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Issue #11 - 7 July 2022
In this edition
Chief Executives' Update
Regional launch events
Key 'Day 1' information and links
Health sector updates
Te Whatu Ora operational updates
Recent events around the motu

Chief Executives' update

Tēnā koutou e ngā kaimahi,

Last Friday was an historic occasion that marked the beginning of our journey towards better health care and equitable health outcomes for all New Zealanders.

The launch events at Waitangi and AUT South Campus were inspiring and emotional moments for everyone involved – us included. We are delighted that more than 5,000 people were able to join us by livestream. We were also excited to see so many acknowledgements across the country – we’ve included snapshots of those celebrations in this issue.

We are looking forward to working with you to tackle the challenges ahead, as we begin work to implement our new health system. These changes will happen gradually, and the creation of agencies is just the start of this process. We will, however, look to leverage early opportunities where we can.

You may be interested to read the Minister’s expectations for our new Boards, which he spoke about at our first Board Meeting on 1 July. Many of the issues he raises – workforce shortages, workplace culture, innovation, and partnerships – are the key areas we are working to address now. You’ll see a focus on some of the actions our taskforces are undertaking in this issue of our People Pānui.

At the same time, our core work to improve health outcomes continues. Just yesterday we launched a new campaign encouraging people to take part in bowel screening. This will roll out in July 2022 and run until end June 2023. It has a particular focus on encouraging eligible Māori and Pacific peoples to take part in screening. We also want to acknowledge that this campaign follows the completion of the nationwide roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme, a significant milestone for our screening services.

We would like to end by thanking you for your mahi over the transition period and your dedication during a period of high demand for services during this winter season.

Nga mihi,
Margie and Riana

Regional launch events

Here are some highlights from our launch events across the country. From top to bottom, left to right:
  • South Canterbury
  • Southern
  • Dunedin
  • Tauranga
  • Whakatane
  • Hawke's Bay, Taranaki

Key information for Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora

In case you missed any of Friday’s activities, we’ve collated links to key Day 1 information, messages, and videos below.

Welcome video
Click the link below to listen to the welcome video from Margie Apa, Riana Manuel, and Minister of Health Andrew Little.

Launch event

Our new websites are now live at and

Social media channels
Follow us on our new social media channels.

Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand

Te Aka Whai Ora - Māori Health Authority

Public Information Campaign
The first phase of a planned public information campaign targeting priority audiences will start in the coming weeks. It will provide priority populations and the wider public with information about the health reforms, some wider context (establishment of Health New Zealand and the Maori Health Authority) and what they can expect in terms of health system transformation over time.

We’ll share the campaign with you soon. In the meantime, check out this animated video which explains the transformation. 

Future of Health - the Five System Shifts (English) - YouTube

Role of our new organisations and names
Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand will lead the day-to-day running of the health system and unites the 20 District Health Boards, shared services agencies and Te Hiringa Hauora as one national organisation. 

It leads and coordinates delivery of health services, including hospital and specialist services, the new National Public Health Service, clinical governance, and community services including primary and community care.

Te Aka Whai Ora – Māori Health Authority will work in partnership with Manatū Hauora and Te Whatu Ora. It is responsible for ensuring the health system delivers equitable outcomes for Māori and has been established as an independent statutory authority. 

Our new names Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora were gifted to us by an expert advisory group, headed by pou tikanga Rahui Papa.

Te Whatu Ora is ‘the weaving of wellness’ – signifying the weaving together of people, resources, organisations, and ideas to improve the health of all New Zealanders.

The name Te Aka Whai Ora represents the ancestral world and our vision towards a healthy future for all. 

Click here for a link to a video of Rahui Papa explaining the meaning of our names:

Our new visual identity
Our two organisations share an exciting story, which is represented through our visual identities, channels and content. 

It's important to take care with how we present ourselves and use our new visual identity correctly. Ask your communications manager for information about our assets and brand guidelines.

District identifiers 
We are now using the term district in the place of District Health Board. Each district has its own name, along with a district identifier wordmark for use on its website and social media channels to distinguish one district from another. In all other uses, districts use the core Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand brand, and their district name is included under role and title in letter and email sign-offs.

Shared Service names
For the most part, we will refer to ourselves by our service names so we can be seen as a single, unified network. We will keep existing public-facing names and logos on existing external websites for an interim period while organisations are integrated. Otherwise, service agencies are to use the core Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand brand, with their service name included in letter and email sign-offs.

Jobs titles and te reo translations 
We will be providing te reo Māori translations for staff job titles soon. We’ll begin this process by identifying common role titles and undertaking a stock-take of what we already have.

In the meantime, please use the English version of your title, and if you have an approved translation, please continue to use it.

Health sector updates

It’s early days for our new health system but some areas are getting immediate attention via three Taskforces – Workforce, Planned Care and Immunisation.

Established in late April and May, the taskforces are led by experienced leaders from across the health system. They will look at how best to draw on existing resources, seek extra capacity across our regions and districts, and replicate existing local initiatives that could serve the wider health system. 

Workforce taskforce, chaired by Ailsa Claire, National Workforce Lead
Improving staffing numbers across the sector is clearly fundamental to an effective health system but it is not just about numbers – we also need to look at how we organise our staff, how staff are rewarded and valued, and how we involve staff in making decisions.

The Workforce Taskforce meets next week for the first time. As a partnership between Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora, it will have representatives from both organisations (which is currently being finalised).

The Workforce team has already begun to identify and amalgamate existing health workforce plans and initiatives to facilitate its discussion on priority workstreams at next week’s meeting. The work programme will align with the strategic direction of the NZ Health Plan, which is a two-year strategic plan to be released by the Minister soon.

Planned Care taskforce, chaired by Andrew Connolly, Acting Chief Medical Officer for Counties Manukau. The Deputy Chair is Dr Rawiri McKree Jansen, Te Aka Whai Ora
Waiting lists will significantly increase this winter due to staffing shortages, and the impact of high case numbers for COVID-19, flu and other winter illnesses on our hospital and primary care services. 

The taskforce is working with urgency to identify short-and longer -term strategies, both nationally and regionally, to reduce waitlists across the country.

Districts are currently reviewing patients who have been waiting longer than 365 days and are booking appointments for these people. Once this has been completed, attention will be turned to those waiting longer than 180 days. Priority will be given to Māori and Pacifica and those people who have been waiting the longest for treatment. 

The taskforce is working with Regional Directors to rollout regional initiatives that have significantly improved waiting lists into other regions. They are also looking at how to maximise resources such as theatre capacity and diagnostics and how they could use the private sector for diagnostic tests and procedures in each region.

Next steps for the taskforce will be to develop a ‘reset and restore’ plan, which will be provided to Te Whatu Ora by the end of July.

Immunisation taskforce 
Immunisation responsibility sits with the new National Public Health Service, within Te Whatu Ora. While we already have several campaigns for immunisation underway this winter, the taskforce will continue to research and recommend specific ways of increasing immunisation rates to the Health NZ and Māori Health Authority leadership teams as well as the Ministry of Health.

Interim Government Policy Statement on Health
On Friday 1 July, Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora received the interim Government Policy Statement (iGPS) on Health from the Minister of Health.

The Government Policy Statement on Health is a public statement of what Government expects the health sector to deliver, what funding and support are available, and how progress will be measured and monitored. 

The iGPS is focused on what should be achieved in the next two years – from July 2022 to June 2024. These shorter-term actions provide the foundations for the longer-term direction, expected outcomes and objectives.

The iGPS sets priorities for the whole of the publicly funded health sector. The actions required will vary for different health entities, but the core direction and outcomes will be consistent to ensure that all health entities work towards common goals that matter for our people and whānau.

The iGPS has six priority areas to guide the health system and the delivery of services:
  • Achieving equity in health outcomes
  • Embedding Te Tiriti o Waitangi across the health system
  • Keeping people well in their communities
  • Developing the health work force of the future
  • Ensuring a financially sustainable health system
  • Laying the foundations for the success of the future of the health system.
The Ministry of Health, acting on behalf of the Minister of Health, has led the development of the iGPS, alongside the Health Transition Unit at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC).

The Ministry of Health worked with the interim Māori Health Authority and interim Health New Zealand on the direction and key the themes to ensure the direction set in the iGPS reflects a shared understanding of priorities for the first two years of the reformed health system.

The iGPS also sets clear parameters for the interim New Zealand Health Plan, which will demonstrate how the different entities that make up the publicly funded health sector will deliver on the Government’s priorities.

You can read the iGPS or a quick guide to it on the Ministry of Health website: Interim Government Policy Statement on Health 2022-2024.

National Public Health Service 

Director appointed to new National Public Health Service 
We are delighted to welcome Dr Nick Chamberlain to the role of National Director, National Public Health Service.

Nick brings a wealth of experience in clinical governance, patient safety, chronic care management, and the prevention of avoidable hospitalisation. He has worked in Primary Care and Public Health and has served as the Chief Executive Officer at the Northland District Health Board. 

In his new role, Nick brings together the 12 existing public health units – including Te Hiringa Hauora (the Health Promotion Agency), and several former Ministry of Health functions such as screening, immunisation, and COVID-19 response services – into a national team. He will also work closely with Dr Andrew Old, the newly appointed Director of the Public Health Agency, to ensure their teams are closely aligned.      

Nick describes his new job as an opportunity to revitalise public health in Aotearoa New Zealand.  
“I know we need a wider health system that actively addresses inequity, reduces need and promotes wellness,” says Nick. “I’m fully committed to a service that ensures Aotearoa New Zealand is always ready to respond to any threats to public health in a coordinated, proactive, equitable and innovative way.”  
This the first permanent appointment to Health New Zealand.

Regional Director appointments 

We are pleased to announce the permanent appointments of regional directors to the National Public Health Service. 

Our regional directors will lead our public health services at a regional level and work in partnership with colleagues at Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora, and the Public Health Agency. 

  • Regional Director, Northern: Dr Hayden McRobbie 
  • Regional Director, Te Manawa Taki: Dr Natasha White
  • Regional Director, Central: Helen Leahy 
  • Regional Director, Te Waipounamu: Vince Barry 

Te Whatu Ora operational updates

Upcoming webinars for staff
Look out for calendar invites to upcoming all-staff webinars. Starting on 26 July, we will be holding regular webinars to talk about our priorities and workstreams. These sessions will include a Q&A and will take place approximately every 3–4 weeks. We’ll also make recordings of these sessions available. 

Invites will go out shortly.

Rolling-over organisational policies 
As an interim measure, most of our corporate policies from across the health sector were rolled over on 1 July. 

Throughout the next 18–24 months, we’ll be consolidating and aligning our policies from across Te Whatu Ora, so that we are all covered by the same organisational policies. The most important policies will be prioritised, and we’ll consult with unions and staff where appropriate. 

People who joined us from a DHB, shared service agency or Te Hiringa Hauora – even if they were employed on or after 1 July – will continue to follow their current organisational policies. This will ensure alignment across groups until the new suite of policies are introduced across Te Whatu Ora. 

The Ministry of Health’s employment policies will continue to apply to people who have transferred to Te Whatu Ora from the Ministry under the Pae Ora Act. 

Email addresses for former Ministry of Health staff
You can still contact former Ministry of Health colleagues who are now part of Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora using their Ministry email addresses.  

New email addresses for these people will be rolled-out throughout July and August. Their old email accounts will remain active post-rollout so that email accidentally sent to these accounts can be automatically forwarded on. 

Looking back at events around the motu

CEOs visit Hawke’s Bay and Tai Tokerau

Margie and Riana have been out and about in the districts, meeting as many of you as possible. They continue to be impressed by regional initiatives and look forward to finding ways to implement these initiatives at a national level. Their most recent trips have been to Te Matau o Māui/Hawke’s Bay and Tai Tokerau/Northland.

Image caption: Standing room only at Margie and Riana’s Q&A session in Te Matau o Māui
Waka hoe gifted to interim health authorities 

Waka hoe (paddles) were presented to the Chairs of the interim health authorities in a moving ceremony this month. The ceremony marked the final meeting of the DHB Chairs and the passing of authority to new leadership.  

Speaking at the event, the Chair of the DHB Chairs Cassandra Crowley paid tribute to the commitment and achievements of the DHBs and expressed her optimism for the future. 

“It’s an exciting opportunity to transform the health sector and address some of the shortcomings in our previous model, while building on the new ways of working that emerged during COVID-19,” said Cassandra. 

The waka hoe were carved especially for the occasion and bare the inscription, ‘Me huringa rau hou. Me whakamau tātou ki te pae ora - hei oranga mō te iwi, mō tātou katoa.’ This translates to, ‘Let us turn over a new leaf. Let us seize the aspiration of a healthy future for all.’

Rob Campbell, Chair of interim Health New Zealand, and Sharon Shea, Co-chair of the interim Māori Health Authority, accepted the waka hoe on behalf of their organisations.

The waka hoe have since been passed to the new health authorities, Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand and Te Aka Whai Ora - Māori Health Authority.

Image captions, top to bottom, right to left:
Sharon Shea, co-chair of the interim Māori Health Authority, and Cassandra Crowley, Chair of the DHB Chairs, hongi during the handing over of the waka hoe to iMHA.
Dr Jim Mather, Board Chair Lakes District Health Board, hands over a waka hoe to Rob Campbell, Chair of interim Health New Zealand board.

Waka hoe gifted to the interim health agencies.
Pito Hauora launches in Hauraki 

Last month saw the launch of Pito Hauora, a new preventative health and screening service for whānau in the Thames–Coromandel–Hauraki rohe. 

The service – which includes breast screening, cervical screening, immunisation and dental services – is available at Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki, an iwi-led health provider of hauora services.
Attending the launch, Chief Executive of the Māori Health Authority Riana Manuel described the event as a milestone for Māori health.

“This is the first mammography service in New Zealand to be incorporated into a Māori health provider and it is also the first combination of a dental health facility and a mammography service in a Māori health provider,” says Riana.

The initiative is part of a localities-based approach that aims to reduce barriers to accessing health care by providing health services closer to home. 

Waikato DHB chief executive Kevin Snee described Pito Hauora as an excellent example of the direction outlined in the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill, aimed at delivering a health service that is equitable and accessible for all.  

“We are excited at what the locality prototype can achieve and are committed to being part of this work. Screening services save lives through early detection and treatment,” says Kevin.

Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki delivers hauora services in a way that is uniquely Māori but open to everyone. It is the only Iwi Health Provider, and the largest provider of holistic whānau-centred services, within the rohe. 

Ka pai to all involved! 

Image caption: Launch of Pito Hauora – Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki, Thames.
Copyright © 2022 Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand, All rights reserved.

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