Board Members

The Board is appointed by the Minister of Health and currently has eight members.

Anyone may make nominations to the Minister of Health of suitable people to be Board members.

The membership must include a majority of members who are practising dietitians and two Laypersons.

The current Board is:

Jennifer Pelvin of Wellington – LaypersonBoard Chair

Jennifer has worked in the not for profit environment and NGO sectors for over 30 years. She has a Masters of Business Administration (not for profit), is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the Australasian Society of Association Executives. 

Jennifer is a Director of Butler Pelvin & Associates, an Association Management Company, providing governance, administration, management and leadership services with a particular focus on organisations with charitable or not for profit status.   

Currently, she holds a number of positions including: chief executive roles for both PodiatryNZ and NZ Dental and Oral Health Therapists Association, and a board role on the Allied Health Aotearoa NZ.

Laila Cooper of Christchurch – Practitioner – Board Deputy Chair

Laila is a highly experienced Health Services Manager with project management skills and a clinical background in dietetics. Laila is currently the CEO of Christchurch PHO. Her previous roles have included other work in PHO’s; health promotion; mental health service; food service management and as a dietetic tutor with University of Otago.

She is passionate about achieving positive health outcomes and committed to quality results.

Hiki Pihema of Gisborne – Practitioner

Hiki lives in Gisborne and is from Te Whanau a Ruataupare, from Tokomaru Bay. She has been a registered Dietitian since 1976 and has worked in many areas of dietetic practice including food service, management, clinical and public health. She has worked in numerous settings including hospitals, GP clinics, schools, community and marae. Hiki has served on many national nutrition committees in an advisory capacity. She was a member of the Board of Food Standards Australia and New Zealand for 8 years.

Hiki is currently employed by Tairawhiti DHB as a Dietitian, Team Leader.  She is also employed by Otago University as a Professional Practice Fellow in the Interprofessional Education (IPE) programme, and a tutor for the Masters of Dietetics programme. Hiki is a member of Te Kahui Manukura o Kai Ora, the Maori Dietitians Group of Dietitians NZ.

Hiki is a keen runner, enjoys kapa haka and spending time with her four mokopuna, and is planning to return to Tokomaru Bay to live.  

Dr. Louise Mainvil of Dunedin – Practitioner

Louise is an experienced public health dietitian with a PhD qualification. She has extensive practical experience in collaborative health promotion leadership, dietetic education and research, and community service. She is an advocate for sustainable socio-ecological systems that promote wellbeing and health for all.

Louise has been a NZ registered dietitian since 1996. She started her dietetics career in the USA working as a clinical dietitian (1989). Louise lives in Dunedin with her husband and young son and enjoys family time exploring nature’s beauty.

Catherine Humphrey of Auckland – Practitioner

Catherine began her career as a New Zealand registered dietitian in 1985. She initially worked in Wellington then lived and worked in the United Kingdom before returning to Auckland. 

She has had significant experience across a range of dietetic fields having worked in clinical and community dietetics and as a professional teaching fellow for the University of Otago. Catherine currently works in private practice and corporate wellness. 

Catherine enjoys running, yoga and spending time with her family.

Tom Shand of Whangarei – Practitioner

Tom is a dietitian based in Whangarei. He contracts to NDHB, tutors a sports nutrition paper, and runs a private practice. Until recently he was the diabetes dietitian for NDHB and has previously worked in primary health care in the Horowhenua and Taranaki regions, children’s weight management in London, UK, and, as a renal and diabetes dietitian at CMDHB. 

Tom is passionate about using nutrition to treat and prevent chronic disease and believes that dietitians should be at the forefront of this.

Tom loves spending time with his young family, surfing, skiing, and running. 

Dr Jordan Waiti of Raglan – Layperson

Jordan Waiti of Ngāti Pikiao, Te Rarawa, and Ngaati Maahanga, is a lecturer in Māori Health and Community Health at the University of Waikato. He has a PhD from Massey University that focussed on Whānau Resilience, and a Masters Degree from Otago University that looked at the Psychology of Physical Activity for Māori.

Jordan has 16 years of research experience within Māori health and wellbeing (in its broader context), and currently has a focus on ‘bluespace’ research for Māori mental health. He is currently a Māori advisory member to Water Safety NZ, and has been a Māori Land Trustee in the past. 

Jordan will provide a ‘community-focused’ lens to the board, and ensure that the social determinants of health are considered within the role of the board.
Soana Muimuiheata of Auckland – Practitioner
Born and raised in Tonga, Soana came to New Zealand for further education and completed her dietetic training in 1995. She then returned to work for the Government of Tonga Ministry of Health and helped establish the National Diabetes and Cardiovascular Diseases Centre. Soana migrated to live in Auckland in 2002.

Passionate about Pacific health and wellbeing, Soana has extensive practical experience in community dietary services for people with diabetes, training and education, public health and community health promotion programmes. She has worked as a Dietitian Consultant for Pacific Primary Health Organisations and ProCare Health Ltd working at GP clinics, schools, Pacific Churches, community and Marae over the past 16 years. During this time she has also played an advisory role in nutrition & obesity on school and Community Boards.

Soana is currently working towards her Doctor of Health Science at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT). Her research interest is “Meaning of food and diabetes: the underlying factors that determine food practices of Tongan people with diabetes”.  In her spare time Soana enjoys serving her Tongan community through Church, radio programmes, whanau and community activities. She also loves walking, working out at the gym and travelling.

The Board is supported by:

  • Registrar – Sue Domanski
  • Registration Officer  – Lizz Whittred