The future of health

New Zealand has a high-quality publicly funded health system and a highly skilled, dedicated and professional health workforce. But we know there are opportunities to make improvements. We are building a national health system that will perform better for all of us. 

The health system reform

Transforming the health system will create a more equitable, accessible, cohesive and people-centred system that will improve the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders.

  • People-centred: a system that brings together the voice of all communities
  • Equitable: a system that focuses on working in partnership with Māori and honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • Accessible: a system that offers more equitable, convenient and integrated access to services for all New Zealanders
  • Cohesive: a national health system that delivers locally, supported by co-ordinated planning and oversight

A new national health system

On the 1st of July 2022, New Zealand moved to a new national health system. At first it will look and feel the same, but having a national system means changes can be made over time to achieve better health and better health outcomes for all New Zealanders.

What will be different?

At first, the healthcare services you receive will look and feel the same, but with a different name. However, behind the scenes, a number of changes are already being made and while some of this will take time, you will see a few things change.

The new health system has been designed to enable a whole-of-country view to planning and delivering services, helping it to be efficient and consistent everywhere.  A healthcare system that is nationally planned, regionally delivered and locally tailored will address things like surgical waiting lists. It also means that when it comes to health services, where you live will matter less than what you need.

All of the health reform changes are designed to reduce the pressure on specialist and hospital care.

Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand has national teams working to coordinate healthcare across the country. One of these teams is focused on reducing how long people have to wait for planned healthcare and surgeries.

Digital technology will be used in more and better ways, to provide people with services in their homes, hapori and local communities. Technology will also help healthcare workers to better understand and support their patients. For example, if you need to access healthcare when you’re away from your usual provider, whoever you see will have access to all your medical records, like your health history, what medications you use or an allergy to penicillin.

More money can be spent on delivering healthcare as the cost of running the system will be managed nationally once, rather than regionally many times.

Read more about the reforms

Some big changes are being made to New Zealand’s health system, so everyone gets the right healthcare, where and when they need it. Right now, that doesn’t happen for a lot of people. So, this year, things are starting to change.

The first step is two new health organisations to work alongside the Ministry of Health, the steward of the health system. Health New Zealand will coordinate health services across New Zealand, from local right through to national. The Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand will work in partnership to make health services work better for Māori.

And this is just the start. Over time, the way people are supported to stay healthy is going to get a lot better.

There are five key areas where change will make the biggest difference. 

First, the health system will ensure that Māori have a greater role in designing health services that better meet the needs of Māori. Māori communities will also play an important role in making sure our health services work for Māori, and the many New Zealanders accessing kaupapa Māori health services. And that will be better for everyone, because a health system that does better for Māori, does better for all.

Second, people will be able to get the healthcare they need closer to  home. Health services will better reflect  community needs and preferences. There will be a strong emphasis on preventing illnesses and other factors that support healthy lives, like whether they live in a warm, dry home.

Third, high quality emergency or specialist care will be available when people need it. Networks of doctors and other medical professionals will work together with community services to educate and keep people well, so fewer people need healthcare in the first place.

Fourth, digital technology will be used in more and better ways, to provide people with services in their homes, hapori and local communities. Technology will also help healthcare workers to better understand and support their patients.

And finally, we will plan for our future health workforce requirements, and provide for the training and development needs of New Zealand’s contemporary workforce of tomorrow,  so our healthcare workers  will always have the skills they need.

Achieving the vision for the future of health in Aotearoa New Zealand will not be easy, and it will take time. But it’s a future worth getting right.

Visit futureofhealth.govt.nz for more information on the changes and the progress we’ve made so far.

E whanga mai ana ētahi panonitanga nui ki te pūnaha hauora o Aotearoa kia whai wāhi ai te katoa ki ngā whiwhinga hauora tika, i ngā wāhi me ngā wā e tika ana. He nui noa atu te hunga e kore nei e whakawhiwhia ana ki ēnei hua. Na reira, i tenei tau ka timata tatou ki te kite i etahi huringa.  

Ko te tuatahi, he whakatū i ngā wāhi mahi hauora hou e rua – ko Hauora Aotearoa me Te Mana Hauora Māori. Ko tā Hauora Aotearoa he whakarite haere i ngā ratonga hauora huri noa i Aotearoa, mai i ngā rohe, ā, puta noa i te motu whānui. Ka mahi kōtui Te Mana Hauora Māori me Hauora Aotearoa ki te whakapai ake i ngā ratonga hauora nei kia whai hua ake ai ki a ngāi Māori.

Nā, he tīmatanga noa tēnei. Nāwai rā, ā, ka kitea ka pai kē atu ngā taunakitanga whakaora i te iwi.

E rima ngā wāhanga matua e tino whai hua ai ēnei momo panonitanga.

Tuatahi, ka whakamanatia Te Tiriti o Waitangi e te pūnaha hauora mā roto i tōna whai kia whakamanatia a ngāi Māori ki te waihanga ratonga hauora e hāngai pū ana ki ngā hiahia a ngāi Māori. He mahi nui tā ngā hapori Māori ki te whakahāngai ake i ngā ratonga hauora ki a ngāi Māori ake, me te huhua tāngata nō Aotearoa e torotoro mai nei ki ngā ratonga hauora Māori. Ka pai kē atu tēnei mō te katoa nō te mea mēnā ka ora a ngāi Māori i tēnei pūnaha hauora ka ora te katoa.

Tuarua, ka taea e te marea te toro ki ngā tautiakitanga hauora e pātata ana ki ō rātou kāinga. Ka tika mai te whakaatatia o ngā hiahia a te hapori ki ratonga hauora nei. Ka nui kē atu hoki te wāhanga ki ngā take tautoko i te whaioranga o te tangata, arā, mēnā rānei kei te mahana, kei te āhuru ngā kāinga.  

Tuatoru, ko te tuawhiti o ngā tautiakitanga whawhati tata, mātanga hoki ka wātea ki te hunga e whai wāhi atu ana. Ka mahi tahi tētahi kāhui tākuta, ētahi mātanga rongoā me ētahi ratonga ā-hapori ki te whakaako i te marea kia whai ora ai, ā, kia heke iho te nui o te hunga whai tautiakitanga.

Fourth, ka pai kē atu te whakamahinga o ngā hangarau matihiko mō te tuku ratonga ki ngā kāinga, ngā hapori me ngā rohe. Mā te hangarau hoki e mārama ake ai te tautoko a ngā kaimahi hauora i ā rātou tūroro.

Hei whakamutu ake, mō te āhua ki te hunga kaimahi hauora, ka whāia rawatia he mahere mō rātou, arā, ko te whakarato kaupapa whakangūngū hei whakawhanake ake i te hunga mahi o āpōpō kia whiwhi ai rātou i ngā pūkenga e tika ana i ngā wā katoa.  

Ehara i te mea ka māmā noa te whakatutuki i te whakakitenga mō te hauora o Aotearoa hei ngā rā ki tua; mā te wā tonu e whakatau. Heoi, he anamata tēnei ka tino whai hua.

Mō ētahi atu pārongo e pā ana ki ngā panonitanga me ngā nekenga ake, tirohia te pae tukutuku: futureofhealth.govt.nz.

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