New Zealand Law Society - New Chief Legal Counsel for Te Whatu Ora

New Chief Legal Counsel for Te Whatu Ora

Andrew Cordner joined Te Whatu Ora as Chief Legal Counsel at the end of August.

Andrew Cordner.

Educated at Canterbury University and the Duke University School of Law, Andrew’s career took him abroad before he joined Fonterra in 2007. In 2016 he became the company’s Director of Legal, a career highlight that gave him the opportunity to develop the Fonterra Legal Team, with an emphasis on team culture, cohesiveness, collaboration, and development.

“People have to own their development, but they also need mentoring, coaching and people advocating for them to give them the opportunities,” he says.

He’s proud of the outcome, with the Fonterra Legal Team having won awards and becoming recognised as one of the highest performing and collaborative teams at Fonterra and an incubator for talent in the broader Fonterra organisation.

Outside his day job, Andrew sits on the board of GNS Science and has been a member of the NZLS National Standards Committee for the last 5 years.

While he admits the decision to move on from Fonterra was difficult, he’s excited about what lies ahead. “It’s something different, a huge challenge, and a chance to provide a significant contribution to the development of a system that cares for all New Zealanders.

“We are all going to be touched by the health system at some stage in our lives and this is the chance to contribute to the development of something significant, on a scale we rarely see. I’m excited to be playing my part in that.”

July 1 marked the first anniversary of Te Whatu Ora, the organisation leading the day-to-day running of New Zealand’s health system. It took the place of 20 former District Health Boards and several other entities with a focus on delivering an equitable, integrated and sustainable health service.

As Chief Legal Counsel at Te Whatu Ora, he intends to continue his focus on team culture, connection and development.

“That's the important thing. If people are really engaged in what they are doing in their roles, and they care about the people that they work with, they are committed to support others to be better. And it's not just in the team you're in, but also the broader organisation. Once you've nailed that, gee, you're onto something good.”