DHB elections

In 2016, voting takes place to elect members to 19 of the 20 district health boards (DHBs), the governing bodies responsible for overseeing the delivery of health and disability services in their districts.

DHB Boards have a critical leadership role in the health system and their effectiveness in the next five years will have a crucial role in the health sector’s work to improve the health status of all New Zealanders.

New Zealand Health Strategy

The refreshed New Zealand Health Strategy gives the health sector one direction for the next 10 years.  It signals the path to improve health outcomes for all New Zealanders.

Its themes – one team; people powered; smart system; closer to home; value and high performance – provide a framework for DHBs and the Ministry of Health, working together, to lead change in the health system to be more focused on prevention and early intervention and more responsive to consumers and communities.

DHB Boards have accountability for their DHBs’ role in implementing the strategy

Thinking About Standing? – Get More Information

DHB Directors are accountable to the Minister of Health for their organisation’s performance in planning, funding and delivering health services to their communities, and for promoting their communities’ health status.

DHB Boards1 need committed people with a wide range of skills who are up to the challenge of governing multi-million dollar (in some cases billion-dollar) businesses.

Being a Board member is an opportunity to contribute to your community.  Boards need people with, for example, strong business skills; people who are strong and collaborative leaders; who have a passion for social investment; come from a wide range of backgrounds and who have an understanding of their communities, particularly those with high needs.

Information on the nominations and other aspects of the DHB election process are included in the District Health Board elections 2016: Information for candidates booklet. This includes exclusion of liability provisions under section 90 of the NZ Public Health & Disability Act that applies to members who have acted in good faith and with reasonable care in pursuing their duties as a member.

In general, anyone who is a New Zealand citizen and is on the parliamentary electoral roll can stand for election as a DHB member. You do not have to live in the DHB’s district to stand for election to its board but you cannot stand for election in more than one DHB.

DHB employees who meet the eligibility criteria are also able to stand for election.

Key dates

15 July 2016 Nominations open
12 August 2016 Nominations close (12 noon)
16-21 September 2016 Voting documents are issued
8 October 2016 Election day - the end of the voting period
October - November 2016 Minister appoints up to four other members per board
5 December 2016 All newly appointed and elected board members take office

Voting System

The DHB election uses the Single Transferable Voting (STV) system where voters rank their preferred candidates in order of preference – ie, 1 for the candidate they most prefer, 2 for their next preferred candidate and so on. They can rank as many or as few of the candidates on the voting paper as they wish. For your vote to count, there should be one candidate, and one only, with the figure 1 beside their name.

Up to four other members may be appointed by the Minister of Health to fill any gaps in the expertise needed for the DHB to best achieve its functions and objectives. This process takes place after election day and in time for the appointed members to take office, at the same time as newly elected Board members, on 5 December 2016.

1. Elections will not be held for Southern DHB in 2016.


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