District health board

District health boards (DHBs) in New Zealand are 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 have existed since 1 January 2001, when the Act came into force.[1] There are 20 DHBs (fifteen in the North Island and five in the South Island). Initially there were 21 DHBs, and this was reduced to the current 20 organisations in 2010. DHBs receive public funding from the Ministry of Health on behalf of the Crown, based on a formula which takes into account the total number, age, socio-economic status and ethnic mix of their population. DHBs are governed by boards, which are 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 will be abolished and replaced by a single agency to be called Health New Zealand.[2] In addition, a new Māori Health Authority will be set up to regulate and provide health services to the Māori community.[3]