Planned Care Taskforce

The Planned Care taskforce will centrally coordinate commissioning and engage with clinicians on prioritisation of activity for planned care delivery over the next 12-24 months.

This Taskforce is chaired by an experienced senior leader, Mr Andrew Connolly, to support the taskforce and work with the sector to make sure implementation is consistent across the country. This includes working with private hospital capacity in a more coordinated way, with subspecialty groups to advise on prioritisation and primary and community provider networks to add capacity to specialist assessment pathways.

This Taskforce will be established until national and regional roles and functions are in place to take responsibility and accountability for delivery. Read the 27 June Planned Care Taskforce Update here.

Members of the Taskforce were announced on 6 May 2022. They are:

  • Mr Andrew Connolly (Chair), Chief Medical Officer at Te Whatu Ora - Counties Manukau 
  • Professor Diana Sarfati, Chief Executive of Te Aho o te Kahu, the Cancer Control Agency (has since stood down to take on the role of Director-General of Health)
  • Wellington GP Dr Jeff Lowe, who chairs General Practice New Zealand
  • Te Whatu Ora - Te Toka Tumai Auckland funding and development manager Jo Brown
  • Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha Canterbury chief operating officer for networks, Dan Coward
  • Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha Canterbury director of nursing Brenda Close
  • Te Whatu Ora - Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty clinical director Linda Chalmers
  • Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau general and oncoplastic breast surgeon Maxine Ronald
  • Dr Kiki Maoate, a paediatric surgeon at Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha Canterbury
  • Dr Rawiri Jansen, Chief Medical Officer for Te Aka Whai Ora - Māori Health Authority.

The team has already met a number of times and provided initial advice to Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority about short-term measures that can be taken to immediately address long waiting lists, and the time people are having to wait for planned care and surgeries.

After investigating what needs to be done to strategically manage planned care over the long term, a full review and stock-take has been undertaken, with recommendations, and was published in October 2022 as the Reset and Restore Plan - see below.

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Planned Care Taskforce – Reset and Restore Plan

This paper sets out the recommendations from the Planned Care Taskforce through a Reset and Restore Plan.

Workforce Taskforce

The Workforce taskforce, with a National Lead, will agree the key priority interventions for immediate workforce expansions where service failure is at risk if the workforce is not supported in the short term.

This Taskforce will work with employee organisations, relevant union partners, tertiary training institutions and professional regulators to accelerate the need for trained workforce in priority service areas while national strategic workforce initiatives are being implemented.

Members of the Taskforce are:

  • Ailsa Claire - Taskforce Co-Chair/Interim Workforce Lead, Te Whatu Ora
  • Anna-Marie Ruhe - Taskforce Co-Chair/Interim Workforce Commissioning Lead, Te Aka Whai Ora
  • Professor Joanne Baxter - Dean, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago
  • Taima Campbell - Manukura Hauora – Te Puna Hauora Matua o Hauraki
  • Gillian Dudgeon - Deputy Chief Executive, Delivery, Tertiary Education Commission
  • Sonia Hawea - Chief Executive Officer, Taikura Trust
  • Fiona Michel - Chief Executive Officer, Braemar Hospital
  • Markerita (Meg) Poutasi - National Director Pacific Health, Te Whatu Ora
  • Andrew Slater - Transformation, Chief Executive Whakarongorau
  • Dr Jason Tuhoe - General Practitioner
  • Mairi Lucas – New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU)
  • Kate Clapperton-Rees - New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU)

Te Aka Whai Ora and Te Whatu Ora executives will attend Taskforce meetings to support alignment with wider activities as required and requested. In particular, alignment with Commissioning and Service Development in Te Aka Whai Ora (Mara Andrews), and National Commissioning (Abbe Anderson) and Transformation and Change (Andrew Slater) in Te Whatu Ora.

Workforce initiatives

On 1 August 2022, the Minister of Health presented a number of initiatives to relieve some of these workforce pressures in the short-term by speeding up the supply and retention of our vital healthcare workforce. The initiatives were recommendations from this Workforce Taskforce.

Read more about these initiatives.

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Health Workforce Plan, 2023/24

This document outlines our plan from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024 to relieve current workforce pressures and meet the challenges of the future.

Immunisation Taskforce

The Immunisation Taskforce’s purpose is to provide recommendations and guidance to the Te Whatu Ora executive on improving New Zealand’s vaccination coverage.

Chaired by paediatrician Dr Owen Sinclair and Cathy O’Malley from Nelson Marlborough, its members represent a range of health leaders with experience in immunisation, midwifery, nursing, pharmacy and general practice.

The taskforce has identified childhood immunisations as its biggest priority.

The taskforce has gathered information from existing research, past experience and current data to inform its report. The report recommend actionable changes the health system can lift and sustain vaccination rates.

Taskforce members include:

Regional Health Districts

  • Cathy O’Malley, Co-Chair (National Chair, NIP Immunisation Leads & Covid SROs, Southern)
  • Dr Debbie Holdsworth (National Chair, GMs Planning & Funding, Northern)
  • Rachel Court (Regional Lead, Te Manawa Taki Region)
  • Central Region (tbc)

National Public Health Service

  • Astrid Koornneef (Director, Prevention)
  • Ramon Pink (Clinical Director, Canterbury)

Te Aka Whai Ora – Māori Health Authority

  • Dr Rawiri McKree Jansen (Deputy Chair, Te Aka Whai Ora – Māori Health Authority)

Public Health Agency

  • Graham Cameron (Equity lead, Public Health Agency)


  • Dr Owen Sinclair, Te Rarawa, Co-Chair (Paediatrician and Honorary Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Paediatrics, Child and Youth Health, Auckland)
  • Bronwen Shepherd (Community Pharmacist, Regional Manager, Clinical Lead – Care in the Community, Green Cross Health)
  • Claire MacDonald (Midwifery Advisor, New Zealand College of Midwives)
  • Christine McIntosh (General Practitioner and Senior Lecturer, University of Auckland)
  • Dr Emma Best (Medical Advisor, The Immunisation Advisory Centre)
  • Margaret Southwick (Clinical Team Leader, Vaka Atafaga Pacific Nursing Services)
  • Nicky Hart (Chief Executive Officer, Fielding Health Care)
  • Rachel Noble (General Manager, Disability, Te Whatu Ora, Capital and Coast)
  • Teara Gillman (Tāmaki Hub site lead, Ngāti Whatua)
  • Terina Moke (Chief Executive, Raukura Hauora o Tainui)
  • Epidemiological (tbc)
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Initial Priorities for the National Immunisation Programme in Aotearoa

Health New Zealand |Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora – the Māori Health Authority release report containing wide-ranging recommendations on the future of immunisations in Aotearoa.