About the National Facility Design, Advisory and Assurance team

The National Facility Design, Advisory and Assurance team (NFDAA) focus on providing direction, guidance and design resources that enable efficient, effective, and fit-for-purpose design and delivery of health facilities in New Zealand.

The NFDAA team is helping Te Whatu Ora establish a more standardised approach to key aspects of health facility briefing, design and delivery.

We do this by actively developing and reviewing design guidance, working with the Australasian Health Facility Guidelines (AusHFG), as well as completing design assurance reviews.

The team is the relationship holder with the Australasian Health Infrastructure Alliance (AHIA) in the development and review of the for the NZ context.

The AusHFG form the basis for health facility design and go a long way to enabling a standardised approach for Aotearoa New Zealand. Any NZ-specific cultural or environmental influences not taken into consideration are outlined in the Design Guidance Notes (DGNs) that augment the AusHFG.

The NFDAA team will provide ongoing education and training to build health design capability and inform the sector about the value and role of good quality design in healthcare.

Design Guidance and Assurance Framework

Te Pae Tata requires design standards for Aotearoa health facilities, contributing to and building on the Australasian Health Facility Guidelines.

The Design Guidance and Assurance Framework sets out the objectives and processes for developing and implementing design guidance, including assurance processes to support implementation.

Design Guidance and Assurance Framework - FAQ PDF

Design Guidance

The aim of NZ Design Guidance Note (DGN) is to provide design guidance relevant to the NZ context, which is not already included in any element of the AusHFG. The NZ DGN should be read in conjunction with the AusHFG.

The AusHFG are reviewed by the AusHFG Project team on behalf of the AHIA on a regular basis. As elements of the AusHFG come up for review, (Health Planning Units, Standard Components and Parts) content from the NZ DGN will be shared with AusHFG Project Team for consideration and possible inclusion in the AusHFG.

In the absence of inclusion in the AusHFG, the NZ DGN will remain as a resource for health facility infrastructure project teams.

Participation in the AusHFG review cycle is essential to ensure that NZ specific content is considered and included in the documents where possible. The Facility Design and Advisory team are in close contact with the AHIA and are told when AusHFG parts are up for review.

The Design Guidance Note development process is currently being documented.

How to get involved

Feedback for consideration about the design guidance is vital to enable us to continuously update and improve the advice and guidelines we provide.

If you have feedback on any design matters, including design guidance documents not currently under review please update the Continuous Improvement form or send an email to facility.design@health.govt.nz

Upcoming reviews

Upcoming AusHFG reviews

Documents and feedback links can be found here.


Review Stage


Health Planning Units

Final Draft for AHIA Review

132 Mental Health - Overarching Guideline

Reviews in progress

520 Operating Unit

440 Medical Imaging

Upcoming reviews

610 Sub Acute Care Unit

134 Adult Acute Mental Health Inpatient Unit

133 Mental Health - PECC

300 Emergency

Parts & Resources

Soon to be released

Pandemic Preparedness - Health Infrastructure Planning and Design Guidance

Reviews in Progress

Part C

Part B


External Resources/Links on AusHFG website

Standard Components

Final Draft for AHIA


Review in progress

Operating Unit

Medical Imaging Unit

Upcoming reviews

Mental Health

Emergency Unit

New Resource – Doors Guidance



NZ Design Guidance Note (DGN)


Feedback can be provided on these documents by completing the  Continuous Improvement form



Design Guidance Note




Final draft

DGN: Fire Design Guidance


Under development

DGN: Seismic Design Guidance


Final draft

DGN: Masterplanning guidance

Design Assurance

Supporting the design industry to deliver high quality, consistent, timely, innovative, efficient, and effective health projects for our country and communities is a key objective for the team.

Te Whatu Ora health infrastructure projects should expect to have design assurance reviews completed at each of the following milestones:

  • Test of Fit Design
  • Concept Design
  • Preliminary Design
  • Developed Design​​​​​​​

The following key areas are reviewed; 

  • Australasian Health Facility Guidelines – application, alignment, tracking and transparency
  • NZ Design Guidance Notes – application of principles and specific design considerations
  • Architecture – review of designed response and proposal
  • Schedule of accommodation – structure, content and tracking systems
  • Standardisation – application and management of standard components 

Supporting information, tools and templates: In order to aid understanding about what is looked at during the design assurance process, we have developed a suite of supporting guidance, templates and/or exemplars for each of the key project documentation.


Technical Guidance Note: Development guidance for a specific guidance document. 


Summary Statement: This advises what we would expect to see within each of the documents specifically relating to a design assurance review. The summary statement will outline why, when, and what we expect to see.


Template: Some of the documents we expect to see have a template available to use. While these are not mandated, it is recommended.


Exemplar: These provide some additional support about what we are expecting within key documents.

Design Report

Room Layout Sheet

Contact Us

To contact the National Facility Design, Advisory and Assurance team email facility.design@health.govt.nz

If you want to keep up to date with design guidance reviews and releases, click here to be added to our mailing list.