James Kahu Allison (he/him)

Chief Digital Officer, Canterbury DHB & West Coast DHB (Poumatua Matahiko)

"The people – passionate people about doing great things."

A brief mihi about yourself

Born and bred in Birkenhead, Auckland’s North Shore. Semi-indigenous (part Māori) I whakapapa to the North (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Manu) on my birth-father’s side. My partner Susan and I have seven tamariki between us with two moko’ and two more on the way. Our eldest and third eldest girls live in London, everyone else is in Aotearoa.

Growing up what did you want to do for a job and did you ever see yourself working at Te Whatu Ora?

The first job I can remember wanting to be a bulldozer driver, and then for years it was a teacher. Eventually I decided I wanted to get into working with computers (this was way back when they took up a whole floor and very people knew what they were i.e. the PC had not been invented!); then somewhere along the way I worked out I was working with people not computers and developed softer skills. DHB was not something on my radar until later in life when I and my parents both needed them.

What was your journey of getting to work at Te Whatu Ora?

My IT career started in IT Banking, then Retail, then Telecommunications; then decided I wanted to work where I felt I was contributing to something more meaningful, so St John and then Health. I was working at Mahitahi Hauora in Whangarei, primary health entity working with Northland DHB, when the opportunity here arose.

What attracted you to work at Te Whatu Ora?

The opportunity – I had heard great things about the South Island and the Canterbury DHB ICT ecosystem, and the things that had been achieved here that were not available elsewhere in the country. 

What’s something you love about being part of Te Whatu Ora?

The people – passionate people about doing great things. There’s a largely new leadership clearly focused on lifting the capability, leading from a strong sense of values, and driven to achieve more for the people of Canterbury and beyond. There’s recognition of the challenge, especially with our financial constraint, with a commitment to achieving success together.

What do you love about living and working in Ōtautahi?

I am enjoying inner city living – that’s not something I have experience before outside of holidays. The dining options are exceptional – Susan is more the foody than me, but I could eat.

What advice do you have for someone contemplating a career at Te Whatu Ora?

Haere Mai – Welcome. There are great opportunities across a wide variety of ICT careers, and growth challenges that will keep you learning and engaged for years of advancement.

Back to Our Kaimahi

Be part of something great

A World Leader in Health Care