Health Central shares a beginner’s guide to who’s in charge of what when it comes to health in the new Government.

You know that Dr David Clark is the new Minister of Health. But you are not sure who chairs the Health Select Committee or what associate health ministers’ Jenny Salesa and Julie Anne Genter’s responsibilities are?

Then you have come to the right place. Health Central here provides a simple reference guide to which Health Minister is in charge of what policy area, who is on the Health Select Committee and some other health-related posts of interest within the Government and Opposition:

David Clark Minister of Health

Responsibilities include the overall functioning and operation of the health system, community health, health workforce, aged care, and mental health services.

(Clark is also Associate Minister of Finance and is tenth in Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s cabinet line-up)

The Minister has delegated the following responsibilities to his two associate ministers of health:

Jenny Salesa Associate Minister of Health

Responsibility for policy and service delivery relating to:

  • Maori and Pacific health;
  • the Health Promotion Agency;
  • tobacco;
  • problem gambling;
  • healthy school environments;

(Salesa is inside Cabinet as she is also Minister for Building and Construction, Minister for Ethnic Communities, Associate Minister for Education and Associate Minister of Housing and Urban Development – with responsibility for public and emergency housing, Pacific people’s housing and housing for groups with particular needs like disabilities or mental health issues. She is 15th in the Cabinet line-up)

Julie Anne Genter Associate Minister of Health

Responsibility for policy and service delivery (with the exception of responsibility for abortion and wage settlements, which is retained by the Minister of Health) relating to the following areas:

  • climate change and health;
  • population health (built environments);
  • women’s health (including breast and cervical screening);
  • sexual health;
  • disability support services (Ministry of Health-funded for under 65 year olds);

(Genter is a Green Party MP and also holds an outside Cabinet portfolio as Minister for Women and is Associate Minister of Transport)

Health Select Committee

  • Louisa Wall  (Labour, Manurewa )  CHAIR, social policy advisor
  • Dr Shane Reti (National, Whangarei) DEPUTY CHAIR, GP
  • Dr Jonathan Coleman (National, Northcote)  National’s health spokesperson, GP
  • Dr Liz Craig (Labour, List) 1st time MP, Public health physician
  • Matt Doocey (National, Waimakariri)  National’s mental health spokesperson
  • Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki (Labour, List) 1st time MP, Social worker
  • Nicky Wagner (National, List)  National’s disability spokesperson, businesswoman
  • Angie Warren-Clark (Labour, List) 1st time MP, barrister & Women’s Refuge manager

Some other health-related portfolios 

Jacinda Ahern

  • Minister for Child Poverty Reduction

Carmel Sepuloni

  • Minister for Social Development
  • Minister for Disability Issues
  • Associate Minister for Pacific Peoples

Phil Twyford

  • Minister of Housing and Urban Development

Nanaia Manuta

  • Minister for Māori Development
  • (Also Minister of Local Government and Associate Minister for the Environment)

(Outside Cabinet)

Peeni Henare

  • Minister for Whānau Ora
  • Minister for Youth
  • Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector
  • Associate Minister for Social Development

Aupitu William Siu

  • Minister for Pacific Peoples
  • (Also Associate Minister for Courts and Associate Minister of Justice)

Tracy Martin (New Zealand First)

  • Minister for Children
  • Minister for Seniors
  • (Also Minister of Internal Affairs and Associate Minister of Education)


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