National 22 December 2021
Kia ora

Next year promises to be another massive year. The final shape of Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority with start to emerge, as the Pae Ora Bill passes through Parliament, the MECA negotiations will need to reach a conclusion and we will be continuing to live with Covid. And our collective strength can and will continue to be the thing that makes a difference.

Meri Kirihimete

Everyone at ASMS – your National Executive and National Office staff – want to wish you and your whanau a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.

Our National Office will close on Thursday 23 December and reopen again on Monday 10 January.

For any queries during this period, please check the ASMS website for contact details or email We look forward to seeing you in 2022.

MECA update

After four days of mediation, the DHB's position hasn't really changed. Their position appears to be there can be no pay increase offered until members have "experienced a year of pain" to satisfy the Government's call for pay restraint. Bargaining continues in the New Year. Read the full MECA Matters update here.

CE's of Health NZ and the Māori Health Authority announced

Counties Manukau DHB CE Margie Apa has been announced as the CE of Health New Zealand and Hauraki PHO CE Riana Manuel will lead the Maori Health Authority. You can see our media release here

Health reform submission

The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill, which sets up the foundations and legal framework for major health reform, is now before a parliamentary select committee. If enacted, the legislation will take effect on July 1 next year. DHBs will be disestablished and every DHB employee will become an employee of the new Health NZ. ASMS has prepared a submission on the legislation which it will be presenting to the select committee in the New Year. You can read it here.

Annual Conference

Videos of the key presentations made at our 2021 virtual Annual Conference are now available. If you didn’t get a chance to attend the conference, or did attend and want to relive the experience, you can watch the presentations here. Included are an address by the Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare along with a Q&A session, an update from the Transition Unit, a presentation of research on how effectively New Zealand retains its general surgery trainees and a session featuring ASMS’ report Inside the Frontline of the Mental Health Crisis.

Public holidays and time in lieu

If you are working over the holiday period and have questions about your public holiday entitlements, you can find out more here.

Next year’s JCCs

We have dates for the first round of JCC meetings for 2022. JCCs provide a unique opportunity for you to raise and discuss local issues with DHB leaders. We are hoping to attend most JCCs in 2022 in person but will continue to offer Zoom as an option for members. More information will be sent out before each JCC meeting. If you would like to receive text and email reminders about your upcoming JCC, please email To see when the first JCC of the year is being held in your DHB go here. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa me te Kirihimete me te tau hou

Sarah Dalton