The New Zealand health and disability system’s statutory framework is made up of over 20 pieces of legislation. The most significant are Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022, the Health Act 1956, and the Crown Entities Act 2004.
Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022
The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022 took effect on 1 July 2022. It provide for the public funding and provision of services in order to:
- protect, promote, and improve the health of all New Zealanders
- achieve equity in health outcomes among New Zealand’s population groups, including by striving to eliminate health disparities, in particular for Māori; and
- build towards pae ora (healthy futures) for all New Zealanders.
It also establishes three new entities:
- a new Public Health Agency within the Ministry of Health to lead and strengthen public health
- Health New Zealand as the national organisation to lead and coordinate delivery of health services across the country
- the Māori Health Authority as an independent statutory authority to drive improvement in hauora Māori.
The Act establishes Iwi-Māori Partnership Boards to represent local Māori perspectives on the needs and aspirations of Māori with respect to planning and decision-making for health services at the local level.
Health Act 1956
The Health Act sets out the roles and responsibilities of individuals to safeguard public health, including the Minister of Health, the Director of Public Health, and designated officers for public health. It contains provisions for environmental health, infectious diseases, health emergencies, and the national cervical screening programme.
Crown Entities Act 2004
Many of the organisations that provide health services are Crown Entities. The Crown Entities Act provides the fundamental statutory framework for the establishment, governance, and operation of Crown entities. It clarifies accountability relationships and reporting requirements between Crown entities, their board members, responsible Ministers, and the House of Representatives.