Terms of reference for the Healthcare Associated Infections Governance Group

Governance group name

Healthcare Associated Infections Governance Group (HAIGG)


The objective of the Group is to provide national leadership and set direction for the Ministry of Health on the clinical, scientific, and strategic aspects of surveillance, infection prevention and control, antimicrobial resistance, and new and emerging threats to the health of New Zealanders, with the aim of reducing harm and cost to society from infections associated with health care exposure.

To achieve this purpose the Group and its members will:

  • assist the Ministry of Health in developing and implementing a national plan that is adaptive and responsive for managing health care associated infections (HAI)
  • establish linkages across the sector and with other agencies
  • provide national oversight of HAI
  • determine key priorities for HAI that require further action
  • recommend standards to prevent HAI
  • regularly review New Zealand laboratory and clinical surveillance data
  • monitor overseas developments in the context of HAI and provide advice on the implications for New Zealand
  • oversee the function of any sub-groups established by the HAIGG
  • agree the roles and responsibilities of participating stakeholders to ensure an integrated, responsive and productive approach to management of HAIs.

The Director-General of Health may request from time to time additional specific advice and/or recommendations.


The HAIGG was established in April 2012.

Powers of HAIGG

In carrying out its remit the HAIGG:

  • shall not disclose any confidential information obtained in the course of the HAIGGs activities without the approval of the Director-General of Health
  • may make recommendations concerning the establishment of limited life sub-groups to the Director-General of Health.

No member of HAIGG shall make media statements of any kind on behalf of the HAIGG unless requested to do so by the Director-General of Health.

Members shall abide by the Conflict of Interest Protocol for Ministry of Health Statutory Bodies and Other Committees.


The HAIGG is established by and accountable to the Director-General of Health and is expected to:

  • provide timely and comprehensive reports to the Director-General of Health
  • respond to requests for information and advice within the required timeframe
  • provide an annual report to the Director-General of Health describing the HAIGG’s activities and outcomes for the year.

Reporting requirements

The Ministry of Health undertakes to respond to all formal recommendations in writing within six weeks of receipt of those recommendations. In addition:

  • the Ministry of Health will ensure all minutes of the HAIGG meetings are prepared outlining the issues discussed and include a clear record of any decisions taken or recommendations made
  • the HAIGG will ensure specific recommendations (eg, for research), including the rationale and any relevant evidence and/or documentation, are reported separately in writing to the Director-General of Health.


The term of membership is three years with the option of reappointment after this time by the Director-General of Health. The Director-General of Health may remove a member from office before the end of a term of appointment. HAIGG members may also at any time resign from office by notice in writing to the Director-General of Health.

The HAIGG Members are leaders and HAI experts from the following areas:

MOH co-chairs [Chief Medical Office/Chief Nurse]
Representative from Environmental Science and Research Ltd
Representative from Health Quality and Safety Commission
Representative for District Health Boards’ Chief Medical Officers
Representative for District Health Boards’ Directors of Nursing
Representative Infectious Diseases Physician from the New Zealand Branch of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases
Representative Infection Prevention and Control Nurse from National Division of Infection Control Nurses
Representative Clinical Microbiologist from the New Zealand Branch of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases
Representative from the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand
Representative for Consumers

Other areas of expertise may be sought on a consultation/co-option basis as necessary.


The CMO and CNO will jointly chair the HAIGG as appointed by the Director-General of Health. All meetings must be presided over by a chairperson. In the event of both the co-chairs are absent, a HAIGG member shall be elected as acting chairperson by those members present.

Meeting frequency

The HAIGG shall normally meet quarterly. Where important matters require consideration outside this schedule, extraordinary meetings may be held if requested by the Director-General of Health.

At every meeting of the HAIGG six members, including the chairperson, shall form a quorum. The HAIGG can ask a member to withdraw or limit participation in the event that the member has a conflict of interest. Members shall have one vote each. In the event of a deadlock the Chairperson shall have a second or casting vote.

Before each meeting, the Group must be satisfied that members with the appropriate knowledge/expertise will be in attendance. The Secretary will make all attempts to ensure meetings include as many members as possible and, prior to each meeting inform the HAIGG which members are not able to attend. If there is doubt or disagreement about this matter, the Chairperson will decide on whether or not to cancel or postpone the meeting.

Secretarial support

The Ministry of Health will provide secretariat functions for HAIGG.

Review provisions

The Ministry of Health will undertake a yearly review of the HAIGG’s work. The HAIGG will be invited to make comments to such reviews. Where changed functions and responsibilities are required, alterations to the tasks, reporting arrangements and composition may be made preceding or subsequent to the review.

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