Our Team

Our leadership team and senior management

Ann Hanson

General Manager

Ann started her healthcare career as a Registered Nurse and Midwife in the United Kingdom.

She Registered as a New Zealand Midwife in 1988 and spent many years practicing Midwifery at Middlemore Hospital, before deciding to move into a management role, and become the Service Manager for Primary Maternity Services for Counties Manukau District Health Board.

While Ann is no longer registered as a nurse and midwife she draws on those skills in her role as General Manager Birthcare, a role she has held sine 2006.

Ann believes that focusing on the continuous improvement of Birthcare services is essential in ensuring women, their babies and their whanau receive a high level of maternity care . She is committed to a process of continuous improvement and supporting the staff at Birthcare in their roles to provide parents with a valued and memorable experience in the first few days of their newborn baby’s life and to support them in their roles as parents.

Angela Wilson

Clinical Midwife Manager – Auckland

Angela has extensive knowledge in midwifery with over 35 years of practice with her 12 years of experience at National Women’s Hospital which saw her grow through a variety of roles.

Angela has worked at Birthcare for 19 years as a midwife, and as the Clinical Midwife Manager for four of these years. As Clinical Midwife Manager Angela ensures the people at Birthcare are provided with exceptional care and compassion tailored to their needs.


Financials Manager

Joanne is an experienced Finance Manager with an extensive background in providing financial expertise across many sectors.

A member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (ACA Designation), Joanne delivers her professional knowledge through the management of final services and systems across Birthcare since 2011.

In 2021, Joanne joined the wider Evolution Healthcare Group and provides financial management of day specialist hospitals across the Auckland region.

Melissa Paekau-McBride

Clinical Midwife Manager – Huntly


Melissa is an experienced profession who brings extensive knowledge and support to Birthcare with her roles as Clinical Manager – Huntly, and Maori Advisor and Cultural Safety Educator. She is on the Maternity Quality Safety Programme Governance Board where her work focuses on the continuing to further overall health outcomes and incorporating the framework of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Melissa has an extensive background in her midwifery field. She has been a Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) for 18 years and is an experienced mentor for rural midwives and MFYP programme, supporting midwives in their learning and development across the greater Waikato region.

Melissa has a strong interest in researching traditional Maori birthing practices and has a focus on bringing these practices into maternity units across New Zealand.

Tainui Te waka
Karioi Te Maunga
Whaingaroa Te Moana
Tainui Te iwi
Ngati Whakmarurangi Ngati Mahanga, Hauora Te hapu
Robert Takotokotahi Paekau Te Koro
Betty Tetana Tehira Te Kuia
Ko Melissa Paekau Toko Ingoa
No Reia Tena Kotou, Tena Kotou, Tena Katou, Katora

Tala Brinsdon

Administration Manager

Tala has worked across a variety of roles in Birthcare for over 17 years. As Birthcare’s Administration Manager Tala manages the administration functions across the maternity hospitals.

With a background in administration and customer expertise, Tala brings a wealth of experience from many different positions across commercial, private and health industries.

She is proud to deliver exceptional care and support for people that come through Birthcare Auckland, and particularly enjoys seeing the journey parents go on throughout their perinatal period.

Claire Bowen

Quality Coordinator

Claire is a Registered Nurse specialising in Neonatal Nursing across both New Zealand and overseas.

She completed her postgraduate study in conflict resolution and mediation skills. Through her study Claire found her passion in focusing on quality improvements within health services to ensure health is patient-centered and that high quality care is always provided. Returning to New Zealand, Claire spent several years working as a Quality Improvement Specialist at one of the country’s largest DHBs.

Joining Birthcare, Claire brings her wealth of knowledge in quality improvement and patient outcomes as Quality Coordinator, ensuring that families within Birthcare are provided continued excellence in the health and wellbeing of all people in their care.

Barbara Taunton-Clark

Lactation and Childbirth Education Manager

Having originally qualified as a registered nurse, Barbara found herself drawn to caring for mothers and babies. She completed her midwifery training in Glasgow before returning to New Zealand where she managed a maternity hospital in Southland.

Barbara successfully sat the International Lactation Consultants Exam (IBCLC) which has led her to provide extensive support for parents as a BFHI Lead Assessor for NZBHA and BFHI Coordinator roles at both Birthcare Auckland and Huntly.

As Birthcare’s Manager of Lactation and Childbirth Education, Barbara provides parents throughout their parenting journey with a range of parenting classes. She provides support to new parents with the establishment of breastfeeding and beyond through compassionate care.

Our Evolution leadership team

Sue Channon

Chief Executive Officer

Sue Channon is an established healthcare industry leader with a well-earned reputation for delivering business excellence and growth. Before her appointment to CEO Evolution Healthcare in April 2020, Sue spent more than 20 years in chief executive roles. She most recently was Group Chief Executive at Virtus Health (Virtus), Australia’s leading provider of assisted reproductive services. Sue joined Virtus as Chief Executive in 2004 and lead the growth of Virtus during private ownership, Australian expansion and a successful listing on the Australian stock exchange (ASX) which saw Virtus become the first publicly listed fertility business globally, followed by accelerated international expansion.

Sue’s track record of establishing and growing new services and attracting and retaining doctors is well known, underpinned by her deep clinical knowledge, particularly within fertility, hospitals and diagnostic services. Sue has a reputation as a decisive and impactful leader whose style is collaborative as she supports her team to deliver improvements in operational performance and business growth.

Stephen Johnston

Chief Operations Officer

Stephen Johnston has held senior management positions in various Australian Healthcare organisations over the past 20 years. Prior to joining Evolution Healthcare as Chief Operating Officer in September 2019, Stephen was a Director at Sydney Adventist Hospital, this position saw him lead a multidisciplinary team in building and developing the supporting staff and infrastructure of one of Australia’s largest Private Hospitals.

During Stephen’s five years with Evolution Healthcare, Stephen has transitioned from the General Manager/DON of Waratah Private Hospital in NSW. Under his direction he commissioned the Rehabilitation Centre at Waratah Hospital including a modern gym and hydrotherapy pool with growth in both inpatient and day rehabilitation services developing the Hospital into its future as the centre for rehabilitation excellence in South/West Sydney.

Ben Thynne


Over the past fifteen years, Ben Thynne has gained significant experience in acquiring, redeveloping and managing private hospitals with a focus of delivering excellence in healthcare. Prior to founding Evolution in 2011, Ben was the Founder and Managing Director of Healthe Care Australia. Under Ben’s management, Healthe Care became Australia’s largest privately-owned network of private hospitals. For several years Ben was a director of the Australian Private Hospitals Association. Ben’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Law and a Graduate Diploma in Finance and Investment. He has been admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland.

Richard Grenfell

Medical Director / Director

With over 35 years as a specialist Anaesthetist, Richard Grenfell founded Boulcott Hospital in Wellington, serving as founding Chairman and CEO. He has been intimately involved in the operational management whilst elevating the medical and surgical capability of the hospital since its inception. Richard stepped down from his role as Chairman in 2005 and as Managing Director in June 2015. He was a Director of Wakefield Hospital from 1989 to 1997 and is currently the Medical Director and a Director of Evolution Healthcare.

Dr Jonathan Coleman

Non-Executive Director

Dr Jonathan Coleman is a former Minister of Health who served nine years as a Cabinet Minister across a range of portfolios. After leaving politics, Jonathan was CEO of Acurity Health Group, now Evolution Healthcare, before joining the Board as a Non-Executive Director. Jonathan holds a medical degree from Auckland University, and his MBA from London Business School.

Matthew Clarke

Chief Financial Officer

Matthew Clarke brings extensive experience providing strategic financial leadership across a portfolio of businesses with over 20 years of experience in finance and commercial management roles across the services and resources sectors. Returning to New Zealand in 2019 after 15 years spent mostly in the UK and Australia, Matthew has previously held senior finance positions with global quality assurance provider Intertek Group, including Group Treasurer in London and most recently Regional CFO based in Sydney.

Alongside our Directors and Senior Management, we have our incredible staff and LMCs working with us at Birthcare. 

Birthcare is part of Evolution Healthcare

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