Our Staff

Grant Berghan,

Chief Executive Officer 


Grant is from the Tai Tokerau region with whakapapa links to Ngapuhi, Ngati Wai and Te Rarawa Iwi. He has extensive experience in the health and labour market sectors, and more recently has been involved in regional economic development activity in Northland. He has experience in policy and programme development and implementation, contracting, funding, advocacy, facilitation and evaluation. He was a government appointed member to the Youth Suicide Advisory Panel and a past member of the Maori Advisory Board (Public Health) with the Ministry of Health. In 2017, Grant, in conjunction with Dame Margaret Sparrow, was the recipient of the PHA Public Health Champions Award. Grant says that the importance of public health to our communities and nation’s wellbeing has never been more evident in our lifetime. New Zealand has shown itself to be a world leader in responding to COVID-19, and the opportunity exists to extend that leadership to include poverty, homelessness, racism and other social and economic determinants of health. “As a country we are small enough and close enough to make a big difference. We can and should lead the world by our example.”

Mā mua ka kite a muri, mā muri ka ora a mua
Those who lead give sight to those who follow, those who follow give life to those who lead.

Leah Bain,

Policy Analyst/Communications Māori


Ko Ngati Kahungunu, me Rangitāne ki Wairarapa ngā iwi

Ko Ngai Tumapuhia ā Rangi te hapū

Leah has over 15 years experience in the education sector specialising in Health, Physical Education, Education Outside the Classroom, and Te Reo in both mainstream and immersion contexts. Her post graduate study is in Matauranga Māori. Leah has worked as a consultant in Māori policy within both the Education and Health sectors. She is a marae, hapū, and iwi person who has represented at governance level. She led operations for her iwi within the treaty settlement process during Negotiations and Agreement in Principle phases. She has also been a lead negotiator and co chaired on behalf of the Runanga of her hapu.  Leah considers herself a passionate advocate for Māori, and in particular for Māori health and education equity to improve Māori health and education outcomes. She is committed to supporting and giving voice to those doing the mahi at grass roots in the community. Leah supports the improvement of overall health outcomes for all communities to realise wider public health aspirations. Leah enjoys most leisure outdoor activities especially those to do with the sea, as well as walkways amongst native bush and birds within Aotearoa. 

Adjunct Asoc Prof Leonie Walker

Policy/Communications Advisor


Léonie is an experienced public health research and health policy professional with a history of working in health research and policy and higher education both in the UK and NZ. Her public health research has been mainly in the fields of HIV & sexual health promotion, diabetes prevention, and smoking cessation. At Massey University (Wellington), she contributed to public health research and postgraduate teaching and supervision, coordinating the Masters in Public Health for two years. Health policy experience was gained by over a decade working with the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, then at Allan & Clarke, and the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatry.  

On hearing that she had been chosen for the role Léonie said;

 “I am so pleased to have the chance to bring the many disparate parts of my working life together at such a pivotal time in the development of new Public Health structures, within such a respected, activist and independent public health team. It is exciting to join a te Tiriti led organisation, and I look forward to continuing to learn and work to improve public health in Aotearoa.”

Nikita Kataria

Office Manager


Nikita has over 6 years of experience in the Insurance sector specialising in Finance, Operations, Marketing, and focussing on improving customer service. Her post-graduate study is in Marketing Management from the University of Auckland. Nikita has worked as a Quality Analyst and proceeded to develop her career with Public Health Association as an Office Manager. She has a core interest in contributing her skills, raise awareness and be a part of evolving Public Health Association. She said: " It gives me immense pleasure to be a part of such an exciting team".

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