New Ministerial Advisory Group established for Health

Health Minister Dr David Clark has
announced the urgent establishment of a
new Ministerial Advisory Group on the
Health System. 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.
“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.
“We’re 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.
Dr Clark has appointed Sir Brian Roche as
chair of the group. Professor David TipeneLeach,
Muriel Tūnoho, 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.
“These five individuals are extremely
experienced and highly regarded in the
health and disability sector.
“I’ve 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,” says Dr Clark.
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 Tipene-Leach is a
Professor of Māori 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 longterm
conditions, particularly diabetes.
Muriel Tūnoho is president of E tū, 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 is a former DirectorGeneral
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 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.