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About the team

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Meet the team behind the Time for Change - Te Hurihanga change programme.

Toni Gutschlag, Executive Director


Toni Gutschlag

Executive Director Mental Health, Addictions and Intellectual Disability Services, Southern DHB


Toni Gutschlag’s first experience working in mental health was as a social work student on placement, and she enjoyed it so much she's continued to work in the sector ever since. After practising as a mental health and addictions social worker for around five years, Toni moved into project work and planning and funding roles. These involved implementing changes to Canterbury's community mental health system, including a deinstitutionalisation project.  

Toni subsequently spent seven years as the General Manager for Canterbury DHB’s Mental Health and Addictions Division, before becoming the Ministry of Health’s Group Manager for Specialist Mental Health and Addiction Services. While at the Ministry, she provided intensive support to DHBs that required assistance developing their mental health and addiction systems. This led her to Southern DHB, where she joined the team as Executive Director in February 2022. 

Having lived and worked through the Christchurch earthquakes, Toni has experienced the way in which mental distress can affect everyone in a community. Her social work background has given her an understanding of how systems work and how they impact on people’s wellbeing. She is passionate about the power of collective effort, enabling and supporting others to make continuous and sustainable improvements - these, in turn, support and enable people experiencing mental distress to live well and access support when and where they need it. 


Mata Cherrington

Mata Cherrington (Ngāti Hine, Te Kapotai, Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Pakeha)

Chief Māori Health Strategy and Improvement Officer, Southern DHB


Mata Cherrington returned to the Southern DHB in February 2022, after leaving to have her first tamaiti in 2013. She has worked within a variety of communities and sectors throughout Aotearoa, assisting in organisational development, strategy and governance training.

With a strong passion for improving hauora outcomes for whānau Māori, Mata believes in identifying our shared values, principles and knowledge so we may all contribute our respective taonga to improve wellbeing for all communities in Southern and across Aotearoa.

Mata brings with her experienced leadership gained through her time in the military and in the corporate sector, and most recently as the Kaihautū/CEO of an Iwi hauora provider in Murihiku.


Chris Crane, Programme Manager


Chris Crane

Programme Manager, Time for Change - Te Hurihanga


Chris Crane has worked in the health sector for more than four decades, first as a clinical perfusionist at Dunedin Hospital, before moving into quality and performance improvement, contract management and national portfolio management roles.

She has expertise in leading sector-wide health system reforms in Otago and Southland, in developing new roles and teams, and in designing and managing projects and programmes such as the nationwide Service Specifications Framework.

Since 2020, she has been a member of the Te Hau Toka Southern Lakes Wellbeing Group, which was set up in response to community-wide mental health impacts as a result of COVID 19.

Chris is driven by a desire to improve outcomes for those who need health care, to improve equity and to ensure healthcare providers are doing the very best they can with the resources available to them. She is passionate about making improvements to health services to better support Southern tāngata whaiora, whānau and communities.


Steve Bayne, General Manager


Steve Bayne

General Manager Mental Health, Addictions and Intellectual Disability Services, Southern DHB

Steve Bayne is a registered comprehensive nurse who began his training as a psychiatric nurse at Cherry Farm in Dunedin, later working as a Psychiatric District Nurse in the community. 

After a stint working for the community provider Pact, Steve returned to Southern DHB as Service Manager of Specialist Mental Health Services, a role he held for more than 13 years. He was recently appointed to the General Manager of Mental Health, Addictions and Intellectual Disability Services after serving in the role in an acting capacity for nine months. 

Through his experience supporting tāngata whaiora in an institutional environment and within the community, Steve was able to see firsthand the positive impacts of community-based care on people’s wellbeing. It is important to Steve that MHAID services effectively support people living in the community and meet their individual needs in a seamless way, and that there is continuity of care whenever people need to come to hospital. He feels passionate about working in partnership with tāngata whaiora, their families and their support networks to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. 


Adell Cox

Adell Cox

Senior Clinical Psychologist and Director of Allied Health – Mental Health, Addictions and Intellectual Disability Services (MHAIDS), Southern District Health Board

Chair, Te Hau Toka Southern Lakes Wellbeing Group

Adell Cox is a highly qualified and experienced lead clinical psychologist and, as Chair of the Te Hau Toka Southern Lakes Wellbeing Group, is strongly committed to working with healthcare professionals and the community to facilitate and support wellbeing initiatives. 

She is now a Director of Allied Health for the Southern District Health Board after working for 23 years as a clinician and then as a Professional Lead in Clinical Psychology.

Adell is well versed in local issues, having worked as a clinician across the Queenstown Lakes district for several years.  She is passionate about engaging with people from all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities, listening to different viewpoints and facilitating meaningful change to keep our communities well.


Evan Mason

Dr Evan Mason (Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Ngāti Porou)

Medical Director – Mental Health, Addictions and Intellectual Disability Services (MHAIDS), Southern District Health Board

South Island Alliance Co-Chair

Evan Mason first joined the DHB in 1994 as a house officer. After completing his registrar training and qualifying and practising as a psychiatrist, he was appointed Clinical Leader and then Medical Director of MHAIDS. 

Evan was drawn to psychiatry because of his own personal experiences of anxiety and depression as a student, and is motivated by a desire to work with people in an integrated and holistic way to help them feel better.

In his leadership role, Evan works to make improvements to the health system so it serves people better. He is focused on contributing to positive health and wellbeing outcomes for tāngata whaiora, and finds it especially rewarding to see people receiving inpatient care become well enough to return home. 


Heather Casey



Heather Casey

Director of Nursing - Mental Health, Addictions and Intellectual Disability Services, Southern DHB

Heather Casey has worked at Southern DHB for more than 20 years, playing a significant role in mental health nursing, research and teaching, and providing clinical service input in the development of local and national policy.

A strong advocate for the credentialling of primary care nurses in mental health and addictions, Heather has also been instrumental in developing the role of mental health nurse practitioner at Southern DHB, mentoring and supporting nurses with leadership potential. Heather believes nurses make a significant difference to peoples’ experiences of mental illness, addiction and intellectual disability, and her desire to improve the wellbeing of tāngata whaiora underpins her practice.

In 2019, Heather won an Australia and New Zealand Health Service Award in recognition of her exceptional contribution to mental health service delivery. She is a member of the Health Quality and Safety Commission’s National Mental Health and Addictions Quality Improvement Programme Leadership Group, and a past president and fellow of Te Ao Maramatanga, the College of Mental Health Nurses in New Zealand.