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Issue #8 - May 2022
In this edition
Update from Margie and Riana
Planned Care Taskforce announced

Tier two leadership structure for HNZ and MHA
Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority names
New positions being advertised
New director for the Procurement and Supply Chain Project
Functions transfer from the Ministry of Health to iHNZ and iMHA - 1 May

Meet Tamati Peni from the Pacific Health team
Update from the National Public Health Service

Update from Margie Apa and Riana Manuel

Tēnā koutou e ngā kaimahi,

We have talked before about the pace of change and being clear where we need to make things happen and where we need to make sure we minimise disruptions to the system. But when it comes to addressing urgent issues facing our health system, we can’t wait until new structures are in place. We need action-oriented approaches that get traction fast, particularly in crucial areas like planned care, immunisation and our workforce.

We’re setting up taskforces focused on each of these areas, with planned care being the first to be announced by Minister Little this week (see item in this edition). The Planned Care Taskforce brings the right people, with extensive experience, together to figure out what’s needed to address issues like surgical waitlists and delays in specialist assessment and care. 

They’ll be focused on where the capacity is in the system, where local initiatives can be extended across other areas, and other opportunities that a national framework presents to get the system working.

With the HNZ and MHA tier two leadership structures now decided, a lot of work is under way to plan and design how we shape up each of the business units. You’ll hear more about this over the coming weeks and months. Procurement and Supply Chain is one of the workstreams ahead of the curve. In this edition, you’ll see that we’re announcing the appointment of the new Executive Director.

We know many of you are encouraging those you care for – including whānau at home – to do what they can to stay well this winter. We encourage you to do the same and make your own health and wellbeing a priority. One easy thing you can do is get the flu jab before winter arrives – it’s your best defence for protecting you and those you love from flu.

Ngā mihi,

Margie and Riana

Planned Care Taskforce announced

Hon Andrew Little, Minister of Health announced the first of three temporary taskforces being set up to tackle urgent pressures in the health system.
Mr Andrew Connolly (centre) is Chair of the Planned Care Taskforce, which also includes Dr Jeff Lowe (left), who is Chair of General Practice New Zealand. Both addressed media at the announcement of the taskforce alongside Health New Zealand Chief Executive Margie Apa.
Chaired by Dr Andrew Connolly, the Planned Care Taskforce will help hospitals take whatever short-term measures they can to reduce waiting times and will be responsible for delivering a national plan by September.

This involves coordinating the central commissioning of health services and working with our clinicians to prioritise the planned care activity over the next one to two years. 

It also means working with private hospitals in a more coordinated way, with subspecialty groups to advise on prioritisation, and primary and community provider networks to add capacity to specialist assessment pathways. 
Taskforce members are:
  • Andrew Connolly, Counties Manukau chief medical officer and colorectal surgeon 
  • Professor Diana Sarfati, the chief executive of Te Aho o te Kahu, the Cancer Control Agency
  • Dr Jeff Lowe, a Wellington GP and chair of General Practice New Zealand
  • Jo Brown, Auckland District Health Board funding and development manager 
  • Dan Coward, Canterbury District Health Board chief operating officer for networks
  • Brenda Close, Canterbury District Health Board director of nursing 
  • Linda Chalmers, Bay of Plenty DHB clinical director 
  • Maxine Ronald, Northland DHB general and oncoplastic breast surgeon
  • Dr Kiki Maoate, a paediatric surgeon at Canterbury DHB
  • Dr Rawiri Jansen, the clinical director of the National Hauora Coalition. Dr Jansen has been appointed to the taskforce by the Interim Māori Health Authority.
Taskforces to address pressures on immunisation programmes and the health workforce will be announced over the next few weeks. This approach allows us to draw on resources across the system and move quickly on key issues without having to wait for people to be appointed into tier two leadership roles. 

The Taskforce will continue until national and regional roles and functions are in place to take responsibility and accountability for delivery.

Read more about the tier two leadership structure for HNZ and MHA

On 20 April, Margie and Riana shared the high-level organisational structure and way of working with senior leaders and national stakeholders.

This includes the national leadership roles and some of the regional ones.

Your leaders will have shared this information with you – or will do soon – giving as much detail as they can about what this means for you and them. You can also read the key documents on the Health New Zealand website

Pātai (questions)?

If you have questions, please talk with your manager. If they don’t have the answer, they’ll be able to get it for you. While sometimes the answer may be that we don’t know yet, we’ll tell you when we expect to know the answer. 

You can also email questions directly to

While we expect there will be very little change to your current roles on 1 July, this is the start of creating our new health system together and bringing our ‘team of teams’ into HNZ and the MHA partnership.

Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority names – watch this space!

‘Health New Zealand’ and the ‘Māori Health Authority’ have served as placeholder names for our new health organisations until suitable names are determined.

The process to do that, led by Pou Tikanga (senior tikanga advisor), Rāhui Papa, has been completed and late last month the two names were presented to the Boards.

There is a rich narrative behind both the names and we’ll share this with you, as well as the story of how we got there. 

There are some steps that still need to be completed before we can officially announce and start using the names.   

This includes working out some practical things – like do we use an acronym, what is capitalised and what colours and fonts are used. 

We’re also working through the best way to launch the names with appropriate recognition of their provenance, meaning, and the aspirations and purpose they encapsulate, while ensuring they are swiftly embedded as the identifiers for the organisations.

We look forward to presenting the names along with guidance on how they should be used – watch this space!

New director appointed to the Procurement and Supply Chain Project

We are delighted to welcome Chris Morgan into the role of Executive Director Procurement and Supply Chain.
Chris brings significant experience in complex and demanding procurement and supply chain environments in both the private and public sectors.

Chris is returning to the health sector after recent roles in strategic planning and procurement at Auckland Transport and ACC. He has a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and has held professional leadership positions in the procurement and supply chain community in New Zealand, including NZ Chair of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS). 

Chris strongly believes that the procurement and supply chain mahi is fundamental to meeting the equity challenges in the health system and realising the transformation opportunities that lie ahead.

He’s looking forward to his upcoming road trip to hear your views first-hand before getting his feet under the desk. Chris joins us on 20 June.

Transferring some functions from the Ministry of Health to iHNZ and iMHA

As part of the system reforms, some functions in the Ministry of Health transfer to the interim Māori Health Authority and interim Health New Zealand before 1 July.

On 1 May, the second group of people transferred to the new organisations, including roles in Corporate Services; Office of the Director General; DHB Performance and Support; Health Workforce; Health System Improvement and Innovation; Population Health and Prevention; and Data and Digital.

This allows us to continue delivering a high standard of care for the people we serve. This is particularly important at the moment as we manage the continuing pressures of the pandemic as well as the winter season.

The final functions to transfer ahead of 1 July are planned for the beginning of June. We’ll let you know as these happen.

You can view details of the transfer of the first group on page two of the 5 April edition of People Pānui.
You can now also find previous editions of People Pānui in the same place – in our ‘For the health workforce’ section on the Health New Zealand website. Check it out if you haven’t already!

Meet Tamati Peni from the Pacific Health team

Kia ora, bula vinaka - na yacaqu ko Tamati Peni.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background
I’ve got a mixed heritage of Fijian and Māori whakapapa and I hail from Tokoroa. I’m the Director of Pacific Health at Waikato DHB and, like many of our health workforce, have been working in the COVID response since the beginning of the pandemic.

What’s your role as part of the health reform?
I joined the Pacific Team as a Sector Expert to give voice to our Pacific communities in Waikato and ensure we had an opportunity to contribute to the health reform.

What are you working on at the moment?
We’re scheduling dates with community and subject matter experts across the motu to share how we think the health system can enhance the mana and health of Pacific families and communities.

And what’s coming up next?
As we get closer to 1 July, I’m looking forward to hearing what our people have to say about the new health plan and whether they can see themselves in the new system.

What’s your advice to the health sector?
I encourage the health sector to start thinking about our individual and collective impact on the health and well-being of tangata whenua, tangata moana and tangata whaikaha

What do you get up to in your spare time?
Music is my escape, from any one of the L.A.B. albums to mum's favourite Motown artists that we grew up on, like Smokey Robinson or Stevie Wonder.

Update from the National Public Health Service

The new National Public Health Service (NPHS) brings together the 12 existing public health units, Te Hiringa Hauora (Health Promotion Agency), and several Ministry of Health functions – including screening, immunisation, and COVID-19 response services – into one team. 

We are partnering with the Māori Health Authority and the Public Health Agency (located within the Ministry of Health) to work alongside whānau, communities, and other sectors, drawing on Mātauranga Māori and data to provide health promotion, prevention and health protection at local, regional and national levels.

One of the ways we’re engaging with the public health sector on the National Public Health Service is through a series of fortnightly All Hands webinars. We held our second session recently, focused on localities (place-based approaches to planning and delivering health care) and the exciting opportunities for creating a strengthened population health focus across the whole health system.  

Localities will be the way we can embed a population health approach to the services commissioned for a community and how they are best delivered. The localities approach will be supported through shared data intelligence from multiple sources, including health care providers, to inform effective decision-making and monitoring of outcomes. 

The NPHS welcomed its first group of people transferring from the Ministry of Health on 1 May and will see the National Immunisation Programme joining early next month. The relevant COVID-19 functions (and the people in those roles) will also transfer to the NPHS in the coming months.

New positions being advertised

Health New Zealand is working alongside search firms Kerridge & Partners and Mana Recruitment to manage the appointments of its executive team. 

They are now advertising the following roles: All corporate office HNZ and MHA positions for the new health system, as well as Expressions of Interest and backfills into departmental agency roles, are now being advertised on a new interim Careers website: 

Don’t worry if you lose the link – just visit the Health New Zealand website (under About Us) or the Māori Health Authority website and click on the Vacancies tab!
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