The new National Public Health Service brings together functions from Te Hiringa Hauora, the Ministry of Health, and public health units into a unified operational service. It works towards pae ora (healthy futures) by engaging with the wider determinants that impact on people’s health, focusing on oranga/wellbeing, prevention, protection and population-level intervention. 

The National Public Health Service partners with  Te Aka Whai Ora – the Māori Health Authority and Te Pou Hauora Tūmatanui – the Public Health Agency to work alongside whānau, communities, and other sectors; drawing on Mātauranga Māori and data to provide health promotion, prevention, and health protection at local, regional, and national levels. 

People in public health focus on environmental health, communicable disease control, tobacco control and health promotion programmes. Many of these services include a regulatory component performed by statutory officers appointed under various statutes, though principally under the Health Act 1956. 

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, the Tuberculosis Act 1948, and the 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

  • 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

  • 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