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Expression of Interest

Interim Board Members

Māori Health Authority

and Health New Zealand.

A once in a generation opportunity to transform New Zealand’s health
and disability system and achieve an equitable wellbeing future for all.


The New Zealand Health Reform

In 2018 the New Zealand Government commissioned the Health and Disability System Review/Hauora Manaaki Ki Aotearoa Whānui to identify how to strengthen the health and disability system to ensure every New Zealander can access the right care at the right time.

A comprehensive process of consultation and engagement with a diverse group of communities and stakeholders occurred throughout New Zealand and the final report was passed to government in March 2020.

In summary the review confirmed the following:

  • The needs of Māori have not been served well and Māori continue to have persistently poorer health outcomes

  • Pasifika and a number of priority populations have also been underserved

  • Consumer preferences of where and how services should be delivered has consistently not been met

  • The system is very fragmented, overly complicated and

  • Is facing significant financial pressures that are impacting its sustainability

In response to the reviews findings, in April 2021 the government confirmed its decision to embark on a once in a generational health and disability system reform.

Exceptional Stewardship

At a whole of system level there are four major changes that will help steward the reform agenda and in particular this includes the creation of two significant new organisations, the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand.

Their purpose is to ensure the new system provides consistent, high-quality health services for everyone, particularly for Māori and groups who have been traditionally underserved and have poorer health outcomes than other New Zealanders.

Essential to the success of the reform journey will be the establishment of two Boards comprised of highly experienced and skilled leaders to effectively govern the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand and successfully steward in the changes.

The Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand are proposed to eventually be established as standalone government organisations governed by Boards. The formal legal status of the Māori Health Authority is still under consideration. In the case of Health New Zealand it is likely to be established under the Crown Entities Act 2004. The establishment of both Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority, under new primary legislation, is expected to occur by 1 July 2022.

In the interim, both organisations will exist as departmental agencies hosted by the Ministry of Health but reporting directly to the Minister of Health. Both departmental agencies will have an appointed Acting Chief Executive (CEO) and will be supported by “Boards” exercising a quasi-governance role as committees under section 11 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000.

In this website and accompanying information the section 11 committees will hereafter be referred to as the interim Boards.

Governing interim Board members will be required to take significant strategic governance and leadership responsibility to successfully implement the governments reform agenda. It will require New Zealand’s most exceptional leaders to come together, drawing on their diverse backgrounds, experiences and proven professional capabilities across a range of areas to succeed.

The Minister of Health is now calling for nominations for the interim Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand Boards.

The appointment process for the two interim Boards is being stewarded by the Health Reform Transition Unit within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet supported by the Ministry of Health.

A Steering Group selected and led by Sir Mason Durie has agreed a Māori-centred process to identify and shortlist nominees for the interim Māori Health Authority board. This will include reaching out directly to Iwi and the Māori health sector, supplemented by other recruitment channels.

In addition to facilitating this process the Steering Group will also provide advice and oversight to the appointment of all candidates, including Maori candidates to the interim Health New Zealand Board.

The HardyGroup (HG) and Atahaia Consulting are working in partnership to support the appointment process across both boards.

Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority

New Zealand has achieved universal health and disability coverage through a predominantly publicly funded health and disability system. Services covered include inpatient, outpatient, mental health and long-term care, as well as prescription drugs. New Zealand’s health and disability system is large and complex with services delivered through a broad network of organisations.

Health New Zealand will be established to commission or manage all hospital and specialist services and primary and community care. Health New Zealand will be responsible for improving services and outcomes across the health and disability system.

The size and scale of Health New Zealand will be significant and will have substantial commissioning and delivery responsibilities. It will be the largest Crown Entity in the public sector. At a high level, Health New Zealand will have a workforce of approximately 70,000 staff working across New Zealand’s public hospitals, community and primary care services, and the wider public health and disability system. It will oversee approximately $20 billion in annual operational expenditure and manage $10 billion in assets.

The Māori Health Authority will be a ground-breaking organisation designed to give Māori a vehicle to shape health outcomes for Māori and to give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It will embody partnership in its contribution to the New Zealand public health and disability system, both collaborating with Health New Zealand and the Ministry of Health and acting as an agent for tino rangatiratanga, with joint accountabilities to the Crown and Māori.

In doing so it will both act as a policy and strategy agency, providing advice alongside the Ministry of Health, and as a commissioner of care across the health and disability system. The Authority’s final budget and workforce are yet to be determined but will represent a sizeable part of the health and disability system with co-commissioning responsibilities over most services. It will start with a substantial workforce and oversee an initial commissioning budget of over $100 million over four years, which may ramp up significantly over time.

Interim Board Capabilities, Leadership and experience

Prospective candidates must possess several of the following capabilities to be considered as potential interim Board members for either of the new organisations:

  • Deep understanding of Te Tiriti, Te Tiriti based principles and frameworks, particularly as they apply in healthcare settings

  • Credibility with and experience of working in close partnership with Iwi and Māori communities

  • Connections with and understanding of Te Ao Maori, Matauranga Maori and Tikanga Maori

  • Credibility with and understanding of working in close partnership with Pacific leaders and communities

  • Credibility with the disabled community and/or lived experience of disability

  • Deep expertise in commissioning for primary and community care

  • Credibility in leadership and/or governance at a whole of system, national level and a comprehensive understanding of Crown entity governance

  • Health system knowledge or experience at a senior leadership and/or governance level, preferably nationally

  • Extensive commercial experience and strong financial acumen related to large, complex organisation’s and/or systems

  • Strategic leadership capability evidenced in innovation, transformation and change at scale

  • Senior leadership experience working extensively with and/or for government

  • Prominent standing and respect in their area or areas of expertise

  • Significant understanding of health data and digital management and preferably experience in health technology and innovation

  • Comprehensive understanding of the health reform and the new model

The information pack, key selection criteria and other important information can be accessed here.

Submitting an Expression of Interest

If you think you can make a lasting difference to the health of New Zealanders and are confident you meet or indeed exceed the key selection criteria in the briefing document, then we invite you to submit an expression of interest by completing the electronic form below.

You will be required to address the key selection criteria in your submission and upload your current curriculum vitae in PDF format to complete your expression of interest submission.


lf you are unable to access the material on the website, word versions can readily be provided by contacting one of the two following people who will be happy to assist.

For the Māori Health Authority Lyn Harrison

For Health New Zealand Paul Ingle

The closing date for submissions is Friday 18th June 2021.

About the Steering Group, Atahaia Consulting and HardyGroup (HG)

The Steering Group chaired by Sir Mason Durie, Atahaia Consulting and the HardyGroup are delighted to be partnering with the Transition Unit of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Office in the appointment process of the two new interim Boards.

Steering Group

Chaired by Sir Mason Durie, the steering group has been established to oversee the appointment process for interim board members to the Maori Health Authority (MHA). In addition to overseeing the MHA process, the steering group will also provide oversight and advice on the appointment process for all candidates, including Maori candidates, who apply to be interim board members on Health New Zealand. To achieve this the steering group will work in partnership with Atahaia Consultancy and the HardyGroup to select suitably qualified Maori candidates.

Atahaia Consulting

Atahaia was founded by Lyn Harrison in 1999 and was the first Maori specific recruitment agency. Atahaia have since worked with a range of Maori, private and public sector organisations to source and place candidates in senior executive roles, all the while providing services that exemplify the Maori value of manaaki throughout the process with both candidates and clients. To learn more about Atahaia Consulting please click here.


HG is a specialist in public sector whole of government, health, social and community sector leadership appointments. For over thirty years it has partnered with clients to recruit to a diverse range of roles from Board, Statutory, Director General, C-Suite and Specialist leadership appointments. It takes a relational approach to network building and collaborating with clients to build system and organisational capacity. To learn more about HG please click here.