Health and disability system reforms

On 21 April 2021, the Government confirmed the details of the health system reforms in response to the Health and Disability System Review.

The Ministry works in partnership with the Transition Unit within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) on a range of work programme areas. The Transition Unit was set up to lead the response to the Health and Disability System Review.

What will the Ministry look like in the future?

The Ministry will continue in its enduring role as chief steward and kaitiaki for the system and some of the things it does will change.

The Ministry’s role will remain focused on strategy, policy, regulation and monitoring the outcomes achieved by the system as a whole. The Ministry will lead the system in its role as kaitiaki, ensuring good evidence informs strategy and policy development, and will work with the other organisations within the system to enable effective delivery of services.

The role of Director-General of Health will continue – the role remains 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.

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 and using intelligence and monitoring to strengthen the system to enable New Zealanders to live longer, healthier lives.

Disability support system transformation

In October 2021 the Government announced the creation of a new Ministry for Disabled People from July 2022, and a nationwide implementation of a transformed disability support system.

Ministry appoints Establishment Director of the Public Health Agency

Simon Everitt has joined the Ministry of Health as Establishment Director of the interim Public Health Agency. The interim Agency is the first component of the Ministry to be designed as part of the wider health and disability system reforms. See more information.

Recruitment for Deputy Director-General to lead Public Health Agency underway

Advertising is now underway to find an outstanding leader for the new Public Health Agency. The Public Health Agency (PHA) will be a stand-alone business unit at the heart of Manatū Hauora|the Ministry of Health with a renewed focus on population and public health to address inequity and to enable all New Zealanders to live longer and healthier lives. View the job advertisement.

Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill introduced to Parliament

The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill, which sets up the legal platform for the reformed health and disability system, was introduced to Parliament on 19 October 2021.

The Bill will legally establish Health New Zealand as the national organisation to lead and coordinate delivery of health services across the country and the Māori Health Authority as an independent statutory authority to drive improvement in hauora Māori. 

The Bill also recognises the role of Iwi-Māori Partnership Boards to act as a vehicle for Māori to exercise tino rangatiratanga and mana motuhake with respect to planning and decision-making for health services at the local level.

The Ministry of Health will continue to act as chief steward of the health system with a focus on strategy, policy, regulation and monitoring, and the role of the Director of Public Health will be strengthened.

The Bill also sets out the requirement for the establishment of a Public Health Agency within the Ministry of Health.

It is anticipated that the Bill will be passed in the first half of 2022.

View the Bill

Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand Board appointments

Health Minister Hon Andrew Little and Associate Health Minister Hon Peeni Henare have announced the appointment of the Boards to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand. This a significant step in progressing the Health and Disability System Reform programme. Read more on the Future of Health website.

About the Health and Disability System Review

In 2018 the Government announced a wide-ranging review of the Health and Disability system in New Zealand, designed to future-proof our health and disability services.

The Review looked at the overall function of the health and disability system and whether the system is balanced towards wellness, access, equity, and sustainability. Ms Heather Simpson was appointed as Chair of the review.

The final report on the findings of the Review was released on 16 June 2020.

Visit the Health and Disability System Review website for more information.

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