How we operate

Our Data and Digital team works with the appointed HISO sector committee to oversee the selection, development and adoption of data and digital standards for the health sector.

Working with subject matter experts and stakeholders, we determine the standards that are to have national effect and manage their rollout. This is achieved by working with partner agencies, health providers, Hauora Māori groups, clinical and consumer groups, the health software industry, overseas jurisdictions and international organisations.

Our work improving the interoperability of data and digital systems supports Te Pae Tata | Interim New Zealand Health Plan 2022.

HISO links with the international standards community through the Global Digital Health Partnership, SNOMED International and HL7 New Zealand. HISO operates under Standards New Zealand to convene the national mirror committee for the ISO/TC 215 Health informatics technical committee of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).

Committee members

Alastair Kenworthy

Alastair is Chief Standards Advisor for data and digital at Te Whatu Ora and chair of the HISO committee. He works actively with health providers and their industry partners to ensure standards contribute to an equitable, data-driven and digitally-enabled health system that delivers pae ora, or healthy futures, for New Zealanders. ​

Alastair represents New Zealand on the SNOMED International General Assembly and he chaired the SNOMED International Member Forum during 2019-21. He leads our involvement in the interoperability workstream of the Global Digital Health Partnership and is convenor of the ISO/TC 215 Health informatics national mirror committee for New Zealand.

Zeeman van der Merwe

Zeeman van der Merwe, Information Consultant with ACC, has actively promoted a collaborative approach across government and the private sector as a member of HISO and advocate for information standards. Zeeman chaired the committee 2013-18 and remains the vice-chair. At ACC, he liaises with various internal and external organisations on information strategy and the sharing of information to support the business and enable decision making.

Being a member of several other governance, standards and ethics groups provides Zeeman a platform for promoting cooperation and innovation in digital health. Qualifications and experience in economics, strategic marketing, information management and business intelligence in various sectors enables a broad perspective and many varied points of view that assist in understanding and evaluating potential solutions and finding consensus.

Jody Janssen

Jody Janssen is lead business analyst at East Health Trust PHO in Auckland. East Health supports GP clinics in the East Auckland and Franklin areas and has an enrolled population of approx. 113,500.

Jody was instrumental in bringing together data from disparate patient management systems into one central data warehouse. This data repository has now been in place for many years and has stood up to several migrations to different vendor platforms, integration with the National Enrolment Service (NES) and related capitation files, national cervical screening programme data extracts, and other patient data. A secure browser connection allows GP clinics access to comprehensive data analytics and KPI reporting.

Her next undertaking is to prepare a ‘roadmap to the cloud’ to create flexible and efficient processing and storage alternatives. Patient safety and equity in health outcomes through analytics, data quality, privacy and security are the main drivers for innovation and improvements.

With a Bachelor Business Studies (Economics) and a postgraduate certificate in Analytics, in addition to several years of experience working with health data, Jody feels she can make an important contribution to HISO. She is a member of the Metro Auckland Data Custodianship Group, the PHO CIO Forum and HL7 New Zealand.

John Carter

John Carter is the Chair of HL7 New Zealand and works on the Hira programme for connecting health information at Te Whatu Ora. He brings more than 25 years of health information technology leadership to his role overseeing the software development and information technology departments.

Before moving to New Zealand and joining HealthLink in 2017, he was Vice President at Apelon, Inc., a US-based professional services firm specialising in the implementation of data standards and controlled healthcare vocabularies. While at Apelon, John worked on projects for government agencies in the US, Canada, Australia, France and the Philippines, as well as numerous US and international NGO and commercial clients. John is on the board of HL7 New Zealand, co-chairs the HL7NZ FHIR implementation working group and is an active participant in standards development activities.

He holds an MBA, Finance from Webster University (St. Louis, USA) and was a US National Library of Medicine fellow in medical informatics at the University of Utah.

Materoa Mar (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Porou)

Materoa is currently the Upoko Whakarae for Te Tihi o Ruahine Whānau Ora Alliance. She has been involved in mental health, Māori health and Whānau Ora in various roles.

Innovation and digital solutions are an integral part of our future: Materoa is a champion for change and challenges. She is the Board Chair of Emerge Aotearoa Trust Board, Interim Chair for E Tipu Rea (Science Challenge) and member of MidCentral DHB, among other board and governance roles. She has been involved over time with indigenous development and has benefited from visiting with and maintaining a broad range of relationships internationally.

Materoa is passionate and committed to Māori development and is inspired by the numerous examples of talent and pukenga seen in our whānau, hapu and iwi.

Dr Natalie Clarke

I have worked in primary care for 15 years, the past ten being in Taupo, New Zealand. My interest in developing an efficient and safe means of improving patient care via IT ventures has been longstanding. In addition, I recognize the value of governance within this area.

I have had direct experience with onboarding the EPIC patient management system at our family medicine practice while I worked in Midland, Michigan, US. I have an ability to problem solve using an ‘outside the box’ approach, which I have employed through my current roles within primary care.

I have worked as the regional (Lakes) GP liaison for the Pinnacle group. In this role, I provided regional insight and input into the issues facing our GP network and coordinate feedback to GPs.

In addition, I have been involved in local clinical governance via the Taupo/Turangi Clinical Advisory Committee.

I am a member of the Whānau, Consumer and Clinical Digital Council that is convened by Te Whatu Ora for the health sector.

I think that there exists a great opportunity for health IT to be used in a way that empowers clinicians and patients, supports enhanced access to care and allows for a wider interface focused on improving patient outcomes via better clinician communication.

Dr Nader Fattah

Nader is a British medical graduate and a practicing GP of more than 16 years, attaining membership of the Royal College of GPs (UK) in 2005. After gaining his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree at the University of Dundee, Nader worked as a GP in Scotland, in diverse urban and rural settings. He took the opportunity to experience New Zealand in 2003, working in Palmerston North Hospital for a year. His love of Aotearoa, its land, people and culture inevitably drew him to settling permanently with his wife in 2010.

As well as clinical practice as a GP, Nader is committed to advancing high quality delivery of care to consumers, Chairing the THINK Hauora Clinical & Digital Governance Committee. His role as Principal Medical Advisor leverages his extensive Primary Care experience to provide leadership across many PHO clinical and business services.

Nader is a Trustee of THINK Hauora’s (formerly Central PHO) Board, member of the THINK Hauora Senior Leadership Team, MidCentral DHB’s Clinical and Pharmacy Boards, Clinical Council and Digital & Data Information Governance Group.

His membership of local, regional and national boards has allowed Nader to cultivate a rich skillset in clinical, IT and business governance. Nader has a lifelong interest in technology that drives his pursuit of ICT to enhance people’s health and empower their lives.

Nikki Walden (Te Ati Awa, Taranaki)

I am Pou Herenga at Te Tihi o Ruahine Whānau Ora Alliance.

I am a Taranaki girl, hailing from both the west coast of Taranaki (Rahotu) and further around past New Plymouth in the mighty town of Waitara. I moved to Palmerston North after finishing my school years in Nelson to pursue study. After many years and three beautiful tamariki (who are now 17, 15 and 14), I managed to complete a Bachelor of Social Work. I was a practising social worker for many years before moving into social work education. I spent four years with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and Te Wānanga o Raukawa, supporting tauira through their study and working with community and statutory social work organisations with practice-based learning. It was during this time I completed a Masters in Indigenous Studies through the University of Otago.

I am passionate about working for my people and advancing whānau ora, as well as a champion for digital initiatives and using data and standards to advance equity for Māori in our health and disability system.

Soledad Labbe-Hubbard

Soledad is Senior Project Manager at Ryman Healthcare. Soledad is known for providing health insights across the Canterbury health system where, over the last ten years, she has driven the use of data to inform opportunities for improvement. She is a project manager who thrives on complex challenges. She led the conceptual design, customisation and implementation of a statistical process control tool for Canterbury and enabled more than 40 Northern region providers to implement the Mental Health and Addiction National Collection. She has a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health (University of Otago) and a Business Management degree.

Recent publications Soledad has contributed to: 

What drives Sole is her eagerness to make a difference effectively and efficiently across our communities. Sole juggles her spare time with teenager son, surfing Scarborough long waves, mountain biking around Banks Peninsula.

Dr Derek Buchanan

Derek is a medical doctor and digital specialist who has more than 15 years of experience in the health sector. He has a strong interest in various standards and has been part of international working groups including HL7, SNOMED CT and BPM+ Health. He holds active membership with ITPNZ, BCS, HiNZ and is an associate of ISC2. He has completed degrees in medicine, software engineering and business and holds several industry certifications. His past work experience includes roles across a range of health specialities from primary to tertiary healthcare with current membership to RNZCUC and RANZCP. His past informatics work includes the HIKER group and HealthAlliance. He continues to work in both clinical and non-clinical roles.

In health tech, he has completed HL7 FHIR Proficiency Certification and SNOMED CT courses (Foundation, Authoring 1 and Implementation). His interests in health technology are varied, but range from cybersecurity, precision medicine and AI/Machine learning, to the use of cloud technology and IoMT. Outside of health technology, he has been involved in projects in agritech, edutech and soctech. He has experience working in governance, consultancy and advisory roles - participating in several initiatives relevant to New Zealand. He continues to be involved in the not-for-profit and social enterprise space. Derek is a strong believer in standards and the role of HISO in the New Zealand health ecosystem.

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Terms of reference

Terms of reference for the Health Information Standards Organisation (HISO).

Last revised June 2023.

Next review due by June 2024.


HISO was established in June 2003 and continues today as kaitiaki (steward) for health information standards – paerewa pārongo hauora – in New Zealand. 

HISO is a committee operated by Te Whatu Ora and accountable to the Chief of Data and Digital.

HISO’s purpose is to ensure that data and digital standards contribute to the unified, smarter, sustainable and equity-led health system described by Te Pae Tata Interim New Zealand Health Plan 2022.

HISO oversees the selection, development and adoption of data and digital standards for the health sector.

Standards mahi includes tracking, evaluating, selecting and adapting international standards, and commissioning new standards, for national use. Successful adoption is achieved when the published standards are used productively in widely implemented solutions.

HISO is responsible for ensuring that standards are:

  • co-designed with Hauora Māori groups and supportive of Māori data governance
  • designed to improve health equity
  • aligned internationally and based on best clinical practice evidence
  • consistent with the national strategic and architectural direction
  • introduced in consultation with the sector
  • promoting collaboration and innovation
  • published and proactively maintained
  • supported by implementation guides and tools
  • adopted widely and adding measurable value.

The strategic context is defined by:

Te Tiriti o Waitangi

In all data and digital standards mahi, HISO commits to the five Te Tiriti principles of tino rangatiratanga, equity, active protection, options and partnership set out by the Waitangi Tribunal Health Services and Outcomes Inquiry (Wai 2575) and Manatū Hauora’s Te Tiriti Framework.


HISO is a committee of up to ten members, including the chair.

Members are chosen to represent a range of stakeholder interests to oversee our system of data and digital standards for health.

Committee positions are openly advertised and draw from organisations such as:

  • Te Whatu Ora, Te Aka Whai Ora and Manatū Hauora
  • Hauora Māori organisations
  • Whānau Ora providers
  • Primary and community health and social care organisations
  • Clinical Informatics Leadership Network, national clinical groups and health professional organisations
  • Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People
  • Te Aho o Te Kahu – Cancer Control Agency
  • Pharmac – Te Pātaka Whaioranga
  • Accident Compensation Corporation
  • HL7 New Zealand, Digital Health Association and health software industry partners
  • Health consumer groups.

The makeup of the committee at any time may vary depending on suitable candidates being available and the appointment process.

Members are expected to be influential in their respective organisations and communities and able to drive standards adoption.

Additional members may be co-opted to the committee as subject matter experts for a set purpose and term. These members are subject to the same rules and provisions as other members.


The Chief Standards Advisor, Data and Digital chairs HISO as an ex officio member.

The chair may select another member as vice chair to help plan and run meetings.


Members are appointed and may be reappointed for terms of up to two years at a time.

All appointments and reappointments are made by the Chief of Data and Digital.

Nominations for positions on the committee are openly advertised when vacancies arise.

New appointees receive letters of appointment from the Chief of Data and Digital. Appointees are required to acknowledge their acceptance in writing, declaring any conflicts of interest and agreeing to meet their obligations under the terms of reference.

Members are always expected to exercise sound professional judgement and to act in good faith, impartially and with reasonable care to support the sector and the public interest.

At their discretion, the Chief of Data and Digital may remove a HISO member. The member will receive a letter stating the reason for the decision and the date of effect.

HISO members may resign their term at any time by writing to the chair.


HISO has bi-monthly meetings that are sometimes held in person but more often by videoconference. The chair may call additional meetings as necessary. Usual meeting protocols are followed.

A quorum is half the current membership including the chair. Meetings may continue without a quorum provided no decisions are sought.

HISO uses consensus decision making. The chair may call a simple majority vote on any unresolved issue.

Proceedings are documented, including the agenda, minutes and any papers presented. An executive summary of each meeting is produced to communicate key messages to stakeholders.

Attendance, conflicts of interest, action and decision registers are maintained.

The chair is responsible for inviting guests to attend and present to the committee. Observers may also attend with the chair’s approval.

Disputes and liability

HISO members are expected to act constructively and in good faith to resolve any dispute. The chair may bring in a mediator where a dispute cannot be resolved with best efforts.

No member is legally responsible or liable for any act or omission of Te Whatu Ora.

No member can be held legally responsible or liable by Te Whatu Ora for any act or omission of their own provided the member has acted responsibly as required by these terms of reference.

Conflicts of interest

Members shall comply with Te Whatu Ora’s conflicts of interest rules and guidelines.

Members shall promptly declare to the chair any actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest in relation to a matter under consideration. The chair determines whether any conflicted member can continue to participate in discussions or voting on matters relating to the declared conflict.


The chair may declare certain documents or matters confidential. Members should not disclose any information declared confidential, except as required by law. Members are expected to publicly support any consensus decision or refrain from commenting on it.

Working groups

HISO forms working groups in partnership with subject matter experts to evaluate, develop and review standards and lead their implementation.

HISO’s chair approves working group terms of reference and membership and appoints the working group chair.

HISO uses open forums for engagement and consultation with the sector.


HISO maintains important relationships across government and with international organisations, in addition to its health sector links.

Government system leads:

  • Government Chief Data Steward
  • Government Chief Digital Officer
  • Government Chief Information Security Officer
  • Government Chief Privacy Officer
  • Standards New Zealand.

International organisations:

  • Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP)
  • World Health Organisation (WHO)
  • Australian institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) for ICD-10-AM and related standards
  • HL7 International
  • SNOMED International
  • GS1 International
  • Regenstrief Institute for LOINC
  • Joint Initiative Council for Global Health Informatics Standardisation.

HISO engages with and seeks the views of key clinical, consumer and health provider service management stakeholder groups.

HISO partners with relevant stakeholder groups as co-stewards of standards.

Work plan

HISO’s standards development and adoption priorities are agreed with the Chief of Data and Digital and tracked in a quarterly work plan.

The Chief of Data and Digital may direct the committee to advise on other matters as they arise.

Standards advisors in the Data and Digital directorate support HISO and its working groups, do research, provide advice, help to draft standards, support and monitor adoption and maintain the work plan.

Financial authority

Te Whatu Ora has financial authority over HISO. HISO has no power of its own to direct the work of health and disability sector organisations, employ staff, enter contracts, make loans or commit expenditure.

Fees and expenses

Fees paid to committee and working group members are determined in accordance with the Cabinet Fees Framework for members appointed to bodies in which the Crown has an interest. HISO and its working groups are classified among ‘Group 4: All other committees and other bodies’. Fees are paid for preparation, attendance and travel in relation to scheduled committee and working group meetings. Fees are not paid to salaried public servants.

Fees payable to members per meeting are:

  • a meeting attendance fee of $560 including GST for any meeting of between six and eight hours; for shorter meetings, a fee of $560/8 per hour
  • a meeting preparation fee of $280 including GST
  • a travel fee of $280 including GST for travel of more than three hours.

Fees are categorised as honoraria and as such are subject to withholding tax pursuant to Schedule 4 Part B of the Income Tax Act 2007 No 97.

Te Whatu Ora reimburses members for actual and reasonable expenses in attending HISO meetings. Accommodation and travel must be arranged by Te Whatu Ora. Members may submit a travel expense claim for costs such as parking. 


Te Whatu Ora is responsible for preparing and publishing approved HISO standards and related documents.

Copyright over all HISO documents and other intellectual property is vested in the Crown, under the Te Whatu Ora’s stewardship.

HISO documents are published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.