Diversity Ball 2015: Viva La Vida – Live Your Life

Geraint and Buckwheat
Geraint and Buckwheat

On 8 August, we held our annual diversity ball, and it was wonderful to see over 700 people at the Langham Hotel in Auckland. It was a fantastic evening and a reminder of the vibrancy of our culture and the fun we have as an organisation. As I looked around the room, I was reminded of the many countries, cultures and backgrounds that make up Team Counties. It’s this diversity that is our strength and makes up the mosaic that is South Auckland and Counties Manukau.

It was a great night, made more memorable by the company of Buckwheat, New Zealand’s best drag queen and co-MC for the night. As you can see from the photo, Buckwheat, and I hit it off! In the absence of my wife, Buckwheat was a great companion for the night.

A big thank you to Anne Fitisemanu and her team, for organising a fabulous evening. It was great to come into work on Monday and see people still buzzing from the weekend. From the comments we received, it’s clear that everyone had a great night. One thing I can be certain of is that CM Health staff know how to party! The good news is the organising committee already has some ideas for next year. In the meantime, you can check out the photos from the night at www.diversityball.co.nz.

The other day I came across a video, which got me thinking about how we approach diversity. This video is humorous and serious at the same time and sparks some good conversations about what happens when one person highlights cultural differences in an offensive way – whether the individual intended to do so or not!  Watch the video below.




Author: Geraint Martin

Geraint Martin was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Counties Manukau DHB in December 2006. It is one of the largest District Health Boards in New Zealand and services a population of half a million. He has significant experience over 30 years in national policy & in managing both primary and secondary care . Previously, he was Director of Health and Social Care Strategy at the Welsh Government .He authored a radical 10 year strategy of reform, including the successful “Saving 1000 lives” Campaign.Until 2004, he was CEO at Kettering General Hospital & had held senior positions in London & Birmingham.He has worked closely with clinicians in improving clinical standards,patient safety,chronic disease management & managing acute care to reduce hospital demand.In NZ, He has promoted clinical quality and leadership as central to improving patientcare. This has led to a significant increases in productivity and access, whilst maintaining financial balance. CMH has completed in 2014 a $500 m capital redevelopment programme, the largest in New Zealand. A central part of this is the establishment of Ko Awatea,the Centre for Innovation and Research which will underpin CMH as one of the the leading health systems in Australasia.In 2008, he chaired the Ministerial Review of Emergency Care in New Zealand, and in 2013 was an member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Health Sector Performance. Geraint has an MSc in Health Policy from Birmingham University .His post-graduate work has focused on health economics and Corporate Strategy . He is adjunct Professor of Healthcare Management at AUT and Victoria University, Wellington Elected in 2006 as a Companion of the Institute of Healthcare Management, previously he was an Associate Fellow at Birmingham University.He is is Chair of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, a member of the Institute of Directors, on the Board of the NZ Institute of Health Management & previously the Board of The NZ Health Quality and Safety Commission.

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