Scottish born Derek Wright comes to Waikato DHB with plenty of experience of mental health services, initially as a mental health nurse, then after moving to New Zealand in 1992 as the general manager of Waitemata Mental Health Services. He took up a similar role for North Shore Hospital and in 2003 became regional director of Mental Health and Addictions for the Northern Region. He moved to Australia in 2007 to a job as director of Mental Health Operations in South Australia, but returned to New Zealand in 2012 to be closer to family.
He became CEO for Recovery Solutions (a mid-sized NGO) and more recently set up a private consulting business.
Wright starts his role as executive director of Mental Health and Addictions on 15 February.
Rees Tapsell, who has been acting in the executive director role since July 2015, returns to his role as director of clinical services for Mental Health and Addictions, but will work closely in partnership with Wright to provide the service with an excellent leadership team.