A record number of Wairarapa DHB patients received a specialist assessment last year.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said the latest figures revealed a 21 per cent increase in Wairarapa patients receiving a medical or surgical assessment last year.
In total, 8156 Wairarapa patients received a medical or surgical assessment in 2015 compared with 6739 in 2009.
This includes assessments for over 10 specific surgical services, including eye, ear nose and throat, and general surgery.
"While there's still more to be done, we are heading in the right direction.
"The answer to increased demand is to do more - whether it's assessments or operations," said Dr Coleman.
Wairarapa DHB had received a funding increase of $29 million over the past seven years, he said. The DHB's total funding will be $135 million for the 2015/2016 year.