Dr Rachel Brown

Te Atiawa, Ngāti Mutunga ki Wharekauri, Kāi Tahu, Tuahiwi and Kāti Māmoe

Dr.Rachel Brown is noted for her leadership, integrity, and passion for all things Māori and manaaki tangata. She has significant experience in health, social services, research, education, iwi and community experience. She strongly supports kaupapa of mana whānau, whānau ora and equity.  Proud mama of two young men alongside their siblings, which makes her glam maa (apparently too young looking to be called grandma) to 10 mokopuna.

Rachel is the Chief Executive at the National Hauora Coalition (NHC), where she empowers the organisation to support the needs of whānau. NHC is a charitable social enterprise and Aotearoa’s largest Māori-led primary health organisation. The organisation is a lead advocate for Hauora Māori (Wai 2687) through the Waitangi Tribunal Health Services Kaupapa Inquiry (Wai 2575). NHC partners with a wide range of agencies, iwi and industry groups to commission and deliver indigenously designed health and social services to improve health outcomes for whānau Māori and to achieve health equity.

She has previously worked at the Oranga Tamariki and the Ministry of Health as well as across three universities and district health boards, iwi and community. She is a current member of the Māori Monitoring Equity Group set up by the National Screening Unit a member of Pū Manawa (Rheumatic Fever Network, Aotearoa, New Zealand), Rheumatic Fever Guidelines Maori Governance Group.  Rachel is also an advisor and reviewer on various health, education and research committees and still enjoys guest lecturing and being part of research projects.

As she sees it, her purpose is a people cultivator – identifying, supporting and developing people to reach their full potential. She understands there may only be a small window of opportunity, so engagement, connection and relationship are important.  Rachel recognises that being part of people’s lives and journeys is a privilege.

Rachel holds a PhD and a Masters in Health Science. Her PhD stemmed from her son’s journey of dealing with a cancerous brain tumour and experiencing inequities in health. Her areas of interest include Māori, indigenous and Pacific health, equity, qualitative research, people building, education and justice.


National Hauora Coalition announces the appointment of Dr Rachel Brown as Interim Chief Executive.

National Hauora Coalition appoints new leader to navigate health system changes.

He Rangatira Our Leaders

Dr Chellie Spiller

Ngāti Kahungunu

Chellie is a passionate and committed advocate for Māori business development.

Denver Ruwhiu

Ngāti Pahauwera

As an aspiring Māori health practitioner, Denver is on the path to becoming a future Māori health leader.

Te Ropu Poa

Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Te Rino, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu

Ko te kaingākau a te kaiārahitanga

Leadership and commitment

Joanna Hikaka


Dr Joanna Hikaka is a clinical pharmacist and health researcher focusing on equitable access to health services for Māori and developing anti-racist health services.