The National Public Health Service works with whānau, iwi, and other organisations to create and support healthier communities. Drawing on Mātauranga Māori and data they provide health promotion, prevention, and protection at local, regional, and national levels. The National Public Health Service:

  • monitors environmental health
  • helps prevent the spread of infectious diseases
  • promotes healthy eating and physical activity
  • works with early childhood centres and kōhanga reo to promote safe environments and good health practices
  • provides health services for children
  • reviews licences and public health regulations
  • guides and enforces public health plans, strategies and legislation.

Many of these services include a regulatory component performed by statutory officers.

Statutory Officers

Most statutory officers are designated by the Director-General of Health under the Health Act 1956. These officers – medical officers of health and health protection officers – are accountable to, and subject to direction from, the Director-General. This ensures central oversight of regulatory functions.

The Director-General also appoints statutory officers under a range of other Acts, in particular the:

  • Smoke-free Environments Act 1990
  • Tuberculosis Act 1948
  • Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996.

City and district councils also appoint environmental health officers under the Health Act, who assist councils to perform their environmental health functions under the Act.

Regional Public Health Services


  • Ngā Tai Ora — Public Health Northland
    Districts covered: Northland
  • Auckland Regional Public Health Service
    Districts covered: Tāmaki Makaurau — Auckland

Te Manawa Taki

Te Manawa Taki
  • Waikato Public Health
    Districts covered: WaikatoRuapehu (Northern part)
  • Toi Te Ora — Public Health
    Districts covered: Whakatāne, Tauranga, Rotorua and Taupō
  • Taranaki Public Health
    Districts covered: Taranaki
  • Hauora Tairāwhiti
    Districts covered: Gisborne/Tairāwhiti


  • Hawke’s Bay Public Health
    Districts covered: Hawke’s Bay
  • MidCentral Public Health
    Districts covered: Manawatū, Whanganui, Ruapehu (Southern part)
  • Regional Public Health
    Districts covered: Wellington, Hutt Valley, Wairarapa

Te Waipounamu

Te Waipounamu
  • Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service
    Districts covered: Nelson-Marlborough
  • Community and Public Health
    Districts covered: Canterbury, Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury, West Coast and Chatham Islands
  • Public Health South
    Districts covered: Otago, Southland