What is public health action?

Public health action is an investment in the future wellbeing of New Zealanders. It involves activities and health programs provided by the public health sector and the wider health sector.  

Public health action is about taking ‘action’ to address the complex range of factors that influence our health. These factors are called the determinants of health.

To have a broad and positive influence on the determinants of health, public health action must be part of the work of organisations and institutions right across society. 

Public health action can -

  • Take place at many levels throughout the health sector and beyond 
  • Be planned and implemented in collaboration with other sectors
  • Advise other sectors on the health impact of their activities, and where necessary, regulate these
  • Support other parts of the health sector to take a population health approach to service planning and delivery

"Effective public health activities involve long-term investments that decrease the risk of injury and disease, improve the quality of life, prolong life and may decrease the need for health care services."

Strengthening Public Health Action, Ministry of Health. 1997


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