Public health job: health promoter


Health promoters are an important and essential part of the public health workforce.  
Health promotion is about supporting people to increase control over the factors that influence their health and wellbeing.  Health promotion is directed at the underlying as well as the immediate causes of ill health. 

Video - Hilary Karaitiana

Like Hilary Karaitiana (health promoter in Te Kuiti for Waikato District Health Board), health promoters plan, implement and evaluate activities that promote health and wellbeing in communities.  See Hilary in the video to your right. 

Most health promoters work on one or two key issues (such as nutrition, tobacco control, violence prevention).  They may work in settings such as schools or marae, and may focus on a particular group, such as children, women or youth.

Health promoters use strategies that are based on evidence to achieve change.

Health promoters might :

  • Build an alliance of people to work on child obesity
  • Prepare advice to a territorial local authority on the blood alcohol limit for drivers
  • Develop a mental health programme for youth
  • Run a campaign on sun safety
  • Work with a Primary Health Organisation to plan and deliver health promotion/public health programmes.

What school subjects do you need to be a health promoter?
Health promoters carry out a wide range of activities. All roles require good communication and people skills and on-going learning.
What qualifications will you need to be a health promoter?

Most positions require either a specific health promotion qualification or a tertiary qualification in a related area such as the social sciences. Health promoters need a wide range of skills and usually continue to train in specific areas in which they work.
Health promoters: who employs them?

Health promoters work in a wide range of organisations:

Further information:


Other health careers



Profile of a health promoter:  Cassius Kuresa

Public health care job/health employment Cassius Kuresa is a New Zealand born Samoan with a passion for Pacific health. He has three main responsibilities as a health promoter at the Regional Public Health Unit.  He co-ordinates Pacific sexual health promotion, co-ordinates Pacific child and youth health promotion, and facilitates and leads the organisation's 13 strong Pacific caucus. The Pacific caucus provides advice to colleagues on effective health promotion programmes for Pacific peoples in Wellington/Wairarapa region. 
Cassius has a certificate in sexual health promotion, has completed the Health Promotion Forum certificate in health promotion offered at Manukau Institute of Technology and is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Health Science at Massey University. 

He loves his work as a health promoter which involves him in health education, advocacy, policy development and community development.  
"I am such a strong advocate for professional development.  I always support my staff to do health promotion courses because I know what a big difference they can make. I am also really supportive of them doing courses that include Pacific models of health because I really want to help our peoples’ health improve in ways that are appropriate for them."
Cassius's understanding of Pacific values and beliefs is a real asset in his work with Pacific people.  He works closely with other agencies to advocate and promote pacific health. 
Before becoming a health promoter Cassius worked in a variety of jobs. Now, in addition to his health promotion work, he works with youth career advisers to promote the many exciting public health career opportunities to school leavers and others.



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