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Securing Streamliners' future: A message from CEO Ian Anderson

Published on 08 Sep, 2023 | Return|

A personal message from Ian Anderson, CEO of Streamliners

I’m writing to our valued community members and stakeholders to outline changes we’re making to ensure a secure future for Streamliners and the HealthPathways Community. These changes will help us to keep delivering on our purpose for many years to come - “improving the health and wellbeing of people around the world”.

Then and now

Emma Harding and I started Streamliners in the year 2000 as a two-person business. Our aim was to support front line workers in a range of industries to access the information they needed “on the job” to get on with the task immediately in front of them. 

By 2010 Streamliners was mostly focused on the health sector, and HealthPathways. By 2020 Streamliners was delivering the HealthPathways service throughout New Zealand, Australia, and increasingly, the United Kingdom. The Streamliners purpose evolved into “improving the health and wellbeing of people around the world”. Incorporating some other services such as GPDocs and Stronger Schools, we’d grown to about 130 people spread across three countries.

Over the last five years, with Streamliners growing into a global business, Emma and I have been thinking about how to achieve our wish that Streamliners will operate globally with a New Zealand head office, not be sold, and continue to focus on its purpose beyond our tenure as owners.

To achieve this wish, we’ve created a new charitable trust to own the majority of shares in Streamliners, with the balance of shares going to Te Whatu Ora (Health New Zealand, owned by the New Zealand Government).

The Joined Up Systems Trust

The Joined Up Systems Trust (JUST) was established in May 2023. Its charitable purpose is to “encourage and support integration of health and social care systems”. 
As from Friday 30 June 2023, JUST owns 80% of Streamliners. 

The majority of any future dividends that flow from Streamliners, now go to JUST. 

Over time, the people who control JUST, our trustees, will change. To get things underway, Emma and I are the founding trustees of JUST. We will expand the number of trustees in due course and, eventually and inevitably, withdraw ourselves.

Te Whatu Ora (Health New Zealand)

Our HealthPathways work arose from a high trust relationship with leaders of the Canterbury health system back in 2008. We each contributed expertise and resources to make HealthPathways successful in Canterbury. In subsequent years the leaders of the Canterbury health system were powerful advocates as we built the international HealthPathways Community.  

Throughout our entire HealthPathways journey together there has been a handshake agreement that we would recognise Canterbury’s contribution to the international success of HealthPathways and Streamliners. 

In early 2022 we fulfilled that agreement by making the New Zealand Health Information Hub a 20% owner of Streamliners. NZHIH was at the time owned by Canterbury District Health Board, and has recently been absorbed into Te Whatu Ora.

JUST plus Te Whatu Ora equals 100% ownership of Streamliners

Many organisations that achieve a degree of international success with their founders at the helm eventually get sold to global corporates that prioritise shareholder profits ahead of purpose. Alternatively, their growth and long term survival gets stifled as their founders hold on without the skills and resources needed to take the organisation to the next level. Emma and I did not want either of those possibilities to eventuate in the medium term, and that’s why we’ve acted now to secure the JUST plus Te Whatu Ora ownership model. 

Both JUST and Te Whatu Ora are motivated by social purpose. Their respective stated purposes are:

  • to encourage and support the integration of health and social care services
  • to combine together people, resources, organisations, thoughts, and actions for the betterment and wellbeing of all.

For Emma and me, as the founders of Streamliners, JUST and Te Whatu Ora are the ideal long term owners of the organisation. 

It’s been important to us to get this long term ownership in place now as Streamliners enters a new phase in its growth and while we are well and able to control the process. 

Staying true to our purpose and principles

The Streamliners purpose is:

To improve the health and wellbeing of people around the world by enabling:

  • Community – collaborating globally for local impact
  • Conversations – agreeing about what will work around here
  • Clarity – offering clear guidance at the point of care.

Emma and I want to ensure this purpose endures beyond our tenure as leaders and controllers of the organisation.

We also want to ensure that a number of the principles we’ve applied in our decision-making about ‘how’ we operate and treat people are sustained.

We are working with my Streamliners Executive Leadership Team colleagues and the Board to get our purpose and principles locked into the Streamliners constitution. The constitution is a legal document that binds the board and executives to a set of rules. It can only be changed by 75% majority agreement of the owners.



Emma’s and my continuing involvement

Streamliners has been a huge part of Emma’s and my lives for twenty-three years. It will continue to be important to us, and we will continue to be involved for many years to come. 

However our roles with Streamliners have changed, and will continue to change in the near future.

A key thing that won’t change for the foreseeable future is that we will both continue as directors of Streamliners.

Something that has already changed is that we are no longer the owners. However we are for the time being trustees of JUST, the 80% owner of Streamliners.

Something that will change in the next 6 – 9 months is that I will leave the role of CEO. 
I’m strongly of the view that Streamliners needs a new leader who’ll have the experience and skills we need for our next phase of growth. I have got huge satisfaction from working with our internal team and members of the HealthPathways Community to turn Streamliners into what it is today. I very much look forward to continuing to help out where appropriate in the future.  We have started the recruitment process for a replacement CEO with the aim of having someone in the role by early 2024. 

Emma isn’t ready to step away from daily involvement in the business, but we are both talking about having ‘more time’ for doing things together next year, so the nature of her involvement is likely to change as the Platform team evolves.

Happy to chat

I’m very happy to chat with any community members with questions about these changes, and about the future of HealthPathways or Streamliners. 

Thank you for choosing to be part of the HealthPathways Community and playing an important part in leading global health system change.