About the Principles of Supply

Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora and the Ministry of Health, in partnership with health and disability system stakeholders, developed Principles of Supply to guide the distribution of PPE from the Central Supply.

Under this system:

  • regional hospitals, general practices and urgent care, pharmacies, aged residential care, disability support services and home and community support services, managed isolation and quarantine facilities and border services (when required) may receive stock directly from the central supply in line with the principles for supply
  • private providers use their own networks to source and purchase PPE.

If you are a health and disability sector provider, the PPE you access and receive from the Te Whatu Ora Central Supply will be in line with the IPC risk assessment matrix.

Principles for supply

  • The Central Supply enables PPE to be sourced to meet demand from essential publicly funded services that are in scope.
  • PPE for non-publicly funded services should be sourced from commercial or retail suppliers. Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora may provide PPE if commercial or retail suppliers are unable to source it, and it does not jeopardise the Central Supply.
  • The ability to pay is not a consideration in providing or prioritising distribution from the central supply.
  • PPE must be used according to the relevant national COVID-19 IPC guidance and processes published by the Ministry.
  • Any orders from providers must be reasonable, evidence based and proportionate to demand.
  • In times of increased demand, decision-making criteria are used to understand where PPE is to be distributed first, based on the following:
    • the type of service that requires the PPE (criticality of the service, eg, hospitals, managed and community isolation quarantine providers)
    • services providing support for vulnerable communities (high risk populations)
    • the level of inventory: stock on order, on hand and consumption rates (manage risk with early identification of supply shortage)
    • urgency of need across the country (balancing competing demand).


Note: These Principles of Supply cease to apply from 1 October 2023.