29 October 2001 Media Statement
King sets up health information management group
Health Minister Annette King today announced she was establishing a Working Group to keep New Zealand at the forefront
of health information management.
“Internationally, New Zealand is already seen as a leader in developing and using health information, but in the past we
have also wasted millions of dollars setting up systems that haven’t worked, or have not been compatible with each
Mrs King, who last year imposed a moratorium on major IT spending, said the WAVE Working Group was one outcome of the
WAVE (Working to Add Value to E-information) Project initiated by Director-General of Health Karen Poutasi in December
last year. The project examined ways the health sector could better manage information for the benefit of New
“We’ve all seen the astonishing impact of e-information. It clearly offers significant advantages to the health sector.
But the project showed information management is 10 percent about technology, and 90 percent about communication.
“The project also showed clearly that there is great enthusiasm for a cooperative approach. All areas of the health
sector contributed their knowledge and advice, as well as specialists in the information management industry. We have
made a great start in improving the flow of useful information within the sector, and it is essential we carry that
Mrs King said the Working Group would provide advice on setting up a health information standards organisation, a key
recommendation in the WAVE Report.
The group will be chaired by David Caygill, who also chaired the WAVE Advisory Board. The other members are Canterbury
District Health Board chair Syd Bradley, Chad Brown (a member of the WAVE project team experienced in information
management, project management and Maori health), Deputy Director-General of Health (Corporate and Information
Directorate) Debbie Chin, Counties Manukau DHB chief executive David Clarke, technology specialist Murray Jack and
general practitioner Barry Gribben.
The WAVE Report will available on the Ministry of Health’s website from tomorrow, or copies may be obtained from Amy
Rountree, (04) 496 2170.