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The health sector in Wellington

Health is strong in Wellington. Not only is the Ministry of Health based here but so are innovative companies creating new technologies that are bringing about positive change on a global scale.

Innovative Health Science Sector

A healthy contributor to Wellington’s economy

The health sector is the third largest employer, and the sixth largest contributor to GDP, in Wellington. The health industry in Wellington benefits by being close to central government, by the number of public and private hospitals and quantity of well-qualified health professionals.


The Ministry of Health a central government agency located in Wellington. It is responsible for the overall management of the New Zealand health system. Other central government entities include:

The Royal New Zealand Colleges and other clinical bodies

There are also several colleges and clinical bodies that represent medical professions such as:

  • General practitioners
  • Surgeons
  • Nurses
  • Allied health professions such as occupational therapy, audiology and radiology

Our District Health Boards (DHB)

Health in Wellington is managed by three district health boards (DHB). They are responsible for making sure that the health and disability services in their district are delivered through hospitals and a wide range of specialist and community-based services. The Capital & Coast DHB is the largest in the Wellington region and operates three hospitals:

The second largest is Hutt Valley DHB which operates Hutt Hospital, followed by the Wairarapa DHB (Wairarapa Hospital).

Private hospitals in the Wellington region

There are also four private hospitals, which operate independently and offer health and surgical services: 

District Health Boards also fund the primary health organisations (PHO), which provide primary health care services through general practices.   

What else is happening

There’s also plenty happening outside of the health system. Well-qualified health professionals have applied their expertise to establish successful companies, particularly in the biomedical industry. A good example is Mātakina, a Wellington-based company which has developed an industry-leading image processing technology that significantly improves the reliability of diagnosis in breast screening. Futrix is another good example which specialises in data analysis for healthcare organisations.   

Health Innovation

Acknowledging the high-calibre of our talent was the catalyst for establishing the Innovating for Health Challenge, which supports the commercialisation of health innovations. Out of this challenge several of the projects, including the MacDiarmid Institute’s bone replacement technology, are now in the process of being commercialised or have already gone to market.

There is a strong convergence of health and ICT expertise in the New Zealand Health IT Cluster, which is based in Wellington.          


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