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Review of the national mortality review function

In 2021, Te Tāhū Hauora commissioned an independent review of the national mortality review function (NMRF). The function is currently being reformed to address the findings.

This page includes work now underway to implement the changes and background information. It is regularly updated.

Benefits of changes to the national mortality review function

Changes to the national mortality review function (NMRF) will:

  • enable a more agile and flexible function, that is more responsive to Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • enable it to look across all areas of mortality, prioritising specific classes for review
  • support Te Tāhū Hauora’s focus on reducing preventable mortality
  • help address current inequities that exist across preventable mortality. 

Inaugural National Mortality Review Committee is being established

Te Tāhū Hauora is establishing the inaugural National Mortality Review Committee (NMRC), to be stood up from 1 July 2023.

The NMRC will be the primary advisor to Te Tāhū Hauora on mortality review, reviewing and reporting on specified classes of death, with the aim of reducing preventable deaths.

Developing a prioritisation framework for mortality review

Te Tāhū Hauora is designing a prioritisation framework for mortality review. An initial prototype will be followed by iterative validations with key stakeholders to ensure it fulfils its purpose.

The NMRC will use the framework to provide advice to the Te Tāhū Hauora board from 1 July 2024. This may see some changes to mortality review focus areas.

Background to the changes

In September 2021, Francis Health was commissioned to undertake an independent review looking at the ‘first principles’ of mortality review as a function.

Based on the findings, a blueprint for a reformed mortality review function was developed for the Te Tāhū Hauora board to consider.

Read the Francis Health review report (published October 2022)

The Te Tāhū Hauora board agreed to four key recommendations from the Francis Health report:

  • Within Te Tāhū Hauora, a single strategic National Mortality Review Committee will be established.
  • Current mortality review committee (MRC) members will be invited to become subject matter experts within the workstreams of the NMRF.
  • All current secretariat staff will transition and form part of the NMRF business unit, which will support the NMRF to fulfil its purpose.
  • Data will be brought together under the NMRF to ensure more integrated mortality data surveillance. 

The changes to the national mortality review function are now being implemented.

Related pages

If you have any questions about the independent review or the new NMRF, you can email:


Last updated: 6th April, 2023