In 2017 (and then again, in 2019), a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between NZDHA and NZDOHTA (the two national organisations representing Dental Hygienists, Dental and Oral Health Therapists) with its objective being "to investigate the establishment of one overarching national body to be called NZOHA (New Zealand Oral Health Association)."
The rationale for the establishment of one organisation was as follows:
- To reduce duplication of effort currently occurring with NZDHA and NZDOHTA
- To reduce duplication of administration costs
- To reduce duplication of cost and time commitments for members
- To overcome the dilution of impact that exists when operating as two distinct and discrete associations
- To remove confusion regarding which organisation an emerging professional with a Bachelors degree in Oral Health should join.
- To create a stronger voice as a united professional body for lobbying and having ‘a voice at the table’.
- To better align the professional body with the emerging practitioners coming from tertiary institutions.
- To create stronger branches and stronger regions.
- To better align with the Ministry of Health strategy for integrated service delivery.
In line with that Memorandum of Understanding, an Executive Committee was formed to oversee, manage and coordinate the next steps.
In April 2019, the Committee agreed to a proposed structure for the new association.
In May 2019 we sought the feedback of members of the respective associations to understand what your opinions were on the proposed structure. Thank you to the 400 people who stepped up to have their say!
The survey closed on 31 May, and the Committee is meeting in late July to review the feedback and to identify and decide on our next steps.