District health board

District health boards (DHBs) in New Zealand were organisations established by the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 under the Fifth Labour Government, responsible for ensuring the provision of health and disability services to populations within a defined geographical area. They existed from 1 January 2001, when the Act came into force,[1] to 30 June 2022. Initially there were 21 DHBs, and this was reduced to 20 organisations in 2010: fifteen in the North Island and five in the South Island. DHBs received public funding from the Ministry of Health on behalf of the Crown, based on a formula that took into account the total number, age, socio-economic status and ethnic mix of their population. DHBs were governed by boards, which were partially elected (as part of the triennial local elections) and partially appointed by the minister of Health.

Map showing district health board boundaries since 2010

In April 2021, the Labour government announced that the system of district health boards was to be abolished and replaced by a single agency to be called Health New Zealand.[2] In addition, a new Māori Health Authority was to be set up to regulate and provide health services to the Māori community.[3]


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