Public Health Context

Public health is a core part of the health sector in New Zealand
Public health services, such as those which safeguard our drinking-water and protect New Zealand against exotic insect pests, need to be available to everyone at no cost.  They are funded by the Government to ensure that national health, across the whole population, is protected.

Despite protecting and promoting the well-being of communities for a long time, public health is not that obvious to New Zealanders.  
The Ministry of Health website provides further information on the health and disability system in New Zealand

Benefiting from public health services in NZ

Every day, everyone in New Zealand benefits from some public health services. Our healthcare system and services protect us from health issues by:

  • Helping to keep our food, air and drinking-water safe
  • Helping protect us from infectious diseases
  • Helping to protect us against poisonings and injuries from toxic and hazardous substances and radiation dangers


Our healthcare system: behind the scenes

We don’t often think about what public health is about or what public health services protect us, unless they fail. Did you know that in 2007:

  • 493 outbreaks of communicable diseases were investigated
  • 437,584 cervical smears were taken
  • 464,600 free influenza vaccinations were given
  • 87,177 free annual checks for people with diabetes were undertaken
  • 26,160 ‘green’ prescriptions (advice on exercise or nutrition) were dispensed

Source: Ministry of Health
Ministry of Health website


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