Health Workforce Sector Update June 2022

on 20 June

Health workforce sector update

Kia ora koutou,

Quite a lot has changed in the Health Workforce Directorate since our last update - a lot of staff have already transferred to Interim Health New Zealand in advance of 1 July, and the remainder of staff will move to other areas of the Ministry once Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority are officially established.

Through all of the impending changes, we still have some more updates for you, including:

  • Round two of the Return to Nursing Workforce Support Fund
  • The Therapeutic Products Bill expected to be introduced to Parliament later this year
  • An update on the Holidays Act Remediation Programme from KPMG.

As this is my last official Health Workforce Sector Update, I’d like to personally thank all Health Workforce Directorate staff, past and present, for all of their great mahi over the years. I'd also like to thank those who have contributed with feedback and support during my time as Deputy Director-General.

After July 1, the newsletter will be sent via the team at Health New Zealand, so be sure to look out for a new-look newsletter very soon!

As always, stay safe, be kind, and look after yourselves and your whānau.

Ngā mihi nui,

Andrew Wilson, Deputy Director-General, Health Workforce

Deputy Director-General Health Workforce, Anna Clark

Deputy Director-General Health Workforce,
Andrew Wilson


Last few days to apply for round two of the Return to Nursing Workforce Support Fund

In February, the Ministry of Health launched a support fund to help non-practising nurses based in New Zealand return to a nursing role, in order to help grow the workforce to meet increased demand, support safe staffing, and improve access to care.

Round one of this funding helped financially support 65 qualified nurses to gain their Annual Practising Certificate and return to practice, and round two of this funding closes on Monday, 20 June, and is available for nurses who are:

  • a New Zealand Enrolled or Registered Nurse without an Annual Practising Certificate looking to return to a nursing role at an Aged Residential Care (ARC) provider, District Health Board (DHB), or non-government organisation (NGO).
  • an Internationally-Qualified Nurse who is currently working as a Health Care Assistant for an ARC provider, DHB, or NGO, and is looking to work for their current employer as an Enrolled or Registered Nurse.

The nurse applicant must also be one of the following:

  • a New Zealand citizen,
  • a New Zealand resident-class visa holder, or
  • somebody who has applied for the 2021 Resident Visa.

If you’re a qualified nurse who meets the criteria above, you could get up to $5,000 in financial support to help you get your annual practising certificate and return to practice in a nursing role.

Visit the Ministry of Health’s Return to Nursing Workforce Support Fund website to find out more information, and to apply for the funding via your employer before applications close on Monday, 20 June.


The Therapeutic Products Bill expected to be introduced to Parliament later this year

The Therapeutic Products Bill is integral to New Zealand’s health and disability system - medicines, medical devices and natural health products are used every day by New Zealanders and across healthcare settings.

Reform of the therapeutic products regulatory regime and natural health products is a key priority for the Government this year.

The Bill will help deliver better health outcomes for people and ensure consumer safety. It will provide New Zealanders with the assurances they would expect about the quality, safety and efficacy of therapeutic products, and the quality and safety of natural health products.

Further work on the Bill has focused on addressing sector feedback from the public consultation in 2019, the current work underway on the health and disability system reforms, as well as new health technology changes and lessons from COVID-19.

Natural health products are going to be included under the Bill as a separate product category with their own regulations. The aim is to support consumer safety by ensuring that natural health products are safe and high quality, while at the same time, support industry and the export process.

The new regime will enable service innovation, particularly in primary care and community settings. It will align with international best practice and will be future proofed with flexibility to ensure effective control over new technologies.

When the Bill reaches Select Committee stage, possibly early next year, there will be another opportunity for people to submit feedback. For more information, go to the Therapeutic products regulatory regime page on the Ministry of Health website, or contact the team at


An Update on the Holidays Act Remediation Programme from KPMG


Increased stakeholder engagement and collaboration have been clear themes over the month of May. The National Programme Management Office (NPMO) is finalising a round of senior stakeholder engagement meetings, having met with most DHB Chief Executives/senior sponsors and unions to discuss HARP. The korero has highlighted a number of topics that the NPMO will work to analyse an address over June.

Other forums have been established or continued to make progress in the month including for the implementation of the national questions and recently released financial liability guidance, the Holidays Act Working Group, and forums to collaborate on payroll systems. 

The Holidays Act Working Group has been working hard to resolve the Primary National Questions. The final of the proposed resolutions to outstanding questions are being consulted on prior to submission to the decision making process in June. The Primary National Question outcomes will provide clarity on key aspects of remediation and rectification, removing a long-standing blocker to progress. Weekly DHB meetings are in place to support implementation of the decision outcome.

Attention on project timelines will increase in June. The NPMO will be supporting projects to coordinate the sequencing and timeline of activity, to drive forward the point of delivery and compliance. This will include emphasis on expected timeframes, dependencies and any remaining blockers. 

16 of 21 DHBs have completed the first of seven Assurance Framework components and all are expected to be completed by the end of July. 17 have commenced component two. Sequencing of the remaining components will be discussed with projects alongside project timelines. 

Components three and four will have a staggered release to account for dependencies on the Primary National Question outcomes. Development of these components is well progressed and will be provided to projects in June and July. 

If you would like to contact the NPMO you can email or speak with your Relationship Manager.


Health Workforce | Ministry of Health - Manatū Hauora

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