Attributable toMargie Apa, Chief Executive Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora

Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora has today published its Quarter 3 Report, covering performance from 1 January to 31 March 2024.   

Quarter 3 saw some positive progress and achievements, while also underscoring significant challenges the health system continues to face.

Highlights from the quarter, with ongoing benefits to New Zealanders, included:

  • employment of a record number of nurses, directly improving patient experience and better supporting our wider workforce;
  • re-launch of our Midwifery Return to Practice fund, to attract midwives back into this critical workforce;  
  • launch of a new mobile breast screening unit, improving access and convenience for people, and reducing pressure on other parts of the system;
  • announcement of an extension of breast cancer screening to people aged 70-74 years, something Health NZ looks forward to operationalising later this year;
  • successful early operation of the Aotearoa Immunisation Register, improving accuracy and accessibility of immunisation data (over 200,000 vaccinations were recorded);
  • extensive staff training in de-escalating skills, given our strong desire for people, including our workforce, to feel safer in our facilities;
  • enhancements to the digital tool My Health Record, giving users more flexibility to update information and improving accuracy of health information;
  • adoption of a National Hospital Visitor Policy which means a consistent approach across New Zealand for whānau to stay with loved ones around the clock;
  • publication of the Health Status Report which means a comprehensive view of population health and key foundation for informing priorities and improving health services.

Despite these positive developments, the quarter further emphasised challenges and we are not yet seeing the improvement in key service areas we want. In particular:

  • too many people are waiting too long to see a specialist for the first time, or to have planned surgery or other treatment;
  • there is significant pressure across all mental health and addiction services, meaning some people have found it hard to access the specialist care they need;
  • service capacity is strained in many parts of primary and community care due to workforce and resourcing constraints.

Health NZ is strongly focused on addressing these challenges. This will take time but is achievable.

During the quarter, 12 new clinical networks were also established, reinforcing the criticality of clinical leadership across our work. These networks will play a key role in improving service effectiveness across clinical specialties.

Reflecting on the latest report, Chief Executive Margie Apa extended her thanks to the whole health workforce.

“We know how committed our people are and how hard they are working. I want to thank everyone, in Health NZ and across all of our providers, for their commitment and contribution to our progress during the quarter.”

Related to performance reporting, the Government’s health targets came into effect from 1 July – a set of national health targets and a specific set for mental health. These targets will help further strengthen Health NZ’s performance in critical areas.

On 30 June, the Minister of Health also released the Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Health 2024-27. Health NZ is now required to give effect to the priorities and expectations in the GPS.



Note to editors:

The Government’s five national health targets and five mental health & addiction targets came into effect on 1 July 2024.

Health NZ will publish results against targets each quarter, with the first results reported in December for the July-September period (Q1 of 2024/25).

In the case of national health targets, these are similar to existing performance measures – these are identified in the Q3 report.  

In the case of mental health targets, some measures are new – meaning that data, monitoring, and reporting will evolve over time.


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