Our Staff

Ms Robin Steed, Executive Officer

Training as a nurse in Northland and early workRobin Steed experience in small district hospitals and communities was the genesis of a career long interest in rural health. A move to work with Health Waikato with responsibility for community based services and rural hospitals further matured interest and expertise in the field of rural health.

Robin’s studies at the University of Waikato in the Masters of Business Administration programme provided the opportunity to examine the inter-relationships between health, business, social and political sectors and the impact these have on rural health in New Zealand.

Robin received valuable insight into rural health issues through networking at a national level on projects of professional development of the rural workforce, the health of rural populations, palliative care strategies and the cost of personal health services. It is this commitment and experience that she brings to the New Zealand Institute of Rural Health.


Dr George Tripe, Medical Advisor

Dr George Tripe has more than 30 years’ experience in general medicine and is a strong advocate for the needs of rural people. His background here, and in Australia, provides him with the broad-based knowledge and experience necessary to deal effectively with diverse organisations and situations.



Brent Nielsen, Business Manager

Brent is an experienced and organised health sector manager, familiar and experienced with rural health issues. Brent started work in the accounting profession, with experience in commercial and chartered accounting environments. Brent then worked for St John for over 22 years, firstly in the role of Paramedic, then retrained for manager roles, the most significant being eight years as Operations Manager for the Midland Region. Brent is qualified with a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Waikato, having previously qualified in Advanced Ambulance Aid from the Auckland University of Technology and Accounting from Waikato Polytechnic Institute. Brent is strongly focused on relationships, people, performance and results and well connected to the rural community he lives in as member of Operations and the Area Committee of St John in Cambridge, Treasurer and Member of the Executive of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce and Member of the Rotary Club of Cambridge.



Mrs Wendy Paul, School Careers Advisor

Wendy PaulWendy is a consultant and is contracted by NZIRH to promote health careers around rural Waikato. She stages events where students can meet health professionals or visit tertiary institutions. Wendy uses her graphic and web design skills to create brochures on health careers, manage a Facebook page and a health careers page. She mentors students as they require it and she attends careers and health careers events. Wendy also liaises with the Rural Health Club students (Grassroots) at the University of Auckland and organises a rural experience called Waikato Weekend for them each year. Wendy is an experienced teacher and has completed her BSc and MSc(Hons) at University of Waikato. She worked in the Biology teaching labs and in research at the University of Waikato for a number of years.