What are the agencies' respective roles?

  • Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora leads the day-to-day running of the health system and unites the 20 former District Health Boards, other shared services agencies, and Te Hiringa Hauora - Health Promotion Agency under one organisation. It leads and coordinates the delivery of health services, including:
    • hospital and specialist services
    •  the National Public Health Service
    •  clinical governance
    •  community services
    • primary and community care.
  • Manatū Hauora – the Ministry of Health is chief advisor to the Minister of Health and advises Government on funding and system settings, as well as developing the policy and laws needed. It focuses on strategy, policy, regulation and monitoring outcomes achieved by the system as a whole. 

    The Ministry of Health hosts the Public Health Agency, which is responsible for public health policy, strategy, monitoring, and intelligence.

  • Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People works with the disability community, Māori, and Government to help transform the disability system in line with the Enabling Good Lives approach

    The initial work of Whaikaha was to maintain continuity in disability support services. Other agencies will also continue to support disabled people and their whanau.

  • Te Aho o Te Kahu - the Cancer Control Agency is a departmental agency reporting directly to the Minister of Health. Te Aho o Te Kahu provides oversight of cancer outcomes for the health system. The Agency is accountable for ensuring transparency of progress towards the goals and outcomes in the National Cancer Action Plan. These goals are focused on fewer cancers, better survival rates, and equity in treatment.

Who should media approach about what?

Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora

  • Health New Zealand manages the health system day-to-day, planning and commissioning services for the whole population via its four regions. Service delivery and operational questions should be directed to Health New Zealand, along with questions about national programmes like
    • the National Immunisation Programme
    • the Health Infrastructure Unit
    • COVID-19 response.
  • The National Public Health Service within Health New Zealand is responsible for population health, including the management of outbreaks and pandemics, health promotion, health prevention and health protection.
  • Questions for local districts (formerly dealt with at DHB level) can go to local media teams.

Manatū Hauora - Ministry of Health

  • The Ministry of Health deals with strategy, policy, regulation and advice to Government. It is also involved with monitoring health system performance and national health outcomes.
  • Questions about public health policy, strategy, monitoring and intelligence should be sent to the Ministry.
  • Any questions about the Public Health Agency should be sent to the Ministry.

Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People

  • Whaikaha is responsible for monitoring disability support services and for driving positive change for disabled people. Questions regarding these services can be sent to Whaikaha.
  • Addressing equity for all disabled people by improving health outcomes, access to and accessibility of mainstream health services is still a Ministry of Health responsibility. The Ministry is also responsible for primary health services for disabled people. Te Whatu Ora has the overall lead on hospital services for disabled people.

Te Aho o Te Kahu - the Cancer Control Agency

  • Te Aho o Te Kahu provides national leadership of the cancer system. While some parts of cancer delivery and prevention are shared across other health agencies, Te Aho o Te Kahu takes a leading role on most cancer issues. Questions about those issues should be sent here.

Media contacts

Agencies work together to respond to media queries. We know some media queries may relate to multiple agencies, and we will try to find the best place to answer them.

Are there still district level communications contacts within Health New Zealand?

  • Yes, established district communications contacts continue to be a point of contact for local queries.
  • There may be some system-level queries that sit more broadly with Health New Zealand and district media contacts will refer these to national office.

Official Information Act (OIA)

Under the Official Information Act 1982, our information is available on request unless there is a good reason for withholding it. Information on how to make a request is on our OIA Requests page.

These are some of the formal descriptions why we might withhold information under the Act:

  • Section 9(2)(a) – to protect the privacy of natural persons, including the deceased.
  • Section 18(d) – the information requested is or soon will be publicly available.
  • Section 18(e) – the document containing the information requested does not exist or cannot be found.
  • Section 18(g) – the information requested is not held by the organisation.

To learn more, go to the Office of the Ombudsman.

Privacy Waivers

Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora is committed to being as transparent as possible with the media. 

When managing requests for information or comment this is done in line with our obligations under the Health Information Privacy Code and the Official Information Act. 

Any request for comment about a patient’s care or treatment would be considered under our Privacy Waiver Policy. 

The decision on if a privacy waiver can be accepted or not will be made by our clinical team in consultation with our legal, privacy and media teams.

When considering a privacy waiver factors to be weighed up include the wishes of the individual against clinical, privacy and legal matters.  However, patient safety will be our overarching guide.  


Health New Zealand I Te Whatu Ora Privacy Waiver Policy (PDF, 230 KB)

Health New Zealand I Te Whatu Ora Privacy Waiver Form (PDF, 354 KB)

Community guidelines for Health New Zealand social media channels

Health New Zealand provides important safety and public health information through our accounts on FacebookInstagramTwitter and LinkedIn. We use these to engage with our communities, and welcome posts and comments. However, we may decide to remove posts or comments if they go against our community guidelines.

Remember that we cannot assess your health over social media. If you need answers to a health problem please ask your GP, or call Healthline for free on 0800 611 116. In an emergency, always call 111. 

If we get information that suggests someone might be at risk of harm, we may share that with Police or Netsafe to keep them safe. But our accounts are not an emergency service and we don’t monitor them all the time. If you or anyone else is at risk of hurting yourself or others, please call 111 or look for mental health services and information. 

Enforcing community guidelines

Te Whatu Ora reserves the right to: 

  • decide what content we think is inappropriate
  • hide or remove inappropriate content
  • ban users from social media communities. 

We may delete content which contains: 

  • racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other hate speech 
  • statements that might be defamatory
  • confidential information (including personal details or health information) 
  • misinformation 
  • spam or advertising 
  • offensive language, abusive language, or threats 
  • statements that are off-topic or derail the conversation
  • nudity, pornography, or child abuse 
  • excessive violence 
  • content that is illegal, gives instructions on illegal activity, or encourages people to break the law. 

If you find content on any of our accounts which you feel breaks these guidelines, please let us know.  

We may use comments and messages submitted to our social media pages for reporting, after removing names and other personal details.