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National mortality review function changes will better address inequities

Mortality Review Committees
03 July 2023

Changes to the national mortality review function of Te Tāhū Hauora Health Quality & Safety Commission came into effect on 1 July 2023.  

The changes follow a 2021 review that recommended the replacement of five entities tasked with reviewing fixed categories of mortality with a single national mortality review committee. 

Director of mortality review at Te Tāhū Hauora, Don Matheson, says the change has created an agile review function, more responsive to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. 

‘It gives us the ability to look across all areas of mortality and prioritise specific aspects for review,’ Dr Matheson says. 

‘This supports our focus on reducing preventable mortality and addressing current inequities that exist across in many population groups, particularly Māori.’ 

The new committee will use a decision-making framework for evaluating current and emerging areas for mortality review. A prototype framework under development will be provided to the board of Te Tāhū Hauora in September.  

An inaugural National Mortality Review Committee has been established, to be supported by subject matter experts from the previous mortality review committees, and a management group formed from the mortality review committee secretariat at Te Tāhū Hauora. 

‘The former mortality review committees made an impressive contribution to reducing preventable mortality.  

‘The new National Mortality Review Committee will build on this work and explore other populations impacted by premature mortality, particularly Māori, as well as identify additional causes that will enable the reduction of preventable deaths in future,’ Dr Matheson said. 

Details about the new National Mortality Review Committee, committee member bios, and subject matter experts are available on our website.