Photo of a group of health professionals

Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand is the largest single employer in the country, made up of about 220,000 highly skilled, dedicated and professional people who work directly or indirectly for the organisation.

Around 400 people will work for Te Aka Whai Ora – Maori Health Authority as it gears up to provide policy and health service commissioning advice.

How will things be different for the people who work in health care?

For the people who work in the health care system, the health reform isn’t changing what they do, but it is changing how it supports what they do and how they do it.

The reformed health system will include a focus on providing training and development to grow the contemporary workforce of tomorrow, so our healthcare workers will always have the skills they need. And they will have modern tools and better real time information.

Healthcare workers will have more opportunities to develop their skills and there will be more people recruited to provide healthcare.

They will experience fewer barriers to working across geographic boundaries and with other health providers to give people and whānau the care they need.

In 2021 the Transition Unit held a series of roadshows across the motu. We had a lot of questions from the workforce. While we answered many on the day, we are continuing to provide follow up information on the key areas of interest.

Audience questions from the roadshows

People Pānui

You can download the most recent issues of People Panui (March 2022 onward) from the Health New Zealand website: People Pānui(external link) 

Click here to sign up to receive the People Pānui direct to your inbox(external link)

News and updates

A message from the Minister of Health to the health workforce

Kia ora koutou katoa.

Earlier this year I announced the reform of the health and disability system.

The goal of that reform is to build a health system that offers better access and better equity for all New Zealanders. We’re determined to fix the health system so it works for everyone.

At the centre of the changes we are making is the establishment of Health New Zealand which will see our 20 DHBs become one organisation, and the Māori Health Authority which will provide new leadership on hauora Māori.

I’m confident these reforms will make a big difference for the people working in our health system.

It will enable health workers right across the board to work more collaboratively, be supported to be more innovative, and most of all – because the most important people in the health system are the patients – it will enable the workforce to be more effective at helping more New Zealanders to live longer, in good health, with the best possible quality of life.

I know our health workforce is the turanga – the foundation - of our system.

I want to acknowledge and I want to thank every single one of you for the hard work that you do. 

Thank you for continuing to provide high quality care for New Zealanders at a time when you’re dealing with the extra pressures of COVID and at the same time doing the routine care and balancing all those things that you do every day.

To do this you’ve had to collaborate, cooperate, and adapt to keep our team of five million safe.

I want to make sure what we’ve learnt over this time can be captured and is part of the way the future system works when Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority start operating.

On this front what I can say is we’re making great progress setting up the new organisations.

At the moment the new bodies are interim. Shortly we will introduce legislation to make them permanent, and by the first of July next year the new system will be fully in place.

So what will this mean for you?

For frontline staff currently working for DHBs, the Public Health Units and the shared service agencies, you can expect to transfer to the new entities and can continue to focus on doing the great work you do now, in the new system.

I want to assure everyone in the health system – whether you’re administrators, cleaners, nurses, doctors or orderlies – we are not cutting the workforce – we will need more – not fewer – people like you working in the future health system. 

We will also continue to need leadership at all levels of the health system, including in our hospitals. But the reality is, I expect some roles at the top to change.

To get to the point we’re at now there has been a lot of engagement with the sector. Many of you have participated in this so far, and it’s been great to see, so keep your ideas coming. 

You will see a lot more engagement in your workplace in the months ahead because there will be presentations and information about what is going on as we head towards July the first next year. 

One of the other things we’re working on, as well as the new organisations, is the health charter – the charter is all about the workforce, the values we expect and what you’re entitled to expect about the way you work.

The charter will be important to you because it will lay out the values for the system. Those values are to support you to do your best, and that means you’re doing the best for patients.

We will want to hear from you about the charter, so keep an eye out for opportunities to get involved. I want the final Charter to be ready to go when Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority get to work in July next year.


Thanks again for all the work you do. I’m really excited for what the future holds and the huge opportunities ahead for you as health professionals, and for patients who are so dependent on the great care you provide.


Thank you for your time, Kia Ora Tatou

Key dates

Stay up-to-date

If you have any questions, please email the Transition Unit.


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