WDHB begins recruitment process to appoint new chief executive

22 June 2017


Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) has engaged Wellington-based recruitment company JacksonStone to lead its effort to appoint a new chief executive.


“With current chief executive Julie Patterson set to leave her role in late October, it is important we begin looking for Julie’s replacement in earnest and that we appoint the company best suited to assist our board and the Executive Appointments and Remuneration Committee to do so,” says board chair Dot McKinnon.


“I am pleased to inform WDHB staff and the wider Whanganui community that JacksonStone & Partners director David Hollander will lead the recruitment process supported by his colleagues Simon Urquhart-Hay, Richard Stone and Russell Spratt.


“JacksonStone & Partners is a leading recruitment firm with a sound understanding of, and experience in, filling executive-level roles for provincial district health boards and Iwi organisation CEO roles.


“Born in Whanganui, Richard Stone has strong family connections to our city and hospital and Russell has a good knowledge of bi-cultural issues with whakapapa links to Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai, Ngati Toa Rangatira and Ngati Raukawa ki te Tonga.”


Mrs McKinnon says following a briefing by the board’s Executive Appointments and Remuneration Committee on Friday 16 June, Mr Stone and Mr Hollander met with WDHB management and stakeholders to discuss the recruitment process and their commitment to take into consideration:

  • the main challenges the DHB faces
  • the main challenges a new CEO will face
  • the key skills and attributes the CEO should possess
  • defining what success would look like in 12 – 24 months for a new CEO.


“A recruitment strategy has been agreed to and commenced to assist JacksonStone in their search for a suitable candidate,” Mrs McKinnon says.“We envisage the recruitment process to be concluded in August.


“JacksonStone and our board are very mindful of the fact that under Julie’s leadership the WDHB has steadily reduced its $10 million deficit to come in on budget this year, left us with a mental health service that other DHBs look to emulate and seen us punch well above our weight in a number of areas including patient safety and quality, caring for those with cognitive impairment and establishing a leading stroke unit.


“While we recognise that it is going to take a special leader to replace Julie, I can assure our community that we will be working very hard to find the person we believe will build on her legacy and take us forward.”