Otago and Southland Division Board Members


Neil Boniface QSO  (Chairperson)

Neil has had forty years governance experience with community organisations, business and local government. Neil serves as a Councillor on the Invercargill City Council chairing its Finance and Policy Committee. Neil is also a company director serving as chair of Electricity Invercargill Ltd, PowerNet Ltd and OtagoNet Ltd. Neil also chairs Invercargill Venues and Events Management Ltd. Neil is a chartered fellow of the Institute of Directors.  The community organisations Neil is involved with include Invercargill Citizens Advice Bureau, Southland Warm Homes Trust and he is a Justice of the Peace.  Neil’s involvement with the Cancer Society began back in 2002 when he chaired the Southland Relay for Life fundraising committee. Neil stated “I’m excited about the opportunity to make a contribution to the Cancer Society”.


Chris Staynes (Deputy Chair)

Chris is a third term Councillor and Deputy Mayor. A long term resident of Dunedin, Chris was General Manager of the Fisher & Paykel Range and Dishwasher plant in Mosgiel for 20 years. Chris is currently a non-executive Director of Scott Technology Limited, Chair of the Cargill Enterprises board and is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand (NZIM). 

He is past Chair and Life Member of the Otago Chamber of Commerce, currently serving as a co-opted Director.  He has served as a Director and President of the Otago Southland Manufacturers Association, a trustee of 4Trades Apprenticeship Training Trust the OSMA Trust and is the Councillor representative on the Otago Museum Trust Board.

In 2006 Chris was named Business Personality of the year at the Westpac Otago Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

Ken Bowie

Ken Bowie works as an accountant and is married with 2 adult children, and lives in Invercargill. "I am a cancer survivor and have been cancer free for over 11 years. As a cancer patient I was appreciative of the advice and support available from the Society. I have been involved with the Cancer Society since I was diagnosed and have been on the Otago and Southland Board for over 8 years. I am also on the Invercargill Relay For Life Organising Committee (since 2001). Being a part of the team that provides such a service is hugely satisfying and it is important that everybody is aware of the assistance available should they require it. I am proud to be involved in helping others with cancer, and look forward to the continuing expansion of services within the southern region."


Professor Rob McGee

Rob McGee received his PhD in psychology at the UNSW in 1977. He came to the University of Otago in Dunedin in 1980 as Deputy Director of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, a long-term study of individual development and behaviour from birth to adulthood. He was Principal Investigator in the area of child and adolescent mental health, and positive youth development from 1980 to 1990. His research interests in the DMHDS have included the epidemiology of mental health problems; mental health and reading disability; the development and determinants of self-esteem; and health compromising behaviours. He is currently Professor in Health Promotion in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, where he teaches in health promotion and convenes the postgraduate student research programme. His research interests include tobacco control (as an investigator in the Cancer Society Social and Behavioural Research Unit), programme evaluation in health promotion, and the health and well-being of adolescents and young adults.

Louise Bremer

I am a Medical Oncologist working at Southern DHB. I initially completed a BSc(hons) in Microbiolgy at Otago University in the 1980's before travelling and working overseas for three years. On return to NZ my husband Phil and I settled in Nelson, where our two children were born. At age 30, with our young family, we returned to Otago and I began my medical training, graduating MBChB in 2001. I completed specialist training in both Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology through Dunedin and Christchurch hospitals. I have previously worked as a Consultant Physician for Internal Medicine and have also spent time working in palliative care with Otago Community Hospice. I enjoy the continued learning that is part of the discipline of Medical Oncology and I value the clinical relationships which can be developed with people and their families undergoing cancer care. The strength of support offered by the Cancer Society is greatly valued by Oncology staff and patients and I am delighted to be able to join the board to help contribute to the society's work.


June Porter-Mills QSM

I retired in December 2013 after 29 years working for the Otago and Southland Division of the CSNZ. Over those years my role as a fundraiser and project manager provided me with the opportunity to organise events and income streams both divisionally and nationally. Prior to working for the CSNZ I worked as Manager for Glenfalloch Gardens and from 1958-1980 worked for NZBC and DNTV2. During that time I worked for four years in radio and 18 years in television with the last 10 years of my time in DNTV2 as a PA and News Director. I am a Rotarian and have been for 19 years, I have also been a trustee for Trade Aid for 3 years. Media and politics are two of my many interests. It is a privilege to be able to bring my operational knowledge and skills to the Board and to an organisation whose purpose and services I believe deeply in.


Linzi Ebbage-Thomas

Untitled5Linzi runs an Organisational Development Consultancy for a number of local, national and global organisations offering consultation, facilitation and executive coaching.  Her areas of expertise cover a wide range of areas, including:  Organisation Development, Coaching, Change Management, Conflict Resolution, Behavioural Interviewing, High Performance Team Development, Performance Management, Succession Planning and Accelerated Leadership Development.

An experienced Human Resources professional, Linzi has an M.Sc. in Human Resources Development. She has worked in Human Resources roles for the British Army, a National UK Recruitment Company, a Global Investment Bank and an international retail brand. In New Zealand she has successfully created and operated hospitality businesses, consulted to Sheffield Ltd and the Mental Health Foundation of NZ. Linzi brings a sound understanding of how human resources practices can make a difference to an individual, team and organisations. Linzi involvement with the Cancer Society came through her Mum’s journey with cancer.  She is a passionate believer in the difference the Society can make to individuals and their families.

Judy Bevin

JB 06 webJudy, a chartered accountant, has various governance roles including Dunedin NZ Masters Games Trust, Dunedin Railways, Otago Medical Research Foundation, Southern Demonstration & Research Farm and St Clair Golf Club, and past chair of the Audit & Risk Committee, Sport Otago. Judy contracts to various clients as a business advisor, and gained her business skills with a long career with CRT/Farmlands as CFO/Financial Controller.   Judy considers it a privilege to be a member of the Board of a wonderful organisation/team who help so many that are affected by cancer.