Wellbeing Budget 2021

Our Recovery

Reforms for intergenerational wellbeing

The system reforms that we are undertaking will support intergenerational wellbeing by laying the foundation for timely and equitable access to our healthcare and education systems. Our health and education systems are key to the wellbeing of New Zealanders but we know that they do not deliver well for everyone.


While the current Aotearoa New Zealand health system has many strengths, it has become overly complex with unnecessary duplication and bureaucracy. It has created a postcode lottery where the type of treatment you get is determined by where you live and it does not deliver well for groups such as Māori.

The Government has a vision for a truly national public health service that delivers for all New Zealanders and places a greater focus on primary and community care. As part of our plan to reform the health system, we will replace DHBs with one national organisation, Health New Zealand, establish a new Māori Health Authority to drive hauora Māori and directly commission health services, and create a dedicated Public Health Agency.

Budget 2021 provides the first tranche of funding totalling $486 million to get these vital reforms under way, including:

  • $181 million to fund the functions of the Transition Unit and interim Health New Zealand entity that will deliver on the Government's vision for a national health system
  • $98 million to support the establishment and initial operations of the Māori Health Authority, alongside $127 million for an initial commissioning budget to develop kaupapa Māori services that meet Māori needs
  • $46 million to prototype five to six locality networks that will provide integrated care to communities according to their needs.
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