New members voted on to the Whanganui District Health Board at the local government elections will start their terms as observers.

In a report to the board meeting on Friday, chief executive Julie Patterson told board members that the new board takes office on December 5, and holds its first meeting on December 16.

"The Ministry of Health has suggested that boards consider giving members who are newly elected in October the status of an 'observer' at board meetings until they take office. This would allow them to 'come up to speed' with board business more quickly prior to taking office and allow for a smoother transition to the new board," Ms Patterson's report said.

She said observers would be able to contribute to the meeting, but would not have voting rights.


The observers would be allowed to sit in on the confidential section of the board's meetings, but only after they had signed a confidentiality agreement.

Board members voted unanimously to allow the newly-elected members to sit at observers at board meetings after the elections.

There are 15 candidates standing for seven elected seats on the Whanganui DHB. Eight of those 15 are existing members of the DHB.

Voting for the DHB - along with mayor, council and Horizons Regional Council - close at 12 noon on October 8.