Health Reform - Govt ensures local say in health services

The Government has announced how New Zealanders will have a real voice in determining the health services provided in their community as part of the new health system.

“Today we’re announcing nine locality network pilots to improve how healthcare is delivered in local communities,” Health Minister Andrew Little said.

The first nine areas to roll out the locality approach are:

  • Ōtara/Papatoetoe
  • Hauraki
  • Taupō/Tūrangi
  • Wairoa
  • Whanganui
  • Porirua
  • West Coast
  • Eastern Bay of Plenty
  • Horowhenua

The new locality approach will be a collective of networks that will provide advice to Health New Zealand (HNZ) and the Māori Health Authority (MHA)  on the health services needs identified by their communities.

“Iwi and the local community will determine their own geographic area that will become the ‘locality’, so the area it serves makes sense to the people that live and work there.

“The area for each locality network will be determined by a range of criteria including, priority population groups, iwi boundaries and local government boundaries.

“The areas will be small enough to still feel local and everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand will fit into a locality that reflects their community

“Once Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority have worked with communities to identify their localities, a locality commissioner will be assigned to work with community and providers – to meet and talk about their priorities for local care.

“This targeted engagement will inform a locality plan that will influence local health care services.

“People will have a more direct voice to determine how health services are delivered because locality networks are required to consult, engage and capture the input of the communities they represent including iwi, local authorities and social sector agencies rather than relying on a small number of elected reps under the DHBs,” Andrew Little said.

These first nine locality networks will have additional support so HNZ and MHA understands how to best refine and roll-out the localities approach over the next two years.

“People living in these nine areas will start to see changes over the next six months. Organisations responsible for providing care will start to work more closely together.”

Note: Click here to read Minister Little's releated speech.