Health Workforce Advisory Board

The Health Workforce Advisory Board works in partnership with the Ministry of Health to provide strategic oversight and sector leadership for New Zealand’s health workforce.

Health Workforce Advisory Board members are:

  • Professor Judy McGregor (Chair)
  • Mr Andrew Connolly
  • Faumuina Associate Professor Faafetai Sopoaga
  • Dr Jo Baxter
  • Ms Lorraine Hetaraka
  • Miss Sophie Oliff
  • Mr Karl Metzler
  • Mrs Ailsa Claire.

You can read more about the members at Health Workforce Advisory Board member biographies.

The Board’s Terms of Reference set out their purpose and function.

Terms of Reference

Purpose and objectives

  1. A strategic approach to planning and development of our workforce is key to ensuring New Zealand’s health and disability system can deliver safe, effective and accessible services to New Zealanders now and into the future.
  2. The Health Workforce Advisory Board (the Board) is established under section 11 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 (the Act) to provide advice to the Minister of Health (the Minister) on health workforce matters, including strategic direction, emerging issues and risks. It is a health workforce advisory committee under section 15 of the Act.
  3. The Board will work with the Ministry of Health (the Ministry) to provide strategic oversight and sector leadership for New Zealand’s health workforce.
  4. The Board will provide strategic oversight, advice and recommendations on matters relating to health workforce including, but not limited to:
    1. Planning for New Zealand’s health and disability system workforce.
    2. Enabling greater participation of Māori in the health workforce and partnering with Māori to better understand the needs and aspirations of the Māori workforce.
    3. Enabling greater participation of Pacific and other under-represented populations in the health workforce.
    4. Education, training and development of the health workforce.
    5. Recruitment, retention and distribution of the health workforce.
    6. Health workforce well-being.
    7. Supporting quality improvement, innovation and changed ways of working.

Key functions and tasks

  1. To fulfil its role, the Board will work to:
    1. Provide advice on the impact on the health workforce and its training needs of demographic and disease prevalence changes, and models of care (including developing technologies) based on the best available intelligence and data.
    2. Advise on the development of any health workforce strategic priorities and associated action plans, including identifying areas for priority investment.
    3. Maintain, in collaboration with the Ministry, strategic cross-sectoral and multi-disciplinary relationships across agencies, services and providers to support and develop the health workforce.
    4. Develop a Board work plan and provide reports as agreed with the Minister and the Director-General of Health.
    5. Provide advice to the Ministry on any sector engagement or advisory groups that may be required to support the work of the Board.
    6. Commission specific pieces of work as required to inform the Board’s advice.
  2. The Board does not have any personnel, funding or budget management responsibilities.

Accountability and relationship with the Minister of Health and Ministry of Health

  1. The Board will collaborate with the Ministry and other sector partners to oversee sector efforts on workforce development.
  2. The Board is accountable to the Minister for the quality and timeliness of its advice and reports through the Board Chair to the Minister and the Director-General of Health. 
  3. Under section 15 of the Act, the Board must report to the Minister at least once a year in relation to its statutory purpose. A copy of this report will be presented to the House of Representatives by the Minister. The Board may also choose to report to the Minister on any matter within its purview at any time.
  4. Advice given to the Minister by the Board under section 15 is to be formulated after consultation by the Board with persons involved in the provision of services and any other persons that the Board considers appropriate.
  5. The Minister may, from time to time, amend, replace or revoke the Board’s Terms of Reference in accordance with the Act.
  6. The Ministry will provide secretariat services and administrative support to the Board. This will include the preparation of reports to, and on behalf of, the Board.
  7. Board will have the ability via the Deputy Director-General, Health Workforce to request advice and information from other parts of the Ministry and Government agencies on issues related to its work programme. 
  8. Board will work with the Ministry and other sector partners to form advice for the Minister. Any advice the Board may wish to provide directly to the Minister, for example to highlight risks, will be provided to the Director-General of Health for their information.
  9. Queries about the Board and its advice will be directed to the Chair. The Chair will discuss any response with the Director-General of Health and the Minister or the Minister’s office before making media statements.

Membership

  1. The Board, including the Chair and Deputy Chair, will be appointed by Ministerial letter.
  2. Māori membership of the Board will be proportional to the Māori population (as estimated by Statistics New Zealand). The Board will be representative of Māori and Pacific populations in particular, to support improved equity in workforce development and service delivery.
  3. Collectively the Board will have the following expertise and attributes:
    1. knowledge of and expertise in the obligations of the Crown under the Treaty of Waitangi and of Māori expectations and aspirations
    2. knowledge of and expertise in the role of the Ministry and health and disability sector in achieving equity and improving health outcomes for Māori, Pacific peoples and other underserved populations
    3. knowledge of and expertise in undergraduate, postgraduate, clinical and vocational educational and training programmes for the health and disability sector both in New Zealand and overseas
    4. knowledge of New Zealand’s current health and disability services delivery across the whole of system
    5. an understanding of health and disability services delivery needs to meet future demands
    6. an ability to think creatively to provide solutions that are not constrained by traditional health and disability sector professional boundaries or current service delivery models.
  4. Member appointments will be made for a term of up to three years and members are eligible for reappointment at the completion of their terms, up to a maximum of nine years. Reappointment to the Board will only be made after careful consideration of factors such as the Board’s work programme and the mix of skills and experience on the Board.
  5. The Board will comprise up to nine members including the Chair, the Deputy Chair (if a Deputy Chair is appointed) and the Lead DHB Chief Executive for Health Workforce (as an ex officio position). All Board members will have full voting rights.
  6. The Minister may from time to time alter or reconstitute the Board, discharge or reappoint any member or appoint new members in response to any changes to the key tasks that are being addressed.
  7. At any time, the Minister may remove a member or the Chair or the Deputy Chair of the Board from that office by notice in writing stating the date from which that decision is effective. The Minister may consult with the Chair before removing a member from office. Any member of the Board may tender their resignation at any time by advising the Minister in writing.
  8. The Board may draw on external expertise as required and may appoint expert advisors to assist in making deliberations after first discussing financial implications with the Director-General of Health. These expert advisors are not Board members and have no voting rights.
  9. The Director-General of Health shall have a standing invitation to attend Board meetings and to contribute to deliberations but is not a member of the Board and has no voting rights.

Duties

  1. Through their letters of appointment, members of the Board will be advised of the term of their appointment and will be given a copy of these Terms of Reference.
  2. Members of the Board are expected to act in good faith, with reasonable care, and with honesty and integrity when exercising their powers or performing their duties on behalf of the Board.
  3. Members attend meetings and undertake Board activities as independent persons responsible to the Board. Members are appointed for their knowledge and expertise, not as representatives of professional organisations and groups. Members are appointed to advance the health and disability sector as a whole, and not the interests of other groups with which they may be affiliated. The Board should not assume that a particular group's interests have been taken into account because a member is associated with a particular group.

Liability

  1. A member of the Board, in accordance with section 90 (4) of the Act is not liable to the Ministry or the Crown for any act or omission done or omitted in their capacity as a member of the Board if they have acted in good faith, and with reasonable care, in pursuance of the role specified for the Board in this Terms of Reference.

Disclosure of interest

  1. Any Board member, who has an interest in a transaction, which includes exercising all tasks under these Terms of Reference, must, as soon as practicable after the relevant facts have come to the member’s knowledge, disclose the nature of the interest to the Board. For the purposes of this clause, section 6(2) of the Act will apply.
  2. For the purposes of these Terms of Reference, a transaction is:
    1. the exercise or performance of a function, duty, or power of the Board; or
    2. an arrangement, agreement, or contract to which the Board, Minister or Ministry is a party; or
    3. a proposal that the Board, Ministry or Minister enter into an arrangement, agreement, or contract.
  3. Disclosure under this section must be recorded in the minutes of the next meeting of the Board and entered in the separate Conflicts of Interests register.
  4. A member of the Board who makes a disclosure under this obligation, after that disclosure must not:
    1. subject to paragraph 33, take part in any deliberation, discussion or decision of the Board relating to the transaction
    2. be included in the quorum required for any such deliberation or decision.
  5. However, a member of the Board who makes a disclosure under paragraph 29 may take part in any deliberation or discussion (but not decision) of the Board relating to that transaction provided
    1. a majority of the other members of the Board and the Chair wish the member to do so and
    2. wherever and in whatever form such permission is given, this action must be reported via the minutes.
  6. In such a case, the Board must record in its minutes:
    1. the permission and the majority’s reason for giving it
    2. what a member said in any deliberation or discussion relating to the transaction concerned.
  7. Every member of the Board must ensure that:
    1. the statement completed by the member is incorporated in the Conflicts of Interests register, and
    2. any relevant change in the member’s circumstances affecting a matter disclosed in that statement is also entered in the Conflicts of Interests register as soon as practicable after the change occurs.
  8. Failure to comply with these requirements however, does not affect the validity of any action taken, or arrangement, or agreement, or contract made by the Ministry subsequent to the resolutions made by the Board.

Confidentiality

  1. All the Board meetings will be held ‘in committee’, and minutes of proceedings will not be circulated outside the Board membership or the Ministry. The Board’s proceedings and advice are covered by the Official Information Act 1982.

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