Connecting sixteen medical colleges in Aotearoa New Zealand

CMC represents sixteen medical colleges who provide support to over 9000 medical practitioners working in a range of 34 specialties in the Aotearoa New Zealand health system. Medical colleges are educational bodies responsible for the training, examination and recertification of medical practitioners in specific medical disciplines.

Photo courtesy of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists

CMC is a forum for the medical colleges in Aotearoa New Zealand

The Council of Medical Colleges was established in 2001 to enable member colleges to discuss issues of common interest, to share knowledge, and to co-ordinate college objectives and policies. Through the voluntary, co-operative and coordinated action of our member colleges, we seek to ensure individual medical specialties have a broad base of intercollegiate knowledge. Our Board of Trustees is made up of representatives from each of the member colleges.

Meet our Board of Trustees

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Dr John Bonning


Dr John Bonning is the President of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM). He has been a specialist emergency physician for more than 15 years, and a doctor for 30 years. He was Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Waikato Hospital in Aotearoa New Zealand until 2017 and Chair of the Aotearoa New Zealand Faculty of ACEM until 2018. In 2018, Dr Bonning was elected as the first Aotearoa New Zealand President-Elect of ACEM. He is also Chair of the New Zealand Council of Medical Colleges.

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Dr Samantha Murton

Deputy Chair

Dr Samantha (Sam) Murton is a working Wellington GP and Senior Lecturer and Trainee Intern Co-Convenor at University of Otago, Wellington. She was the College’s first medical director and is passionate about supporting general practice. One of Sam’s goals is to advocate for the profession at a national level, and she does this while maintaining practical experience that keeps her advice relevant and realistic.

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Dr Nat Anglem

Executive Committee member

Tū ake au i te maru o Motupōhue, Tirotiro atu ki te Te Ara a Kewa, Ki Rakiura, Ki Hananui, Ki Tākitimu, Tae noa atu ki te mauka tapu ō Aoraki e tū mai rā.... Tihei Mauriora! Dr Nat Anglem is a Sports Physician from Invercargill, who has lived in Christchurch practicing sports medicine for 20 years. He is part of a multidisciplinary sport and exercise medicine practice as well as having been involved in the performance aspect of sport throughout his life. He has a particular interest in providing health care that recognises the many and varied contributors to wellbeing and performance. Over the last few years, Nat has taken on teaching roles and has had the fortunate position of providing cultural assistance to different groups.

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Dr Iwona Stolarek

Executive Committee member

Dr Iwona Stolarek is currently Vice President of RACMA. Iwona has over 11 years of experience at a senior level of clinical governance both within district health boards and at a more strategic level working as Medical Director for the Health Quality and Safety Commission in New Zealand. Dr Stolarek has focused predominantly on building sector capability and leadership for quality and safety by strengthening clinical governance and clinical leadership.

Helena Haggie

Dr Helena Haggie

Co-opted Executive Committee member

Dr Helena Haggie is of Waikato Tainui and Te Arawa descent. She is a working GP in the Waikato, who also enjoys Urgent Care work. Helena is a member of the RNZCGP's Te Akoranga a Maaui group. Helena joined the Council of Medical Colleges in 2019, as the co-opted member to the Executive.

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Dr André Cromhout

Dr André Cromhout is an Emergency Medicine physician and has been the Clinical Director of the Emergency Department at Wellington Regional Hospital in New Zealand since 2010. André grew up in South Africa, where he completed his medical training and worked in several rural areas. The excitement of being at "the coalface in an ever-changing environment, surrounded by fantastic colleagues" spiked his interest in Emergency Medicine. Dr Cromhout has a passion for patient safety and informed communication.

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Dr Celia Devenish

Dr Celia Devenish, who is originally from the UK, has been a specialist Obstetrician and Gynaecologist consultant for over 40 years and currently practices in the Southern DHB. Celia has been heavily involved in RANZCOG governance and education for many years. She is currently the Chair of Te Kāhui Oranga ō Nuku, Southern ITP Training Coordinator, and sits on many other College committees. Celia is also a Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health at the University of Otago.

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Assoc Prof Susanna Every-Palmer

Associate Professor Susanna Every-Palmer is the Chair of Tu Te Akaaka Roa, the New Zealand National Committee, Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. Susanna, an academic psychiatrist, is the Head of Psychological Medicine at the University of Otago, Wellington and a consultant forensic psychiatrist. In addition to her MBChB, she holds an MSc in Evidence-based medicine and a PhD. She has wide ranging interests including the impacts of climate change, addressing health equity in Aotearoa and advancing research into mental health and addiction issues. Susanna is also an Associate Editor of the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.

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Dr Peter Hadden

Dr Peter Hadden is Auckland-based ophthalmologist who specialises in vitreoretinal surgery and ocular oncology. Born in New Zealand, he graduated from Otago Medical School in 1994 and undertook further training in New Zealand and then in the UK, USA and Australia before returning to New Zealand in 2003. He is also a member of the Health Practitioners’ Disciplinary Tribunal and has been an examiner for RANZCO since 2008. He is most proud, however, of his five children.

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Assoc Prof Chris Hemmings

Chris is a graduate of Auckland medical school and completed postgraduate training in pathology in Auckland and Christchurch. She then worked in Australia for 15 years, returning to CDHB in 2018. She is Director of Anatomic Pathology at Canterbury Health Laboratories and a member of the Clinical Assembly of Te Aho O Te Kahu. Her main clinical and research interests are in the fields of gastrointestinal pathology, rare cancers and tumour biology.

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Dr Jenny Keightley

Dr Jenny Keightley is a recently retired Musculoskeletal Medicine Physician who leads the NZ Association of Musculoskeletal Medicine. Prior to qualifying in Musculoskeletal Medicine, she was a Christchurch GP from 1981 for 28 years. Throughout her career she has been passionate about clinical leadership in health systems and improving equitable access to healthcare. Her goal now is to increase the number of Musculoskeletal Physicians and increase the availability of DHB based Musculoskeletal Clinics, offering access to musculoskeletal pain assessment and treatment throughout Aotearoa New Zealand free of financial barrier.

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Dr George Laking

Dr George Laking grew up in Wellington, and his whakapapa is to Lincolnshire Pākehā on his father’s side, and Te Whakatohea on his mother’s side. He studied medicine in Dunedin and Wellington, before going to the United Kingdom to complete his postgraduate studies. While in the UK, he wrote his PhD on the economics of diagnosis, and his MD on tumour perfusion.

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Dr Gabriel Lau

Dr Gabriel (Gabes) Lau is a Dunedin-based radiologist specialising in diagnostic and interventional radiology. He has held various roles with RANZCR, including Chief Censor. He is currently in his second term as NZ Branch Chair, representing New Zealand’s members in both radiology and radiation oncology at the CMC. Gabes is committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure New Zealand has a sustainable healthcare system.

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Miss Philippa Mercer

Miss Philippa Mercer is a general surgeon at Christchurch Hospital specialising in breast and endocrine surgery. She is also in private practice. She has previously worked in the UK and Ireland. Philippa is Chair of the New Zealand National Board of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), the organisation that represents surgeons in nine surgical specialties and advocates on their behalf for quality surgical standards in the delivery of health care and training.

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Dr Jim Miller

Dr Jim Miller is a public health physician, Medical Officer of Health and Environmental Health Manager for Toi Te Ora Public Health (Tauranga). Jim trained in public health medicine in Yorkshire, England, before spending ten years as a consultant in communicable diseases and environmental health in Scotland. Since moving to New Zealand in 2007, he has continued to focus on health protection, whilst developing interests in leadership, and public health policy development. He currently leads the Toi Te Ora health protection team.


Dr Andrew Stapleton

Dr Andrew Stapleton is the Director of Intensive Care at Hutt Hospital and Chair of the College of Intensive Care Medicine National Committee. He has an interest in using data to better inform strategic planning of health services, and works with ANZICS CORE at HQSC and is on the MoH steering group for national ICU service planning.

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Dr Sally Ure

Ko Sally Ure tēnei. He kairehu ahau. Dr Sally Ure works as an Obstetric Anaesthetist and Clinical Director at Wellington Regional Hospital. She comes from an education and training background, having had college roles as supervisor of training, training and accreditation officer, and acting national education officer. Dr Ure has also previously been a member of the MCNZ Education Committee and is the current Chair of the New Zealand National Committee of ANZCA, where the focus of her tenure is diversity and equity.


Dr Kelvin Ward

Dr Kelvin Ward is the chairperson of the Royal New Zealand College of Urgent Care. He has worked in Urgent Care for more than 20 years and is currently the Medical Director for the Wellington Accident and Urgent Medical Centre. He has a particular interest in the application of Point of Care Ultrasound in the Urgent Care setting. Prior to his appointment to the chairperson role, Dr Ward served on the Executive Committee of RNZCUC in 2015 and from 2018-2021. He is a current member of the MCNZ Professional Conduct Committee.

What we do

We are the unifying organisation and educational support structure for the medical colleges of Aotearoa New Zealand

Meet our staff


Virginia Mills

Virginia Mills was appointed as Executive Director of CMC in June 2020. Previously, she worked as a Senior Policy Advisor for ANZCA, including a stint as Acting General Manager of ANZCA’s policy team. She has previously held roles as a Senior Advisor in the Public Health Unit of the Ministry of Health, and as a Research Assistant at the University of Otago. She is passionate about health equity, has a keen interest in public health, and a Masters of Science in Human Nutrition.


Ali Watt

Ali Watt is the part-time Administrator for the secretariat services for CMC, as contracted by the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine. She holds this role since December 2019, but has over 20 years of extensive senior administration and office management experiences in the health, tourism, sport and marine industry in New Zealand, the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia. She has a keen interest in public health, and most recently an avid (beginner) learner of Te Reo Māori.