A first draft locality plan has been presented to Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand and Te Aka Whai Ora | Māori Health Authority by the Taikorihi Locality Partnership Group, New Zealand’s northernmost locality.
Localities are a key new feature of Aotearoa’s reformed health care system. Localities aim to help achieve better, more equitable wellbeing outcomes for all New Zealanders in that area, based on what is important to their communities and whānau.
In each locality, people come together to determine local priorities, support the mahi of Iwi Māori Partnership Boards, work with provider networks, shape local services and influence how health dollars are spent in that area, all with the aim of making a real difference in the health of people and their whānau.
By July 2024, all of New Zealand will be part of a locality and people will be able to participate in the planning and design of local health services.
“Localities put decision-making into the hands of communities and whānau,” said Abbe Anderson, National Director, Commissioning.
The plan from Taikorihi Locality Partnership Group demonstrates a significant step in the development of localities.
“We are still in the prototype stages of the localities approach, and I am very excited by what we are seeing. The health and wellbeing priorities presented to us from Taikorihi are a clear articulation of the aspirations of that community.
“With their direction, we can work toward the community’s priorities with social sector colleagues, other government agencies and local organisations on a collective approach to address pressing health needs and social determinants of health."
“The function of localities ensures communities and whānau have a voice in the design, funding, and delivery of services that affect their lives."
Over the coming months, Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora will support the twelve prototype locality partnership groups with additional health services planning information tailored to each region.
Under the Pae Ora legislation, a locality plan comes into existence once all those elements have been brought together and agreed by the relevant Iwi Māori Partnership Board, Te Aka Whai Ora and Te Whatu Ora. Final locality plans for the whole country are due under the legislation by June 2025.
“I want to acknowledge the faithful work of the Taikorihi Partnership Group in identifying the Taikorihi health and wellbeing priorities. Their commitment to engaging with the community and identifying local priorities helps guide the way for our further roll out of localities across the motu.”
Tarannum Shaikh, Senior Media Advisor