New Advisory Group to foster better Public Health

Dr David Clark

Wellington, December 5, 2017

Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced the urgent establishment of a new Ministerial Advisory Group on the Health System.

Following is the Statement issued by him this morning:

Nine-Year Toll

Since becoming the Minister of Health, it has become increasingly clear to me that all is not well within our public health system. Nine years of under-resourcing and neglect have taken their toll.

New Zealanders deserve better, and the Labour-led Government will not sit back while the public is short-changed by a health system operating under such stress.

We have a significant health agenda to roll out including in primary care, mental health, and disability services.

Additional investment

We are committed to investing an extra $8 billion in health and it is vital to have a health system in its best shape possible to ensure all New Zealanders can access quality health and disability services.

The Ministerial Advisory Group will help ensure that investment makes a positive difference to people’s lives.

It will provide fresh perspective and independent advice about how we can improve our health system and deliver better services to New Zealanders.

I have appointed Sir Brian Roche as Chair of the Group.

Professor David Tipene-Leach, Muriel Tunoho, Dr Karen Poutasi and Dr Lester Levy have also been appointed members for a term of two years.

They will report directly to the Minister of Health.

Experienced Advisors

These five individuals are extremely experienced and highly regarded in the health and disability sector.

I have asked them to advise me on lifting the Ministry’s performance and leadership, strengthening relationships across the sector, and helping to deliver the Government’s strategic direction for health. This work is critical to improving the quality of our health services.

There are good people nationwide, working hard to improve people’s health. Both they and the public deserve the highest standards of leadership and performance.

Legislative Move

The Ministerial Advisory Group on the Health System is a Ministerial Committee established under section 11 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2001.

Sir Brian Roche

Chair Sir Brian Roche has extensive governance and management experience, a former Chief Executive of PWC NZ, oversaw a significant transformation of the New Zealand Post Group as Chief Executive and is an experienced chair of numerous entities, both Crown and private.

Professor David Pipene-Leach

Professor David Tipene-Leach is a Professor of Maori and Indigenous Research at the Eastern Institute of Technology. He has a distinguished medical practice and academic history, and has led innovative public health projects on prevention of long-term conditions, particularly diabetes.

Muriel Tunoho

Muriel Tunoho is president of E tu, one of New Zealand’s largest unions and national coordinator for Healthcare Aotearoa, which represents many community and iwi controlled primary health providers. She is also involved with Hutt Union & Community Health Service and is an executive member on the Living Wage Movement Aotearoa board.

Dr Karen Poutasi

Dr Karen Poutasi is a former Director-General of Health. She oversaw the establishment of District Health Boards and the amalgamation of the former Health Funding Authority with the Ministry of Health. She has extensive experience at both a governance and management level, with deep knowledge and networks in the health system.

Dr Lester Levy

Dr Lester Levy has extensive knowledge of the health sector.

He is Chair of the three Auckland district health boards, and has a wealth of experience in other private and government governance roles.


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