New health and disability system

Our health and disability system is transforming to support all New Zealanders to live longer and have the best possible quality of life. 

In response to the Health and Disability System Review, the Government announced a major transformation of New Zealand’s health and disability system in April 2021. 

Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 

The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act subsequently took effect on 1 July 2022, establishing three new entities: 

The Act recognises the role of Iwi–Māori Partnership Boards to enable Māori to exercise tino rangatiratanga and mana motuhake for planning and decision-making for health services at a local level. 

The 20 district health boards were disestablished, and Te Whatu Ora now operates hospitals and health services. Around 60–80 localities will be established in communities around the country to provide advice on health services needed.

Public health units and Te Hiringa Hauora – Health Promotion Agency are part of the National Public Health Service within Te Whatu Ora. 

Public Health Agency

The Public Health Agency (PHA) leads and strengthens population and public health, with a greater emphasis on equity and the wider determinants of health such as income, education and housing.

The PHA was established on 1 July 2022 as a new directorate within the Ministry of Health as a requirement of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022.

The PHA is responsible for public health strategy, policy, regulation, intelligence and surveillance, and has a key role in providing advice to Ministers on all public health matters.

Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand

Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand took over responsibility for planning and commissioning hospital, primary and community health services from 1 July 2022.

Te Aka Whai Ora – Māori Health Authority

Te Aka Whai Ora – Māori Health Authority, working in partnership with both Manatū Hauora and Te Whatu Ora, is responsible for ensuring the health system works well for Māori through: 

  • leading change in the way our health system understands and responds to Māori health needs 
  • developing strategy and policy which will drive better health outcomes for Māori 
  • commissioning kaupapa Māori services and other services targeting Māori communities 
  • co-commissioning other services alongside Te Whatu Ora 
  • monitoring the overall performance of the system to reduce health inequities for Māori. 

Te Aka Whai Ora works with Iwi–Māori Partnership Boards, Māori health providers and professionals, iwi, hapū and Māori communities to understand Māori health needs and aspirations across New Zealand.

Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People

Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People was created on 1 July 2022. It reflects the move towards the social model of disability.

It is responsible for:

  • the commissioning and delivery of disability support services with a clear mandate to transform the way they are delivered
  • supporting other government agencies to incorporate disability perspectives and needs into their own policies and services so they can meet their own responsibilities to disabled people and whānau.

In this section

  • The public statement of what Government expects the health system to deliver and achieve over the next two years, what funding and support are available and how success will be measured, monitored, and reported. Read more
  • Learn about the legislation that sets out the health and disability system’s statutory framework. Read more
  • As chief steward of New Zealand’s health system and the lead advisor to government on health, Manatū Hauora has established the System Reform Integration Office (SRIO) Read more
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