The Lakes District Health Board chief executive Ron Dunham will retire at the end of the year.

Dunham announced his retirement after more than six years in the role.

He started at the DHB in September 2012 after time in other management roles.

Dunham said this year marked 50 years he had been working in the health system and he was looking forward to taking more time for himself and his family.

He said his involvement in the health system was long and satisfying.

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"Every day I see people going well outside their job brief providing support to patients. We have so many dedicated people working in health who are passionate about providing excellent services to our communities."

Dunham said the health sector was facing major challenges including in the area of mental health.

He said increased focus was needed to help communities build resilience in families so they are better able to support their family member with mental health problems.

Dunham said the DHB area's high Māori population made it unique.

"With a population of 35 per cent Māori, we should take pride in the cultural aspects in this district, knowing that they are a big part of what makes our DHB area different to many others."

Lakes District Health Board chairman Deryck Shaw said the DHB had many positive health outcomes during Dunham's time as chief executive.

Locally he was instrumental in working with Rotorua Lakes Council in the initiative to locate the Children's Health Hub in the Rotorua Library, Te Aka Mauri, Shaw said.

The DHB will meet on August 17 to discuss recruitment.

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