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Are we there yet? Scenarios for the New Zealand Health sector

April 17, 2019 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Health Services Research Centre, Te Hikuwai Rangahau Hauora, Faculty of Health, Victoria University of Wellington

Lesley Middleton & Malcolm Menzies

Wednesday 17 April, 12.30 – 1.30 pm

GBLT2, Lecture Theatre 2, Old Govt Building, Pipitea Campus

In 1997, a group of health sector leaders developed five scenarios for the New Zealand health sector in 2020.  In summary, the scenarios were:

  1. Muddling Through: ad hoc adjustments to current challenges;
  2. A Technocrat’s Dream: a technically highly-tuned and less politicised version of the present (1997) system;
  3. Two Tiers: a two-tier system brought about by policy gridlock;
  4. Power to the People: a reframed health concept, resulting in partnerships across professions and the public, and across local and central government sectors;
  5. Positively Private and Global: a system driven by the introduction of private health care plans.


This seminar looks back at the extent to which the signals in these scenarios have come to pass, and whether they have been useful for decision-makers. We will also discuss how the scenario technique might continue to be applied to health foresight.

Malcolm Menzies has a long-standing interest in futures thinking and social research. His most recent roles were at the Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (SUPERU) and the Commission for Financial Capability, and lately he’s been a visiting scholar at the Health Services Research Centre. Previously he worked for Victoria Link Ltd, the commercial arm of Victoria University of Wellington, the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology and some not-for-profits. Malcolm has also dabbled in science, teaching and business and his PhD is in Public Policy.

Lesley Middleton is a Senior Research Fellow in the Health Services Research Centre and was one of the original authors of the 1997 scenarios. After a time working in senior policy and leadership roles in the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Research Science and Technology, she has since been assessing whether integrated care initiatives are delivering the value expected as part of research partnerships between Victoria University of Wellington and District Health Boards. Her PhD is also in public policy. With 2020 round the corner her recent experiences led her to reflect on the ways in which the debate over New Zealand health sector reform looks familiar in some parts, but has evolved in others.

You are welcome to bring your colleagues.
RSVPs are not required.
For further information email

Webcast link details will be forwarded once confirmed.


April 17, 2019
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Category:


Health Services Research Centre
+64 04 463 6565


GBLT2, Lecture Theatre 2, Old Govt Building, Pipitea Campus
Old Govt Building, Pipitea Campus
Wellington, New Zealand
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