The Government is to appoint common board members to neighbouring district health boards in a significant new step aimed at encouraging greater collaboration among DHBs.
The Government can appoint up to four of the 11 members of each of New Zealand's 21 health boards.
Announcing the move, Health Minister Tony Ryall said the Government will, in the next 15 months, increase the number of appointed board members who sit on more than one neighbouring board.
He said the move does not amount to a forced merger of boards, but will break down "silo thinking" and improve services by encouraging boards to work more closely together.
Mr Ryall said this is particularly needed in Auckland and Wellington.
More financial expertise is needed on boards, he said and he intends to add people with those skills.