Minister of Health (New Zealand)

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Minister of Health of New Zealand
Te Manatū Hauora (Māori)
Coat of arms of New Zealand.svg
Flag of New Zealand.svg
Andrew Little 2019 (cropped).jpg
Andrew Little
since 6 November 2020
Ministry of Health
Style The Honourable
Member of
Reports to Prime Minister of New Zealand
Appointer Governor-General of New Zealand
Term length At His Majesty's pleasure
Formation8 November 1900
First holderSir Joseph Ward
Salary$288,900 [1]

The Minister of Health (Māori : Manatū Hauora), [2] formerly styled Minister of Public Health, is a minister in the government of New Zealand with responsibility for the New Zealand Ministry of Health and Te Whatu Ora—Health New Zealand.


The current Minister of Health is Labour Party MP Andrew Little. [3]


The first Minister of Public Health was appointed in 1900, during the premiership of Richard Seddon. The word "Public" was dropped from the title when Sir Māui Pōmare took over the portfolio from 27 June 1923, as simply "Minister of Health".

In the health system reforms of the 1980s, the Department of Health lost responsibility for both the provision and funding of healthcare – these roles were transferred to separate Crown Health Enterprises (the precursors to today's District Health Boards) and the Health Funding Authority, respectively. The only function remaining was policy-making (resulting in the department being renamed a Ministry). For a time, there was a separate Minister in Charge of Crown Health Enterprises, who was not necessarily the same as the Minister of Health. Further reforms have changed this, however – the Health Funding Authority has been re-absorbed into the Ministry of Health, and the modern District Health Boards, while not part of the Ministry, are considered a responsibility of the Minister of Health.

In July 2022, on the passing of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022, District Health Boards were disestablished and the provision and funding of healthcare was centralised under Health New Zealand.

List of Health Ministers


   Liberal    Reform    United    Labour    National

No.NamePortraitTerm of OfficePrime Minister
1 Joseph Ward Joseph Ward c. 1906.jpg 8 November 19006 August 1906 Seddon
2 George Fowlds George Fowlds, ca 1910.jpg 6 August 19066 January 1909 Ward
3 David Buddo David Buddo.jpg 6 January 190928 March 1912
4 George Warren Russell George Warren Russell.jpg 28 March 191210 July 1912 Mackenzie
5 Heaton Rhodes Robert Heaton Rhodes Jr (1915).jpg 10 July 191212 August 1915 Massey
(4) George Warren Russell George Warren Russell.jpg 12 August 191525 August 1919
6 Francis Bell Francis Bell.jpg 4 September 19193 April 1920
7 James Parr James Parr.jpg 3 April 19207 June 1923
8 Maui Pomare Maui Pomare.jpg 7 June 192318 January 1926
9 Alexander Young Alexander Young.jpg 18 January 192610 December 1928
10 Arthur Stallworthy Arthur Stallworthy.jpg 10 December 192822 September 1931 Ward
(9) Alexander Young Alexander Young.jpg 22 September 19316 December 1935
11 Peter Fraser Peter Fraser.jpg 6 December 193530 April 1940 Savage
12 Tim Armstrong Tim Armstrong 1935.jpg 30 April 194021 January 1941
13 Arnold Nordmeyer Arnold Nordmeyer (1950).jpg 21 January 194129 May 1947
14 Mabel Howard Mabel Bowden Howard.jpg 29 May 194713 December 1949
15 Jack Watts Jack Watts.jpg 13 December 194919 September 1951 Holland
16 Jack Marshall Jack Marshall 1951.jpg 19 September 195126 November 1954
17 Ralph Hanan Ralph Hanan portrait.jpg 26 November 195412 December 1957
18 Rex Mason Rex Mason.jpg 12 December 195712 December 1960 Nash
19 Norman Shelton Norman Shelton.jpg 12 December 196024 January 1962 Holyoake
20 Don McKay Don McKay.jpg 24 January 19629 February 1972
21 Lance Adams-Schneider Lance Adams-Schneider, 1957.jpg 9 February 19728 December 1972 Marshall
22 Bob Tizard Bob Tizard, 1968.jpg 8 December 197210 September 1974 Kirk
23 Tom McGuigan Tom McGuigan.jpg 10 September 197412 December 1975 Rowling
24 Frank Gill Frank Gill (crop).jpg 12 December 197513 December 1978 Muldoon
25 George Gair George Gair.jpg 13 December 197811 December 1981
26 Aussie Malcolm No image.png 11 December 198126 July 1984
27 Michael Bassett Michael Bassett, 1969.jpg 26 July 198424 August 1987 Lange
28 David Caygill David Caygill, 2015.jpg 24 August 198730 January 1989
29 Helen Clark Helen Clark UNDP 2010.jpg 30 January 19892 November 1990
30 Simon Upton Simon Upton 01 crop.jpg 2 November 199027 March 1993 Bolger
31 Bill Birch Bill Birch.jpg 27 March 199329 November 1993
32 Jenny Shipley Jenny Shipley 2013 (crop).jpg 29 November 199316 December 1996
33 Bill English Bill English 3by2.png 16 December 19962 February 1999
34 Wyatt Creech Wyatt Creech, 1998.jpg 2 February 199910 December 1999
35 Annette King Annette King at Onslow Kindergarten.jpg 10 December 199919 October 2005 Clark
36 Pete Hodgson Pete Hodgson XMediaLab 2008.jpg 19 October 20055 November 2007
37 David Cunliffe David Cunliffe, 2008.jpg 5 November 200719 November 2008
38 Tony Ryall Tony Ryall.jpg 19 November 20086 October 2014 Key
39 Jonathan Coleman Jonathan Coleman 3by2.png 6 October 201426 October 2017
40 David Clark Hon Dr David Clark.jpg 26 October 20172 July 2020 [4] Ardern
41 Chris Hipkins Hon Chris Hipkins.jpg 2 July 20206 November 2020
42 Andrew Little Andrew Little 2019 (cropped).jpg 6 November 2020Incumbent

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  1. "Parliamentary Salaries and Allowances Determination 2016" (PDF). New Zealand Parliament . 3 November 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 January 2021. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  3. "Ministerial List for Announcement on Monday, 2 November 2020" (PDF). New Zealand Government . Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 February 2021. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  4. "David Clark resigns as Health Minister: 'It's best for me to step aside'". 2 July 2020.