Key health sector organisations and people

This section describes key organisations and people in New Zealand’s health and disability system.

Minister of Health

The Minister of Health has overall responsibility for the health and disability system. The Minister’s functions, duties, responsibilities and powers are provided for in the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 and other legislation.

Associate Ministers

For more information about the work of the Ministers, go to the Health Portfolio page of the NZ Government website.

Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health is the government’s principal advisor on health and disability policy. For more information about our responsibilities and priorities, go to About us.

In this section

  • District health boards (DHBs) are responsible for providing or funding the provision of health services in their district. Disability support services and some health services are funded and purchased nationally by the Ministry of Health. Read more
  • Crown entities form part of New Zealand’s state sector and are responsible to the Minister of Health.  Health Crown entities include the Health Quality and Safety Commission, Health Benefits Limited, and others. Read more
  • The National Ambulance Sector Office is a joint office between ACC and the Ministry of Health Read more
  • How the Ministry of Health works with non-governmental organisations who provide health and disability services. Read more
  • Regional public health services are delivered by 12 district health board-owned public health units. Public health units focus on environmental health, communicable disease control, tobacco control and health promotion programmes. Read more
  • Health alliances are nine networks of primary health care providers and district health boards that are implementing the Government’s ‘Better, Sooner, More Convenient’ care initiatives. Read more
  • Primary health organisations are funded by district health boards to support the provision of essential primary-health-care services through general practices to those people who are enrolled with the PHO. Read more
  • Health regulatory authorities are responsible for specific health professions. They describe scopes of practice, prescribe necessary qualifications, register practitioners and issue annual practising certificates. They also set standards of competence. Read more
  • Health committees provide the Minister of Health with independent expert advice and offer a forum for representatives of the sector to have a role in decision-making. Read more
  • Appointment of members to statutory authorities including crown entities, district health boards, professional regulatory bodies and ministerial health committees. Read more