The minister of health released an “ambitious vision” to create health strategies for Pasifika New Zealanders, women and rural communities for the first time.

Minister Ayesha Verrall said she wanted to see unfair differences in health outcomes become a thing of the past.

“This is an ambitious vision. It requires new partnerships and a shared commitment to long-term action,” she said.

According to her, the old health system had become too remote and detached.

“During the [engagement] process, we heard stories of people who didn’t get the help they needed because of gender, orientation or ethnicity.

“We need to end the ‘one size fits all’ approach to health services.”

'Preventive healthcare'

She said the shift toward prioritising prevention and delaying ill health was vital.

“This means shifting focus and resource towards preventive healthcare, not just spending more on the same services to fix the same problems.” 

However, Verrall warned that a change of this scale would take time.

“Health isn’t just a short-term outcome. These strategies provide the direction for lasting change.”

Manatū Hauora – the Ministry of Health, Te Aka Whai Ora and the Ministry for Ethnic Communities engaged with communities in face-to-face meetings, wānanga, fono, focus groups, online discussions, written submissions and in-depth workshops to develop the new strategies.

The NZ Health Strategy addresses the health of all New Zealanders and sits alongside five population-specific strategies: 

  • Pae Tū: Hauora Māori Strategy.
  • Te Mana Ola: The Pacific Health Strategy.
  • Health of Disabled People Strategy.
  • Women’s Health Strategy.
  • Rural Health Strategy.