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Asian International Collaboration

About Asian International Collaboration



Waitematā DHB promises to deliver ‘best care for everyone’ - promoting wellness, preventing, curing and ameliorating ill health and relieving suffering of those entrusted to our care. Our fast growing and aging population is the largest of any DHB in New Zealand and we do the best we can to meet its challenges, including the disease burden of long-term conditions, using the resources made available to us.

Our efforts to improve patient experience and deliver better health outcomes are ongoing and international collaboration with countries such as China helps us to enhance our capabilities in the areas of digital service transformation, clinical workforce training and joint research projects.

We are collaborating on five priority areas to benefit the population that we serve. They are:

  • digital transformation services
  • big data analytics and precision medicine
  • system integration
  • leadership and talent
  • facility and capacity building.


Waitematā DHB’s visit to China

A Waitematā DHB delegation visited China in early 2017 to gain a better understanding of the Chinese health system and explore collaboration opportunities. The delegation was led by Dr Lester Levy, who was then chair of the Auckland metropolitan DHBs, and Waitematā DHB CEO Dr Dale Bramley.

Waitematā DHB had previously hosted many health delegations from China (and other Asian countries), developed a preliminary understanding of China and the Chinese health and disability system, and established organisational collaboration agreement (Heads of Agreement, HoA) with the Health and Family Planning Commission of Shandong Province, China.

The Waitematā DHB delegation made official visits to hospitals/community health centres in Beijing, Shandong and Shanghai, the Beijing Service Center of Medical Talent (part of Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning), the Health and Family Planning Commission of Shandong Province, Cheeloo College of Medicine of Shandong University and Jining Medical University in Shandong Province, and the Shanghai Hospital Development Center. The delegation was impressed with the efficiency of hospital outpatient clinics, digital hospital and wearable medical devices, clinical skills training and the volume of surgical operations and modern diagnosis/surgical technology used in China. Cheeloo College of Medicine and Qilu Hospital are also very strong in endocrinology and diabetes research. The organisations visited by our delegation demonstrated clear collaboration intentions in the areas of leadership/talent and health workforce training (including general practitioners), joint medical research, and system integration and facility/hospital building.

Health Forum on International Collaboration with Asian Countries

Waitematā District Health Board (DHB) is one of three DHBs providing health services for Auckland – the largest city in New Zealand. Waitematā is the largest DHB, being responsible for improving, promoting and protecting the health of a geographic population of up to 630,000. It provides two hospitals and community services from 30 sites across the district. It also funds primary health care services via Primary Health Organisations (PHOs). Waitematā DHB’s annual budget is NZ$1.4 billion. The DHB has 6800 staff, and sees 119,885 emergency department and 175,885 outpatient clinic attendances each year. The DHB’s population is very diverse including Maori (10%), Pacific (7%), Asian (22%) and European/Other (61%). Chinese takes roughly 40% of the Asian population, followed by Indian, Korean, Filipino and other Asian sub-groups.

New Zealand is no different from other most developed countries in terms of population growth, population ageing, increased burden of disease and lack of resources for health outcomes and quality life. New Zealand and many Asian countries have enjoyed close and friendly relationship for decades. New Zealand has signed free trade agreements in place with a few Asian countries and joined the CPTPP for better economic opportunities and development.

New Zealand’s relationships with Asian countries are not restricted to tourism, education, trade, services and investment though they are critically important. The New Zealand China Council has identified areas for enhanced co-operation under a Belt and Road framework: trade facilitation, innovation and the creative sector as well as building new connectivity between China, New Zealand and South America. There is abundant room for improvement of the collaboration with Asian countries in the health and disability sector.

Collaboration with Asian countries can complement each other and achieve ‘win-win’, e.g. Asian countries’ enormous human resources and intelligence pool, fund and opportunities for commercialization of science, and New Zealand’s world-class reputation in science, health care management and patient-centred care.

Waitematā DHB plans to have a health forum on international collaboration with Asian countries at the DHB’s North Shore Hospital on Friday, 8 November 2019. The objectives are

  • to set up a platform for direct dialogue, engagement and networking in the rapidly growing areas such as using big data and artificial intelligence in improving health care services and patient experiences;
  • to enhance collaborative relationship with counterpart organisations in Asia; and
  • to identify and showcase projects in areas of mutual interest.

Time and date

10:30am – 4:30pm, Friday, 8 November 2019


Whenua Pupuke Clinical Training Centre, Takapuna, Waitematā DHB, Auckland, New Zealand

  • Stephen Jacobi, Executive Director, New Zealand China Council
  • Shayne Hunter, Deputy Director-General Data and Digital, Ministry of Health, New Zealand
  • Dr Dale Bramley, CEO, Waitematā DHB, New Zealand
  • Prof Chris Bullen, Director, National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI), the University of Auckland
  • Dr Hu Zhang, Research Collaboration Manager, The New Zealand – China Non-Communicable Diseases Research Collaboration Centre, University of Otago
  • Institute for Innovation and Improvement (i3), Waitematā DHB
  • Dr Katrina Poppe, Senior Research Fellow, School of Population Health, the University of Auckland
  • CHI Weiwei, Director, Division of Planning and Information, Shandong Provincial Health Commission
  • Prof XUE Fuzhong, Associate Dean of School of Public health, Dean of Healthcare Big Data Research Institute, Shandong University
  • Prof Zhang Jun, Chair, Department of Oncology, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai
  • Dr Li Yuehua, Director, Department of Radiology, the 6th People’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai

There are a few speakers in the process of confirmation. Once all the speakers confirm their attendance, a programme will be produced.

The following info is requested from attendees/speakers/delegates of the Health Forum for compiling a handbook of the forum:

  • A photo
  • Topic of presentation if one speaks
  • Personal profile
  • Brief info on presentation (if one speaks) or areas of interest for collaboration (for non-speakers)

 The photo, the form and the PowerPoint presentation (for speakers) will need to be made available to the health forum coordinator by 28 October 2019.

Side activities such as informal meetings with clinicians, managers and other professionals of Waitematā DHB will be arranged if feasible upon request from attendees of the health forum in the week before the health forum (4-7 November 2019). This will maximise the gain of the exchanges, particularly for delegates from overseas.

New Zealand Health Foundation for Asian and Ethnic Communities (NZHF-AEC) kindly sponsors the conference dinner (venue and time to be confirmed).

Forum coordinator

Dr Lifeng Zhou, Chief Advisor for Asian International Collaboration, Waitematā District Health Board

Level 1, 15 Shea Terrace, Auckland 0622, New Zealand

Private Bag: 93-503, Auckland 0740


Collaboration projects

Waitematā DHB signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) with the Health and Family Planning Commission of Shandong Province China in 2016. The HoA covered the mechanism for exchange and cooperation at the government/district health board level, facilitation of the engagement of relationships with medical colleges and universities/medical institutions/research institutions as well as the promotion of medical/health, scientific and technical innovation and results transformation, with the aim of benefiting both sides by collaboration. The position of China Collaboration Fellow sits at the Institute for Innovation and Improvement (i3), aligning with the HoA, and is intended to help develop a collaborative programme between Waitematā DHB and health organizations in China. The fellow will spend a month in Shandong as part of the role. The position will:

  • investigate and learn about new models of care, emerging health technologies (e.g. Artificial Intelligence (AI)), research and innovation within Chinese healthcare systems, and report on findings that will be relevant to a Waitematā DHB and New Zealand healthcare context.
  • develop a project based on a new/innovative technology that can be piloted within Waitematā DHB, using knowledge gained from the collaboration with Chinese health organisations.
  • build positive, culturally appropriate and constructive relationships and network with key stakeholders in Chinese healthcare organisations.


Photo: Left to right, Chief Advisor for Asian Collaboration Dr Lifeng Zhou, CEO

Photo: Left to right, Chief Advisor for Asian Collaboration Dr Lifeng Zhou, CEO Dr Dale Bramley, Xiuqun Yuan, Danfeng Zha, Nurse Consultant Jacqui Finch


It was our great pleasure in 2018 to host two visiting nurses from the Renji Hospital of Shanghai, China. The hospital is affiliated to the Jiao-tong University and the nurses, Xiuqun Yuan and Danfeng Zha, spent four weeks with us at North Shore Hospital as part of a new exchange programme. Both explored ways to reduce inefficiencies and gain better health outcomes for their services back home. They also offered us some insights of use in our own work to build capability and capacity through the use of technology.

We look forward to further collaboration in areas including but not restricted to nursing.

Please click here for more info.

Professor Rod Jackson and his team at the University of Auckland have published new equations predicting cardiovascular diseases risk (CVD, mainly heart attacks and strokes) for residents in New Zealand on The Lancet. The new risk prediction models were based on modern New Zealand population data, rather than US data, so that under- or over-estimation of the CVD risk could be avoided.

  • Professor Jackson's study was funded by the Health Research Council, the Heart Foundation and the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge.
  • Ethnicity-specific sub-models for Māori, Pacific Peoples and South Asians have also been developed for better prediction of the CVD risk.
  • A Chinese specific model will be developed by Prof Jackson and his team, which is a collaboration project between Waitematā DHB and the University of Auckland, in the context of fast increasing Chinese population in Waitematā DHB and New Zealand.
  • Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of disease burden measured by Disability-adjusted Life Years (DALYs) in China. Waitematā and Auckland DHBs have a good proportion of Chinese living within their boundaries (9.1% as at Census 2013). The collaboration work with the University of Auckland will pave the way for future collaborations with China (with a population of 1.4 billion) in this important area. 

Delegation visits and exchanges

A high-profile delegation from Shandong China visited Waitematā DHB on 17 Sep 2019. This delegation was led by Vice Governor Hon. Mr Sun Jiye and Deputy Director-General of the Shandong Provincial Health Commission, Dr Qin Chengyong. This trip helped keep our relationship strong with Asia and reinforced our efforts to improve healthcare technology. The DHB has also established a fellowship programme with Shandong.

Mr. Xiao Yewen (Vice Consul-General of China in Auckland) witnessed the signing ceremony of the agreement on international fellowship exchange programme by Dr Qin Chengyong and Dr Andrew Brant (Deputy CEO, Waitematā DHB), together with Hon. Sun Jiye, Mr. Zhang Liansan (Deputy Director-General, the General Office of Shandong Provincial Government), Dame R. Naida Glavish (DNZM JP, Chief Advisor Tikanga, Waitematā and Auckland DHBs), Mr John Cullen (Senior Management Team, Waitematā DHB) and Dr Lifeng Zhou (Chief Advisor for Asian International Collaboration, Waitematā DHB).

The cultural welcome by the DHB's Māori, Pacific and Asian teams were very impressive. There were also excellent presentations and discussions on collaborative opportunities such as the integrated service system of Binzhou Medical University Hospital.

 - Visit by Zhejiang Provincial Health Commission

Waitematā DHB hosted a delegation of Zhejiang Provincial Health Commission led by its Deputy Director-General Mr XIA Jiancheng on the 5th of September. Dr Jonathan Christiansen (Chief Medical Officer), welcomed the delegation on behalf of the DHB. Dr Penny Andrew (Director, Institute for Innovation and Improvement, i3) shared the development and achievements of health IT with the delegation and Martin Lauder (Quality Manager, Strategic Capital Programme Group) talked about the best practice and framework of procurement in New Zealand. The delegates were impressed of our health information management system such as ‘Snapshot’ and showed strong interest in the highly transparent procurement system. At site visit to the i3 of the DHB, Qlik was an attraction as well. The delegation is very happy to coordinate Dr Maggie Ma’s study trip to Hangzhou Zhejiang Province and looks forward to enhancing collaborative relationship with our DHB in the health IT and use of artificial intelligence in medical practice.

 Signing ceremony of the international fellowship programme with Shandong

Visit by Professor Jingcheng DONG, Director of Fudan University's Institutes of Visit by Professor Jingcheng DONG, Director of Fudan University's Institutes of Visit by Professor Jingcheng DONG, Director of Fudan University's Institutes of

On 3 May 2019, Professor Jingcheng DONG, Director of Fudan University's Institutes of Integrative Medicine (Shanghai China), visited Waitematā District Health Board (DHB) and its North Shore Hospital. Dr Andrew Brant (Deputy CEO and Chief Medical Officer) with colleagues Dr John Cullen (Senior Management Team), Dr Robyn Whitaker (Clinical Director of the Institute for Innovation and Improvement, i3), Mr Mike Barns (Project Director, Strategic Capital Programme) and Dr Lifeng Zhou (Chief Advisor for Asian International Collaboration) received Professor Dong and his entourage that afternoon.

There were fruitful discussions on hospital construction, the efficiency of New Zealand's health system and potential areas for cooperation. Later, Professor Dong and his delegation visited the cardiology ward of North Shore Hospital. Dr Andrew To (Cardiologist) and Li Ma (Charge Nurse) showed the layout of the ward, electronic clinical data monitoring and electronic cardiac surgery monitoring. In the evening, Professor Dong also discussed with Dr Helen Wihongi (Director - Māori Health Research) the idea of integrating Western medicine with Māori medicine as he does with the 'Chinese Traditional Medicine'. It is hoped that Waitematā DHB and Fudan Institutes of Integrative Medicine will explore the potential areas for cooperation further.

December 2018: Visit by the Institute of Medical Information and Library of CAMSDecember 2018: Visit by the Institute of Medical Information and Library of CAMSDecember 2018: Visit by the Institute of Medical Information and Library of CAMS

The Asian International Collaboration of Waitematā DHB hosted the Institute of Medical Information (IMI) and Library of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) and Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) on the 5th of December 2018. The IMI conducts research on medical information and health policy (such as the national health strategy ‘Healthy China 2020’), and provides information services and decision-making support for national health system reform and medical innovation at the national level. The IMI also has a pivotal position as the national medical library of China. The delegation of four shared their application of big data and artificial intelligence in medical field application of information modernization technology, information aided technology in medical research and health science.

Dr Dale Bramley (CEO, Waitematā DHB) and Dr Penny Andrew (Director, the Institute for Innovation and Improvement, i3, Waitematā DHB) talked to the delegation about New Zealand health system and the innovations such as Leapfrog projects (a CEO-sponsored initiative to fast track technological advances) of the DHB for better health outcomes, equity and patient experiences. Shayne Tong (Chief Digital Officer, Auckland DHB), Zoe McKechnie (Strategic Relationships Manager, the Health Research Council), Dr Jerome Ng (QI and Informatics Lead, i3, Waitematā DHB), Ali Khan (Data Manager) and Randall Britten (Advanced Analytics Manger) of Auckland DHB joined the discussions exploring future collaborations facilitated by Dr Lifeng Zhou (Chief Advisor for Asian International Collaboration), after the presentations. The delegation also had site visits to the library and Asian Health Services of the DHB.

November 2018: Visit to Shanghai Children’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong Universi

Dr Robyn Whitaker (Clinical Director of the Institute for Innovation and Improvement, i3) and Dr Lifeng Zhou (Chief Advisor for Asian International Collaboration) visited Shanghai Children's Hospital on the 25th of November. The hospital is a Grade A Class III children’s hospital integrating the medical treatment, health care, teaching, scientific research and rehabilitation. It was also the first specialist children's hospital in China. The hospital has more than 1,500 employees, 700 beds in two campuses, with 2.5 million outpatient attendances, 44,000 inpatient attendances and 27,000 attendances of inpatients undergoing operations in 2017. It is HIMSS EMRAM Level 7 accredited. The hospital has developed an official WeChat account for booking outpatient appointments and inpatient app for navigating the process/treatment, with built-in AI in their IS systems using national guidelines but also knowledge base of senior clinicians – patient similarity based on information from previous patients to suggest most likely diagnosis & antibiotics prior to cultures – current focus on pneumonia and diarrhoea. There is also good progress of AI x-ray to work out bone age for diagnosis of developmental delays of children. The hospital is working on the 'Smart Hospital' ideology. Picture below shows a robot in trial carrying goods at Children’s Hospital of Shanghai.

November 2018: Visit to the first affiliated hospital of Zhejiang University

Dr Robyn Whitaker (Clinical Director of the Institute for Innovation and Improvement, i3) and Dr Lifeng Zhou (Chief Advisor for Asian International Collaboration) visited the first affiliated hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine (FAHZU) China on the 21st of November. Founded in 1947 as the premier affiliated hospital of Zhejiang University, FAHZU is not only a leading hospital in Zhejiang Province, but also has evolved into a national level centre and a regional medical power integrating clinical care, medical education, scientific research, preventive care and health protection. The hospital has a leading position in diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases and organ transplant. Its Da Vinci surgical robot has been reported to be the busiest and most hard-working one in the world in 2017. The hospital has been very active in using AI in medical practices in recent years, with some form of collaboration with Alibaba Health, such as automatic voice recording technology using Natural Language Processing (NLP) in oral outpatient HER; identification, segmentation and detection in medical images for diagnostic assistance; diabetic retinopathy; AI spine explorer from MRI quantification of lumbar vertebrae and discs; liver vasculature for transplant surgery and thyroid diagnosis. The hospital is also HIMSS EMRAM Level 6 accredited. Picture below shows the physician pointing at the location of the thyroid lesion nodule identified by the AI at the point of care at FAHZU.

September 2018: Visit by IT Director of Shanghai Hospital Development CenterSeptember 2018: Visit by IT Director of Shanghai Hospital Development Center

Waitematā DHB and i3 hosted the visit by Ms Ping He, the IT Director of Shanghai Hospital Development Center. Ms He observed the Leapfrog project meeting chaired by Dr Robyn Whittaker and visited the cardiology department where Dr Lara Hopley demonstrated the great work led by i3 and the DHB's clinicians (Dr Penny Andrew, Dr Lifeng Zhou and Dan Yu accompanied Ping). Ms He presented the demography of Shanghai (more than 24 million resident population), the role, scope, function and informatization work of the Shanghai Center. The Center invests and holds 28 municipal hospitals and cooperates ten tertiary top-level hospitals in Shanghai. Use of standard 'uniform medical card' for universal health care access in Shanghai and the 'hospital link project' are impressive among others. It is also of interest for the Center to use artificial intelligence in supporting clinical decision making in cancer radiology. There are some good ideas of further exchange between the Center and Waitematā DHB in health IT.  

Dr Lifeng Zhou met with Mr Kaicheng LIANG, Director of the Division of TraditionDr Lifeng Zhou met with Mr Kaicheng LIANG, Director of the Division of Tradition

Dr Lifeng Zhou met with Mr Kaicheng LIANG, Director of the Division of Traditional Chinese Medicine Development, Shandong Health and Family Planning Commission on 5 September. Progress was shared implementing the signed Heads of Agreement between Waitematā DHB and Shandong. Mr Liang is keen to see the possibility of using some traditional Chinese techniques/therapies in hospitals or other settings, e.g. acupuncture for pain relief as part of physiotherapy.

The left-sided picture shows Dr Zhou sharing with Mr Liang the Year Book 2016 in which CEO Dr Dale Bramley shook hands with the deputy Director-General of Shandong Health and Family Planning Commission after the Heads of Agreement was signed. Mr Liang was part of a visiting business delegation from Shandong Province (the right-sided picture).

September 2018: Dr Jocelyn Peach's visit to South Korea as a distinguished guestSeptember 2018: Dr Jocelyn Peach's visit to South Korea as a distinguished guest

The Asian International Collaboration of Waitematā DHB has established a close working relationship with the Korean Consulate in Auckland over the recent two years. There have been a number of delegation visits from South Korea to our DHB including Wilson Centre. Waitematā DHB is also collaborating with the Korean Consulate supporting them to hold 'K-Pop Dance Workshop' promoting mental health and wellbeing for our residents in the Mental Health Awareness Week. Dr Jocelyn Peach, Director of Nursing & Midwifery and Emergency Systems Planner, has recently been invited to visit South Korea to experience the country culturally and professionally. Jocelyn enjoyed the visit greatly and was also able to share her experiences at the inaugural Moon Festival celebration at Waitematā DHB.      

  • Korean Foundation, affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, was established to promote a better understanding of Korea in the international community and to foster global friendship by conducting various activities between Korea and other countries. The Foundation sponsored Dr Peach's visit to Korea.
  • Dr Peach's visit was part of the Program for Distinguished Guests, which is designed to enhance good will and friendship between Korea and the global community. Close to 20 distinguished delegates participated in this year's programme including government ministers and chairman of House of Representatives.
  • In addition to cultural events, Dr Peach made a trip to the Bundang Hospital of Seoul National University, the top university in South Korea. Bundang Hospital is the first paperless and totally digitalized hospital in South Korea. The hospital was awarded the HIMSS Stage 7 (the highest category in this class) in 2010.      

August 2018: Visit by the Director-General, Welfare and Health Bureau, Chungnam August 2018: Visit by the Director-General, Welfare and Health Bureau, Chungnam

On 14 August 2018, Waitematā DHB hosted a Korean delegation led by Mr Il-hwan Ko, Director-General of Welfare and Health Bureau of Chungnam Province (with a population of 2.2 million) of the Republic of Korea. Amanda Bleckmann (Manager of Disability Support Services of the MoH), Samantha Dalwood (Disability Advisor, Waitematā DHB), Dr Lifeng Zhou (Chief Advisor for Asian International Collaboration) and Grace Ryu (Operations Manager for Asian Support Services) were able to talk to the delegation at the DHB’s Whenua Pupuke Clinical Skills Centre. The delegation was also able to talk to Michele Kooiman (Operations Manager of Child Health) and had a site visit to Wilson Centre. There were excellent interactions between the delegates and speakers, with translation support in place. Topics covered policy, strategy and funding model of disability support services, and operations of a respite centre. Mr Ko indicates that they really want to provide more service options meeting the diverse needs of the people with disabilities in Korea, which includes home/community support services rather than segregated institutions. This is a fundamental service model change for Chungnam Province and our expertise, experiences and service models are very valuable to them.  

This delegation’s visit was related to the Korean delegation which our DHB hosted last August. The head of last year’s delegation, Hon. Yang Seung-jo, the former Chairman of the Health and Welfare Committee of the National Assembly is the newly elected governor of Chungnam Province. Mr Yang was very impressed with the New Zealand health and disability system including the excellent family-centred care delivery model at the DHB’s Wilson Centre. He had encouraged Mr Ko to visit us to have the first-hand learning.

October 2017: Chinese diabetes experts visiting Waitematā DHBOctober 2017: Chinese diabetes experts visiting Waitematā DHB

A delegation made up of two top Chinese diabetes researchers visited our DHB on the 9th of  October 2017. The visit purpose was for the Chinese researchers to engage with clinicians in the diabetes area via the national platform of the New Zealand-China Non Communicable Diseases Research Collaboration Centre (NCD CRCC:

Prof Jinkui Yang (Deputy President of Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University) talked about urine proteomic biomarkers for predicting kidney function decline in patients with diabetes, and Prof Qinghua Wang       (Institute of Metabolism and Diabetology, Fudan University) shared his thoughts on innovative drug discovery in an academic setting - translational diabetes research in China. Both professors continued their visits to Wellington and Dunedin, and joined other top researchers from China. A few MoUs were signed between New Zealand and China at the University of Otago in a number of areas including diabetes, heart disease, and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's (

September 2017: Chinese Henan delegationSeptember 2017: Chinese Henan delegation

Waitematā DHB hosted the Henan Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission on 11 September at Whenua Pupuke Clinical Skills Centre. The delegation led by its Deputy Director-General, Mr Chonggang ZHANG, met with Drs John Cullen and Lifeng Zhou, and had the opportunity to gain a better understanding the New Zealand Health System. They were impressed of the health technology development at Waitematā DHB, in particular the work by the Institute for Innovation and Improvement. They also echoed the efficiency principles running the Elective Surgery Centre, as the delegation gathered from Dr Cullen. Mr Zhang welcomes Waitematā DHB to visit Henan sometime suitable in the future, as they are keen to establish some formal collaboration relationship in areas such as clinical skills exchange, health technology transfer and joint medical research.

August 2017: Chinese delegation, National Health Development Research CenterAugust 2017: Chinese delegation, National Health Development Research Center

The delegation of National Health Development Research Center (NHDRC) of National Health and Family Planning Commission of China made an official visit to Waitematā DHB on 25 August 2017. The delegates were impressed with the well-prepared presentations (Dr Andrew Brant’s general introduction to the health and disability system and Delwyn Armstrong’s insights on use of the DRG model in clinical improvement and evaluation), organisation, site tour and the unique unforgettable cultural experiences of the Powhiri and welcome. John Hazeldine (Chief Advisor, Funding and Planning, Service Commissioning) and Byron Gill (Team Leader, DHB Funding, Funding & Capital, Service Commissioning) of the Ministry of Health travelled to Auckland from Wellington to present the overview of DRG funding model in New Zealand.

Dr Wei Fu and the NHDRC she led are keen to have follow-up conversations on health policy and other areas of mutual interest, and are happy to link us with other departments of the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China. Dr Fu is also interested in the day surgery concept and impressed of the efficiency by the Elective Surgery Centre (ESC).

August 2017: South Korean delegation of National Assembly

Waitematā DHB welcomed the Health and Welfare Committee from South Korea’s National Assembly on the 4th of August 2017. The members of the committee had the opportunity to understand what makes Waitematā DHB a leader in health services, in particular our innovative IT health systems. The committee also visited the Wilson Centre with a keen interest in how we provide specialised care to children with disabilities the day before.

Conferences and ceremonies

November 2018: Hurricane Lamp Award at the Next Summit, Hangzhou ChinaNovember 2018: Hurricane Lamp Award at the Next Summit, Hangzhou China

Dr Robyn Whittaker (Clinical Director, the Institute for Innovation and Improvement, Waitematā DHB) and Dr Lifeng Zhou (Chief Advisor for Asian International Collaboration, Waitematā DHB) were invited to attend the second ‘Next Summit’ – ‘Next Summit (Hangzhou 2018): Seeking Optimal Practice’ during 22-23 November 2018 in Hangzhou, provincial capital of Zhejiang Province China. The summit was co-hosted by China Economic Information Service (CEIS), Zhejiang University (ZJU) and Oceania Silk Road Network (OSRN) based in Auckland.

  • More than 500 representatives were present at the summit. Former United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and President of the National Party of New Zealand Peter Goodfellow, who is also honorary president of the OSRN, delivered speeches at the summit. The main themes covered Regional Collaboration Improves Global Governance, Innovation Drives Economic Development, Green Development Promotes Ecological Civilization Construction, Inclusive and Embracive Diversified Civilizations and Creators and Leaders of the Future, with focuses on six industries: Public service, energy and infrastructure construction; Robot, AI and block-chain; Education, tourism and culture creativity; Food, health, agriculture and animal husbandry; Innovation and transformation of scientific & technological research; Auxiliary trade, finance, legal and other service areas.
  • The concept of "optimal practice" was covered in extensive discussions during the summit. According to the organizers, optimal practice encourages people to take more elements into consideration while seeking global collaboration and choose the best path to achieve long-term and common interests.
  • Enhancing international collaboration with Asian countries in health care’ by the Asian International Collaboration of Waitematā DHB was awarded the Hurricane Lamp with 11 other case studies. ‘Digitising New Zealand hospitals for data driven care and improvement’ by the Institute for Innovation and Improvement was also nominated for the award.

October 2018: CNSST Foundation’s 20th Anniversary

CNSST Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary on 26 October 2018, to mark the occasion of their 20 years in community services. CNSST which was launched at Jenny Wang the executive director's garage, has not only provided an ever-growing range of social services and education to both the Asian and wider community for 20 years, but has also brought to fruition their social housing project with the opening of the CNSST Kotuku House this year. More than 200 guests attended the event including MPs Melissa Lee, Denise Lee and Dr Jian Yang, the Deputy Consul General of China in Auckland Mr Yewen Xiao. Waitematā DHB has worked with CNSST in a number of areas/projects, including but not limited to improving PHO enrolment by Asian residents, promoting the message of Census 2018 and Healthy Babies and Healthy Futures programme. 

April 2018: High level seminar of the Oceania Silk Road Network (OSRN), Auckland

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a development initiative launched by China in 2013 to promote connectivity and cooperation under the trend of globalisation. BRI involves more than 64 countries, with an estimated 38 per cent of global GDP, and covers more than 60 per cent of the global population. New Zealand was the first Western developed country to sign a memorandum of understanding with China on the arrangements of Belt and Road cooperation during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to New Zealand in March 2017.

The Oceania Silk Road Network (OSRN) was then established in New Zealand, with Mr Peter Goodfellow (the President of the New Zealand National Party) as the founding president of the OSRN. BRI could potentially provide great opportunities for New Zealand’s engagement and cooperation with China in areas of trade, infrastructure, investment, cultural exchange and potentially health collaboration.

A high-level seminar of “New Zealand - China Economic and Trade Cooperation” was held on 20 April in Auckland, marking the 1st anniversary of OSRN, 5th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, 10th anniversary of New Zealand - China Free Trade Agreement & 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. The members of the Advisory Committee and Expert Committee for 2018-19 were announced at the seminar. The OSRN's work plan for 2018 was introduced by Mr William Zhao (Director General, OSRN), including the 2nd "Next Summit" conference this October in Hangzhou China.

Dr Jian Yang (president of OSRN), Mr Peter Goodfellow (honorary president of OSRN), Mdm Erwen Xu (Consul General, Consulate General of China in Auckland), Hon Paul Goldsmith (National Party Spokesperson for Economic and Regional Development), Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-liga (Former Minister of Pacific Peoples, and Ethnic Communities) and Prof Wei Gao (University OF Auckland) made speeches at the seminar.

Waitematā DHB's Roger Perkins (Executive Head, CEO Office) and Lifeng Zhou (Chief Advisor for Asian International Collaboration, CEO Office) were invited to attend the seminar.

Please click here for more info (reported in Chinese).

December 2017: NSFC-HRC Workshop, Wellington

NSFC - HRC Workshop on Cancer, Metabolic Diseases, Brain Health, Antimicrobial Resistance and Respiratory Diseases’, organised by the Health Research Council (HRC) in Wellington during 13-14 December 2017. Dr Lifeng Zhou attended the workshop with observations as follows:

 This is the second joined workshop of the HRC and NSFC (National Natural Science Foundation of China), after the arrangement agreement was signed between the HRC and NSFC by HRC Chair Dr Lester Levy and NSFC Vice President Dr Liu Congqiang ( This workshop focused on respiratory condition and antimicrobial resistance as well, in addition to Cancer, Metabolic Diseases and Brain Health, which were the focus conditions in the first workshop in Beijing (5 themes/streams in total).

 The purpose of the workshop was to identify priority areas by sharing research findings, thoughts and ideas and networking. The 5 themes ran in parallel and then the co-chairs of each theme reported back to the plenary session with feedback and potential research projects.

 The CRCC (New Zealand – China Research Collaboration Centre hosted by the University of Otago) shared their collaboration experiences with China after the feedback of the 5 themes. In particular, Brain Research New Zealand had signed a MoU with Huashan Hospital Fudan University (Shanghai) in Dunedin this October. Dr Jeremy Krebs shared some slides of potential collaboration with Prof Jin-Kui Yang in the areas of diabetes (of Beijing Tongren Hospital) who visited our DHB this October (informally).

 Prof Zou and Prof McPherson closed the meeting and proposed next steps on behalf of the NSFC and the HRC respectively: the identified areas and potential collaboration projects will be discussed by the two research councils of New Zealand and China early next year; if things go smoothly, there would be an open-to-the-public application process announced at the end of 2018 for project start in 2019.

Dr Lifeng Zhou attended the opening ceremony of the Commemorative Art Exhibition for the 120th Anniversary of the birth of Rewi Alley, a great New Zealander who devoted his precious 60 years in China with his many talents since his accidental arrival in Shanghai in 1927.

 In this special year of the New Zealand-China relationship, the adopted children of Rewi Alley, Mr. Deng and his wife, brought never seen before artefacts of Rewi Alley to New Zealand in commemoration of his contribution to the relationship. Bangzhen Deng and his wife Bo Lu are both artists specialising in portraits and sculptures respectively. Together with the New Zealand Institute of Chinese Fine Arts, Global Belt and Road Initiative Center (NZ) and the New Zealand China Friendship Society, they organised a 5 day exhibition containing 100 photographs, 80 artworks and other artefacts and letters to showcase the legendary life that Alley led in China.

 Also of interest, Dr Pat Alley, a retired surgeon of Waitematā DHB is the nephew of Rewi Alley. Dr Zhou was able to talk to him briefly at the Art Exhibition (Aotea Centre).

Contact us

 Dr Lifeng Zhou, Chief Advisor for Asian International Collaboration, Waitematā District Health Board

Level 1, 15 Shea Terrace, Auckland 0622, New Zealand

Private Bag: 93-503, Auckland 0740