NZMA should strongly promote clinical leadership, ensure health is a part of all government policy, and advocate vociferously against policies that lead to inequitable health outcomes.

Josh Freeman

Joshua Freeman is a Clinical Microbiologist at ADHB and in 2011 was appointed Clinical Lead of the Health Quality and Safety Commission’s national hand hygiene programme. Prior to this, he was a Research Fellow at Duke University Medical Centre and in 2014 became the first New Zealander on the executive committee of The Australian Society of Antimicrobials. More recently he has played a leading national role in advocacy on the impact of The Trans-Pacific Partnership on health. Joshua is committed to helping the NZMA continue to build a more effective political voice for both its members and their patients.





Catherine Hallagan

  • I’m an experienced General Practitioner in Wellington.
  • I’m a director of Tawa Medical Centre, a large multicultural practice.  
  • I’m a team-player with managerial skills.
  • I have an eye for detail.
  • I prefer the term patient to the terms client, customer and consumer.
  • I agree with the NZMA’s advocacy for the profession in the political arena.
  • I’m interested in medical ethics.
  • I support the NZMA’s Position Statement on Euthanasia.
  • I am chair of the NZ Health Professionals Alliance.
  • I have lived in Tonga and Tanzania.
  • I am married with two daughters.
  • Please vote for me for election to the NZMA Board.


Ruth Richards

Specialty: Public Health Medicine

Current position: Public Health Physician Health Promotion, Regional Public Health, Wellington

I have had a long and varied medical career, covering Emergency Medicine and many aspects of public health medicine, including hospital management, health and social policy, and latterly prevention of non-communicable diseases.

My professional drivers are health equity, fairness and working to improve the health of the New Zealand population. If I am elected I want to work on how to get prevention of non communicable diseases on everyone’s agenda, working through the risk factors of tobacco harm, alcohol harm reduction, physical inactivity and inadequate diet.

I have the time and the drive to put to Board membership.

Ruth Spearing

As a haematologist and previous Clinical Director in Christchurch, I have had the privilege of being Chair of the Canterbury Hospitals Medical Staff Association since 2003 and an elected member of the CDHB's Clinical Board.

The NZMA has a very important role in advocating on behalf of the profession and for the health of the New Zealanders. Highlights as a Board member for the last 2 years have been supporting the reduction in the drink-driving limit, the obesity policy paper, and raising concerns about the now defunct HBL, and the risks of TPPA and climate change to health.





Tane Taylor

Tane Arataki Taylor (descendent of Tainui, Te Arawa,  Takitimu , English and Scottish) is a general practitioner working mostly in South Auckland. He is a consultant to East Tamaki Healthcare Group and Advisor to the Centre for Advanced Medicine Ltd in Auckland. He was the Chair of Te Akoranga a Maui (Maori faculty) from 2006-2012, Member of the Education  Advisory Group  RNZCGP, member of  RNZCGP National Advisory Council. He is a Senior  Assessor for the Cornerstone Practice Accreditation Program and  General Practitioner  Fellowship Assessor. Dr Taylor has a great interest in undergraduate/postgraduate education and Professional standards. He is a GP teacher, and  PRIMEX examiner.

Dr Taylor is a member of the National Health IT Board he also served as an expert medical advisor on the MSD H&D Welfare Reform panel. Dr Taylor is the Albanian  Honorary Consul to New Zealand.