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Issue: June 2019


Marking new beginnings

Ministry of Health staff are joining people around Aotearoa New Zealand to mark Matariki, the Māori New Year. Matariki underscores the importance of looking to the future while remembering lessons from the past.

It’s in this spirit that Budget 2019 has a major focus on mental health and addiction, aligning key initiatives with the Government’s response to He Ara Oranga (the report of the independent inquiry into mental health and addiction).

This year’s Wellbeing Budget provides additional funding for other key areas too, including infrastructure, rural health care, and workforce, helping strengthen the foundations of our health system. Thanks to its wellbeing focus, this year’s Budget is set to help make health outcomes more equitable: a key priority.

Please visit the Ministry website to find out more about Budget 2019.

You can also discover more about Matariki on Te Papa’s website.


Professor Ian Town appointed Chief Science Advisor

We’re pleased Professor Ian Town will join the Ministry of Health on 1 July as Chief Science Advisor, helping ensure robust, credible science remains at the core of our decision-making.

Professor Town is a physician by training and brings to this role the experience gained during his three-decade career in the health and education sectors. He has contributed to a range of projects including rural health, community pharmacy, infection prevention and control, antimicrobial stewardship, and occupational safety and health, as well as the development and implementation of the New Zealand Health Research Strategy.

Professor Town served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Canterbury for eight years, and most recently he chaired the Health Precinct Advisory Council, a key Christchurch recovery project.


Changes to Ministry of Health email addresses

Ministry staff email addresses have been updated and modernised, and now follow the ‘firstname.lastname@health.govt.nz’ format (instead of firstname_lastname@moh.govt.nz).

Including ‘health’ rather than ‘moh’ in our email addresses makes them consistent with our website, www.health.govt.nz, and aligns them with industry standards of using a dot rather than an underscore.

Please update your address books to reflect the change. If you have references to Ministry email addresses on your website, in your publications, or in other materials, please consider when you might update these too.

Emails sent to old addresses will be automatically redirected to new email addresses for the time being.


Information sharing schemes taking effect soon

Two new information sharing schemes come into effect on 1 July 2019, promoting collaboration across Government to enhance the safety and wellbeing of families, whānau, communities, and children and young people. The schemes are:

  • a new information sharing scheme introduced by the Family Violence Act 2018
  • a new information sharing scheme introduced by sections 65A to 66D of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989.

All health workers need to understand what the information sharing changes mean for them, whether they work in government or non-government organisations, in hospitals or the community, or in primary, secondary or tertiary care.

Practical guidance for health professionals will be available in July. These resources are being designed to help health practitioners decide if they can share information with, or request information from, another agency. Our website also has additional information about the schemes.

The Ministry of Health has worked with Oranga Tamariki, the Ministry of Justice, ACC and other agencies to support the introduction of these changes across the social sector. .


Volunteer Awards presented

The 2019 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards were presented at Parliament’s Grand Hall on 17 June, during National Volunteer Week.

In all, 19 awards were presented to teams and individual volunteers who have been doing great volunteer work across a range of health services. Congratulations to Health Volunteer of the Year for 2019, David Ratū, who was nominated by Alcohol Healthwatch for his exceptional work helping reduce alcohol harm among Māori.

Read about David and the other volunteers on the Ministry website:


Update on maternity services

Child wellbeing is a priority for the Ministry and universal health services, including maternity services, play a key role in supporting and improving outcomes for women, babies and tamariki.

Budget 2019 reflects ongoing support to commitments made last year to facilitate change for maternity services in Aotearoa New Zealand. The initiatives announced recently in this year’s Budget will allow the Ministry to continue this work – please visit our website to find out more:


Latest news on our website

Flu vaccine stocks update

MMR immunisation protects our most vulnerable

New national action plan released to curb rise in syphilis cases

Website to give Kiwis the facts on vaping

Flu season update


Latest publications and resources

Code of Practice for Industrial Radiography (ORS C7)

HISO 10071:2019 Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessment Data Standard

Household Food Insecurity among Children: New Zealand Health Survey

National Syphilis Action Plan

Selected Cancers 2015, 2016, 2017

Prescriber Update – Medsafe's newsletter about medicine and medical device safety

Screening Matters – the National Screening Unit newsletter


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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