Inform, Involve, Influence

What is the purpose of the consumer council?

The Consumer Council has input in to, and may be consulted about, a variety of aspects of health service provision and policy. This input will assist with planning, promoting, and providing services that meet the needs of our community.

The Consumer Council is a strong and viable voice in the planning and provision of health services across South Canterbury. Using the banner of “Inform, Involve, Influence,” the Consumer Council has both a communication role and a quality improvement role, with the focus being on community engagement and the promotion of innovation and best practice.

You can contact the Consumer Council on

The Consumer Council consists of the following members:

Bridget Duff - Chairperson

Everyone’s journey through life is different and everyone deserves the best care possible be it in the health sector or any aspect of their life. I believe that the Consumer Council’s focus of “being on community engagement and the promotion of innovation and best practice” along with the motto of “Inform, Involve, Influence” should hopefully provide us with the platform to make a difference and provide a service in our community.

I look forward to providing a voice for my community during my time serving on the SCDHB Consumer Council.

Joy Sylvia

My background encompasses 30 years experience as a social worker in services such as men's and women’s prisons, CYF, military camp, Family Works and for Corrections. I currently describe myself as an author. I am physically active and have two adult children. I believe I will bring my passion for health and welfare, together with my professionalism, melded with my own working class background to this Consumer Council. Areas of interest: Children and young people, Mental health and addictions services, the elderly consumer, Women's health, immigrant/minority groups.

Dominique Enright

Katrina van den Broeke

Neil Kiddey

Through the many years that it has taken me to become a great-grandfather, I have had several experiences with the health system in South Canterbury. Most have had positive outcomes.

The small number of poor outcomes experienced by our extended family and other consumers resulted in my interest in contributing to the improvements to our SCDHB systems. I believe this is the aim of us all; management, Primary care and DHB staff, and consumers. I also believe that by working together we can make things better.

In my 3 years with the Consumer Council I have worked with a great team of people with a diverse range of skills and experience in both the health sector and the wider community. They have a lot to offer in all areas of the SCDHB activities and it has been a privilege to be a part of the team. Another role is one of two Consumer representatives on the SCDHB Clinical Board.

My own particular skills are in the assessment and audit of operating systems. Procedures and systems are the basis for the continuous improvement of all services, and after a long career in systems audit, I am confident that I can contribute to the collective aim – better outcomes for all.

I have no reluctance to say what I think.  In fact, I have heard people say “Neil talks a lot of ……….”  The last word in that sentence is optional!!

Kylie Douglas

I have been living, studying, working and raising children in the South Canterbury for over 10 years. Most of my work experience is in the aged care sector. I have been a volunteer for victim support since 2015. I have completed a diploma of community services from Aoraki polytechnic and I have also gained a Social Work degree from Otago University, through distance learning.

I have been involved in some community research and community-led development projects. In 2011 I initiated the development of a local Community Garden and orchard, I am proud to still be involved in this project. For fun I enjoy joining in the Matariki festival, performing with the community kapa haka group and I am learning how to weave harakeke.  I am hoping to utilize my experience, knowledge and community links in the role of consumer council member to contribute a consumer perspective to the development of SCDHB services.

Julie Patterson

I joined the Consumer Council to be a voice for those that can’t speak for themselves. Having had personal experience with the health system both here and in Australia and with my 89 year old Dad as well, I felt that I had something to contribute to improve things and that we could learn from others.

I now live in Timaru with my husband Terry and our two rescue dogs and rescue chickens. Our children have flown the coop and two of the three are happily living overseas. I came from a 26 year career in helping people in the community, where I’ve never been scared to speak out but have challenged the norm and fought for the underdog. I’m a see something, do something type of person too. I like challenges and in 2021 will be re-training for a year at our local ARA Institute, so that I can go back into the workforce with a totally different career.

I see my time on the Consumer Council being an extension of my previous career, along with a good dollop of common sense, life experiences, practical thinking and much more. I look forward to the future and working for the South Canterbury people and hope that my endeavours will contribute to the overall success of the South Canterbury District Health Board.

Jill Merritt

Having become a new member for the Consumer Council, l hope l can bring a passionate voice for the community, representing the greater South Canterbury area from Twizel to the Rangitata Bridge.

I am now in a position where l permanently care for my aged mother and have seen first-hand all the wonderful and widespread services that are available to the aged.  The problem in the past has been educating the consumer of the existence of these services and in many cases encouraging them to utilize these. We all want better health and in many cases just visiting our GP is not sufficient to still leading and enjoying a quality life in those golden years.

I hope to be a voice for the meek and hidden consumer in our wider community.

Andrew Humphrey

Kiwi by birth, Timaruvian by choice. In my role as a Medical Laboratory Scientist for over 30 years I have discovered that I know nothing. By asking questions I have helped people express their ideas and opinions, and help them get the answers to their own questions. I have been fortunate to experience the professional care and expertise of the staff at both Timaru and Christchurch Hospitals. As a consumer of the SCDHB services I hope I can encourage and support other consumers in helping the DHB provide the best care possible.

What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people!

Gareth Ford

Kia ora katoa

Growing up in the Upper Clutha Wanaka area was a great start to life, finishing my schooling at St Andrews College in Christchurch. I then followed in my great grandfather’s footsteps, becoming a butcher.  For more than a decade I served my community as a volunteer firefighter, representing New Zealand twice at the World Firefighter Games and at the Ground Zero commemorations in New York. I also sat as vice chair of the Hawea Community Association for several years, working alongside the Queenstown Lakes District Council. My busy work life was complemented by my love of the great outdoors and adventure sports, including 20 years of motor sports at national and international levels.

My life was turned upside down in 2009, when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I crashed and burned, thinking life was over but after picking up the pieces of my life I moved to Timaru, gaining qualifications in Mental Health and Addiction.  I’ve since served on the SCDHB Community Public Health Advisory Committee, soaking up information and learning the daily workings of our Health Board.

Having seven children that range from 21 down to 7 keeps me busy and in touch with our youth and my fiancé is employed in Aged Care and keeps me informed with what is happening for the older members of our community.

I enjoy meeting people hearing their stories, concerns and achievements also like to treat people as I would like to be treated no matter of their age, race or sexuality or circumstances.