Regional Planning and Service Delivery

Regional Health Service Planning, Coordination and Delivery

The Northern Region is experiencing unprecedented growth in demand, unique within New Zealand. Over the next 20 years, approximately 57% of New Zealand's growth will be in the Northern Region. We can expect 562,000 additional people in the next 20 years using medium growth forecasts (this scale is comparable to: the current populations served by Auckland DHB, 546,000 people; or Counties Manukau DHB, 563,000 people). We have an aging population; the number of people aged over 75 years within the region is anticipated to more than double during this time.

Although health outcomes in our region are generally better than the New Zealand average, these are variable across our Region. The Northern Region is the country’s most diverse region, but there are significant inequities for some population groups and geographic areas. We are working to identify options for reducing the inequities that currently exist in our system, by working across DHB boundaries, integrating and sharing resources, assets and services so that our investment path optimises health gain for all our communities.

We anticipate that the demand for healthcare associated with our growing, ageing and changing population will quickly outstrip our ability to deliver healthcare under our current models of care and require significant investment. Our Long Term Investment Plan quantifies the significant increase in capacity that is required to meet future growth, particularly in our hospitals where there are already capacity constraints. Many of our community based services are also reaching the limits of their ability to meet demand.

The Northern Region DHBs are working collectively to decide how best to develop and sequence the required investment path, and to identify the priorities for additional funding. We are committed to the ‘Triple Aim’ framework that underpins the New Zealand Health Strategy, and its three aims of: improve health and equity for all populations; improve the quality, safety and experience of care; ensure best value for public health system resource.

The NRA supports collaborative work across the Region by providing project management, coordination and secretariat support to a range of clinical networks, forums and projects. NRA plays a key role in developing and implementing health services plans, models of care and continuous improvement work across the region.


Northern Region Long Term Investment Plan (2018)

This plan is the first fully integrated long term investment plan developed for Northland and Auckland and provides a new perspective on the unique challenges and opportunities that face our region’s healthcare system.

It is the result of more than 18 months of work by our four DHBs in collaboration with other stakeholders, including primary care, the Ministry of Health, Treasury and the Northland and Auckland Councils. It is a living document and we look forward to engaging widely with stakeholders as we progress this work.

This plan provides the first comprehensive analysis of future healthcare challenges through a regional lens, regardless of current DHB boundaries, and identifies potential responses. It is designed to facilitate understanding and debate on the best way to progress the Northern Region health service direction of travel, guiding investments across facilities, key equipment, IS/IT, and workforce. 

The first view focussed upon hospital related requirements, to remedy immediate issues and to provide the medium and longer term capacity required to allow us to continue providing health services for our population. The plan balances the need for remediation, to extend the usability of some existing building stock, with the need to develop new capacity to meet the unprecedented current growth and the anticipated future growth of the Region. Large physical infrastructure and capital intensive investments require longer planning and development lead times, hence their attention in this first plan.

Phase two of long term investment planning work, currently underway, increases the focus on projecting investment required with regard to community, population health and mental health services. The current work is also further detailing plans completed in our Phase one key areas, which looked at model of care changes in Cancer, Frail Elderly and Electives. Investments required in workforce and information systems to support and enable the desired changes are an ongoing focus.


Northern Region Service Plan documents can be downloaded here: 

Northern Region Service Plan 2020/21 [PDF, 2.2 MB]

Northern Region Service Plan 2019/20 [PDF, 1.5 MB]


Northern Region Long Term Investment Plan documents can be downloaded here: 



Tony Phemister | Portfolio Manager