Meet your Committee

Committee Profiles


Louise Chan - Chair

Email Louise Louise Chan

Louise is the Associate Director of Nursing (ADoN) for the Mental Health, Addictions and Intellectual Disability services (MHAIDS) covering Capital and Coast DHB, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa.           

Her mental health nursing background includes:

  • Working throughout Aotearoa and England,
  • Adult inpatient and community,
  • Older adult inpatient and community,
  • Mental Health ED (across the lifespan),
  • Crisis and acute mental health,
  • Clinical nurse specialist and nurse educator roles,
  • Clinical education (tertiary institutions), and
  • Leadership and management roles.

Louise’s research interest areas include:

  • Organisational and workforce development and sustainability,
  • LGBTQIA+, and
  • All the neuro’s!!! (Neuroanatomy, neuroscience, neuropsychiatry…..)

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Debbie Coates - TreasurerDebra Coates

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I am currently working as a Senior Lecturer at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in the Bay of Plenty. My role includes teaching on the Bachelor of Nursing Programme and I am the Competency Assessment Programme Coordinator. Originally from the UK, I have been in New Zealand 18 years.

My background includes RN roles in the UK, Middle East and New Zealand in:

  • Paediatric ICU
  • Neonates and SCBU
  • Paediatric Surgery
  • Public Health Nursing, and
  • Leadership

My research interests are:

  • Qualitative research methodology
  • Nurse migration, and
  • Teaching nursing students with English as a second language.

I am currently undertaking a Professional Doctorate at AUT University, exploring what influences the practice of overseas RNs working as HCAs in aged residential care in New Zealand, using Bourdieu’s theory of practice as the theoretical lens.  

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Kathryn Tennant - Secretary and Social MediaKathryn Tennant

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I am currently the Clinical Nurse Specialist (Research) at Waitematā DHB. I support practice-based research capacity and capability building through the provision of qualitative research education and methodological support for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals. I am passionate about demystifying research and making it more accessible and realisable.

Originally from the UK, my nursing background includes clinical and leadership roles in the National Health Service, Nursing Officer in the Royal Navy, as well as a number of academic positions. These include:

  • Senior Sister Critical Care
  • Ward Manager High Dependency Unit, and
  • Senior Lecturer in Nursing

My research interests are

  • Qualitative research methodology
  • Supporting practice-based research, and
  • Supporting and developing staff

I am currently undertaking a Professional Doctorate in Education through Staffordshire University, exploring the association between expectations, satisfaction and learning in respect of clinical placements for student nurses undertaking a BSc(Hons) Nursing (Adult) programme.  

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Cath Aspinall - Events CoordinatorCathleen Aspinall - Events Coordinator

Email Cath

I am currently a:

  • Professional Teaching Fellow at the University of Auckland (UoA),
  • a Nurse Director of Research at Counties Manukau DHB, and
  • a member of the CMDHB Research committee.

I teach across

  • the Bachelor of Nursing programme at UoA,
  • supervise postgraduate Master’s students and
  • postgraduate leadership and management papers.

I am also a Member of the International Learning Collaborative, aiming to make the Fundamentals of Care (therefore nurses) visible and valued globally and in every care setting.

My role at CMDHB is to build capacity and capability for nursing research at all levels of the organisation. Previous roles in New Zealand include Project Manager, Planning and Funding at Waitemata DHB.

Originally from the UK, my nursing background includes clinical and leadership roles in the National Health Service and the Greater Manchester Strategic Health Authority. These roles include:

  • Clinical Placement Development Manager,
  • Orthopaedic Trauma Coordinator, and
  • Charge Nurse Manager, Orthopaedics.

My research interests include:

  • Developing nursing leadership through intersectionality informed research,
  • Evidence-based development of clinical academic career pathways for nurses, and
  • Nurses’ leading through the Fundamentals of Care.

I am about to submit my Doctorate undertaken with the UoA, exploring the impact of intersectionality on empowerment and nursing leadership.  

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Ebony Komene - Membership CoordinatorEbony Komene

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Ko Tautara Matawhaura tōku maunga 

Ko Rotoiti tōku roto 

Ko Te Awara tōku waka 

Ko Ngāti Pikiao tōku iwi 

Ko Ebony ahau. 

Tēnā koutou, ko kaimahi nēhi rangahau ki te Tāmaki Makaurau a ki te Waipapa Taumata Rau.  

Ebony is a clinical research nurse working with Counties Manukau Health and The University of Auckland. She has recently completed her Bachelor of Nursing Honours and has a background in primary healthcare. She has a passion for Māori health, and driving health equity that begins with a renewed commitment to Te Tiriti. 

Clinical background:

  • General Practice Nursing
  • Urgent Care Nursing
  • Community Vaccinator

Research background and interests:

  • Exploring the experiences of whānau Māori 
  • Kaupapa Māori research (Mātauranga, Mana motuhake)
  • Equity and Racism 
  • Health Prevention 

Ebony is working towards securing a PhD fellowship to pursue her passion. He maurea kai whiria! Ignore small matters and direct effort toward important projects. Tihei mauri ora.

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Marnie McDowell - Membership Engagement LeadMarnie McDowell Committee Member

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Marnie is employed as a Clinical Team Leader at Churchill Private Hospital and does teaching support at the University of Auckland’s School of Nursing in Leadership and Management.

Marnie has been a nurse and NZNO member for the past 26 years and studied for 11, whilst working in mainly surgical services across a variety of hospitals throughout New Zealand.

  • Marnie started studying at Otago University with a PGcert in Resuscitation, while teaching ACLS, then
  • Moved to Auckland to complete a PGDip,
  • In 2018, she finished a Master’s degree in Leadership and Management, and
  • Marnie is currently progressing through a PhD in Trust and Nursing Leadership.

Marnie has a special interest in Nursing Management and Leadership Practice, and her clinical background includes:

  • ACLS Instructor/ Morsim Educator,
  • Team Leader - Theatre Grace Hospital,
  • ACNM - Theatre Wairau Hospital, and
  • Charge Nurse – Inpatient Unit - Surgical, Medical ATR

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Rachel Sayers - Engagement Co-ordinator

Rachel SayersEmail Rachel

Rachel is employed as a Lecturer at the School of Nursing, Otago Polytechnic.

With a background in Paediatric and Neonatal nursing, Rachel has been involved with Paediatric research since 1994. She was previously employed as an Assistant Research Fellow at the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Dunedin School of Medicine, Otago University, (1994-2019), and has been employed in student nursing education since 2012. Rachel qualified with a Master of Health Sciences in 2005. She also holds a position as a Facilitator for the Paediatric Sleep Medicine Clinical Network (New Zealand Child and Youth Clinical Networks, Paediatric Society of New Zealand). 

The main focus of research Rachel has been involved with is in paediatric sleep. This has included research on:

  • Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI)
  • safe sleep practices
  • infant irritability
  • sleep and obesity, and
  • infant sleep education.

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Kylie Short - Communications Coordinator (incl. SNIPs)Kylie Short

Email Kylie

Kylie is a senior nursing lecturer at Ara Institute of Canterbury. She holds an adjunct fellowship with the University of Canterbury, and more than 22 years’ experience in the field of nursing practice and education.

Specialist areas of teaching include:

  • Postgraduate education with a strong focus on Advanced Health Assessment
  • Diagnostic Reasoning, and
  • Acute Care Management.

Clinical background includes:

  • Intensive Care Nursing, most recently specialising in Cardiothoracic ICU.
  • Acute medical admissions, and
  • General post-operative care.

Research interests include:

  • Looking at how healthcare professionals assess patient’s understanding of information
  • How understanding of information affects the legitimacy of providing 'informed consent'.
  • Why transition to a nursing career through a fast track option?
  • Looking at how we can develop students' skills of critical evaluation, of the information technology sites they are using to enhance their learning, and
  • Looking at the outcomes of integrating a flipped classroom methodology into clinical practice preparation for the master’s programme.

Kylie is currently completing a PhD and exploring the topic; "What do patients understand following the delivery of "hospital" cardiac health education/information? A New Zealand Study". This national scale research will be the first of its kind in New Zealand.

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Te Wāhanga Rangahau Tapuhi/ NRS Committee Roles




Louise Chan



Debbie Coates


 Bay of Plenty

Kathryn Tennant

Secretary and Social Media Coordinator

 Greater Auckland

Cath Aspinall

Events Coordinator (incl. sub committee forum chair)


Ebony Komene

Membership Coordinator (incl. maintaining membership database and liaising with NZNO membership committee rep)


Marnie McDowell

Membership Engagement Lead (incl. membership survey)


Rachel Sayers

Engagement Coordinator


Kylie Short

Communications Coordinator (not SNIPs)


Sandra Bayliss

Professional Nursing Advisor, NZNO

 Palmerston North (NZNO)

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