Consultation open on health and disability system review

Thu 07 Feb 2019

The Government is currently asking for feedback on the New Zealand health and disability system. The deadline to submit feedback is 31 May 2019. This ...

The Government is currently asking for feedback on the New Zealand health and disability system.

The deadline to submit feedback is 31 May 2019.

This first round of consultation is seeking feedback on how the health and disability system is working currently and to identify critical issues to improve the effectiveness and equity of the system. 

You can give feedback by completing an online survey in English, Te Reo Māori or Plain English.

Background about the review

In May 2018, Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the review of the New Zealand health and disability sector. He said the review would "... look at the way we structure, resource and deliver health services – not just for the next few years but for decades to come."

The Terms of Reference for the review state that the purpose of the review is to "... identify opportunities to improve the performance, structure, and sustainability of the system with a goal of achieving equity of outcomes, and contributing to wellness for all, particularly Māori and Pacific peoples." The review has a broad focus on achieving "wellness, access, equity, and sustainability" in the health and disability system.

The review will consider a number of points, including:

"Contribution of and the interaction between health and other social sector agencies in supporting health and wellness."

David Clark said the Terms of Reference for the review are "deliberately wide" and "allow for a more thorough assessment of the disability sector."

The Review will be chaired by Heather Simpson. The other review panel members are Shelly Campbell, Professor Peter Crampton, Dr Lloyd McCann, Dr Margaret Southwick, Dr Winfield Bennett and Sir Brian Roche.

The panel is expected to release an interim report in August 2019, following the consultation. A second round of consultation will be invited on the interim report. A final report is expected to be provided to the Government in March 2020.

For questions email

More information and related news


The current New Zealand Health Strategy (2016-26) and associated documents have limited references to family or sexual violence. For background information, see our previous story on the development of the current NZ Health Strategy. This includes key international resources from the World Health Organization and others, such as the World Health Organization's Violence and Injury Prevention programme.

In 2016, the Ministry of Health released an updated Family Violence Assessment and Intervention Guideline: Child abuse and intimate partner violence.

In 2007, the Ministry of Health released Family Violence Intervention Guidelines: Elder Abuse and Neglect.

In 2017, a new Sexual Assault Assessment and Treatment Service (SAATS) online network was launched by MEDSAC (previously DSAC) to provide guidance and support for clinicians.

Other recent research includes:

Exploring the complex pathway of the primary health care response to intimate partner violence in New Zealand  (Gear, Eppel & Koziol-McLain, 2018)


The New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016-2026 addresses violence and abuse in Outcome 4, focused on rights protection and justice. For more information about the strategy and resources see our previous story when the strategy was launched. Also see our story on new research that explored abuse of disabled women in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Office for Disability Issues and the Disabled Peoples’ Organisations Coalition are holding workshops to listen to ideas about what should be in the new Disability Action Plan 2019-2022.  

Ageing and elder abuse

The Government is developing a new positive ageing strategy. Following a public consultation period, the Office for Seniors has published a summary of feedback from the consultation. Elder abuse was one of two key themes related to safety that came up in the consultation process.

Mental health and addiction

The Government has released the final report from the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction

Image: Pixabay

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