Head of Department

  Ian Crabtree
Head of College Ian.Crabtree@op.ac.nz

Ian is the Head of College for the College of Health and has been in post since September 2019. He was previously the Head of School for Te Kura Tapuhi - School of Nursing from November 2016. Ian is a UK trained nurse in both adult and children's nursing. He has spent the last 30 years predominantly working in the field of paediatrics within the NHS and his last two clinical posts were Head of Nursing at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and latterly Leeds Children's Hospital. Ian has worked as a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer/Practitioner at a number of Higher Education Institutions - University of Central Lancashire, University of Salford and University of Manchester where he undertook his MSc in Clinical Nursing graduating in 2005. He latterly before moving to New Zealand contributed to Child Health Nursing at the University of Leeds whilst working at Leeds Children's Hospital. Since arriving in New Zealand in 2015 Ian facilitated a Leadership and Management Course for Qualified Thai Nurses here at Otago Polytechnic and before taking up his current position was Service Manager at SDHB within the Adult Surgery Directorate.

View research here

  Karole Hogarth
Head, Nursing Karole.Hogarth@op.ac.nz

Professor Karole Hogarth is the Head of Nursing in the School of Nursing and has 15 years of academic experience teaching sciences in health courses. She has strong research interests in interprofessional education, curriculum development, science education and improving outcomes for Māori learners in health courses.
She is part of several collaborations investigating outcomes from interprofessional education including and international project to provide consistent training for conveners of interprofessional education. Karole currently mentors several doctoral candidates and is the Māori representative of the OPAIC Postgraduate Research ethics committee.

View research here


Amy Simons
Senior Lecturer Amy.Simons@op.ac.nz

Catherine May
Senior Lecturer Catherine.May@op.ac.nz

Chris Hendry
Senior Lecturer Chris.Hendry@op.ac.nz

Cynthia van Ammers
Senior Lecturer Cynthia.vanAmmers@op.ac.nz

  Cynthia Leigh Mullens
Senior Lecturer Cynthia.Mullens@op.ac.nz

Year 3 Mental Health and Sociology for Nurses Coordinator

Cindy obtained her Diploma of Nursing in Charlottesville, VA and worked within inpatient psychiatric facilities and the emergency department after graduating until 2001. An opportunity to work in Relief and Development within Central and South America meant the next few years were spent traveling and working in a variety of resource-poor environments.

She obtained her Bachelors of Nursing through Flinders University in South Australia and worked extensively in Aboriginal Health in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia. Her Masters of Public Health and Tropical Medicine from James Cook University underpins her focus on public health and firmly established her desire to work towards social and equitable health outcomes, both locally and globally.

View research here

Jo Speirs
Senior Lecturer Jo.Speirs@op.ac.nz

  Josie Crawley
Associate Professor Josie.Crawley@op.ac.nz

Josie Crawley
Associate Professor

Josie has worked at Otago Polytechnic since 2000. She is an Associate Professor and her key foci are community nursing and positive constructive education experiences. Her qualifications include an RN from Christchurch Polytechnic, a BA and MEd (Counselling) from the University of Otago, and a GCTLT and certificate Mata a Ao Maori from Otago Polytechnic. Her research interests include communication, learning through narratives, storytelling, health promotion and flexible learning.

Email: Josie.Crawley@op.ac.nz

View research here

Kerry Davis
Principal Lecturer Kerry.Davis@op.ac.nz

  Kimberly Smith
Senior Lecturer Kimberly.Smith@op.ac.nz

I have worked at Otago Polytechnic since 2009 teaching anatomy/mātai tinana & physiology/mātai whaiaroaro based courses across a variety of programmes including Nursing, Midwifery, Occupational Therapy and Beauty Therapy. I am currently teaching such courses within the Bachelor of Nursing and the Enrolled Nursing programmes. I hold a BA in Anthropology and Anatomy, MSc in Anatomy & Biological Anthropology, Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Learning & Teaching and Certificate in Mata a Ao Māori. I am absolutely fascinated by te tinana/the human body and love helping tauira/students understand it and apply this knowledge to their chosen field of practice.

View research here

Laurie Mahoney
Senior Lecturer Laurie.Mahoney@op.ac.nz

  Linda Kinniburgh
Principal Lecturer Linda.Kinniburgh@op.ac.nz

Linda currently manages the Enrolled Nurse programme in the School of Nursing Teaching at Otago Polytechnic since the mid 1980's, she has an extensive nursing practice background and has taken on various management opportunities, and has been Head of School, Nursing from 2005 until 2016. Linda loves working with diverse groups of people and completed her Master's thesis on Treaty of Waitangi education.

View research here

Margaret Pickles
Lecturer Margaret.Pickles@op.ac.nz

  Rachel Parmee
Senior Lecturer Rachel.Parmee@op.ac.nz

Teaching in the Enrolled Nurse programme

Previous experience in all levels of the BN and former post graduate programmes in the school of nursing

Previously worked in Quality Enhancement Centre

View research here

Rachel Sayers
Senior Lecturer Rachel.Sayers@op.ac.nz

Riea Matapo
Lecturer Riea.Matapo@op.ac.nz

Programme Managers / Coordinators / Professors

Anna Askerud
Principal Lecturer Anna.Askerud@op.ac.nz

  Donna Burkett
Principal Lecturer Donna.Burkett@op.ac.nz

Donna Burkett, RN, BN, MHPrac(Child Health), GDTE. Donna is a Registered Nurse with 20+ years of clinical child & youth health experience and several years teaching experience within the world of nursing. Donna joined the School of Nursing team at Otago Polytechnic in October 2018, having completed her BN at OP in 1999 and her Masters in Child Health Nursing in 2015. Donna has worked both nationally and internationally during her career, more recently returning from working in Qatar in the Middle East, where she helped to commission and open a brand new specialty woman and children's hospital, a first of its kind for the Middle Eastern region. Her passion is centered around empowering nurses to strive for excellence in the care they provide, in order to promote improved health outcomes for patients and their families. Donna is excited to be part of some innovative and dynamic research focused on the development of a clinical coaching model within the undergraduate nursing programmes here at OP.

View research here

  Geoffrey Harvey
Senior Lecturer Geoffrey.Harvey@op.ac.nz

Geoffrey has a background of 25 years in acute care nursing. Most of this time has been spent in critical care. He is a Certified Emergency Nurse who is passionate about developing nurse learners within this challenging area.

Geoffrey has extensive international experience, holding registration in four different countries. Geoffrey is the Program Leader for the Competence Assessment Program at Otago Polytechnic and he values the contribution that international nursing adds to the New Zealand healthcare context..

He completed a Master of Nursing in advanced practice degree through the University of Newcastle and is currently working towards a Master of Professional Practice.

View research here

  Jean Ross
Professor Jean.Ross@op.ac.nz

Jean is an Associate Professor and has been working at Otago Polytechnic since 2003. She is a Registered Nurse, holds a BN and a Master of Arts, and completed her Doctorate in 2017.

From 1994-2003, she was co-director of the National Centre for Rural Health and instrumental in the development of interdisciplinary postgraduate nursing education. In 2008, she received the Rural General Practice Network Peter Snow Memorial Award in recognition of her national contribution to rural health care.

View research here

  Liz Ditzel
Professor Liz.Ditzel@op.ac.nz

Professor Liz Ditzel is a Registered Nurse who loves teaching. My career as an educator spans a variety of healthcare and management roles at Dunedin Hospital including Nursing Tutor, In-Service Educator and postgraduate Critical Care Course Coordinator. As a clinical nurse specialising in intensive care nursing, I held a number of practice and leadership roles including Intensive Care Charge Nurse, Nursing Supervisor and Afternoon Duty Coordinator.

As a working mother I balanced part-time work and study completing a Bachelor of Commerce and Master’s degree in economics and management culminating in my appointment as Lecturer in Management at the University of Otago, specialising in human resource management and organisational behaviour. However, still a nurse at heart, my Master's research explored nurse's mentoring relationships, and my Doctoral thesis examined the effect of a psychological sense of community on the level of job stress and burnout among New Zealand nurses.

My teaching philosophy comes from personal experience of being an adult learner and professional training in intensive care nursing requiring ‘quick thinking’ and ‘smart problem-solving’, especially in an unexpected or emergency situation. I am a strong advocate of experiential and constructivist approaches to learning, for example, as a management lecturer I visited local businesses to find opportunities for groups of students to conduct collaborative research with the owner(s). Many of my earlier publications featured case studies originating from this personal community engagement, e.g. R & R Sports; The Seriously Good Chocolate Company.

As a university academic, I supervised 40 research projects, dissertations and theses at Honours and Masters level in management, business, and health disciplines. Research topics included; police stress, team performance systems, self-employed Maori women, female rugby players & family-friendly work places. Research methodologies included quantitative, qualitative and case-study design. I have examined a good number of dissertations and projects at Master's level, and attended research supervisor workshops and mentored several doctoral candidates.

I am an established author and academic reviewer with more than 70 research outputs - book chapters, articles and international conference presentations - published on a variety of business, education and nursing topics. In 2017 I was awarded a Certificate of Outstanding Contribution in Reviewing by the Nurse Education Today journal.

Having returned to nursing education in 2009, my teaching goal is to inspire students to ‘think like nurses’ and equip them with the skills to survive in today’s challenging healthcare environment. Recent research focuses on using creative learning and teaching strategies and mixed-reality technology using HoloLens headsets to develop first-year nurses’ clinical reasoning skills. My personal career highlight was being awarded a National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award by the Minister of Education in parliament in 2017.

I am a currently a member of the Research and Postgraduate Committee, internal ethics advisor to the School of Business and Chair of Otago Polytechnic's Research Ethics Committee

View research here

  Mereana Rapata-Hanning
Principal Lecturer Mereana.Rapata-Hanning@op.ac.nz

Mereana's career at Te Kura Matatini ki Otago began in 1996 and she is currently a Principal Lecturer and Programme Leader within Te Kura Tapuhi | School of Nursing. She is a Registered Nurse and her qualifications include a Master in Nursing and a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Learning & Teaching. In 2017 she was the recipient of a AKO Aotearoa Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching - Kaupapa Maori Award. Mereana's iwi affiliations are Ngati Kurī , Te Aupouri and Te Rarawa.

View research here

Sherie Bell
College Operations Coordinator Sherie.Bell@op.ac.nz

  Suzie Bartlett
Principal Lecturer Suzie.Bartlett@op.ac.nz

Dr Suzie Bartlett
Principal Lecturer/Research Coordinator

Suzie is a Principal Lecturer and the Tresearch Coordinator within the School of Nursing. She has worked at OP since 2012 after spending 17 years working as a clinical RN. She is a Registered Comprehensive Nurse and holds a Masters Degree in Higher Education which includes a research project in the Mental Health Nursing Simulated learning environment. Suzie holds a Doctorate in Professional Practice, her research is focused on the mental health and wellbeing of tertiary learners and the development of a national framework titled SafeMINDed. SafeMINDed is a mental health accreditation system designed to enhance the psychological safety of organisations and workplaces through leadership, ongoing monitoring, support, partnership and workforce education.

View research here


Sharon Buchanan-Letts
Technician Sharon.BuchananLetts@op.ac.nz