What are the agencies' respective roles?

  • Manatū Hauora – the Ministry of Health is chief advisor to the Minister of Health and continues to support the delivery of high-quality health services by advising the Government on funding and system settings and developing the policy and laws needed. It focuses on strategy, policy, regulation and monitoring the outcomes achieved by the system as a whole, and hosts the Public Health Agency, which is responsible for public health policy, strategy, monitoring and intelligence.
  • Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand leads the day-to-day running of the health system and unites the former 20 District Health Boards, shared services agencies and Te Hiringa Hauora - Health Promotion Agency under one national organisation. It leads and coordinates delivery of health services, coordinating efforts across the motu, including hospital and specialist services, the National Public Health Service, clinical governance, and community services including primary and community care.
  • Te Aka Whai Ora - Māori Health Authority, working in partnership with Manatū Hauora and Te Whatu Ora, is responsible for ensuring the health system delivers equitable outcomes for Māori. It has been set up as an independent statutory authority to drive improvement in hauora Māori.
  • Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People has been established to work in partnership with the disability community, Māori and Government, and help transform the disability system in line with the Enabling Good Lives (EGL) approach. The initial priority has been to ensure service continuity in disability support services for disabled people so they continue to receive their services and support. Other agencies will continue to support disabled people and their whānau as they do today.
  • Te Aho o Te Kahu - the Cancer Control Agency is a departmental agency reporting directly to the Minister of Health. Te Aho o Te Kahu provides central leadership and oversight of cancer control for the health system. It leads and unites efforts to deliver better cancer outcomes for the people of Aotearoa. The Agency is accountable for ensuring transparency of progress towards the goals and outcomes in the National Cancer Action Plan. Its goal is fewer cancers, better survival, equity for all.

Who should media approach about what?

Manatū Hauora - Ministry of Health

  • The Ministry of Health provides leadership across the health system and government in relation to health and wellbeing.
  • It is focused on strategy, policy, regulation and monitoring the performance of, and health outcomes achieved by, the new health system to make sure it is delivering the best health services to New Zealanders.
  • This will be done with a focus on equitable health outcomes and meeting Te Tiriti o Waitangi responsibilities.
  • Hosting the Public Health Agency, it is responsible for public health policy, strategy, monitoring and intelligence.
  • Some functions for which the Ministry was previously responsible now sit with Te Whatu Ora, such as:
    • the National Immunisation Programme
    • the Health Infrastructure Unit, and
    • COVID-19 response.
  • The Ministry continues to lead on COVID-19 media standups and daily numbers.

Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand

  • Te Whatu Ora manages the health system day-to-day, planning and commissioning services for the whole population via its four regions.
  • It has picked up national operational-level questions about the system, including the districts and the new localities approach.
  • As an example, service delivery questions that previously sat with the Ministry should be directed to Te Whatu Ora in the first instance.
  • The National Public Health Service within Te Whatu Ora is responsible for population health, including the management of outbreaks and pandemics, health promotion, health prevention and health protection.
  • Vaccination/immunisation and COVID-19 health response queries now also sit with Te Whatu Ora.
  • District queries (formerly dealt with at a DHB level) should continue to be directed to local media teams.

Te Aka Whai Ora - Māori Health Authority

Te Aka Whai Ora is responsible for ensuring the health system provides more equitable outcomes for Māori.

  • It has specific responsibilities in the new integrated health system, including planning and funding services designed specifically for Māori (such as kaupapa Māori services), and monitoring the performance of the entire health system to improve equity.
  • It works with the Ministry of Health on strategy and policy issues of particular relevance to Māori, ensuring the Crown’s commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi continues to underpin approaches to hauora. 
  • It works in partnership with Te Whatu Ora to plan and co-commission services, ensuring service design and priorities reflect the needs of Māori and of all New Zealand’s diverse communities.
  • It is responsible for ensuring the needs, interests, and aspirations of Māori communities are at the heart of the new health system, including through the new Iwi-Māori Partnership Boards.

Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People

  • Whaikaha is responsible for Disability Support Services for disabled people, and for driving positive change for disabled people.
  • Addressing equity for all disabled people by improving health outcomes, access to and accessibility of mainstream health services will continue to be a Ministry of Health responsibility, while Te Whatu Ora has the overall lead on hospital services for disabled people, and the Ministry of Health has the lead for primary health services for disabled people.

Te Aho o Te Kahu - the Cancer Control Agency

  • Te Aho o Te Kahu provides national leadership of the cancer system. 
  • While some parts of cancer delivery and prevention are shared across other health agencies, Te Aho o Te Kahu takes a leading role on most cancer issues. 
  • Its work programme involves supporting prevention efforts, monitoring the cancer system and providing national leadership on key issues. 

How do media contact the agencies?

As they do already, agencies will continue to actively work together to ensure media queries are responded to. We recognise that some media queries may sit across multiple agencies and we will work hard to ensure they find the right landing place.

Are there still district level communications contacts within Te Whatu Ora?

  • Yes, established district communications contacts continue to be a point of contact for local queries.
  • There may be some system-level queries that sit more broadly with Te Whatu Ora and these will be referred on to the national office by the district contacts. 

Official Information Act

Te Whatu Ora acknowledges that under the Official Information Act 1982, information shall be made available on request unless there is a good reason for withholding it. Full information is available on our OIA Requests information page.

The formal descriptions for some examples of reasons for withholding information under the Act are described here:

  • Section 9(2)(a) – to protect the privacy of natural persons, including the deceased.
  • Section 18(d) – the information requested is or soon will be publicly available.
  • Section 18(e) – the document containing the information requested does not exist or cannot be found.
  • Section 18(g) – the information requested is not held by the organisation.

For further information, see ombudsmen.govt.nz and justice.govt.nz

Community guidelines for Te Whatu Ora social media channels

Te Whatu Ora engages with the community and provides important safety and public health information through accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. We encourage contributions to our pages but reserve the right to remove posts that violate our community guidelines. Please keep all comments and posts relevant and respectful. 

Social media is not a diagnostic platform – if you have concerns about your health, please get in touch with your GP or contact Healthline for free at
0800 611 116. In an emergency, always call 111. 

If we receive information that suggests anyone may be at risk of harm, we may share it with Police or Netsafe to keep them safe. However, our channels are not an emergency service and are not monitored at all hours. If you or anyone else is at risk of hurting themselves or others, please call 
111 if it is an emergency. Alternatively, search for mental health services and information. 

Te Whatu Ora reserves the right to:

  • determine what constitutes inappropriate content 
  • hide or entirely remove inappropriate content 
  • ban users from its social media communities. 

We may delete posts which contain:

  • racist, sexist, homophobic or other forms of hate-speech 
  • potentially defamatory statements 
  • confidential information (including contact details and personal or health information) 
  • misinformation 
  • spam or advertising 
  • offensive language, abuse or threats 
  • off-topic or irrelevant information to the thread of conversation 
  • nudity, pornography or child abuse 
  • excessive violence 
  • content that is illegal, gives instructions for illegal activity or advocates illegal activities. 

If you find content on one of our official pages which you feel breaches these guidelines, please let us know.  

We may use comments and messages submitted to our social media pages for reporting purposes in anonymous form.