Medical Council Announces Leadership for 2024

Media releases

At its first meeting for 2024, held yesterday, Te Kaunihera Rata o Aotearoa | The Medical Council of New Zealand elected Dr Rachelle Love as its new Chair and re-elected Mr Simon Watt as Deputy Chair.

“Both members bring a wealth of experience and commitment to their roles, setting a promising tone for the Council's future”, says Chief Executive Officer, Joan Simeon.

Dr Rachelle Love (Ngāpuhi, Te Arawa), is an otolaryngology, head and neck surgeon from Ōtautahi Christchurch.

Responding to her election, Dr Love emphasised, "Effective communication, relationship-building, and adaptability are crucial for navigating the evolving medical landscape. I am enthusiastic about contributing my energy to lead the Council."

Commenting on his re-election, Simon Watt stated, "I am honoured to continue serving as Deputy Chair and contribute to the challenges and dynamics of the health sector. I am committed to promoting equity in tackling the health sector."

Joan Simeon, the CEO of the Medical Council, commended both leaders, stating, "Dr Rachelle Love and Mr Simon Watt bring unique perspectives and a wealth of expertise to the Council. We are confident in their ability to lead the organisation through an era of significant change and progress in healthcare. Their dedication to positive change aligns seamlessly with the Council's vision."

Joan Simeon recognised the outstanding contribution made by Dr Curtis Walker, who ended his time as Chair, after nine years serving on the Council, five of these as Chair.



At the first meeting of each year, as required by the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003, Council elects a Chair and Deputy Chair for the next 12 months from among the existing Council members.

Dr Love serves as an advisor to the Ear Nose and Throat Training Board within the New Zealand Society of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery.  Dr Love holds membership of the Aotearoa National Committee and the Māori Health Advisory Group for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Dr Love is a Trustee for the Hearing Research Foundation.

Mr Simon Watt continues in his role as Deputy Chair. As a Barrister at Clifton Chambers with expertise in public law, health law, and climate change, Mr Watt's governance experience includes serving as the Chair of the Electricity Retailers Association of New Zealand.