Between 27 May 2014 and 17 June 2014, the Ministry of Health consulted with the affected areas on a potential change of district health board for Wharekauri, Rēkohu, Chatham Islands. A total of 106 submissions were received and their analysis is presented in this summary report. The submitters were predominantly Chatham Islands residents (104).
Overall 70 percent of Chatham Island residents who responded thought that responsibility for administering health services for the Chatham Islands should be transferred from Hawke’s Bay DHB with 55 percent favouring a change to Canterbury DHB.
Transport access to mainland New Zealand health services was rated either the most important or second most important influence for change by the respondents. Availability of family/whānau support in the DHB region and a DHB’s knowledge of the health needs of Chatham Islanders were also important influencing factors.
Representatives from the Ministry of Health met with the three DHBs involved in the consultation process to discuss their views on a potential change of DHB. In addition, two DHBs supplied written submissions as part of the public consultation process.
Based on public feedback, access to air transport links, the range of services available, and recent experience in rural health service delivery, the Ministry considers that Canterbury DHB would be best placed to provide services that reduce the impact of travel on patients, increase access to whānau support, and reduce subsequent travel costs.