Health and Charitable Sectors Bills Passed

  • Jonathan Coleman
State Services

State Services Minister Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman has welcomed the passing of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Bill, the Mental Health Commission Bill and the Charities Amendment Bill (No 2) into law.

The three Bills, which until recently formed collectively the Crown Entity Reform Bill, brings structural changes to government health and charitable agencies from 1 July 2012.

“The government is committed to delivering better quality public services to New Zealanders and these changes all address this priority,” Dr Coleman said.

“The changes reduce state sector fragmentation; make government functions more viable and efficient by having delivery carried out by larger, more resilient agencies, and by reducing duplication of services and back-office functions.”

The New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Act establishes the Health Promotion Agency, replacing the current Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand (ALAC) and the Health Sponsorship Council (HSC).

The Crown Health Financing Agency will also be disestablished with the Treasury and Ministry of Health now carrying out its functions.

“The government believes that not only will this integration lead to real administrative efficiencies but will also bring an intensified focus to the work of the new entities,” said Dr Coleman.

The Mental Health Commission Act disestablishes the Mental Health Commission. It will establish a Mental Health Commissioner within the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner.

The Charities Amendment Act (No 2) transfers the functions of the Charities Commission to the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA). This law changes machinery of government arrangements for the charities sector; it does not change the current functions of registering and supporting charities under the Charities Act 2005.