Our People

Claire Tahu

Council Chair

I completed my dietetic training in Cardiff, Wales before moving to South London for my first new graduate role in 2001. This role provided me with experience of working with a broad range of clients, before I moved into a specialist role in cardiothoracic and then renal dietetics. I left my role temporarily in 2007 for a twelve month career break in New Zealand to work as a Renal Dietitian at Middlemore Hospital.  After returning back to the United Kingdom for five months I realised that New Zealand was where I wanted to be, so I jumped on a plane and headed back to take up the Section Head Role for Outpatients at Middlemore in 2008 and have been here ever since, moving into my current role as Associate Director Allied Health Nutrition & Dietetics approximately five years ago. When I am not working or studying, you can find me out on the West Coast of Northland, relaxing with my family.

I bring strong leadership skills, engagement and networking experience and health sector knowledge to the new skills-based Council.

Paul Rigby

Council Deputy Chair

After completing my dietetic training in Wellington, I moved through several clinical roles at Hutt Hospital.  Since February 2014 I have been the Professional Leader for the Nutrition and Dietetic Service for Wairarapa and Hutt Valley DHBs.  I continue to provide care to medical inpatients and head and neck cancer patients post treatment.  Outside of work I enjoy: convening a Book Discussion Scheme book group, running, participating in practical philosophy classes and yoga.

I was elected to the then Executive Committee some years ago as the Wellington regional representative.  I bring a range of diverse skills and experience to the new skills-based Council including leadership, policy/governance, engagement/networking, financial acumen and health sector knowledge.

Deb Sue

Council Finance & Risk Sub-Committee Chair

During my career I have had a range of roles which I feel has given me the opportunity to understand some of the requirements and demands of a dietitian in different settings.  I started off as a clinical and community dietitian in Wanganui, a paediatric dietitian at Starship Children’s Hospital and in London, Careline Manager at Nutricia, and I am now currently the Tick Programme Manager at the Heart Foundation. I enjoy being involved with Dietitians NZ as I really feel that it’s important for us to advance our profession and be recognised as the experts in nutrition.

Whilst I was originally elected as the Auckland regional representative, I bring to the new skills-based Council, knowledge of the breadth and depth of the profession, marketing, communication and media experience, and financial acumen.

Jane Cartwright

Council member

I believe in helping people to stay well and manage their health care. I was appointed as the Canterbury DNZ representative to Council in April 2015. Since graduating in 1985 I have worked in NZ, the UK and Saudi Arabia in a number of clinical and management roles. I undertook further study and moved into executive and governance roles where my skills as a dietitian underpin how I work whether it be funding or contracting for services or working with staff.   I have a strong commitment to working in partnership with communities especially those who face disparities. Family life with two busy hungry teenage sons keeps me grounded.

I was originally elected as the Christchurch regional representative and I bring governance experience, planning skills and experience working with the state sector to my role to the new skills-based Council.

Annette Nistor

Council member

I live and work in provincial Nelson as a Consultant Dietitian specialising in older adults, athletes, families and ACC clients. I also manage a large community complex and facilitate the Senior Chef programme in the region.

My experience in Governance goes back 20 years and includes memberships on the boards for the Kindergarten Association, Plunket, School Boards of Trustees (including Chair of the Waimea College BOT for 7 years and the Executive Committee for Dietitians NZ, including being a past President. I have also participated working parties for strategic planning, curriculum, awards review and governance.

I am passionate for the future of our association, reflected by my continued voluntary involvement, and bring a diverse of finance; strategic; breadth of practice and governance/policy skills to Council.

Rochelle Hawkins

Council New Graduate Representative

After studying both marketing and nutrition at the University of Otago I worked at Southern Hospitality as part of their social media and website development team. After a year I decided to go on and complete my Masters of Dietetics at Otago and finished in 2015. I then spent some time doing some contract work including rest homes and as an in-store nutritionist for foodstuffs. I am now back in Dunedin working as part of the inpatient team at Dunedin hospital. I have been involved in both the Christchurch and more recently the Southern branch of Dietitians NZ.  I bring enthusiasm for getting students and other new Graduates involved in Dietitians NZ, as well as breath of practice and marketing/comms/media – sales & sponsorship skills to Council.

Rhiannon Jones

Council Te Kahui Manukura o Kai Ora appointee

Kia ora koutou. I finished my training at the end of 2012, and am currently working at Hutt Hospital in a part-time PHO, part-time clinical role. I joined the Wellington Branch committee in 2013, taking a break during 2014-15 while I was overseas. I returned to take up the treasurer’s role for the Branch committee in 2016.  I play an active role in the Primary Healthcare SIG and

I am also keenly involved in Te Kahui Manukura o Kai Ora.

I feel privileged that Te Kahui has endorsed my membership on the Dietitians NZ Council.

I believe the association and its members are vital for the progression of the dietetic profession. I bring finance; breath of practice; advocacy/Influence/policy skills-mix to Council and I continue to look forward to being part of the team revitalising our bi-cultural perspective through the Council to positively influence both Dietitians NZ and its members.  Nga mihi

Claire Schramm

Council member

After finishing my studies in Otago, I launched into my first role as a community/PHO dietitian in Taupo. Most recently I have been in a food industry role at Network Communication PR company in Auckland.  At Network, I was a dietetic consultant within the FoodGroup team, leading food and nutrition campaigns that influence attitudes, build awareness and encourage action. Working across a diverse range of clients and projects gave me great insights into health, nutrition and food issues in NZ and has really shown me the value dietetics has in a number of different settings.

Currently, I am taking a bit of time to see the world, travelling around Europe for the next few months. In October 2016, I will be moving back to my hometown of Hamilton where I will be on the hunt for my next job opportunity. In an environment where Kiwis are more confused about nutrition than ever before, I believe Dietitians NZ has a crucial role to play and I’m looking forward to continuing to be part of that journey throughout my position on Council.  I specifically bring breath of practice and marketing/comms/media – sales & sponsorship to Council.

Cheryl Linge

Chief Executive Officer

Ph: (04) 477 4704 or 027 686 6533
Email Cheryl Linge

Cheryl has been with Dietitians NZ since May 2015.  Previous to joining the association as CEO, Cheryl has had 20 years’ strong leadership experience in strategic initiatives and operational management including 13 years working within the NGO health & social services sector in senior management roles in both mainstream and kaupapa Maori health organisations.

Cheryl’s role as Dietitians NZ CEO is to lead a small but dedicated team to implement Dietitians NZ strategic outcomes.  In particular, Cheryl is responsible for managing all strategic operations which includes financial viability, delivery of member services, health & safety and legislation compliance  and of course manage human resources to ensure Dietitians NZ operates as a good employer.

Louise Beckingsale

Dietetic Communications Advisor

Ph: 021 0221 3165
Email Louise Beckingsale

She is responsible for:

  • Providing professional dietetic advice to the CEO and National Office
  • Overseeing the dietetic content of Dietitians NZ publications and website
  • Providing professional advice to the annual national meeting programme
  • Coordinating Dietitians NZ Position Statements and Public Submissions

Please note that Louise only works 10 hours per week.

If your enquiry is urgent please email admin@dietitians.org.nz

Jacqui FitzGerald

Office Manager

Ph: (04) 477 4701
Email Jacqui FitzGerald

Jacqui is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the main office.

Her responsibilities include:

  • National Office general administration
  • Management of membership services and processes
  • Advertising and partner relationships
  • Ensuring the website is kept up-to-date