The new health system will be simpler and more coordinated, allowing for better and more consistent care.   

Health New Zealand / Hauora Aotearoa

A new national entity, Health New Zealand(external link) (Health NZ), will be responsible for the planning and commissioning of hospital, primary and community health services. The 20 DHBs will no longer exist. Health New Zealand will operate four regional offices. Each region will work with their districts, located closer to local communities, to develop and implement plans based on local needs to improve the health and wellbeing of communities.

Māori Health Authority / Te Mana Hauora Māori

The Māori Health Authority(external link), established alongside Health NZ, will have shared responsibility for decision-making, planning and delivery. Local iwi-Māori partnership boards will help shape appropriate health and wellbeing services to meet the needs of local communities through being an influencing and decision-making voice for iwi and Māori at a local level, supporting Te Tiriti partnerships throughout the system.

Ministry of Health / Manatū Hauora

The Ministry of Health's role as chief strategic advisor and kaitiaki (steward) of Aotearoa New Zealand's health and disability system will be strengthened and some of the things it does will change.

The role of Director-General of Health will continue in its current form with this role remaining the head of the health system.

Statutory roles such as the Director of Public Health and Director of Mental Health will also remain within the Ministry.

The Ministry is committed to ensuring the current health and disability system delivers through the transition for all New Zealanders, with a strong focus on leading the COVID-19 health response, supporting the Government's elimination strategy, and the successful roll out of the vaccine.

Changes to the structures of the system will not have an immediate impact on how, where and when New Zealanders receive care, or where and how you work, if you're a member of the health workforce.

Visit the Ministry of Health's website(external link) for more information.

Public health / Te hauora o te tūmatanui 

A new Public Health Agency within the Ministry will lead population and public health policy, strategy, regulatory, intelligence, surveillance and monitoring functions across the system. This will see:

  • more emphasis on the determinants of health such as employment and housing which will mean working more closely with relevant government agencies and community partners
  • using intelligence and monitoring to strengthen the system to enable New Zealanders to live longer, healthier lives.

Public Health Units will be brought together into a national public health service within Health NZ. This will ensure our Public Health Units are well equipped to respond as one to threats like COVID-19. 

To ensure focus on keeping people well for longer is embedded in the heart of our health system, the Health Promotion Agency will be merged into Health NZ. 

Collectively, the whole health system will deliver a greater focus on Māori health and addressing longstanding inequities. This will be achieved through reinforcing Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles and obligations and ensuring partnership with Māori in the design and delivery of services at every level.  Supporting Māori to progress mana motuhake and rangatiratanga in this way is a key feature of the new system.

Our future health system will support all New Zealanders to live longer and have the best possible quality of life.


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