Your Committee


Sarah Ballard 2   Sarah Ballard – Chair

My name is Sarah Ballard, I have been a midwife for 15 years. During this time I have worked over many positions: as a self-employed midwife in the community, as a core midwife in hospital and currently I am a lecturer at AUT with a small caseload. Last year I was awarded a Masters with Distinction for the development of the ‘Birthplace- Your Choice’ App designed to promote informed decision making on Birthplace and the importance of physiological birth. I am passionate about our midwifery profession and I feel now is the time to be brave and progressive for the Auckland region. Being part of the team that organised the Auckland ‘Dear David ‘March and having the privilege of MCing that event highlighted for me the desire and need for our region to make noise and be heard! My goal is to be part of this and I am motivated to represent the voices of all Auckland midwives and midwifery students. I hope that I can bring new creative ideas and a passionate energy to the committee so that the cohesive spirit witnessed at the March can be cultivated in a way to make our region even stronger.
I am currently a member of the Auckland NZCOM committee and have been for four years. I am also a member of the Primary Birthing Project at ADHB/Birthcare and have participated in numerous other committee roles. This year I was invited to China to forward the development of Virtual Reality Education modules for AUT students and had the opportunity to lecture on normal birth. The speed with which progressive ideas can be incorporated was inspiring and I returned to Auckland invigorated with what can be achieved by a group motivated by a joint goal. So I am excited by the opportunity of offering a ‘Tri-Chair’ to the region. It is a new model that I believe offers potential to revitalise our region; three voices each with a unique understanding of the needs of their geographical area of practice. Most importantly, it is our joint goal of representing Auckland Midwives and moving our region forward in a positive and progressive way that most excites me.

Christine Mellor   Christine Mellor – Chair

I have been a midwife for 24 years (originally from UK), have a broad range of midwifery experience, and am open to new challenges. I am collaborative and compassionate, have good insight into both core and LMC midwifery practice, and a holistic understanding of maternity care in New Zealand. I have recently completed a one-year secondment as a Midwifery Research Fellow and am currently involved in coordinating the Maternity Quality and Safety Programme at Waitemata DHB. I am also working towards a Doctor of Health Science degree. I consider that our best way forward is with greater connection: together we are stronger.

Ady Priday  Ady Priday – Chair

My name is Ady (Adrienne) Priday. I am a community self-employed midwife working with communities and whānau of Counties Manukau. I have worked in the Midwifery health sector for 22 years. I was born in the Tairāwhiti region, in Gisborne and completed my secondary schooling in Rotorua. I have two Midwifery Practice clinics co-located with Family Health Practices in Otara and Māngere for a small caseload of women and whānau. I work with a group of 8 amazing midwives, who I call my midwifery whanau. I’m also a part-time clinical midwifery educator at AUT and am passionate about supporting student midwives so I can pass the baton to new midwives ready to step up to care for women who reside in Counties Manukau. I’m also keen to support midwives to step-up into midwifery leadership roles. Mentoring new graduate midwives is something else that I find energising and rewarding.

Glenda   Glenda Stimpson – Elder, Historical Advisor, Archivist

Glenda Stimpson, a midwife at National Women’s Hospital/Health for 43 years, was in the founding group of the Midwives Section of NZNA and later NZNO. She was also a founding member of the College of Midwives and has been very active over the years in all things midwifery. Now is actively involved in seeing that our history is kept and that we have photographic records of all occasions.  Is available to help mothers and their significant others to understand their notes and so remove the mystery that so many find as they seek answers. Has mentored many students and continues to have a great interest in teaching particularly the “gems that are not found in text books”. Loves to “tell stories”.

Peter Melville   Peter Melville – Treasurer

I was born and raised in Auckland, before the travel bug bit in my early 20’s. I have lived in Sydney for many years, with short periods living and working in Alice Springs and London. I have been a midwife for 9 years, mostly in the hospital setting. I am an advocate for keeping birth as normal as possible, even when pregnancy gets a bit ‘complicated’! I have a Master of International Public Health degree, which highlighted for me the importance of responsive, reflective health systems to ensure good health outcomes for the populations we serve.

In January 2017 I reached the point where it was the right time to return home, and I now live on beautiful Waiheke Island. I work as a Clinical Charge Midwife at Auckland City Hospital, and love the challenges of working in a busy unit to support pregnant women, new mothers, their whanau; alongside passionate, dedicated core midwives and LMC midwives.v

Megan Mankelow 2015   Megan Tahere – Midwife Representative

Tēnā koutou katoa. Ko Megan Tahere toku ingoa, ko te Whanau a Apanui, Ngati Awa, Ngati Ranginui, Ngai Te Rangi me Ngapuhi toki Iwi.
Graduating from AUT University in 2011 I am now employed by Counties Manukau as a core staff midwife in the Birthing and Assessment Unit and the Maternity Ward at Middlemore Hospital, and by AUT University in the role of Maori Midwifery Liaison and Student Support. I am passionate about the holistic health and wellbeing of wahine, pepi and their whanau, and the development of our Maori midwifery workforce, with both of my roles providing me with the opportunity to fulfil my passion and be actively involved in midwifery from multiple perspectives. I became a member of the Auckland Region NZCOM Committee in 2009 as a student midwife representative and am enthusiastic and excited to continue with my involvement as a registered midwife.

  Tammy-Jowsey   Tammy Jowsey – Midwife Representative

I am a current NZCOM member, who is employed at WDHB as an Associate Clinical Charge Midwife 0.6fte and Midwife educator 0.3fte. I also have a very small LMC case load.

I have been a MFYP mentor to three new graduate midwives in the past 5 years.

I am committed to ensuring the communication pathways between NZCOM and the WDHB remain effective and our professional body is well supported by our DHB and my involvement.

Sarah Nicholson   Sarah Nicholson – Midwife Representative

Since qualifying in 2002 I have been working as a midwife in South Auckland. Initially I was employed as a core midwife at Middlemore, then over the last 10 years I have predominantly worked as a community LMC. I currently provide cares to women birthing in both primary and secondary settings. In 2014 I completed the MHPrac (midwifery) qualification via AUT. I regularly support student midwives on their clinical placements and mentor new graduate midwives as part of the MFYP program.

Recently I have developed an interest in the interface between community LMC midwifery and the DHB organisation. I believe that fostering a strong working relationships between the LMC workforce and the DHB strengthens our profession and enhances midwifery care provided across the sector.

I am currently an LMC representative on the maternity workforce group at Counties Manukau; and in another role I also provide an LMC perspective by assisting in the investigation and HQSC reporting of serious sentinel events.

I live in rural South Auckland with my wife and two children, I like to run and I practice bikram yoga. I am passionate about midwifery and I would like to contribute to our profession by being more involved in the direction of midwifery within our region.

Nga Marsters   Nga Marsters – Midwife Representative

Kia ora ~ kia orana kotou katoatoa,
I feel very privileged to be part of NZCOM Auckland region’s committee.  We have the most diverse region in Aotearoa and its uniqueness brings opportunities for creative solutions and opportunities.

My midwifery roles since graduating in 2000 have been in the Counties Manukau area; Core midwife (community, maternity, case loading, labour and birthing) and Childbirth educator.  Currently, I work at AUT (Pasifika student liaison & clinical educator) and I have a LMC practice of 10 years.  My small caseload is a cohesive element which complements the Governance roles on Midwifery Council, CMDHB’s Maternity Quality and Safety Governance Group, and Pasifika Midwives Aotearoa National co-representative on NZCOM National Committee.  Also as a MFYP mentor I get a glimpse  of a new graduate’s journey with renewed appreciation every time.  That guardianship of safe passage into the midwifery profession, is a special time to celebrate and nurture our young.

I am passionate about growing and sustaining our Pasifika midwifery workforce.  Also ensuring there is a voice and lens over Pasifika matters is essential, especially with Auckland region acknowledged as the largest Polynesian city in the world.

Midwives are positioned to have a positive impact on families’  lives, that can effect change for generations and filter to their communities.  We have a very privileged position.

Mahia Winder – Midwife Representative

Tena Koutou Katoa.
Ko Tongariro te Maunga
Ko Taupo te Moana
Ko Parewahwaha te Marae
Ko Ngati Tuwharetoa Ngati Raukawa nga Iwi
Ko Mahia Winder ahau

I have been a Registered Midwife for 23 years, and in that time have worked across the scope. My current role is working at AUT as Maori Midwifery Liaison Midwife. Prior to this role I spent nearly 14 years at ADHB, originally in the role of an Acting Charge Midwife. I was then appointed to the position of Maori Midwifery Advisor.

Carolyn Young – Midwife Representative

I have been involved in midwifery for approximately fifty years and obtained a doctoral degree in 2011. I retired from LMC practice last year and continue to work as an AUT lecturer predominantly in the midwifery undergraduate programme which position I have held since 2012.

I am a founding member of the College of Midwives.

I was a member of their Midwifery practice review process since its foundation until 2001 when the role I also held as the midwife representative on the Auckland Resolutions Committee was regarded as conflicting with this.

I am the College of Midwives Resolutions Committee midwifery representative, a position held jointly with the same consumer since 1996. My own role has been extended to deal with resolution processes within the rural midwifery faction, the district area health boards and other governmental services where there has been conflict in interfacing with midwives.

I have a role within the New Zealand Midwifery Council in conducting competency reviews when requested.

I am an expert witness for the College of Midwives for Health and Disability cases.

 Even after my many years of involvement and the long and often intense hours of work I have invested into midwifery I remain passionate about it and am well content with the choice I made for my life’s work. I believe midwives have an enormous capacity to do great good in the world through promoting positive experiences around pregnancy, birth and mothering. I believe birth and the compassionate treatment of mothers and infants is a crucial point around which the heart of each society evolves. As midwives we have a privileged opportunity to visibly strengthen and improve the world in which we live. My focus is now moving to the midwives who undertake this important work and my PhD focused on burnout among midwives. I believe it is time to hear midwives voices in all their creative diversity to build a strong unified platform from which midwifery can continue to move forward.

Aroha Tukerangi   Aroha Tukerangi – Student Representative

Tena Koutou e hoa ma,
Waikato te Iwi, Te Awamaarahi te Marae, Taupiri te Maunga, Tainui te Waka, Waikato Te Awa.
Ko Potatau Te Wherowhero te tangata, he piko he taniwha, he piko he taniwha!

My name is Aroha Louise, I am of Maori and English decent and I am currently a first year Midwifery Student at Auckland University of Technology, Manukau Campus.
I am engaged and have three mischievous, nonetheless beautiful tamariki (children).
I am highly passionate about my chosen path of Midwifery! For me it is not only a career but a privileged journey in which the care and well-being of a precious life and that of our women are entrusted in your hands. A journey of great emotional, physical, mental and spiritual growth!
This alone inspires me and keeps me motivated to put my best foot forward, through the sleepless nights, the hardwork and the endless assignments/exams that are yet to come.
I am honoured to be a student representative on the NZCOM committee, I am looking forward to the years ahead; the opportunities and the invaluable experiences that come from being part of a role like this one, as well as learning and growing in every way possible through the guidance and advice of my highly experienced fellow committee members and midwives alike.
I would like to now conclude by sharing a Whakatauki or Maori proverb that means to aim high for what is of great value to you, be persistent and do not let obstacles stop you from achieving your goal, whatever that may be:

Whaia te iti kahurangi ki te tuohu koe me he maunga teitei – Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head let it be to a lofty mountain.

Arana Komene Lavis   Arana Komene-Lavis – Student Representative

Ko Arana Komene-Lavis tōku ingoa
No Ahipara ahau
Kei Tāmaki Makarau ahau e noho ana
He tauira ahau, ki AUT ki te tonga
Tēnā koutou katoa

I am currently enrolled as a first-year midwifery student with AUT.
I entered my first semester this year under the Bachelor of Health Science standard pathway and after a great effort, I was offered a place in the midwifery program.
I am also a proud first-year student representative for Ngā Maia ki Tāmaki Makaurau.
And am passionate about the overall health and wellbeing of māmā, pēpē and whānau, especially our Māori whānau, and working on a community level is where my heart is.

I look forward to working with and learning from other NZCom members and to also be a voice, advocate and role model for my peers in the program.

Amy Newport   Amy Newport – Student Representative

My name is Amy Newport and I am a first year midwifery student at Auckland University of Technology, Manukau campus.

My husband Jade and I have two handsome little boys together who keep us on our toes. It was the birth of my first son that ignited my already lingering passion to study towards becoming a registered midwife. Additionally, being the primary support person for my friend during her pregnancy and birth while her partner was posted overseas with the military, was an opportunity I will forever be grateful for. Providing this support, reassurance and care throughout her pregnancy, labour, birth and post-partum was undoubtedly one of the most rewarding times I have been fortunate enough to be a part of.

I have a natural warming to the supportive aspects of partnership in midwifery practice and believe making a woman’s birth experience a positive one by empowering them and their choices is imperative. Additionally, as my partner is of Maori decent and I am of Pakeha origin; I believe this stands me in good stead with the concepts of Turanga Kaupapa and guides me towards ensuring my cultural competency. I live in South Auckland and would love to work in my community upon completing my studies.

In my journey to becoming a practicing midwife I look forward to the many challenges and personal growth it will bring. I am extremely honoured to be a student representative on the NZCOM committee, and am relishing all of the invaluable knowledge that this role brings.

13000077_1298544526828273_1504510865070226129_n   Holly Neilson- Consumer Representative

Tena Koutou, I am a mother of two, with a third incoming. I am also a member of the Auckland Homebirth Community and the Public Liaison Coordinator for Maternity Services Consumer Council. I am have a strong passion for all things maternity, the women who use our maternity system.

Dana Owens  Dana Owens –  Consumer Representative

My name is Dana May Owens, Originally from the Bay of Islands. I Live in South Auckland with my family and have been for the last 7 years. My family is made up by My darling Partner Kane and our 3 children. Ella aged 10, Fraser aged 4 and Sasha, who has recently joined us in May 2018. I am heavily involved in our community. We attend our local Playcentre and I sit on the Parents support group at our local kindergarten. I have links with my local LLL group and I may look familiar to some as Fraser and I are proudly the cover models for LLL publications. I am a working mum, with my young children in tow. I am the coordinator and facilitator of ‘Mums Kitchen Rules’ – a community cooking class as an initiative of Counties Manukau Health, striving toward better education on infant nutrition and whanau health. I am currently on maternity leave from my role as a Kaitipu Ora Worker in Te Rito Ora, Community Breastfeeding Support. I have been involved with Te Rito Ora from its initial stages back in 2014, and its been a pleasure to be apart of its growth. I am also a member of the Counties Manukau District Health Board Maternity Consumers Panel and have been since 2016. I am absolutely passionate about Breastfeeding and I’m also fascinated by pregnancy and birth. I have personally experienced 2 very different styles of midwifery as a consumer and have birthed at both a primary unit and at home. I am nominating my self for a space on the committee as my voice not only represents my whanau but also other women, babies and whanau who identify as Maori, may be young and living in South Auckland.

Lavinia   Lavinia McGee-Repia – Consumer Representative

Tena koutou katoa,
I te taha o toku matua tupuna
Ko Onekainga te maunga
Ko Wairahi te awa
Ko Whakapaumahara te whare tupuna
Ko Whanau whero te akitai ki Ngati Rehua te hapu
Ko Ngati Wai te iwi
I te taha o toku whaea tupuna
Ko Hirakimata te maunga tapu waenga nui,
Ko te Moananui o Toi Te Huatahi te moana,
Ko Rehua raua ko Te Rangituangahuru nga tupuna
Ko Tukaiaia; ko te Tuatara; ko te Mango-pare nga Kaitiaki
Ko Ngati Rehua te hapu
Ko Ngati Wai te iwi
I te taha o toku papa no Kotimana ia.
Ko Lavinia McGee-Repia ahau.

I have been blessed with seven children and 13 grandchildren.  As a mother and grandmother I feel that it is important to lead by example, my journey began in 2012 when I took up a wero and returned to full time study.  I felt that it was necessary for the betterment of my growing whanau.  I have since come through all my studies and I am now awaiting to graduate with my degree in Bachelor of Health Science (Standard Health Pathway).  Education is the key to success and through success many doors will be opened.  My journey in education has empowered me to become more self-reliant and it has helped to take care of the growing needs of my whanau. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to gain a higher education, I take pride in my work and operate on a high level of proficiency and integrity.  I look forward to working within the forum of Midwifery alongside other ethnicities.






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