We have a unique opportunity to organise ourselves to deliver the system shifts needed to create a unified health system.

One of the big pieces of work we are starting, is to look at the operating model for our hospital and specialist services. We’re asking how we might operate as national and regional services while keeping specialist local knowledge where it’s needed. We are working in partnership with Te Aka Whai Ora to ensure hauora Māori and Māori health equity are front and centre as we develop a new operating model.

The new system needs to work for patients, clinicians and managers. It needs to be joined up in a way that makes sense and supports people in their work delivering care to patients.

We have an ambitious timeline to put a new operating model in place and want to make sure we listen and learn from the people working in the system. You can read more about the working group, how to get involved and the timeline below We’ll provide regular updates and opportunities so you can get involved.

Download: Latest update from the Workstream Team - PDF, 213 KB

Click to download the third pānui from the Hospital and Specialist Services operating model workstream.

Download: Update from the workstream team - PDF, 186 KB

Click to download the second pānui from the Hospital and Specialist Services operating model workstream.

Who is leading this work

Ken Whelan, Independent Chair

Ken has been a CEO of health providers and commissioners in Aotearoa and Australia. He was the Deputy Director General of Health in New South Wales and, more recently, Crown Monitor at the former Counties Manukau, Waikato and Bay of Plenty DHBs. Ken has a nursing background and is experienced in delivering strong collaborative leadership and sustainable organisational change.

Joanne Gibbs, Senior Responsible Officer and Programme Lead

Jo has a wealth of experience at executive level, across the health system both in Aotearoa and the UK. She has worked for 5 years as Director of Provider Services in Auckland. More recently, she was the National Director for the COVID19 Vaccination Programme, and the interim National Director of the National Public Health Service, leading the operating model design as the service was set up.

Ken and Jo are working in partnership with colleagues in Te Aka Whai Ora and are pulling together a project team including clinicians and system leaders.


With input from clinical groups, the team will recommend national and regional functions. They will also look at the roles and expertise required for these functions.

The proposed operating model will go out for feedback across the workforce and be refined based on the feedback.

The team will work closely with other workstreams as we create a unified health system.

Download: Terms of Reference - PDF, 894 KB

Download the Terms of Reference for this workstream here.

How to get involved

There’s a wealth of knowledge and experience within our health system and we want front-line clinical staff to help design what this new world looks like for hospital and specialist services.

We’re setting up a clinical forum with clinicians from across Te Whatu Ora to work with us as we progress the design of the operating model for hospital and specialist services.

If you want to find out more, please email ContactHSS@health.govt.nz.

As we progress, we’ll also be asking for input through hui, forums and surveys.

Current timeline

Aug – Sept 2022: Establish clinical forum and initial design
Sept – Nov 2022: Feedback and iteration on design
Nov – Dec 2022: Implement quick wins
Dec 2022 – Feb 2023: Integrate and implement with operating models across Te Whatu Ora.