About the programme

The programme will get quick and lasting wins in place during the first phase of implementation for Te Pae Tata (the interim New Zealand Health Plan). With joint oversight from Te Aka Whai Ora and Te Whatu Ora, the programme’s scope spans the activity of these five workstreams:

  • comprehensive primary and community care and workforce
  • extended community care (acute and planned)
  • Health Pathways
  • data, digital, and telehealth
  • funding and accountability.

Why this programme is needed

This work programme is a response to well-established needs.

The priority among these is the need to lift Māori health outcomes in line with te Tiriti o Waitangi commitments.

The Health and Disability Systems Review singled out primary and community services as the area where development has the biggest potential to improve the health outcomes of those currently disadvantaged.  

The Review authors were also clear that the health system must understand the needs of individuals, whānau, and communities in much greater detail and then tailor services accordingly. The Early Action Programme begins this development work.

The benefits

The future state, once achieved, will include:

  • new roles being introduced to primary and community  teams
  • more service delivery through kaupapa Māori and Pacific providers
  • community services that are better connected with each other and with primary care teams through locality provider networks
  • use of data and digital innovations to improve access to services, support integration across providers, and improve efficiency.


Who's involved

The Primary, Community, and Rural Early Actions Programme is being delivered by a team across the motu.

The programme is overseen by co-directors Brandi Hudson, for Te Aka Whai Ora and Chiquita Hansen, for Te Whatu Ora.

Day to day leadership is provided by Astuti Balram (Te Whatu Ora) with the workstream co-leads from Te Aka Whai Ora and Te Whatu Ora.

Core Milestones

These are the core milestones of the Primary, Community, and Rural Early Actions Programme for each workstream.

Comprehensive Primary and Community Care & Workforce

  • Establish comprehensive care teams to support equitable health outcomes and avoiding the need for hospital care.
  • Address workforce initiatives jointly with the Workforce Taskforce.


Extended Community Care

Implement nationally consistent, equity focused funding that will support people in the community who:

  • are acutely unwell
  • are at risk of becoming unwell due to underlying conditions
  • require a planned care intervention that can be in a primary or community care setting.

Implement a nationally-consistent, community-referred radiology programme that explicitly addresses equity of access.


Health Pathways

Bring together a national Health Pathway programme to support consistent, evidence-based, equitable care arrangements.


Funding and Accountability

Update funding and accountability processes to enable new ways of working and focus on Hauora Māori outcomes.


Data & Digital

Creating a digitally enabled primary, community and rural sector to improve access and participation of  people and whanau who do not access health care by introducing data and digital approaches.