Links to our reports, articles, blog posts, and published letters about the health sector and health topics.
Monitoring importers of specified high-risk foods

20 February 2024: The Ministry for Primary Industries doesn’t know how effective the safety system is for importing high-risk food. The Ministry has not been consistently monitoring whether importers are establishing the safety and suitability of high-risk food before it arrives in the country.

Meeting the mental health needs of young New Zealanders

15 February 2024: Young people report the highest level of unmet need for mental health care of any age group in the population. We looked at how effectively government agencies work together to understand and meet the mental health needs of young people aged 12 to 24 years.

Response to concerns about the Measles Catch-up Campaign

22 May 2023: Dr Shane Reti MP wrote to us with concerns about the Ministry of Health’s Measles Catch-up vaccination campaign, including its cost, the number of vaccines that expired, and its failure to address Māori equity. This is our letter in response.

Response to letter about Rapid Antigen Tests

16 June 2022: We have replied to Chris Bishop MP about his request to investigate the Government’s purchasing and administration of Rapid Antigen Tests as part of the Covid-19 health response.

District health boards: Main findings from the 2019/20 audits

July 2021: We summarise the main findings from our 2019/20 audits of district health boards and other relevant work we have done. We highlight matters that might need attention in the year ahead, including management and governance capacity for dealing with change, tracking performance, and risk management.

Preparations for the nationwide roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine

May 2021: The Covid-19 Immunisation Programme is critical to New Zealand’s response to Covid-19. This report provides an independent view on how ready the Ministry of Health and district health boards are to roll out the vaccine to the general population.

Accident Compensation Corporation case management

November 2020: In 2014, we looked at how well the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) used a case management approach to support claimants to recover and rehabilitate from serious injuries. We have carried out a follow-up audit to see what progress ACC had made in addressing the recommendations from our 2014 report.

District health boards: Main findings from the 2018/19 audits

July 2020: Brief summary of the main matters arising from the 2018/19 audits of district health boards. These matters include Covid-19, financial sustainability, Holidays Act 2003 compliance, procurement and contract management, and proposed changes to the health system.

Ministry of Health: Management of personal protective equipment in response to Covid-19

June 2020: In April 2020, we agreed with the Ministry of Health to independently review its management of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the early stages of the country’s response to Covid-19. In times of crisis, people need to have trust and confidence in the systems and arrangements set up to support them. We decided that it was important to take an independent look at how the Ministry has been managing both the national reserve of PPE and the supply of PPE during the pandemic.

Health sector: Results of the 2016/17 audits

June 2018: The performance of organisations providing health services, including the district health boards (DHBs), is important for New Zealand's economic and social well-being. In 2016/17, $16.22 billion was spent on health. However, continued financial pressure makes it difficult for DHBs to invest for the future. It also affects their resilience and their ability to make investments to deal with significant changes in demand.

Author portrait picture The way to the future

Developments in technology are changing how we carry out even the simplest of tasks. So how are public sector organisations responding to citizens' needs?

Health sector: Results of the 2014/15 audits

August 2016: In general, district health boards are doing reasonably well at marshalling their resources for current operational needs. However, our analysis of their financial statements for successive years suggests that their planning for the future and ability to deal with uncertainty or changing circumstances is limited.

Collecting and using information about suicide

June 2016: Public agencies collect and use some information well to help them support those affected by suicide and find ways to prevent it. For example, reliable and detailed mortality statistics are kept on suicides and there is a rapid advice system in place for coroners to tell district health boards about suspected suicides in their area.

Home-based support services for older people: Follow-up audit

June 2016: The Ministry’s progress in implementing national home-care quality indicators has been slow and it is currently working to produce a better set of indicators. The Ministry has strengthened infrastructure that should help it to better collect and use performance information to monitor the quality of home-care once national indicators are in place.

District health boards’ response to asset management requirements since 2009

June 2016: We found that standard asset management practices, like knowing, monitoring and reporting on the condition and performance of assets and having integrated asset, service, and financial plans do not seem to be standard practice for more than half of DHBs. We also found that, since 2009, fewer than half of DHBs showed indicators of asset spending and building up money to pay for future assets at levels we think characterise good financial and asset management.

Inquiry into Health Benefits Limited

October 2015: We looked at the costs and benefits of HBL’s work in the health sector and identified 11 lessons that might benefit HBL’s successors and other shared services programmes. HBL's difficulties included an ambitious and complex programme, inadequate communication with DHBs, a lack of timely and accurate information for HBL’s board, and no overall project management. Some DHBs’ commitment to change appears to have been limited. From early 2014, HBL's board improved relationships with the health sector and the governance and management of change programmes...

Accident Compensation Corporation: Using a case management approach to rehabilitation

November 2014: The report finds that ACC needs to make changes to its case management systems and processes to ensure that it is effectively meeting people’s needs. ACC needs to look at how it uses and captures information about effective treatment and rehabilitation options, its internal quality review and coaching tools, how it communicates with people, how adequate and appropriate its case management services are for long-term clients with complex needs, and how it manages the transfer of clients between it and other public entities...

Health sector: Results of the 2012/13 audits

May 2014: This report describes the results of our 2012/13 audits of entities in the health sector and our recent performance audit work to assess the effectiveness of particular aspects of the public health system...