Roles that have a statutory function

These roles have functions set out in the law, for which the Ministry provides organisational support.

Roles within the Ministry with statutory functions include:

Profiles

Director-General of Health

The State Sector Act 1988 requires each department to have, as its administrative head, a chief executive. The New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 states that the chief executive can be referred to as the Director-General.

As chief executive, the Director-General has a wide range of responsibilities set out in the State Sector Act 1988. These include, amongst other things, being responsible to the Minister of Health for the stewardship of:

  • the Ministry of Health, including its medium and long-term sustainability, organisational health, capability, and capacity to offer free and frank advice to successive governments;
  • assets and liabilities on behalf of the Crown that are used by or relate to the Ministry of Health; and
  • legislation administered by the Ministry of Health.

The Director-General of Health also has a large number of functions, duties and powers set out throughout the legislation that the Ministry of Health administers.

The Director-General of Health and Chief Executive is Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Director of Public Health

The Director of Public Health is appointed by the Director-General of Health, in accordance with section 3B of the Health Act 1956.

The Director of Public Health has a statutory advisory role to the Director-General on matters of public health, including:

  • personal health matters relating to public health; and
  • regulatory matters relating to public health.

The Director of Public Health may also, following consultation with the Director General, independently give advice or report on any matter of public health to the Minister.

The Director of Public Health and his or her deputies also have a broader clinical leadership role, including professional oversight and support to medical officers of health (the majority of whom are employed in DHB-based public health units), as well as advice on public health matters more widely - within the Ministry, to the health sector, to other sectors, and working with international health organisations and Ministries of Health in other countries on international public health threats.

The Director of Public Health is Dr Caroline McElnay.

Director of Mental Health

The Director of Mental Health is appointed by the Director-General of Health, in accordance with section 91 of the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992.

The Director of Mental Health has a number of functions, duties and powers conferred or imposed by the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992. These include:

  • ensuring each patient is assigned a responsible clinician
  • issuing guidelines on the Act, and standards on the care and treatment of patients; and
  • specific provisions with respect to special patients, including the granting of short-term leave.

The Director of Mental Health is Dr John Crawshaw.

Director of Addiction Services

The Director of Addiction Services is appointed by the Director-General of Health, in accordance with section 86 of the Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 2017.

The Director of Addiction Services is responsible for the general administration of the Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 2017, under the direction of the Minister and the Director-General of Health. The Director of Addiction Services also has a number of powers and functions assigned by the Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 2017, including:

  • the right to, at any time and without notice, visit any treatment center, and be given access to every part of a treatment centre and every patient in it;
  • to appoint Directors of Area Addiction Services in areas that are considered necessary, and determine the terms and conditions on which they are appointed; and
  • to designate people as approved providers.

The Director of Addiction Services is Dr John Crawshaw.

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