Key health sector organisations and people

This section describes key organisations and people in New Zealand’s health and disability system.

Minister of Health

The Minister of Health has overall responsibility for the health and disability system. The Minister’s functions, duties, responsibilities and powers are provided for in the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 and other legislation.

  • Minister of Health – Hon Ayesha Verrall

Associate Ministers

  • Associate Minister of Health (Māori) – Hon Peeni Henare
  • Associate Minister of Health (Pacific) – Hon Barbara Edmonds
  • Associate Minister of Health – Hon Willow-Jean Prime

Manatū Hauora – Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health is the government’s principal advisor on health and disability policy. For more information about our responsibilities and priorities, go to About us.

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 the Ministry of Health and Health New Zealand, is responsible for ensuring the health system works well for Māori through:  

  • leading change in the way the entire 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 Health NZ  
  • 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 to provide a wider lens on disability across Government, and to drive transformation of the disability support system.  

Disabled people will now have a dedicated agency that will support a whole-of-life approach to disability, rather than considering the community’s needs through a health lens alone.

In this section

  • District health boards (DHBs) were responsible for providing or funding the provision of most health services in their district. Health New Zealand took over responsibility for planning and commissioning hospital, primary and community health services from 1 July 2022. Read more
  • Information on the boards of Crown entities, committees and responsible authorities that the Ministry of Health assists the Minister of Health in appointing to and monitoring. Read more
  • The Capital Investment Committee (CIC) is a section 11 committee which provides advice to the Ministers of Health and Finance on the prioritisation and allocation of funding for capital investment and health infrastructure. Read more
  • The Mental Health Review Tribunal is an independent body appointed by the Minister of Health under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992. Read more
  • Health committees provide the Minister of Health with independent expert advice and offer a forum for representatives of the sector to have a role in decision-making. Read more
  • The National Public Health Service and its partners work alongside whānau, communities and other sectors to consider all the factors that impact on health and wellbeing, and deliver national, regional and local programmes to achieve pae ora. Read more
  • How the Ministry of Health works with non-governmental organisations who provide health and disability services. Read more
  • Responsible Authorities are established under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. They are responsible for the regulation of specified health professions. Read more
  • Te Aho o Te Kahu is a departmental agency reporting directly to the Minister of Health and hosted by the Ministry of Health.  Read more
  • A letter of expectations (LoE) is a mechanism for Ministers to outline their priorities and expectations of a health statutory entity. Read more
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