Asia Pacific Healthcare Group’s main lab contract with centralised health agency Te Whatu Ora is worth $745 million over eight years, data requested under the Official Information Act reveals.

This means the Auckland and Northland region contract earns an average of $93.1m per year.

The deal for lab testing services is index-based on expected test volume.  

The company’s main lower North Island contract will be worth $53.5 million dollars per year by 2025.

The 10-year contract started at $49.03m in its first year – 2015 – and covers what was Wellington’s Capital and Coast district health board, Hutt Valley DHB and Wairarapa DHB.

Asia Pacific Healthcare Group (APHG) is easily the biggest lab network provider, given in the nine months to March 31, 2023, payments for lab services totalled $229.4m.

The company’s chief executive, Anoop Singh, said the company would continue to negotiate with Te Whatu Ora as the former DHB contracts came up for renewal.  

“It remains challenging to meet rising living wage levels under the current funding model, particularly as sustained high inflation continues to disproportionately impact costs.”

Singh also said an aligned national approach to pathology providers might be useful to address pay concerns and equitable patient access to services.

APHG’s first statements at the Companies Office after the 2020 ownership change show revenue of $385m for the 12 months to December 2021.

It said in a statement it would not pay a dividend for the 2022 financial year, after it paid $40m to its owners, NZ Super Fund, Te Pūia Tāpapa (TPT) and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, for the 2021 financial year.

The company announced it acquired Rako Science in 2022.

On April 13, APHG announced it was rebranding to Awanui, which means "big river".

The move means its eight lab brands, Southern Community Laboratories (SCL), Medlab South, Canterbury SCL, Wellington SCL, Hawke's Bay SCL, Taranaki Pathology, Northland Pathology and Labtests will be renamed.

Its Gribbles brands will also be renamed.

The contract information was requested by BusinessDesk in October 2022, ahead of a feature published in December of that year on the economics of pathology services.

Te Whatu Ora apologised for the delay when it released the data this month, after BusinessDesk wrote an article about delays in information requests.