This report presents the results of a series of three linked surveys covering public health organisations in New Zealand that contract with the Public Health Directorate of the Ministry of Health, as well as the employees of these organisations. The data for these surveys was collected in the first half of 2004, while the numbers of employees and numbers of positions are all as at 1 January 2004.
An Organisation Telephone Survey, which used a CATI (computer-aided telephone interviewing) method, collected information from 185 of the organisations, with a response rate of 95%.
An Organisation Self-completion Survey received responses from 133 of the organisations, with a response rate of 64%.
An Individual Survey, also a self-completion survey, was completed by 666 members of the public health workforce, with a response rate of 36%.
Discussion and Conclusions
The three surveys in combination provide a broad picture of the surveyed public health organisations and workforce, addressing its profile and composition, its key issues, recruitment, retention and satisfaction, qualifications and training, and responsiveness to Maori and Pacific workforces.
Summary Profile of Surveyed Public Health Organisations
- As at 1 January 2004, there were approximately 207 public health organisations in New Zealand that directly contracted with the Ministry of Health. These organisations encompass an estimated 3,145 positions (current employees plus vacancies).
• There were an estimated 121 vacant positions (4% of positions).
- Twenty three percent of current staff works part-time.
- Health promotion and education workers comprise 23% of the workforce. Community workers made up a further 11%, Managers/Advisors 10% and Public Health Nurses (PHNs) 8%. Other support workers, a category that covers a range of support roles including administration, make up 32% of the workforce.
- Public Health Units have 34% of the workforce.
- Seventy-two organisations (39% of the 185 responding organisations) describe themselves as “by Maori, for Maori”. These organisations employ 26% of the workforce.
- Dedicated Maori positions make up 14% of all positions in public health.
- A third of the workforce completing the individual survey identified themselves as Maori.
- Fourteen organisations describe themselves as “by Pacific, for Pacific” and these account for 8% of the responding organisations and 4% of the workforce.
- Six percent of the workforce identifies themselves as being Pacific peoples.
- Less than 10% of the workforce is aged 30 years or under.