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Kia āta kōwhiri Choosing Wisely

The Choosing Wisely campaign seeks to reduce harm from unnecessary and low-value tests and treatment.

About Choosing Wisely

This page shares information about the origins and aims of the Choosing Wisely campaign as well as frequently asked questions.

The Council of Medical Colleges (CMC) previously facilitated the Choosing Wisely campaign in New Zealand, as part of its commitment to improving the quality of care for all consumers.

This information is not being actively updated. For information on the history of the campaign please contact

The Choosing Wisely campaign seeks to reduce harm from unnecessary and low-value tests and treatment. Given the marked inequities in health in New Zealand, important parallel campaign objectives should be to avoid making these inequities worse for Māori and other disadvantaged groups, and to help reduce health inequities. Choosing Wisely is a global initiative that has been implemented in a number of countries, including USA, Canada, the UK, Australia and some of Europe.

The campaign aims to promote a culture where low value and inappropriate clinical interventions are avoided, and patients and health professionals have well-informed conversations around their treatment options, leading to better decisions and outcomes.

The Council of Medical Colleges (CMC) is facilitating this initiative in New Zealand as part of our commitment to improving the quality of care for all patients.

Choosing Wisely involves a number of professions including doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists and other professional groups. It also has strong consumer involvement, with two members of the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s consumer panel on its steering group.

The Health Quality & Safety Commission and Consumer NZ are partners in the campaign and there is wide sector support from the New Zealand Medical Association, the Medical Council of New Zealand, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, New Zealand Medical Students’ Association, Cochrane New Zealand, New Zealand College of Midwives and Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand, Ko Awatea, Pharmac and Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

Many Medical Colleges and Specialty Societies in New Zealand have identified tests, treatments or procedures that may be unnecessary based on discussion with their members and based on the evidence.

Driving this culture change is a long-term programme of work involving multiple stakeholders, funders and sponsors. Current funders and sponsors of the Choosing Wisely campaign include Health Quality & Safety Commission, Ministry of Health, PHARMAC, Pacific Radiology and the Council of Medical Colleges.

Published: 8 Dec 2021 Modified: 10 Feb 2022