District Health Boards & Primary Health Organisations

District health boards (DHBs) are responsible for providing or funding the provision of health services in their district. Disability support services and some health services are funded and purchased nationally by the Ministry of Health.

The New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 created DHBs. It sets out their objectives, which include:
                • improving, promoting and protecting the health of people and communities
                • promoting the integration of health services, especially primary and secondary care services
                • seeking the optimum arrangement for the most effective and efficient delivery of health services in order to meet local, regional, and national needs
                • promoting effective care or support of those in need of personal health services or disability support
                • promoting the inclusion and participation in society and the independence of people with disabilities
                • reducing health disparities by improving health outcomes for Māori and other population groups
                • reducing – with a view toward elimination – health outcome disparities between various population groups.

DHBs are required to plan and deliver services regionally, as well as in their own individual areas. They are expected to show a sense of social responsibility, to foster community participation in health improvement, and to uphold the ethical and quality standards commonly expected of providers of services and public sector organisations.

DHB Location boundary maps

There are currently 20 DHBs in New Zealand. 

The North Island is made up of the following DHBs:




Counties Manukau


Bay of Plenty






Hawke's Bay

Capital and Coast

Hutt Valley


The South Island is made up of the following DHBs:

Nelson Marlborough

West Coast


South Canterbury