Proposed changes to the National Health Index (NHI) system and HISO 10046, the Consumer Health Identity Standard

Closed 24 Aug 2018

Opened 9 Jul 2018

Results updated 23 Apr 2021

The updated Consumer Health Identity Standard is available on the Ministry of Health website.


The Ministry of Health is considering undertaking a number of changes to the National Health Index (NHI) system. Changes made will be included in the associated Consumer Health Identity Standard.

We seek comment to assist in establishing a) if a particular proposal should proceed at a concept level, and b) a relative priority for each proposal.  Some changes are essential to maintaining the operating life of the NHI system – for example, the proposed extension to the NHI numbering system.  Each proposal is supported by a short paper as listed below.


  1. Detailed costing and adoption/implementation information related to each proposal has not yet been prepared. Likewise a timeframe for introducing changes has not yet been determined.
  2. There is no priority or preference implied or expressed in the order of presentation of the listed items.
  3. Not all changes can or will be progressed at this time – funding is limited and there is an increased risk arising from making multiple changes at one time.
  4. Assessment factors to help determine the changes that will progress to a more detailed stage include: appropriateness, affordability, practicality, training, public comment, and time required to implement.

Public comment is now sought on the following suggested changes.  Note: each of the following is provided as an individual document.

  1. NHI Numbering extension
  2. Biological Sex recorded at Birth
  3. Gender Identity
  4. Sexual Orientation
  5. Ethnicity
  6. Country Code
  7. Language Code
  8. Iwi Classification
  9. Disability status
  10. Residency status
  11. Opt Out status indicator
  12. Delegation rights - general
  13. Delegation rights – Advance Care Planning
  14. Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau cross reference
  15. Height and Weight
  16. MedicAlert cross reference.

All 16 documents can be downloaded as a single document:


  • Health sector


  • Health information standards