In a nutshell?
I was born and raised in Christchurch and I care deeply about the future of this city. I was the CEO of the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) from 2009 to 2020, directly responsible for 12,000 direct employees and working in partnership with a further 9,000 health professionals in the community.
I oversaw the creation of an internationally-recognised integrated health system and also led one of the largest building programmes ever undertaken in health.
The team I led were called to respond to some of New Zealand’s largest disasters including earthquakes, fires, the Christchurch terror attacks, and the Whakaari/ White Island volcano response.
Now is the time to use my experience, and collaborative approach to working with residents, to make my hometown New Zealand’s most attractive and vibrant city.
A bit more about my background
I was born in Christchurch, the third youngest child of 10. I have eight sisters and one brother. I am married to Julie and have three children – Jess, Ben and Kaitlin.
Rugby is in my blood but the talent skipped a generation. My father Bill and uncle Kevin Meates were both All Blacks. I played senior rugby and represented the West Coast as an openside flanker.
I attended high school at St Bedes College, Christchurch, and then studied a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at University of Canterbury (Lincoln College). After graduating I worked as a farm advisor at the Ministry of Agriculture on the West Coast.
During my time at University, I met my wife Julie and we travelled before settling in the UK for 5 years. In the United Kingdom I worked for BhS (formerly British Home Stores) for 5 years, eventually becoming the national marketing manager.
Coming home to New Zealand
- Greymouth – I returned to New Zealand in 1993 to take up the position of General Manager of Greymouth Hospital. One of the earliest challenges was the 1995 Cave Creek disaster.
- Hawkes Bay – I oversaw the controversial rebuild of the Hawkes Bay Hospital, which involved the merger of Hastings and Napier hospitals.
- Northland – For 4 years I was the General Manager for the Northland District Health Board.
- Wairarapa – I spent 4 years as the CEO of the Wairarapa District Health Board.
I am best known for my role as CEO of the CDHB from 2009 to 2020, directly responsible for 12,000 direct employees and working in partnership with a further 9000 health professionals in the community. In July 2010 I was also made CEO of the West Coast District Health Board.
During that time I oversaw the creation of what has been internationally recognised as one of the most integrated health systems in the world.
Greymouth now boasts a modern, state-of-the-art health facility at Te Nikau, and I am proud to have led the development of Kaikoura Health Centre, Burwood Hospital, Christchurch Hospital Hagley, Akaroa, Rangiora, Ashburton, and the Health Precinct.
I am a big picture thinker with particular skills in system thinking and design, leading, enabling and delivering large-scale system transformation including data-driven workflow design, digital platforms and human-centred designed facilities.
People are at the heart of any system I have developed, and I believe in inspiring, motivating and mobilising people to be a part of the transformation
“Now is the time to use my experience, and my collaborative approach, to work with stakeholders to make our city New Zealand’s most attractive and vibrant place.”
Why am I standing for Mayor?
I am truly independent and will listen to the people and communities of our city and wider Christchurch. We need to be able to move beyond the politics and bureaucracy that continue to get in the way of us being able to achieve what this city needs, for its community and its people. There is so much we can achieve together in Christchurch.
Qualifications / Awards
- 2016/17: Completed Advanced Strategy for Directors at INSEAD Business School
- 2016: Awarded INSEAD Business School Certificate in Corporate Governance
- 2015: Canterbury District Health Board win four award categories at Institute of Public Administration NZ (IPANZ) awards -The Treasury Award for Excellence in Improving Public Value, The State Services Commission and Leadership Centre Award for Improving Performance through Leadership Excellence, The Victoria University of Wellington School of Government for Excellence in Public Sector Engagement, The Prime Minister’s Award for Public Sector Excellence.
- 2014: Recognised in the Queens Birthday Honours List as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to health.
- 2011: Awarded the Chair’s Award, New Zealand Medical Association’s (NZMA) highest award, for leading the Canterbury District Health Board’s response to the earthquakes.
Latest posts about David…
Seeds Podcast with Steven Moe Steven Moe interviews David Meates and delves into the upbringing and background that help to make him who he is today. David has had an interesting life and in this conversation we hear about his origins in Christchurch, growing up as the son of an All Black and the impact…
I am standing for Mayor, because I see the huge potential Christchurch and the Banks Peninsula has. At the beginning of this year, I was approached by a wide range of people suggesting I consider standing for Mayor; that there was a strong sense that Christchurch needed a different, independent leadership style to move forward.…