Public Health Infrastructure

Public health infrastructure (PHI) is the legislation, workforce, leadership and advocacy needed to reduce preventable illness and death and increase health equity. 

Investment in Aotearoa’s public health infrastructure is inadequate, and this means preventable disease and death – and the burden this brings to health services – will continue to increase. 

HCA is advocating for increased investment in public health, Te Tiriti-led initiatives to re-balance inequitable health outcomes, and protection of evidence-based prevention from commercial influence. 

Public health is a branch of health care that creates healthy environments and protects against preventable disease and death with evidence-based policy and initiatives. It looks beyond medical treatment of individuals and health care services to the aspects of society that shape the health of populations including education, housing, safe water supply, employment, freedom from discrimination and financial security.

HCA is focussed on achieving better prevention policies to address the harms of alcohol, tobacco, unhealthy food and health inequity – and these are part of public health.

To this end, HCA is seeking better control over the influence of harmful commodity industries that seek to intervene in public health policy to protect their commercial interests – often to the detriment of health outcomes and prevention measures. 

Key facts

Where should we be heading?

Aotearoa/New Zealand can be a country that values equitable health outcomes, where we invest in adequate measures to limit the impact of harmful products and systems for all populations.



Making our environments healthy

These actions will create healthy, equitable environments:

HCA advocacy on tobacco and vaping control is informed by a Public Health Infrastructure Expert Advisory Panel .

For more information on Aotearoa’s public health please visit: Hāpai Te HauoraHealth Promotion AgencyHauora – Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand, and Public Health Association NZ.