Midland region

Current situation

The Midland region stretches from Cape Egmont in the West to East Cape and is located in the middle of the North Island. The region comprises five District Health Boards: Tairawhiti, Taranaki, Lakes, Bay of Plenty, and Waikato. These boundaries take in the major population centres of New Plymouth, Hamilton, Rotorua, Tauranga and Gisborne.

The more rural nature of the Midland populations create particular challenges in getting services to individuals, and individuals to services.

There are approximately 853,725 people living in the Midland region, with approx. 205,590 or 24 percent of the total population identifying as Maori. This makes the proportion of Maori to non Maori in the Midland region much higher than the proportion in the national population, with the percentage of Maori in each DHB exceeding the national average.

The Midland region has the higher proportion of deprivation of the population. With quintile 5 being most deprived and quintile 1 being least deprived. In 2014 Lakes had 72% of its population of birthing women living in quintile 4 and 5, the highest for social deprivation. (verses 40% of New Zealand as a whole).

The exception to this pattern is Taranaki, which has a greater proportion of people in the middle rather than highest or lowest quintile. DHBs such as Waikato and Bay of Plenty have smaller pockets of very high deprivation. The largest populations of people in deprivation quintile 5 are found in Hamilton, Rotorua, and Gisborne.
Deprivation is an important indicator, as the higher the deprivation the higher the morbidity and mortality, and the lower life expectancy. People living in lower economic circumstances may find accessing health services more difficult, and their circumstances may impact on their knowledge of available services and their confidence to seek those services.

Some features of the Midland region compared to New Zealand as a whole:

  • The highest proportion of Māori.
  • A low proportion of the population identifying as Asian or Pacific peoples.
  • A higher number of people living in rural areas.
  • A relatively higher proportion of people living in areas identified as high deprivation (deprivation quintiles 4 and 5). 

Strategic direction

The Midland WCTO Quality Programme aims to support the health and well-being of infants and children within the Midland region.

Child Health in the Midland region has been chosen as a focus area because it has different challenges to the rest of New Zealand in terms of the constitution of the population and the highest levels of poverty and rurality in the country. This focus provides an opportunity to invest in the long term health of our children and future adult population by working together regionally to maximise health gains in a cost effective way.

The region has a long history of working well together; however, more specific and targeted regional and sub-regional cooperation and collaboration will need to occur if we are to deliver quality well child services that respond to the clinical and financial challenges faced by DHBs.

Seven regional objectives are being used as stepping stones to help us achieve our vision.

These are:

  • Improve Maori child health outcomes and achieve equity in child health
  • Improve all child health outcomes in the Midland region
  • Improve access, timeliness and quality of childhood care
  • Increase systems integration across the continuum of child health care
  • Build and improve the child health workforce
  • Improve child health clinical information systems
  • Best value for public health system resource 1

These regional objectives fit well with the Well Child Quality Improvement Framework.

Midland DHBs

1 Midland Child Health Work Plan