What's going on in rural New Zealand?

Latest Updates

  • Tourist Tax must address more than toilets

    Date published
    17 Jun 2018

    The New Zealand Rural General Practice Network said a Tourist Tax needed to reflect that tourism was now placing real stress on delivery of rural health services.
    The NZRGPN is the national network representing the doctors and nurses of rural medical practices across New Zealand.
    “Tourism is a great thing for the New Zealand economy but managing its impacts goes beyond more toilets and car parks,” said Chief Executive, Dalton Kelly.

  • 'Rural Proofing' vital for rural communities

    Date published
    13 Jun 2018

    The New Zealand Rural General Practice Network today welcomed a refreshed ‘rural proofing’ policy that will ensure rural communities are ‘at the heart of policy making across government’.
    The NZRGPN is the national network representing the staff of rural medical practices across New Zealand.

  • Rural GPs get Queen's Birthday honours

    Date published
    5 Jun 2018

    Two rural doctors received QSMs in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours - Dr John McGettigan for services to rural health and Dr Mary Ballantyne for services to women's and children's health.
    Dr McGettigan has been a General Practitioner for the Methven community for 40 years.
    Dr Ballantyne became a partner of Te Awamutu Medical Centre in 1981 and established a busy general practice predominantly caring for women and children.

  • Rural health must be integral in services review

    Date published
    30 May 2018

    The New Zealand Rural General Practice Network has welcomed an announcement of a comprehensive review of health services in New Zealand.
    The NZRGPN is the national network representing the staff of rural medical practices across New Zealand.
    “A comprehensive review of the delivery of health and disability services is timely,” said NZRGPN Chief Executive Dalton Kelly. “This review must be comprehensive and wide-ranging, taking into account the full range of communities and health service providers across New Zealand.
    “We welcome the Review and will look to participate fully in it on behalf of the medical professionals who are delivering outstanding health services to rural communities, often under increasingly difficult conditions.”

  • Government announce health system review

    Date published
    29 May 2018

    The entire health and disability system will be reviewed, with the district health board system coming under the spotlight (NZ Herald).

    The terms of reference for the review say the current system has a "complex mix of governance, ownership, business and accountability models and arrangements.
    "This complexity can get in the way of ensuring public money is spent to invest in, and provide healthcare to the public in a coherent and smart way."
    Health minister David Clark, who announced the review today (May 29), has previously indicated he was keen for a "fresh" look at the way DHBs operated.

  • System Level Measures update

    Date published
    6 May 2018

    Focus on patient experience survey, April 2018.

    Patient experience of care is an important indicator of the quality of health services, and is one of the System Level Measures co-developed by the Ministry of Health and the health sector. There are two patient experience surveys – one that captures patient feedback and experience in hospital, and the more recent primary care patient experience survey. The surveys are coordinated by the Health Quality & Safety Commission.

  • Govt inquiry into Mental Health Addiction

    Date published
    4 May 2018

    Call for feedback from members.


    The Government is calling for submissions on the Mental Health and Addictions Inquiry. There are a variety of ways in which you can have your say, including attending regional forums during May-June 2018
    The Network will be making a submission specifically focussing on the challenges from a rural perspective and we are interested to hear your feedback on the following questions:

    In the context of mental health and addictions in rural New Zealand communities:
    • What do you think is currently working well?
    • What isn't working well at the moment?
    • What could be done better?
    • What sort of society would be best for the mental health of all our people?

    Please consider this in the context of the patient, the whanau, the community and the rural primary care workforce.


  • New faces on the Network Board

    Date published
    12 Apr 2018

    Three new rural practitioners were welcomed to the Network Board during its AGM and election at the 2018 conference. The Board reluctantly farewelled Nurse Practitioner and Pleasant Point practice owner Tania Kemp (pictured), who had served three terms. She is succeeded by South Westland-based Rural Nurse Specialist Gemma Hutton. Nurse Practitioner Rhoena Davis also comes onto the Board along with South Island Nurse and Chairperson of Rural Nurses New Zealand, Rhonda Johnson, who was co-opted onto the Board. Rose Lightfoot is now the Network’s consumer representative on the Board.




  • Briefing Paper to the Minister of Health

    Date published
    29 Mar 2018

    Network Chairperson Sharon Hansen and Chief Executive Dalton Kelly presented a briefing paper to the Minister of Health, Dr David Clark, at Parliament on March 28. To read the paper click HERE.