In 2016, the Commission’s primary care programme team launched the inaugural round of Whakakotahi – primary care quality improvement challenge 2017, or Whakakotahi 2017.

Applicants were invited to submit proposals about any facet, element or area of patient care that they wanted improve through participating in Whakakotahi, and one that was important to their patients/community and to them as providers of care.

Proposals also had to support one or more of the Commission’s three primary care strategic priority areas: equity, integration and consumer engagement.

All of those who applied accepted the ‘challenge’ of applying for a place in Whakakotahi, and stepped up to learn about and apply improvement science to improve the quality of their patients’ care.

Six new projects for Whakakotahi 2018

An invitation for a second expression of interest in mid-2017 drew 22 applications, with six teams successfully going through to the improvement phase to start work on their chosen project.

Read our news story about the successful projects.

Successful projects for 2018
The Fono, Tāmaki-makau-rau (Auckland) Working with the Auckland Tuvaluan community to develop and test culturally appropriate methods to address health inequities in skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI) rate, prevention and treatment for Pacific people and Māori.
Turanga Health, Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa (Gisborne)  Developing a primary care approach which works for Māori whānau via a workplace wellness platform. Mobile health staff can provide care to whānau at work and home and engage high-risk patients in follow-up care.
Gonville Health, Whanganui Targeting the new patient process at their Very Low Cost Access Practice. Increasing the accessibility, patient-friendliness and efficiency of the process with a view to increasing patient health literacy and self-management, quality of care and cultural appropriateness.
Unichem Russell Street, Te Matau-a-Māui (Hawke’s Bay)  Working in partnership with local asthma foundation branch, Breathe Hawkes Bay, and local GP practice, The Doctors Hastings, to reduce respiratory disease-related hospitalisation and GP visits in Māori and Pasifika children aged 0-18 years old.
Linwood Medical Centre, Canterbury District Health Board Diabetes Service, Ōtautahi (Christchurch)  Working with complex diabetes patients to improve the quality of their care and developing pathways for increased health literacy and self-management.
West Coast PHO, Poutini Waiora and West Coast DHB, Tai Poutini (West Coast)  Moving toward increased self-management and community-based, patient-centric care for patients who are pre-diabetic/at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Improving detection of these conditions to prevent/delay their onset.

Since early 2018, the Commission has worked closely with the successful applicants on their improvement projects following a structure similar to the IHI breakthrough series (collaborative) methodology, underpinned by the Model for Improvement.

The improvement teams will come together for three group learning events for quality improvement teaching and workshops, idea sharing, and networking. Between these group learning events, the Commission’s quality improvement advisor and project manager provided virtual (eg, teleconference calls, webinars) and on-site support and mentoring to the improvement teams, as needed.

A member of each project team is currently enrolled in the Primary Care Quality Improvement Facilitator programme (PCIF), delivered by Ko Awatea and the Commission's primary care and capability programmes.

The improvement projects will run for about 18 months. Watch this space to see how each team progresses with their improvement efforts.

More information

For more information on Whakakotahi, or if you have an improvement project in mind and would like to be part of Whakakotahi 2019, please read the most recent expressions of interest documents.

For any questions about the Commission’s work in primary care, please email


Last updated 12/07/2018