Director National Mortality Review, Kupu Taurangi Hauora O Aotearoa- Health Quality Safety Commission NZ (H22_4275)

  • National Strategic Role
  • System Wide Improvement and Innovation
  • Results Through Partnerships and Collaboration

The Health Quality & Safety Commission (the Commission) is a crown entity operating within the complex landscape of the health and disability system. They are a diverse organisation with a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The Commission works with clinicians, providers and consumers to improve health and disability support services. Quality and safety improvements will mean fewer people harmed, more lives saved, and financial savings within the sector.

The Commission is charged with:

  • providing advice to the Minister of Health to drive improvement in quality and safety in health and disability services
  • leading and coordinating improvements in safety and quality in health care
  • identifying data sets and key indicators to inform and monitor improvements in safety and quality
  • reporting publicly on the state of safety and quality, including performance against national indicators
  • disseminating knowledge on and advocating for safety and quality

The Commission’s work is based on a shared model – the New Zealand Triple Aim for quality improvement. They work alongside their partners and stakeholders to achieve equity in the health and disability system, as well as to improve people’s experience of that system and its value. 

National Mortality Review Function

The Commission has recently changed the model for undertaking the review and reporting of mortality at a national level. This has followed a comprehensive independent review of the previous system of five independent committees which undertook review of deaths based on specific population groups. There is now one national statutory committee, overseeing this work with the task of identifying priority areas or groups for focused review.  Existing priority areas of mortality review: children and youth, mothers and babies, suicide, and family violence will continue for some time until the new national committee can assess priority areas. National oversight of deaths connected to surgery (perioperative deaths) will also continue.

This change is to achieve three key outcomes: 

  • the embedding of a Te Tiriti o Waitangi with a pro-equity approach central to mortality review
  • the ability to take a fresh approach to assessing key national priority areas, and
  • the ability to bring together key issues in multiple data sets that assess connections between specific deaths, rather than a siloed approach to reviews e.g., deaths associated with family violence, suicides, death of children, mothers etc.

One of the main reasons for the change is to address inequities in Māori mortality rates.  The Commission is committed to having a strong and unfettered Māori voice in this transformation and in the ongoing national mortality review function.    

Reporting to the Chief Executive, the Director, National Mortality Review will be pivotal in leading the organisation through this important and complex change. They will be supporting the Commission and providing leadership on the ongoing development of the national mortality review within the values base and strategic priorities of the Commission.  They will develop and maintain the infrastructure and support to the role and functioning of the national mortality review committee, key expert groups, and any Māori Rōpū that is formed, and they will develop and support an “operating model” for the management group that strongly supports the embedding in of a Te Tiriti partnership approach throughout all work.

The successful candidate will likely have proven success in leading people through significant change. They will have a track record of establishing high performing teams and bringing people together.  They will have a reputation as an influencer with excellent stakeholder management skills across a wide range of experts and agencies.  Already a successful senior leader they will have a strong understanding of the health and social sectors, and the knowledge and skill to understand and work with the epidemiological component of the work.

The Director Mortality Review will need to have a strong understanding and commitment to Te Tiriti and Te Tiriti partnerships, with the ability to lead change in this context.  They will be able to work with Māori experts and relate to Māori committees and stakeholders.

For a confidential conversation about the role please contact:

Catherine Bennett, Principal Consultant Search and Recruitment HardyGroup

E: M: +64 (0)21 288 5216, or

David Hughes, National Manager HardyGroup NZ

E: (M) +64 (0)212 864 470

Applications Close: Friday 10 February 2023