Counties Manukau District Health Board 2019 election

In 2019, voting takes place to elect members to district health boards (DHBs), the governing bodies responsible for overseeing the delivery of health and disability services in their districts.

DHB Boards have a critical leadership role in the health system and play a crucial role in the health sector’s work to improve the health status of all New Zealanders.

One of the most important ways you can take part in the decisions that shape the health outcomes for the greater Auckland region is to get involved in the 2019 District Health Board elections, either by voting for the people who will make those decisions or by standing for election as a representative.

In the Auckland region, there are three DHBs  - Waitemata, Auckland and Counties Manukau.

Thinking About Standing? – Get More Information

In general, anyone who is a New Zealand citizen and is on the parliamentary electoral roll can stand for election as a DHB member. You do not have to live in the DHB’s district to stand for election to its board but you cannot stand for election in more than one DHB.

DHB employees who meet the eligibility criteria are also able to stand for election.

Each DHB board consists of up to 11 members. Seven of these are elected members. After each election, the Minister of Health can appoint up to four more members to ensure the board encompasses a range of perspectives, skills and knowledge. For example, the Minister may wish to appoint people with financial or other large entity governance experience, or people from groups not represented among the elected members.

The chair and deputy chair are appointed by the Minister of Health from among the board’s elected and appointed members.

Click here for the final candidate's list for Counties Manukau DHB

Click here for the candidates' profiles fpr Counties Manukau DHB elections 2019 

For more detailed information, visit the Ministry of Health website.

DHBs are large and complex organisations. They account for most of the day-to-day business of the health system and administer around three-quarters of the funding. Their basic function is to plan, manage, provide and purchase health services for their resident population to ensure services are arranged effectively and efficiently for all of New Zealand.

This covers funding for primary care, hospital services, public health services, aged care services, and services provided by other non-government health providers, including Māori and Pacific providers.

DHBs are required to deliver on specific health targets set each year by the Government.

You can find out more about your local DHB by visiting Counties Manukau District Health Board www.countiesmanukau.health.nz; Auckland District Health Board www.adhb.health.nz and Waitemata District Health Board   www.waitematadhb.govt.nz

Each DHB board consists of up to 11 members. Seven of these are elected members. After each election, the Minister of Health can appoint up to four more members to ensure the board encompasses a range of perspectives, skills and knowledge. For example, the Minister may wish to appoint people with financial or other large entity governance experience, or people from groups not represented among the elected members.

The chair and deputy chair are appointed by the Minister of Health from among the board’s elected and appointed members.

DHB members are there to govern the organisation. This means setting the direction for the DHB and monitoring its performance against its goals, as laid out in its annual plan, regional services plan and statement of intent.

Board members are not involved in day-to-day management. That is the role of the chief executive, who makes decisions on all management matters and is responsible for these to the board.

The board appoints the chief executive, but otherwise, it has no role in employment decisions and, by law, cannot interfere in matters relating to individual employees.

Although most board members are elected by the public, all board members (both elected and appointed) are directly responsible and accountable to the Minister of Health. This is because DHBs are Crown entities and funded by the Government, using taxpayer dollars.

It is acknowledged, though, that elected members have an important role in ensuring the community’s voice is heard at the DHB board table.

For that reason, boards make decisions in a transparent environment. Agendas and board papers must be available to the public unless good reasons exist for them to be withheld under the law.

Board and statutory advisory committee meetings are also held in public, but under some circumstances parts of the meeting may need to be closed to the public.

Many DHB decisions are subject to public consultation processes.

Each year DHBs produce two key documents that outline the objectives they will work towards. They are part of each board’s accountability to the Government through the Minister of Health. The documents are:

  • an annual plan that includes detailed outputs for which the DHB will be held to account, both as a funder of services for its population and as a provider of services
  • a regional services plan that contains a strategic element (around the region’s health goals) and an implementation element (about how these goals will be achieved).

DHBs are also required to produce other documents that satisfy the need to be accountable to Parliament, and through Parliament, to the public.

The statement of intent is a strategic document produced at least every three years to provide a high-level focus on the DHB’s key strategic intentions and medium-term undertakings. It will relate to the forthcoming financial year and at least the following three financial years. The DHB also produces an annual statement of performance expectations that details financial and non-financial objectives and targets.

The annual report covers the year’s activities, measured against the statement of intent, including service and financial performance.

Board decisions need to be consistent with the objectives and directions laid out in these documents.

The legislation governing DHBs outlines the standards of behaviour expected of members in their governance role. Board members are expected to:

  • act with honesty and integrity
  • act in good faith and not at the DHB’s expense
  • act with reasonable care, diligence and skill
  • not disclose information acquired as a member.

The board as a whole is required to perform its functions efficiently and effectively, and in a manner consistent with the spirit of service to the public.

It must operate in a financially responsible manner, prudently managing its assets and liabilities to ensure the DHB’s long-term financial viability as a successful going concern.

For this, board members need the skills to:

  • provide positive leadership to the DHB (eg, appreciate the roles of governance and management, think strategically)
  • understand the DHB’s business (eg, ensure the DHB responsibly meets its service and financial obligations)
  • add value to the board table (eg, understand performance measures, be a ‘critical friend’ to management)
  • engage with DHB colleagues, communities and the wider health sector (eg, understand the DHB’s relationships, work constructively with fellow board members).

Election day is Saturday 12 October 2019 with voting closing at 12 noon. The voting period starts on Friday 20 September 2019.

Click here to read the detailed FAQ for the Triennial elections 2019 which was prepared by Auckland Council.