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ACC director to take the reins at The Quit Group

ACC director to take the reins at The Quit Group

Smoking cessation charity The Quit Group, which runs the successful Quitline, has appointed a new Chief Executive – only the second leader of the organisation in its 11 year history.

Paula Snowden, currently Director Maori and Community Relations at the Accident Compensation Corporation, will take over from current Executive Director Helen Glasgow in August.

The Chair of The Quit Group Board, Annette Milligan, says Ms Snowden comes to The Quit Group with a wealth of experience in delivering programmes and services to the community.

“Paula has a strong record, developed in diverse organisations, of working with the disadvantaged in the community and different ethnic groups to improve their access to social services.

“That experience and understanding, developed in organisations such as ACC, the Alcohol Advisory Council and Te Puni Kokiri, amongst others, will be vital to The Quit group as it moves into the future with a new leadership team.”

The Quit Group delivers the country’s only national smoking cessation service providing text, web and contact centre advice and assistance to New Zealanders wishing to give up smoking. Last year, over 53,000 New Zealanders took advantage of The Quit group’s smoking cessation services.

The appointment of Ms Snowden, whose tribal affiliations are Ngapuhi, completes a management redevelopment programme at The Quit Group which began with the appointment of a Director Corporate Services (Jack Schierhout) and a Director Communications and Services (Lynne Heasman).

“Paula’s appointment, along with the appointments of Jack and Lynne, gives us a broad base of management and managerial experience which reflects the importance of the job we do in the community, and the growing size and complexity of our operations,’ Ms Milligan said.

Ms Milligan paid tribute to Ms Snowden’s predecessor, Executive Director Helen Glasgow.

“Helen has an unparalleled record in this country, and probably the world, as a smoking cessation campaigner. Her commitment has assisted literally hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders in making the decision to quit smoking.

“She has grown The Quit Group from an idea 11 years ago to a team of 100, all dedicated to assisting New Zealanders give up smoking. Her record is one to be very proud of and the community owes her a debt of gratitude for her efforts,” Ms Milligan said.

Notes to Editors

1. For more information, a picture and interview requests, please call Chris Pitt at The Quit Group on 04 460 9868.
2. Paula Snowden has wide state sector experience, including nine years at a general management level. Most recently, Paula is Director Maori and Community Relations at the Accident Compensation Corporation. As a member of the Executive Team her role was to improve access to the Scheme for Maori, Pacific, Asian and Disability and Older People.

Prior to joining ACC, Paula was General Manager in charge of a number of social housing programmes at Housing New Zealand, including rural sub-standard housing, social services housing development and assistance and home ownership for modest income families.

She has considerable experience in the development and delivery of community health services. As Deputy Chief Executive of the Alcohol Advisory Council she was principally responsible for ALAC's social marketing programme. Paula also has a broad experience in public policy and public sector planning and reporting from leadership roles in the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Ministry of Maori Development. Paula’s tribal affiliations are Ngapuhi.

3. The Quit Group is a charitable trust set up to run quit smoking programmes nationally in New Zealand, with a particular focus on Maori smokers. In 2008, the Quitline received more than 80,000 calls, and registered 53,500 clients through the Quitline, www.quit.org.nz and Txt2Quit, its text-based support service.


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