A "once in a generation' shake-up of the health system will result in regions losing their autonomy according to the National Party.
However, news the countries 20 District Health Boards will be replaced by one national body has been welcomed by the Māori Party who say it is a "courageous move" in the right direction.
Other changes include a new Public Health agency being created within the Ministry of Health, which will become an advisory and policy agency only.
And a new Māori Health Authority will also be set up to monitor the state of Māori health and commission services directly.
Health Minister Andrew Little unveiled the plans this morning, with the changes starting to come into effect in July next year.
Little said: "the reforms will mean that, for the first time, we will have a truly national health system".
"We are going to put the emphasis squarely on primary and community healthcare and will do away with duplication and unnecessary bureaucracy between regions."
However, National Party health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti said the restructure would see regions and smaller communities lose their "voice and their autonomy".
"Our regions know what works for them when it comes to keeping their communities healthy, and that isn't always having Wellington dictate terms.
Reti said the government should be looking to maintain regional identities, rather than getting rid of them entirely.
"We have no idea how much this plan will cost, how long it will take to implement, or how disruptive this process is going to be."
Reti said National did not support a separate Māori Health Authority.
"It runs the risk of a fragmented two-tier system. On one hand Health Minister Andrew Little claims he's trying to create a single, harmonious, joined-up health system and on the other he's creating a two-tiered funding system based on race."
Meanwhile, Māori Party co-leaders Rawiri Waititi and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer welcomed the health reform announcement.
Waititi described it as a "courageous move" in the right direction.
"We applaud the admission that the current system no longer serves our needs and we also applaud the intention to address inequities and living up to the vision of Te Tiriti o Waitangi."
Ngarewa-Packer said they would over the next two and half years they would "keep the government accountable" to their commitments.
National Urban Māori Authority chair Lady Tureiti Moxon and chief executive John Tamihere said the stand-alone Māori Health Authority was the "shot in the arm" needed for Māori to finally get equity of health care.
"The Māori Health Authority was born out of our decades-long Waitangi Tribunal claim thanks to the pluck of those who chose to stand up for our people against the might of the DHBs and the Ministry of Health," Lady Tureiti said.
"Māori finally get to hold the pen to determine health outcomes for our own people."
Tamihere said the Māori Health Authority should not follow a "Pākehā to Māori" model.
"The devil will be in the detail though and the money must follow the Māori."
"This is a once in a generation opportunity and Minister Little must be congratulated for leading this historic piece of work."
Elsewhere, Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners president Dr Samantha Murton commended the efficiencies and "access to healthcare for all" outlined in the announcement.
"Hearing about technological advancements and providing people access to community health care regardless of where they live in New Zealand is something we've strived for, particularly through our rural hospital networks, and something we achieved during COVID-19; we look forward to building on that now," she said.
"We've done it before and we're ready to forge ahead, adapt, and bring even better access to health care in a faster, more efficient model."
DHB shake-up key points:
• All DHBs will be replaced by one national health body, Health New Zealand to fund and run the health system;
• A new Māori health authority will be created, with power to commission health services
• The Ministry of Health will become an advisory and policy agency only;
• A new Public Health agency will be created within the Ministry of Health.