Board & Governance

"Ko te whakaora, he hīkoi whakāmarama. Māna anō tōna ake ara whakaora e whakarau"

"A journey of discovery where an individual leads their own unique process of moving forwards"

Board & Governance

The operation and direction of Comcare is overseen by the Board of Trustees:



Murray Bain (Chair)

Murray began his working career in the Canterbury Savings Bank, initially leading its computerisation and later the finance and then the banking function for Trust Bank NZ.

Following that organisation’s acquisition by Westpac in 1996 he has held senior management roles across a number of organisations including Assistant Governor in the Reserve Bank, Head of operations for ACC, and CEO of the Foundation for Research Science and Technology and subsequently the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology.

For the last 10 years Murray has been involved in the boards of organisations in various sectors including health, banking, tertiary education, retirement villages and electricity lines companies. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Murray is delighted to be on the Board of Comcare as he enjoys working with organisations that are making a positive difference to people’s lives while also facing the business opportunities and challenges that growth brings in the NFP sector.


Murray Hendy 

Murray Hendy

During his 30 years’ experience as a Chartered Accountant in Christchurch Murray has held senior finance positions within the transport, tourism and health sectors.  During this time, he gained experience in both establishing administration and accounting functions for start-up organisations and managing the financial governance aspects of larger entities.

Recently retired after 10 years with Nurse Maude Murray held the position of Chief Financial Officer over the period 2008-2013.  From 2013 to his date of departure Murray managed the property portfolio and redevelopment of its earthquake damaged buildings and site infrastructure.


Peter Young

Peter YoungPeter Young is a retired partner of KPMG, having specialised in assurance and corporate recovery. After 35 years as a chartered accountant, including six years as managing partner, he left to develop a governance portfolio as a professional independent director, and is now a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors. 

Peter has chaired iconic Christchurch companies such as Steelbro and Leighs Construction Ltd along with a number of provincial and national based companies. He has been very involved with charitable entities including the Order of St John for which he was promoted to Knight and Cholmondely Childrens Home, an ex President and Life Member. 

He is currently chairing Akaroa Health Limited which has established a new medical and aged facility and is deputy chair of Akaroa Community Health Trust.



Sandy Brinsdon

Senior Advisor Health in all Policies, Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand

Sandy has a long history in the health sector in research, funding and policy roles much of that time as an independent practitioner.

Sandy’s current role involves strong collaborations working alongside regional and local government to ensure strategic policy and

decision making improves health outcomes, with a particular focus on reducing inequalities.

Sandy is also a director of the governance company BoardClarity Ltd which offers governance training and support to large NGO’s and companies in New Zealand. Sandy chaired Christchurch Resettlement Services for 10 years, and was on the Papanui High School board for almost 10 years, 4 of those as chair. 


Alex Booker

Mental health and addiction affects many people and I have experienced the devastating effects of losing a close friend. I am looking forward to being part of an important organisation which ensures people who have mental illness and addictions are able to live well within our community.

I have 17 years’ experience as a property development, environment and planning lawyer. I like to make things happen by developing effective strategy and working with relevant stakeholders to achieve consents, permits and access approvals for projects. I’ve been involved in single building projects, complex residential developments and major infrastructure projects.

I also hold a science degree and I’m passionate about business sustainability. I have been actively involved in sustainability initiatives in the workplace and community. I recognise the importance of creating diverse and inclusive cultures and am keen to see boards increase focus on cultural capabilities and understanding, particularly Te Ao Maori and tikanga. 

Mark Newsome

Mark is a Registered Nurse by profession and spent almost all of his clinical career in Emergency Departments both in Christchurch & Australia. He also has a Master of Public Health.

He moved into management and has held senior and executive management roles in District Health Boards in New Zealand and in Australia. He assisted in leading the response to the Swine Flu Pandemic in 2009, the Canterbury Earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, the Kaikoura Earthquake in 2016, and the Covid 19 Pandemic in 2020. Mark has been self-employed since 2017 and has been leading large health infrastructure projects across New Zealand, including Te Nikau Grey Hospital and the New Dunedin Hospital project, amongst others. Mark is currently engaged by the Infrastructure & Investment Group of Te Whatu Ora, in the Mental Health Infrastructure Programme, and is Project Directing across the South Island and Hutt Valley. This current role has immersed Mark in all thing’s mental health, including service planning, models of care and the pivotal role that community-based organisations play in the recovery of tangata whaiora, and he wishes to add value to Comcare to continue this important work. Mark has held 3 other Board positions, all in health-related organisations. 

Jaida Jorgensen

Jaida is recognised as a visionary leader with a long history of executive leadership, underpinned by agile and comprehensive commercial and financial acumen and political nous. Jaida has spent the last 15 years in complex and challenging Government and quasi-Government C level roles, including: organisational redesign; business, culture and technology transformation; CE advisory and coaching; and Board advisory, assurance and capability development roles. Jaida has designed and delivered award winning transformational change in multiple sectors including health, higher education, and insurance.  In recognition of her work with refugee and first nation peoples, Jaida was honoured by the Governor of Victoria in Australia.

Jaida holds post graduate legal and business degrees, and is pursuing an Arts degree in Māori and Indigenous Studies. Currently a Trustee for the National Foundation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and a Board member of Recovered Living NZ – a residential service working with people with eating disorders, Jaida is passionate about giving back.


Dr James Lithgow

As a Psychiatrist working with Te Whatu Ora Waitaha | Health New Zealand Canterbury, I am acutely aware of the significant challenges faces in the community for those experiencing mental illness. As a member of the Board of Comcare it is a privilege to be able to share my awareness with an organisation that has proven it can meet these challenges and is ambitious about tackling the growing need. 

I have always had a curiosity about human behaviour and mental wellbeing. I initially studied Neuroscience at Otago University, where I gained a Master’s degree. This study consolidated my interest and with the aim of practicing psychiatry I embarked on my medical degree at the University of Sydney.  I returned to Aotearoa to practice medicine and have worked in Canterbury and on the West Coast. I completed my psychiatric training in Christchurch, Otautahi where I live with my young family.  I am currently working as an inpatient psychiatrist at Hillmorton Hospital. 

Brooke White


Brooke is an accomplished executive leader and recipient of the Institute of Directors Canterbury Branch First Steps in Governance Award 2023. Currently holding the roles of General Counsel and Chief Operating at Calder Stewart, Brooke brings a wealth of experience and a pragmatic, outcome-focussed approach. 

Passionate about building strong relationships as the foundation for strong organisational and board culture, Brooke is thrilled to join the Comcare Charitable Trust for a 12-month internship and to be part of the important work Comcare does in the community. 

Brooke’s expertise includes aligning organisational strategy with key business drivers, implementing robust enterprise risk management processes, nurturing both financial and human capital, and facilitating sustainable growth strategies.