In September 2020, the Health Reform Transition Unit was established within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in response to the Health and Disability System Review/Hauora Manaaki Ki Aotearoa Whānui(external link).

The Transition Unit provides the Government with advice on the response to the Review and the future of our health system, including:

  • developing the policy response and design of the system operating model
  • providing advice on the establishment of new entities and legislative change
  • working on an overall implementation plan and work programmefor the transition.

The need for reform

Structure and leadership / Te hātepe me ōna kaiārahi

Photo of Stephen McKernan

Stephen McKernan

The Transition Unit is led by former Director-General of Health Stephen McKernan, who is the Director of the Unit. He reports to a Ministerial Group for delivery of the work programme.

The Ministerial Oversight Group is made up of the Prime Minister (Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern), the Minister of Finance (Hon Grant Robertson), the Minister of Health (Hon Andrew Little), the Associate Minister of Health – Māori (Hon Peeni Henare) and the Minister for Disability Issues (Hon Carmel Sepuloni). This group provides steer to the Transition Unit’s work on health reforms and makes key decisions under delegation from Cabinet.

Associate Ministers of Health Hon Ayesha Verrall and Hon Aupito William Sio are also involved in setting the direction for reforms – particularly in relation to public health and Pacific health and wellbeing respectively.


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