Find out more about the Waikato Bay of Plenty Division of the Cancer Society.

Annual Reports and Financial Statements

Meet our Board

Our Board members come from a range of backgrounds and bring a variety of skills, knowledge and experience to the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society. They live across the region, and volunteer their time and expertise to support the Cancer Society. 

Ten years of support celebrated at Cancer Societys Lions Lodge

Jim Primrose (Chair)

Jim has extensive experience in leading and contributing to change in the New Zealand primary health sector. For 15 years he was a general practitioner based in Hamilton and then held a number of senior health management roles before being appointed a Chief Advisor with the Ministry of Health - a position he held for eleven years. 

Jim has consulted internationally on health care and represented New Zealand at World Health Organisation conferences. He has also held regional and national governance roles and provided consultancy/advisory services to several New Zealand District Health Boards. He is a member of the Institute of Directors.


Karen Bennett

Karen has a background in journalism and public affairs with extensive experience in the private and public sectors, including health and local government in New Zealand and Australia. She has run her own management consultancy and worked in-house for large organisations communicating business strategy, enhancing stakeholder relationships and managing risk. She is currently manager of the CE’s office at Waikato Regional Council with responsibility for strategy, stakeholder relationships, climate change response and sustainability. She has a particular interest in forging partnerships and collaborations that aim to improve environmental, social, cultural and economic wellbeing.


Maurice Gianotti
(BA, MPP, Dip Ed, Dip Teaching, NZTCC, Member of NZ Order of Merit, 1990 Commemoration Medal)

Maurice retired to Taupo following a career in the public service where his roles included chief executive of the Education Review Office, assistant state services commissioner, deputy head of the Parliamentary Service and founding complaints investigator of the Accident Compensation Scheme. Maurice has recently held the chairmanship of the Lake Taupo Hospice Trust and the Taupo Primary School Board of Trustees, and he also sits on the National Board of the Cancer Society of New Zealand.


Tony Kinzett

Tony brings a wealth of investment and financial management knowledge to the Board, having recently been CEO for 15 years at First Mortgage Managers. Over the years, Tony has provided strategic planning and governance in both private and public sectors. He has been a director of AGC Finance and has held other directorships, most recently with First Mortgage Managers for 8 years. Tony has significant expertise in strategic planning, leadership, governance, commercial property, property and development and investment strategy. Tony is also a member of The Institute of Directors in New Zealand.


Hugh Lees

Hugh is a retired paediatrician now living in Bay of Plenty. He studied at Auckland Medical School and trained as a paediatrician at Westminster Children’s Hospital in London and Waikato Hospital, before joining Tauranga Hospital in 1984. During his time at Tauranga Hospital, Hugh was involved in Shared Care Management of child cancer patients with Auckland Starship Children’s Hospital and the management of child cystic fibrosis patients. More recently, Hugh’s roles at Bay of Plenty DHB included Medical Leader Woman, Child & Family Service (2007-2014) and Medical Director and Chief Medical Advisor (2014-2020).


Sally Powdrell (LLB Hons)

Sally graduated with a law degree from Auckland University. After initially practicing in Auckland, Sally moved to Tauranga in 1982 and joined the legal firm Cooney Lees Morgan. She has been a partner of that firm since 1986. Sally has been advising entities operating in the primary health sector for over 20 years and it is an area of practice of particular interest to her. Sally joined the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Division Cancer Society Executive in 2014.


Alan Pracy

Alan is a director of Colliers International in Hamilton and has significant experience in property and development. He is involved in both the day-to-day business operation and the direction and strategy of the business. Alan is a respected member of the local property community and has often been asked to advise councils, Iwi, corporate and various private entities around property projects.


Ellyn Proffit

Originally from the East Coast- Gisborne, Ellyn now resides in Waikato and works as a clinical nurse specialist supporting 12 – 24-year-olds with cancer in the Midland region. Prior to this, she was a registered nurse in Waikato Hospital children’s surgical/oncology ward, with the added role of oncology shared-care nurse, which involved providing clinical care, education and support to children aged 0 - 16 years and their whānau. Ellyn has been an avid volunteer and provided nursing support for Camp Quality for nearly 20 years and CanTeen over the last decade.


Ruth Ross

Ruth has a background in human resources and health and safety management. Ruth has felt the impact of cancer on both of her parents. She is a passionate supporter of the Cancer Society and is interested in ensuring the society is positioned to continue to provide services that are relevant for the community into the future. Ruth works for HealthShare Limited in a regional health workforce planning and development position as well as providing human resource consultancy services.


Matt White

Matt is a partner at PwC and leads the Waikato Assurance practice. After graduating from Waikato University he joined PwC in Auckland and subsequently worked with PwC in Indonesia, Switzerland and Papua New Guinea before returning home to Hamilton.


Helen Carter (Chief Executive Officer)

Helen Carter joined the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society as chief executive in August 2022. For over 20 years Helen has helped organisations find ways to grow and sustainably achieve their mission. Early in her career, she was involved with marketing some of the most recognisable global consumer brands, before making the transition to working in the non-profit sector. Helen led marketing and fundraising for World Vision NZ (including their iconic 40-hour Famine campaign) for eight years and more recently has experience in workplace wellbeing and development. Helen also serves on the Hamilton Multicultural Services Trust, which provides wrap-around services to refugee and migrant communities.  

Last updated: March 1, 2022