Source: Beehive, 5 December 2017
Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced the urgent
establishment of a new Ministerial Advisory Group on the Health
"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
"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
"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
Dr Clark has appointed Sir Brian Roche as chair of the group.
Professor David Tipene-Leach, 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
"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.
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.
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 long-term
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 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 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