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Issue: October 2019


Ministries’ joint approach set to help prevent measles spreading

The Ministry of Health has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Education, guiding the ministries to work together to help prevent the spread of measles in schools.

The MoU will allow information about schools' overall vaccination rates – the number and percentage of students in schools fully vaccinated against measles – to be calculated by the Ministry of Health using the National Immunisation Register and shared with local public health officers. This gives greater understanding of schools' overall rates of immunity against measles.

The agreement also allows information about individual students’ vaccination status to be provided to local public health officers if a school or schools are directly affected by the outbreak, for example if a student has contracted measles.

This information will only be shared as requested by public health officers and will be used to help reduce the spread of measles in schools. The MoU complies with the Privacy Act 1993 and only applies to the Auckland region, remaining in place until the outbreak is over.

The Ministry of Health website has the latest advice and updates about measles – head to health.govt.nz/measles-advice


Making progress on mental health and addiction

Director-General Ashley Bloomfield recently met with interim Commission Chair Hayden Wano. Mr Wano has a deep knowledge of the mental health and addiction sector and the wider health system.

Last week the Commission meet for the first-time last week. The Commission will monitor the Ministry’s response to the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. The Ministry and the Commission have committed to working constructively together.

On 21 October Carla na Nagara, our newly appointed Suicide Prevention Director within the Mental Health and Addiction Directorate, joined us. The development of this office is part of a wider plan to improve all aspects of mental health and wellbeing for people in New Zealand.

Ms na Nagara has significant experience having worked as a Coroner for the past 12 years. The role is initially for two years, during which the Ministry will house and support the Suicide Prevention Office. The intention is that it will become a stand-alone Office in coming years. The Ministry is excited to have Ms na Nagara and her expertise on board.

This is an important appointment in gaining traction in suicide prevention. Carla na Nagara will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Office. Her appointment means we are continuing to build momentum in this critical area and focusing on saving lives.

Ms na Nagara says, ‘Through my work as a coroner, I’ve seen that suicide is not always the result of a mental health problem or a simple moment of distress. To be understood it needs to be seen in the wider context of a person’s life.

‘Like so many other New Zealanders, I’ve also felt the effects of suicide on my own community. I know we need to do more.’

The Ministry has a clear focus on a range of initiatives to reduce the number of New Zealanders taking their own life:

Every Life Matters - He Tapu te Oranga o ia Tangata: Suicide Prevention Strategy 2019–2029 and Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2019–2024 for Aotearoa New Zealand.


Ka Pū te Ruha, ka Hao te Rangatahi – good practice guidance for stop smoking services

The Ministry has been exploring how to improve stop smoking outcomes for wāhine Māori over the past two years, and recently published Ka Pū te Ruha, ka Hao te Rangatahi – Good practice guidance for stop smoking services.

The guidance document will shape how stop smoking providers design their services to meet the needs of wāhine and aims to open up the permission space for providers to work in more responsive ways with wāhine Māori.

The method undertaken has been a co-design and developmental evaluation process which included engaging directly with wāhine Māori who have lived experience of smoking, and then with health providers and quit coaches who have experimented with new ways of working with wāhine.

The guidance document also outlines results of the co-design sessions.


Cyber security update

As a result of the illegal unauthorised access of Tū Ora Compass Health, the Ministry has been working with the NZ National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to complete scans of websites operated by DHBs and primary health organisations (PHOs).

The Ministry has asked DHBs, DHB shared service organisations, and PHOs to assure their externally-facing systems have appropriate security and privacy controls in place.

Independent reviews will also be used to test and suggest remedies for DHB and PHO systems where there are potential issues identified. externally facing systems. This stage is expected to take some months. Read the media release here.

Find out more about the Ministry's response to the incident: Cyber security incident


Cancer Action Plan 2019 – 2029 update

The formal consultation and engagement period for the Cancer Action Plan 2019–2029 has ended. The final Cancer Action Plan 2019–2029 will be published in early 2020.

Thanks to everyone who has provided feedback. It has provided us with valuable insight, and the Ministry will use the feedback to finalise the direction and priorities of cancer service delivery in New Zealand.

Read more about the Cancer Action Plan 2019-2029.


How we work together matters – give us your feedback

We believe that how we work together within the Ministry and with the health and disability sector, public service and communities is key to achieving pae ora – healthy futures for all New Zealanders.

Recent organisation changes to make sure we have the right structures and capability in place, a new organisation strategy, Tâ Tâtou Rautaki, and a renewed commitment to improving our culture, technology and workspaces are aimed at better equipping the Ministry to deliver on our purpose as kaitiaki of the health and disability system.

Over the next few months, we are working with our people to co-create new organisational values to underpin the Ministry culture. This process includes acknowledging our whakapapa as we develop our future culture – we want to collect experiences from the past to shape our future culture.

We also want input from our external stakeholders to understand what we could do to improve how we work with you. Our short survey has three quick questions and is anonymous.

Have a say in the Ministry’s new values by providing your feedback: Help inform the development of the Ministry of Health’s new values.


Latest news on our website

Results from cyber testing of 600 health websites

Interim cancer control agency board meets

Medsafe warns consumers not to consume coffee product marketed for weight loss

Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education agree joint approach to help prevent measles spreading

Ministry of Health reminder about vaping

Ministry of Health working with Tū Ora Compass over cyber intrusion

New suicide prevention director: ‘This effort needs all of us’

Update on accelerated silicosis response


Latest publications and resources

Code of Practice for Irradiating Apparatus – Draft for consultation

Code of Practice for Non-medical Irradiators – Draft for consultation

Code of Practice for Sealed Radioactive Material – Draft for consultation

Code of Practice for Unsealed Radioactive Material – Draft for consultation

Code of Practice for Veterinary Radiation – Draft for consultation

HISO 10072.1:2019 Bowel Screening Histology Data Standard

HISO 10072.2:2019 Bowel Screening Messaging Implementation Guide

Ka Pū te Ruha, ka Hao te Rangatahi- Good practice guidance for stop smoking services

National Maternity Monitoring Group Annual Report 2018

National Healthy Food and Drink Policy

National Standards for Vaccine Storage and Transportation for Immunisation Providers 2017

Publicly funded hospital discharges – 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017

Privately funded hospital discharges – 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017



Well Child Tamariki Ora Review online feedback (closes 31 October 2019)

Code of Practice for Irradiating Apparatus: Draft for consultation (closes 8 November 2019)

Code of Practice for Sealed Radioactive Material: Draft for consultation (closes 8 November 2019)

Code of Practice for Unsealed Radioactive Material: Draft for consultation (closes 8 November 2019)

Code of Practice for Veterinary Radiation: Draft for consultation (closes 8 November 2019)

Healthy Food and Drink Guidance survey (closes 8 November 2019)

Code of Practice for Non-medical Irradiators: Draft for consultation (closes 8 November 2019)

Help inform the development of the Ministry of health’s new values (closes 22 November 2019)

Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) Action Plan (closes 13 December 2019)


Kotahi te Tīma – the monthly Ministry of Health update for stakeholders

Help keep Kotahi te Tīma useful for all subscribers by emailing your suggestions and feedback: stakeholder_communication@health.govt.nz

Please visit our website to join the Kotahi te Tīma mailing list and view past editions.

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Contact details

Ministry of Health - Manatū Hauora
PO Box 5013
Wellington 6140
New Zealand.

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