Interim Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand formed

42 days ago
By: Daphne Atkinson

As part of the reform of New Zealand’s health system two new interim entities have been established and members of both entities have been announced.

Health New Zealand, will take over the planning and commissioning of services, as well as the functions of the existing 20 District Health Boards

The Māori Health Authority, which will be autonomous and able to commission services, with joint decision-making with Health New Zealand to grow kaupapa Māori services and give Māori a strong voice in the new system.

The Boards will advise the Minister of Health on the ongoing establishment of the new entities and the transition to the new system. It is expected that Chairs and members will become permanent appointments once entities are permanently established in July 2022.

The Health Reform Transition Unit, set up within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, managed the appointment process in partnership with a steering group led by Tā Mason Durie to provide advice and guidance in selecting the boards.

The required mix of skills and experience for both boards included commercial expertise, expertise in Māori health, te ao Māori and hauora Māori (for the Māori Health Authority), expertise in Pacific health, in management of clinical services, clinical risk and service performance, experience in managing or governing large operational organisations or systems, and knowledge of the New Zealand health system.  

Co-chairs of the Maori Health Authority Sharon Shea and Tipa Mahuta say that integrating te ao Māori into New Zealand’s healthcare system presents substantial opportunity.

"My marae established the first marae-based health clinic in the 1980s as a model of care for our whānau and increased access to hauora services," Tipa Mahuta shares.

"From the work of many we are fortunate to be able to launch a new era of Māori decision-making in health. The challenge remains to empower our whānau to enjoy intergenerational health gains and increase their opportunity to drive their own hauora futures and decision-making."

Read about the interim Health New Zealand Board members

Read about the interim Māori Health Authority Board members