People wanting to make a difference in the community who have a passion for the health and disabilities area are being encouraged to consider standing for the Lakes District Health Board.

Board chairman Deryck Shaw, who is one of four appointed members on the health board, welcomes a range of candidates of different ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds to reflect the diversity of the Lakes DHB region.

He says potential DHB candidates must have an interest in public health and disability services. Also important for potential candidates is a commitment to spend the time needed, which is set at up to 30 hours per month.

Successful candidates are provided with some training as part of their orientation but a working knowledge of governance skills is also preferable.

The 11 Board members (four appointees and seven elected) help set the future path for the board, providing leadership and ensuring that:

-The organisation is well managed and is a good employer
-The DHB's performance is monitored
-Resources are available to achieve health gains at an individual and community level
-The DHB complies with legal requirements and is financially accountable
-The DHB meets accreditation and clinical standards
-The DHB's workplan is aligned to national and regional strategies and plans

Deryck Shaw said Lakes Board members work primarily for the Minister of Health while at the same time trying to reflect the views and concerns of the community and have to be prepared to work as part of a governance team and accept board collective decisions and responsibility.

He notes that 'improving the health outcomes of people and communities' is an overriding principle of a successful DHB working from available evidence.

Candidates for DHBs must be a New Zealand citizen and enrolled on the parliamentary electoral roll (anywhere in New Zealand), and cannot be serving a prison sentence of three or more years, or stand for more than one DHB.

Nominations for candidates for the seven elected positions on the Lakes District Health Board open on Friday July 15 2016 and close on Friday August 12 2016.

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Voting papers will be sent out from 16 September and must be back with the respective Rotorua or Taupo district council by noon of election day, Saturday October 8.

Further information is available at http://www.lakesdhb.govt.nz/Article.aspx?ID=9498