Meet some of our staff

Counties Manukau Health staff regularly give their thoughts and feedback on how we could do things better.  Be part of this continuous quality improvement and make real changes to the organisation.

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Dr Mataroria Lyndon
Clinical Fellow, Ko Awatea

Dr Mataroria Lyndon (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Whatua, Waikato) is a Clinical Fellow for Ko Awatea, with his research field currently in health systems, while completing his PhD in medical education. He graduated from The University of Auckland and worked as a junior doctor at Middlemore Hospital. He plans to specialise in Public Health Medicine.

He is passionate about enabling Maori youth into the health workforce - currently, Maori make up 15% of the New Zealand population but only 2.5% of the medical workforce. The health needs of Maori still remain the highest in New Zealand.

Mataroria enjoys whakawhanaungatanga - and Counties Manukau is an open and friendly environment for positive relationships amongst staff, patients and whanau. It is one big whanau. It also provides excellent training in clinical medicine, huge opportunities for career and personal growth. Counties has a can-do attitude, innovates, and aspires everyone to bring out their best.

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Rachael Holtom
Registered Nurse

It was an experience with my cousin who died from cancer that initiated my pathway into nursing. I watched him and my family fight this battle with the support of various clinicians. I quickly identified the impact a caring, considerate and competent nurse could provide to others in times of need and there onwards. I felt this was something I wanted to provide to others, in particular our people in our community.

I have been a registered nurse based in general medicine for the last three years where I developed a wide range of knowledge and skills. I have had an interest in adolescent care and mental health from my undergrad placement and after accomplishing a fast paced, technical medical environment, I thought I would try my hand in mental health.

Working in a medical environment I found myself connecting well with patients and whanau. There were so many aspects involved to a patient and their care that I struggled to address in a shift due to time restraints and more critical tasks. I wanted to be more involved in referrals I made to cultural teams, Chaplin services and MDT reviews.  I found it hard reading about outcomes from these services in the notes without being there to support or contribute.

Whirinaki has provided me with the opportunity to put my medical skills and knowledge to use while linking in with a mental health prospective, MDT discussions with major cultural considerations. The best part of all of this is I can be involved in these discussions immediately from our first interaction. The awareness of cultural needs has taught me a lot about providing quality care that really speaks to the young person.

My transition from medical to mental health nursing was easier than expected. Due to my start date lining up with new graduates, I was fortunate enough to jump on the new grad band wagon which gave me a clear introduction into mental health and the DHB. I found this supportive. The team I work with were very welcoming and even to this day remain attentive and helpful.

In March I will be starting my post graduate studies in hopes of achieving a postgraduate diploma in mental health to sit with my certificate in general medicine. I have a strong interest in health promotion and prevention particularly for our Pacific and Maori communities. I feel that reaching out to these communities is something we at Whirinaki do well and continue to improve on.

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Chey Tilyard
Occupational Therapist

Growing up in Wanganui where alcohol, drug use and gang violence was a strong influence, I struggled to understand who I was and what I wanted to do when I was older. Throughout my upbringing I have encountered many barriers that had at the time held me back from many things in my life. The separation of my parents, financial strain, and an incident resulting in the near passing of my father all contributed to me being bought up in a very stressful, often self-medicated environment.


At the time, I saw this as a normal upbringing and in reality, for some people it is. Being a naturally competitive person, whilst growing up I felt the need to do better. My own drive to achieve something that was thought unrealistic in my family and social groups, served as a motivator to help push me through school and university.


During my last year at university, I wanted to begin looking for a job where I can use these skills I have learnt to strengthen, support and help provide care for young Maori that may have experienced a similar upbringing to myself. I was introduced to staff in the kaupapa Maori team at Whirinaki as a student to gain an understanding of how they help Maori within a community mental health setting.  Following this meeting I knew this was the type of team environment I wanted to be a part of as their values matched my own and their whanau orientated, client centred approach to care was how I envisioned myself working after University.


I am currently employed at Whirinaki in the kaupapa Maaori team (He Kaakano) as a new graduate Occupational Therapist. I have been employed by CM Health since June 2014. My role in this team is to assess, advocate and support young Maori through their struggles or concerns that they present with upon referral. I provide day to day OT interventions and effective case management that will enable our young people to engage in meaningful activities and participate freely in all interventions we provide. I provide a very client centred focus, allowing our young people to be fully involved in their care/treatment plan.


Since starting this job in 2014, not only have I become passionate about helping people that had similar boundaries as I had, but I have also developed as person. When I look back on my experience so far from working in this job, I have come to understand that growing passionate about something is not a choice, but more of a reflection on who I am as a person.

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Eti Televave

I am the Senior Physiotherapist in the Acute Orthopaedic team (Acting Section Head Physiotherapist for the Acute Orthopaedic team when the Section Head is absent). My role

here at CM Health is to assess and treat acute and elective Orthopaedic patients – these can include Total Hip and Knee Joint replacements, Cervical and Lumbar Spine Decompressions, Spinal Cord Injuries and Fractures to the Upper and Lower limbs. I also see patients in the Emergency Department who present with acute lower back pain, BPPV (dizziness), Hyperventilation, or who have fallen and require balance and mobility assessments. Supervise and educate Junior Physiotherapists and Physiotherapy students from AUT. Provide education sessions for Nursing staff and nursing students. Promote Physiotherapy to High school students in South Auckland.

What I love about my job is the interaction with other health professionals (Nurses, Doctors, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Therapists etc). Building trusting relationships with patients and their families, particularly the Samoan patients who don’t speak English. Getting patients back on their feet following a traumatic event.

A positive challenges for myself in this organisation is enabling the students and Junior Physiotherapists to make safe and autonomous treatment decisions.

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Michelle Langi
Registered Nurse

I started working for CMDHB in 2005 where I started as a medical transcriptionist, followed by team secretary in 2007.  From there I progressed to Team administrator for Faleola Mental Health in 2009 where I worked alongside many talented health professionals.  In 2011 after 6 years with CMDHB I resigned to follow my dreams of becoming a registered nurse knowing that I would eventually return to CMDHB.  Throughout my journey studying for my degree I was fortunate to have gained a scholarship with Ko Awatea through CMDHB.  In 2014, I completed my degree and continue to again enjoy working for CMDHB as a registered nurse in the NETP program.  As a registered nurse, I work alongside patients at their most vulnerable and advocate on their behalf ensuring their care at CMDHB is a favourable one.  CMDHB is a great company to work for and the support I have received in my first year of nursing has been incredible.  There is a diverse range of ethnicities/cultures to support the diverse population of CM and the opportunities within CMDHB are endless.  CMDHB is definitely the place to be.

Catherine Larsen
Catherine Larsen
Service Manager

I am so proud to be a Counties girl.

My career began in 1982 when I began my Enrolled Nurse training at Middlemore.

I moved to Theatre in 1984 and spent many years rotating around the various specialities. I particularly enjoyed the collegiality in Theatre, being part of a team and knowing you were making a difference, either through alleviating pain or repairing a disfigurement

While I enjoyed all specialities Plastic Surgery became my passion, particularly cranio facial surgery. I was fascinated by the reconstructive aspect and got a huge amount of satisfaction from seeing the most amazing results immediately.

In 1999 I decided to pursue a career in nursing so once my youngest child started school I returned to the classroom at MIT and began my Bachelor of Nursing.

I spent several years working in Kidz First which again was a very happy time for me and I enjoyed working with this team.

2004 saw me back in Theatre as the Charge Nurse of Plastic Theatres at MSC. I really enjoyed this role and was lucky to build such an incredible team of dedicated, caring staff.

Over the last 10 years I have held several roles including being seconded to a pilot role of The Acute Coordinator at MMH and through this role established TADU which replaced the old DOSA.  TADU was a great success and I enjoy still being involved and watch it continue to develop again with a great team of people.

My next role was to become the Clinical Nurse Director for Surgical and Ambulatory Care. I was very privileged to have a role where I got to work with such a wide group of professional people. It was a very varied role and one that suited me well as I spent a huge part of my day talking to so many different people across two separate sites!

Currently I am the Service Manager for Theatre and SSU. No two days are the same! This is a role that I completely understand as Theatre and surgery flow through my veins! I really enjoy working for Surgical and Ambulatory Care – we have great people in our division across all specialities and differing roles. We do work well together and are all passionate about what we do and why we do it.

I cannot imagine myself working for another DHB, I love Counties, the people, the culture and the way we are supported and encouraged to think, plan and create ideas and different ways of doing things.