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Issue 18 – Tuesday 29 November 2022
In this edition
Chief Executives’ update
Ngātahitanga pulse survey
Consultation finance delegations 
New board members
Public service medal
Upcoming staff hui
Ola Manuia launches
Protect your breath
Diabetes action month
Fraud awareness week
Taupō Hospital donation

Chief Executives' update

Tēnā koutou e ngā kaimahi,

A huge thank you to our teams right across the motu for the high standard of care you continue to provide our communities during busy times. Summer is just around the corner, but we’re acutely aware that there’s been little let up in the demand for our services since the winter peak. We know how hard you are working, particularly those in our emergency departments. We really appreciate your mahi.

Work is moving ahead to simplify and unify how we work. We’re starting with some of the key corporate ‘enabling’ and delivery functions that support patient care. Consultation is underway and we encourage you to have your say – see below. We know this degree of uncertainty can be unsettling. Reach out to a colleague or your leader if you need to talk to someone. Please remain open to the many opportunities that lie ahead within Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora.

Soon, you will be invited to participate in our first ‘pulse survey.’ The information you provide will help make sure you’re well supported as we continue to transform the health system for Aotearoa. We want to make sure everyone’s voice is heard, so there will be a range of ways you can participate, including for those who don’t have access to a computer at work.

We will run further pulse surveys over the coming months to ensure we stay connected.

Congratulations to Michael Dreyer and Sue Gordon, who have been awarded public service medals for their contribution to the COVID-19 response. We’re so excited that your hard work and the hard work of your teams has been formally acknowledged in this way – ka pai!

Finally, as Christmas approaches, it is timely to take stock and reflect on the journey we have been on together since 1 July. An incredible amount has already changed for the better to help us focus on delivering more equitable health outcomes.

There’s lots more to do but together as a ‘team of teams’ we are well placed to do this.

Thank you for your commitment to our communities, our patients, and each other. Thank you for your willingness to embrace change, so that we can come together to deliver a unified, more accessible, whānau-centred health system.

Ngā mihi, 
Margie and Riana

Margie Apa                        Riana Manuel
Te Whatu Ora CE              Te Aka Whai Ora CE


Ngātahitanga pulse survey

To understand how Te Whatu Ora can best support its people, we’d like to ask you a few questions.

Over the next six months we will be sending out three short ‘pulse’ surveys to get your feedback on what’s working and where we need to improve.  
The first survey will run from 12pm Wednesday, 30 November, until 11.59pm Wednesday, 14 December.

You will receive the first survey by email on Wednesday, 30 November. If you don’t have access to email, paper-based surveys and posters with QR codes will also be available.  For kaimahi who transitioned to Te Aka Whai Ora there will be the option to complete the survey under your previous role, if desired.
The survey comprises 17 questions and takes 3-5 minutes to complete.

Responses are anonymous and confidential. 

We value your views and look forward to hearing from you. 

Ngātahitanga describes the values and principles that foster a ‘team of teams’ culture. ​The survey’s goal of listening to the voices of our people help​s ​shape meaningful improvements for our kaimahi, communities, patients and whānau, kia ngātahi te haere (unified journey). 

Consultation on finance delegations

Consultation on the changes to develop a common, harmonised approach to delegations across Te Whatu Ora is open for feedback from 24 November until 5pm, 16 December.   

This important policy provides guidance about who can make financial decisions, what they should consider, and how to ensure that decision makers are protected by providing clear guidance about what is permissible when they spend public funds.  The changes that would occur if the new policy is adopted will not result in any change to any staff member’s substantive role or responsibilities.  Rather, the policy provides guidance and a structure for approaching a function – financial decision making – that is a part of some staff members’ duties.

You can read the discussion document and have your say on the changes proposed through our new Consultation Hub. From here, you’ll be able to register to take part in the consultation using our online tool What Say You.

New board members

Welcome to our three new board members:

Te Whatu Ora

Dr Jeff Lowe

Dr Lowe trained in Otago and graduated in 1984, before working at Karori Medical Centre as a registrar, locum, and later as a partner. He teaches general practice and is currently chair of General Practice New Zealand. He is also a board member of Cosine PHO, the Federation of Primary Health Aotearoa and Collaborative Aotearoa.

Dr Lowe recently worked on Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand’s Planned Care Taskforce and the COVID-19 Health System Preparedness Group.

Naomi Ferguson

Naomi Ferguson brings more than 30 years of senior leadership experience in the public sector in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. She was the first woman to be appointed Commissioner of Inland Revenue and led the organisation between 2012 and 2022.

She is on the board of Education Payroll Ltd and on the Ministry of Justice’s risk and assurance committee. Her previous governance roles have been in the tax administration, health and social welfare sectors in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and in international forums such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

She also served as a trustee of Diversity Works New Zealand.

Te Aka Whai Ora

Steven McJorrow (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Moe)

Steven McJorrow is an experienced finance executive who is currently the chief financial officer of Pāmu Farms of New Zealand (Landcorp Farming Ltd), where he is responsible for the finance, technology, procurement and transformation office functions.

He is a director of land development joint venture Wharewaka East Ltd and of farm management software company FarmIQ and is a past director of animal genetics company Focus Genetics. His previous roles include chief financial officer of a private investment company in Melbourne, group financial controller for the Australian Wheat Board, head of decision support for a retail bank and has worked in in strategy consulting.

Read more about the appointments by visiting the Te Whatu Ora website.

Public service medal

Congratulations to Michael Dreyer and Sue Gordon, who were recently awarded the Te Tohu Ratonga Tūmatanui o Aotearoa New Zealand Public Service Medal for their innovative work to help communities during COVID-19.

Michael is our General Manager National Digital Services and Chief Technology Officer and Sue is Interim Lead Corporate Service Delivery.
These medals recognise their outstanding dedication to the people of Aotearoa.

During the response to COVID-19 Michael’s leadership enabled critical health and disability services to continue and led to the development of new digital systems to help us respond to the pandemic.

Sue was crucial to the success of the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 response. Her work included contract tracing, procurement of supplies, testing and vaccination, which often meant she had to work seven days a week.
“I am so proud that Michael Dreyer and Sue Gordon have been formally recognised for their outstanding mahi throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Te Whato Ora Chief Executive Margie Apa. “This is an extremely significant recognition of their outstanding dedication to the people of New Zealand. It’s recognition too of all the work our teams across Aotearoa did to keep New Zealanders safe and support the vaccination programme - ka mau te wehi!”

A big congratulations to Michael and Sue and to everyone who supported these initiatives.

Michael Dreyer, General Manager National Digital Services and Chief Technology Officer, Te Whatu Ora

Sue Gordon, Interim Lead Corporate Service Delivery, Te Whatu Ora

Upcoming staff hui with our chief executives

Links to staff hui below:

All Staff Hui 1 December 9.15 - 9.45am
All Staff Hui 15 December 9.15 – 9.45am

Aroha mai (sorry), we had to cancel our hui on 16 November at the last minute.
A network issue in Auckland meant our presenters couldn’t join us.


Ola Manuia launches

Earlier this month, Associate Health Minister Hon. Aupito William Sio officially launched Ola Manuia interim Pacific Health Plan July 2022-June 2024 at an event in South Auckland. He was joined by Markerita Poutasi, Te Whatu Ora National Director Pacific Health, and others from the Pacific health sector and community to celebrate the new plan.

Ola Manuia provides a detailed guide for our Pacific Health work programme over the next two years.

It is a companion document to Te Pae Tata - Interim New Zealand Health Plan, providing more detail on Te Whatu Ora’s approach for strengthening Pacific Health enablers and taking action on seven critical Pacific health priorities.

Priority areas for Pacific health

  • Mothers and babies
  • Children and youth
  • Older people
  • Tagata sa’ilimalo | disabled people
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Long-term conditions, including cancer, diabetes, and gout
  • Pandemic response, including addressing gaps and missed care over the past two years

'Protect your breath' youth vaping harm campaign starts

This new campaign is designed to get Aotearoa’s youth thinking critically about their decisions to use vaping products. One of the great things about this campaign is that it has been designed by youth for youth.

Protect Your Breath has been co-designed with the Hā Collective, a group of young people, schools and experts to explore ways to reduce the harms of youth vaping.

A website for parents has also been developed to support the campaign. It includes information for parents when having conversations with their teenagers, as well as resources to support young people to make critical decisions about their use of vaping products.

The campaign has already started to appear on social media channels. Over the next two years it will evolve to include a series of immersive in-person experiences. Protect Your Breath will aim to provoke conversations and encourage people to consider the impact of vaping on themselves and their communities.

Diabetes action month

Did you know that nearly 300,000 New Zealanders have diabetes? What’s more, this number is rapidly increasing. In the past 10 years alone the number of people diagnosed with diabetes has increased by more than a third.
About 90% of all people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes, and one in 12 people are predicted to have type 2 diabetes by 2040.
On average, Māori and Pacific people develop type-2 diabetes 10-20 years earlier than New Zealanders of European descent and they experience worse outcomes, including higher rates of limb amputation.
As part of Te Pae Tata – the Interim New Zealand Health Plan, we will implement accessible and nationally consistent clinical pathways for diabetes to integrate with primary and community care providers to create seamless pathways for whānau. We will also identify and support Māori and Pacific NGOs to work with whānau with chronic conditions to reduce the risk of developing diabetes, and to support self-management.
To learn more about prevention, and how to support New Zealanders living with diabetes, go to the Diabetes NZ website:

Read more about Te Pae Tata at:

Diabetes Action Month (1-30 November) is Diabetes New Zealand’s biggest awareness campaign. You can get involved by tuning in to their new podcast series, joining their Facebook Live, or taking part in Sneaker Friday! Find out what’s happening in your local area.

Fraud awareness week 

Fraud Awareness Week (13-19 November) was an opportunity to promote anti-fraud awareness and education to minimise the impact of fraud.

Always be on the lookout for fraud.  If something doesn’t seem right, report it to your manager or contact the Health Integrity Line (HIL) on 0800 424 888 or submit a website report. You can information via the HIL telephone service or the website anonymously.
Visit the Fraud Week website for more information on preventing fraud.

“The New Zealand Serious Fraud Office estimates New Zealand’s
public sector lost $1.7 billion in 2020/21 due to preventable
and undetected fraud and error.”

Taupō Hospital & Health Society donation brings joy to young patients

Children attending appointments at Taupō Hospital will be forgiven for wanting to stay a little longer.
Two rooms in the Taupō Outpatients Clinic are now adorned with scenes from local author Donovan Bixley’s Looky Books.
The wall art, and an AccuVein 500 laser scanner, are recent additions, thanks to the support of the Taupō Hospital and Health Society, which has supported Taupō Hospital since 1992.
Taupō Hospital Associate Clinical Nurse Manager Cilla McClay said paediatricians and outpatient nurses had voted for their favourites and the images receiving the most votes were chosen.
The artwork and printing were donated by Mr Bixley and Quality Print. The society funded the application of the art to the walls, which took about six hours.
“I spent a lot of time in Taupō Hospital when I was a boy. I had many accidents, including broken legs, broken arms, ribs, cuts, scratches. I know what it’s like to be here,” Mr Bixley said.
“I’m thrilled there’s something fun and less scary, that makes their experience a calmer one. It’s nice to be able to contribute to that.”
Ms McClay said the murals weren’t just interesting and fun - they also helped clinicians.
“They can also be used as an assessment and distraction tool,” she said.
The society’s mission is to assist in the continuation and development of health care services for people within the Taupō district.
Committee members David and Sandra Foss had the first look at the wall art and said it was better than they imagined.
“It’s brilliant,” Mrs Foss said. “There’s so much to see, even children who will come regularly will find something new.”
The AccuVein 500 laser scanner is used mostly in the chemotherapy and infusions clinic.
“A lot of our patients in this unit have poor vascular access and their veins can be difficult to find because they’ve been used many times,” said Ms McClay.
“This scanner can help us track where they are and supports us getting it right first time. It means it’s going to be more comfortable for patients and leads to a better patient experience.”
Previous donations to the hospital have included an echocardiogram machine, which is now used five days a week, and chairs for chemotherapy patients. It also contributed $850,000 towards the hospital rebuild.

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