Finance, Risk and Audit Committee Independent Chair

PNZ is very pleased to welcome Conway Powell as the newly appointed Finance, Risk and Audit Committee (FRAC) Independent Chair, as of February 2021. 

Please read Conway's profile below. With FRAC volunteers supporting the PNZ Executive to ensure financial governance and accountability, we are fortunate to have the experience and expertise of Conway joining our other FRAC members.


Ko Conway toku ingoa.

On 9 February 2021, I was  appointed as Independent Chair of PNZ’s Finance, Risk & Audit Committee (FRAC) of PNZ – and I have been asked to let you know my background.

I was trained originally as a plant scientist (PhD from University of Otago) and carried out research work on microbial-enhanced plant nutrition and cut-flower physiology before taking up the role of Research Director of the Invermay Agricultural Research Centre, near Dunedin.

You might wonder why a plant scientist has ended up in the role as Chair of FRAC, but there is a logical (if slightly tortuous) rationale.

Over the last 2 decades, I have held non-clinical executive roles in the health sector including the Southern Regional Health Authority (older physios may remember the heady days of RHAs!). Since 2008, I have held governance/board director roles in health sector organisations, including the Health Research Council, the Nursing Council of NZ, Clutha Community Health Company and  WellSouth PHO.

I have a strong interest in the audit, risk and compliance issues that the Boards of health sector organisations are responsible for - to their clinicians and to the patients and public whom they serve. So, I have ended up as the Chair of Board audit & finance subcommittees for both the Nursing Council and the Health Research Council.

Over the last couple of years, I took on the role of Project Manager within the Dunedin School of Medicine/ Division of Health Sciences at University of Otago. During this time I was fortunate enough to get to know and work closely with several of the academic staff from the School of Physiotherapy on a number of projects.

So, I am now looking forward to working closely with the other members of FRAC, the PNZ Executive and Sandra Kirby & her staff.

Outside of work life, my main passions are in tramping/mountaineering and the export flower growing business that my wife Katy and I own in Wanaka. Katy is a GP and I sometimes escape with her when she is doing GP locum sessions in the West Coast – from Westport down to Haast.  


Page updated February 2021