Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system 

Hon Andrew Little
Minister of Health

Today marks a significant milestone in this Government’s work to build a truly national health system with the appointment of an outstanding group of people to lead the interim Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand.

The future health system will mean New Zealanders will be able to have equitable access to healthcare to live longer, with the best possible quality of life, no matter who they are or where they live. Today’s announcement is another step towards fixing the health system so it works for everyone.

More than 300 people from across the country expressed interest in serving on one of the boards to lead the interim entities – an indication of just how much people want to contribute to shaping the future of health in Aotearoa New Zealand.

By design, the system and entities driving it will be bigger in terms of size, scope and collective impact across the whole country, with a significantly different operating model than our current system.

Health New Zealand will be the country’s biggest employer, bringing together the country’s 20 DHBs, a workforce of about 80,000, an annual operating budget of $20 billion and an asset base of about $24 billion. 

The Māori Health Authority will work alongside Health New Zealand with a joint role in developing system plans, commissioning for primary and community services, and will co-commission kaupapa Māori services. The Māori Health Authority will also work alongside the Ministry of Health in developing strategies and policies that work for Māori.  

The appointment process was focused on ensuring the appropriate mix of skills and experience to drive these unique entities forward at a governance level. The members of the new boards share a dedication to improve the country’s health and wellbeing with a strong community focus. I am confident our new health entities are in the best possible hands to drive this long overdue transformation.

I appreciate the work of Tā Mason Durie’s steering group and thank those involved – the steering group’s insight provided tremendous value during the appointment process for both boards.

Congratulations to the 15 people appointed – I look forward to working with you as we transform New Zealand’s health sector to support people to live longer and have the best possible quality of life.

Read more about the Board appointments

Future of Health website launched 

The Transition Unit has launched a new website dedicated to the reform of the health system in Aotearoa New Zealand. includes all the background to the health reform, news and updates, information targeted specifically for the health sector workforce, opportunities to participate and engage in the reform programme and will be regularly updated with information about the progress being made to create our future health system. will host information about the interim Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand. Over time, it is expected these new entities will develop their own websites and digital channels.

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Printable version

Update from the Transition Unit - Thursday 23 September 2021 [PDF, 192 KB]


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