This publication describes areas of common interest that allow the Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Police (the Police) to work collaboratively in responding to situations involving health officials and the Police to achieve improved health and wellbeing for New Zealanders.
The Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Police have common interests in several public policy areas and are increasingly involved in cross-government projects. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is intended to reflect the relationship between the two departments at a high level and is supported by schedules that deal with specific areas of activity as required.
The purpose of the MOU is to allow the Ministry of Health (the Ministry) and the New Zealand Police to work collaboratively in responding to situations involving health officials and the New Zealand Police to achieve improved health and wellbeing for New Zealanders. The specific areas of common interest cover:
- consulting on strategic priorities and plans of each party
- consulting on policy initiatives
- sharing information
- development of relevant operational initiatives that affect the other party, including responses to emergencies and combined responses to other risks such as those seen in the COVID-19 pandemic
- communication and media strategies.
The structure of the MOU includes an overarching purpose and set of principles agreed by the two agencies, and a set of schedules relating to specific protocols, procedures and activities involving the agencies. The schedules are:
- Schedule 1: the responsibilities of the Ministry, health service providers (District Health Boards (DHBs) until July 2022) and the Police for responding to a person in mental health crisis.
- Schedule 2: preventing overseas travel by special patients under the provisions of the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992.
- Schedule 3: Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 2017: National Standards of Service Delivery describes the key interface areas between the Addiction Services and the Police.
- Schedule 4: Disclosure of new-born blood spot samples and related information between the National Screening Unit and the Police.
- Schedule 5: COVID-19 Pandemic response: this schedule relates to the collaboration required between the Ministry and the Police to manage information sharing for contact tracing purposes.