26 March 2013: Former chief executive of Whanganui District Health Board (DHB) and current senior adviser in the mental health improvement group at the Ministry of Health, Memo Musa, is the New Zealand Nurses Organisation’s new chief executive.
Announcing his appointment today, NZNO president Marion Guy and kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku said Musa, who trained as a mental health nurse in the United Kingdom, had a strong nursing and clinical background and a high level of credibility.
“He brings with him a wealth of experience and understanding of nursing, and he believes nursing is critical for the development of quality health delivery services in New Zealand,” Guy and Nuku said.
Musa said he was attracted to the position as it offered the chance to lead a peak professional nursing body. “Nursing is my background. Whether in management or policy roles, I am interested in promoting the profession of nursing, its research, education and professional development, as it is the biggest workforce in health. I am looking forward to taking up this role at a challenging time in the health sector. I want to ensure the nursing profession remains heard and provides leadership at all levels in the health sector.”
He was also attracted to the role because of NZNO’s large and strong membership.
As a manager of health services, he has had experience of working with unions. “I understand the importance of healthy working environments, safe staffing and good clinical and professional practice.”
He believes NZNO’s vision Freed to Care, Proud to Nurse, is a strong foundation for the organisation. “I would like to build on that. My vision for NZNO is to inspire, progress and promote nursing expertise and care through learning and advocacy services. I am looking forward to working with the board and listening to what members want in terms of NZNO’s vision and strategic goals.”
Musa was born in Zimbabwe, completed his academic education in the UK, worked in a variety of mental health nursing and management positions there and came to New Zealand in 1999 to take up the position of general manager, mental health services, at the then Good Health Wanganui. He became chief executive of Whanganui DHB in 2001, serving in that role until July 2008. Since late 2009, he has worked in mental health in the Ministry, assuming the role senior adviser in September 2009. He has, at times, taken on the roles of acting group manager, mental health service improvement group, and acting director of mental health.
He starts work with NZNO in mid-May. He replaces Geoff Annals.