HealthSource, a shared services and procurement organisation for the four northern district health boards, is surveying its suppliers on their status as Maori businesses.
Healthsource operates shared services, such as payroll, supply chain and finance, for the three Auckland DHBs and the Northland District Health Board. It also operates a shared ICT procurement unit.
The move is part of the implementation of "progressive procurement", a new government policy that aims to increase the diversity of government suppliers, focusing initially on Māori businesses.
"Progressive procurement is about buyers of goods and services looking beyond price to wider social and public value," an explainer on Te Puni Kōkiri's website said.
"It combines elements of social procurement, supplier diversity, indigenous procurement, and wellbeing measures."
A joint implementation programme between Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment aims to spread the benefits of the government’s $42 billion yearly spend to the wider community.
In December 2020, cabinet approved the progressive procurement policy for mandated government agencies to award at least five per cent of their yearly procurement contracts to Māori businesses.
In a Government Electronic Tenders Service notice published on Monday, HealthSource sought information from businesses who supply to the northern region or who wished to do so in the future on their status.
Māori business is defined as having at least 50 per cent Māori ownership; or a Māori Authority as defined by the Inland Revenue Department.
"HealthSource will use this information to inform the baseline of each of the Northern Region district health boards and to report against the policy target," the notice said.
HealthSource's 2020 annual report said its Information and communication technology (ICT) procurement team had an "extraordinarily successful year" with projects delivered in the ICT arena for HealthAlliance and the Northern Region DHBs.
"The team have been working closely within the information systems strategic plan (ISSP) framework and strategy and are closely aligned with the DHB chief information officers and northern region ISSP senior leadership," it said.
The ICT procurement team realised $7 million combined operational and capital spending savings against a target of $3 million.
Services provided by HealthSource during the year were funded to a total of $33.9 million.