Overview of the health system

The vision across the health system is Pae Ora | healthy futures for all New Zealanders – where people live longer healthier lives.

Manatū Hauora – Ministry of Health 

The Ministry of Health is the chief steward of the health system, leading health across government

The Ministry sets direction and policy for the health system, advises the Government on funding and system settings, regulates the health system, and monitors health outcomes.

The Ministry’s role is to

  • provide coherent system-level leadership that aligns priorities and focus across the health system and across government in relation to health and wellbeing
  • drive system strategy and performance 
  • be the Government’s primary advisor on health, priority setting, policy and system performance
  • be the principal source of horizon-scanning and government-level leadership, including leading on advice on the determinants of health and wellbeing, and taking a medium and long-term investment focus on health and wellbeing
  • be the regulator of the health system.

Public Health Agency

The Public Health Agency 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 Public Health Agency (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 provides public health leadership across the health and disability sector and beyond, to influence wider population health and determinants to enable people, their whānau and environments to be healthy and improve their wellbeing. 

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 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.

Disability support system transformation

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.

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