Committee

Neil Woodhams

Neil Woodhams

President

M:  021 531 654   E:  NBW@xtra.co.nz

Neil Woodhams is the Vice-President of Multiple Sclerosis New Zealand and the President Multiple Sclerosis Auckland. Neil has an extensive career in senior healthcare management at a governance and senior management level. He is a former senior executive of the Midland RHA and was Chief Operating Officer of Auckland DHB 2000-2002. He has also held many positions in management and governance in community and not-for-profit organisations, including Māori and Pacific organisations.

Neil has now been appointed as Trustee of the Multiple Sclerosis New Zealand Research Trust. He is also on the Pharmac Advisory Panel.

Neil’s core interest area is in multiple sclerosis and people with disabilities, both as an advocate and as a carer of his wife, Erin who has MS.

Jan Hollway

Jan Hollway

Vice President

Jan has lived in Howick for nearly 20 years though her working life has been all over NZ, in owning a private training business. Jan has been a director for many years, both in business and the community, a Chartered member of Institute of Directors, and Deputy-Chair of a local arts and culture centre.

Her husband was diagnosed with MS in 2012, and they have been involved with MS Auckland since. Jan volunteered to be on the Committee and support the Society activities to help ensure a sustainable not-for-profit community based service model for members.

Donald Bowie

Donald Bowie

Vice President

I am married to Penny. We have 2 adult children and have resided in Remuera for 33 years.  I have lived with PPMS for 15 years but was only finally diagnosed 4 years ago.  I joined the MS Society to better understand MS and its place in our community. This was significantly enhanced through support provided by the field worker service.

I retired from my career as a business consultant 3 years ago. My work revolved around leading teams through change. I have been involved in manufacturing, distribution, ICT, education, utilities and professional services industries. With most of my career spent consulting on business strategy, operational practices and systems-related investments, my approach to problem solving was highly structured and very commercial. During my career I held leadership roles with Open Systems Specialists, TVNZ, KPMG, and Coopers & Lybrand before becoming an independent consultant

I am an active MS Society member attending two hydrotherapy sessions per week. As such I am in touch with members weekly and have a good appreciation of their needs and wishes.  I have contributed in small ways to Clash of the Hemisphere and Life Buoy events along with a number of other fund-raising efforts.  I am a member of the St John’s Rotary Club and have used this membership to promote MS and generate funds for the Society.

I thoroughly enjoy being part of the MS community and wish to see it thrive. I accepted nomination to the Committee to contribute to the wellbeing and growth of the MS Society and I look forward to supporting the members, staff and volunteers of the Society

 

Peter Wood

Peter Wood

Treasurer

Peter is a Chartered Accountant and a Director in Ingham Mora Ltd, Chartered Accountants in Tauranga.

He is also a Justice of the Peace and a Director of numerous companies and other organisations. He is a respected and trusted advisor to many local business people and is a Trustee of a number of Charitable Trusts.

His wife, Maureen, is a person living with Multiple Sclerosis.

Louise Reed

Louise Reed

Louise is a Barrister specialising in family law and has an interest in relationship property, proceedings concerning children’s issues (including adoptions) and proceedings under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 (in relation to Powers of Attorney, Property Managers and Welfare Guardians).

Louise is a person living with Multiple Sclerosis and was diagnosed in 2008. She is a member of the Zonta Club of Auckland and has held leadership positions in that organisation.

Louise has completed the Auckland Half Marathon and the 50 km cycle challenge in the annual “Bike the Bridge” event in 2013. She has also completed the 20 km challenge of Bike the Bridge several times. Louise is a regular member of the hydrotherapy group at Diocesan school and has been a volunteer collector for the society for the annual Street Appeal. 

Louise enjoys being part of the Committee and working with people who are aware of the issues concerning people with Multiple Sclerosis.

Amit Abhyankar

Amit Abhyankar

Amit has been diagnosed with MS since 2008 and has just had the good news of getting disease modifying drugs this month and is looking forward to better days.

He works in the banking industry in Financial crimes and compliance, having worked many years in relationship banking prior.

His hobbies include playing cricket, traveling the world and having good times with his friends. Saying that he plays cricket weekly and captains their team. He has travelled to over 25 countries and aspires to see one country for every year of his life.

He is a new dad and is looking forward to lots of quality time with his family.

Robert Irving

Robert Irving

Robert is Founder and Engineering Manager of Rex Bionics the company who designed the world’s first hands-free, self-supporting, independently controlled robotic walking device, or in other words robotic legs.

The business came about when Robert was first diagnosed with MS ten years ago. He was explaining to a good friend that he had been diagnosed with MS and he suggested they build robotic legs. Now the company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has helped over 100 people walk again.

The company won the IPENZ Award for engineering innovation in 2013 and Robert was North and South magazine’s New Zealander of the year (science and technology) in 2011.

Robert is no stranger to Multiple Sclerosis as his mother has had it for over 35 years.

Maureen Wood

Maureen Wood

Maureen is a retired Pharmacist with a passion for research into central nervous system diseases.
Before MS she owned and operated two pharmacies, raised four successful children and served on a number of community organisations. Now she just luxuriates and rejuvenates with 11 grandies.
She will always work towards the ‘Cause and Cure of MS ‘believing that the research needs a wider focus to succeed.
Maureen’s husband, Peter is the Treasurer of the Board.

Judith Herbert

Judith Herbert

Judith is a Chartered Accountant and ran her practice until recently. She reluctantly retired when she realised her body wasn’t keeping pace with her brain. Now she is involved in a Fleet Management business and continues to do some accounting work from her home office.

Judith has served on committees for several sporting clubs and also the Life Education Trust. She has 2 adult children, who were at primary school when she was diagnosed with MS. The family lived on a lifestyle block and still has a few alpacas.

During the 26 years since her diagnosis Judith has experienced many different perceptions & attitudes, both good & bad. Greater awareness of MS is something she is keen on. She joined the MS Committee in April 2018.

 

Maxine Pitch

Maxine Pitch

Maxine is a lawyer specialising primarily in Criminal defence work but also handles some debt collection matters.

Maxine was diagnosed in 2015. Prior to diagnosis Maxine had completed a number of full marathons, half Iron Man triathlons and a full Ironman. Since diagnosis she has completed the Bike the Bridge and the Chelsea Harbour swim. A half marathon is on the cards.

Maxine is a member of the Institute of Directors and a director of a couple of companies. She is on the Trust Board of a community organisation.

Maxine is also a regular participant in the hydrotherapy class at Diocesan on a Saturday.

Maxine put herself forward for the committee to participate in raising awareness of the challenges of MS to those who do not have MS but also to further education and support for those with MS.


Peter Tutty

Peter Tutty

Peter’s background is as a graphic designer, having owned his own design studio in the 1990s before transitioning through various art director roles into marketing and working for Navman as their marketing manager. After the company was sold to US interests, Peter moved to Australia and worked under the Telstra banner as their accommodation/sports sector marketing manager until MS tapped him on the shoulder.

Peter was diagnosed with RRMS in 2005 while living in Australia, leaving him 80% blind. He met his wife Kathie in 1996 and they now live in West Harbour with their cat Willow and their dog Bronte. Peter grew up alongside MS as his grandmother also had MS. He looks forward to helping the MS Auckland community.


Julie Adams

Julie Adams

Julie joined the MS Auckland committee in 2019.  Julie was diagnosed in 2005 with RRMS. The same year she also became a Licensed Private Investigator. She continued to work as a PI for 10 years before retiring to look after her elderly mother.

Being fond of motorcycles, Julie used to ride a 650 motorcycle and belonged to the Ulysses motorcycle club, which raised funds for many charitable organisations. She also represented NZ as a ballroom dancer and is a musician, having once played guitar in an all women’s band.

Julie also has a passion for Genealogy and these days will spend many hours investigating the dead. She also does Tai Chi daily, having done so for over 20 years.

Julie is looking forward to her new role on the MS Committee and hopes to help make changes that can help others.


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