Public Health Partnership

Public Health Partnership updates
PHP Spring 2018
PHP March 2018

PHP November 2017


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all now aware of the vital role that public health plays in preventing and managing communicable disease outbreaks. However public health work extends far and wide beyond health protection, with a wide focus on improving people’s health at community and population levels. This includes the difficult, yet fascinating work of tackling “wicked problems” (such as inequity, poverty and climate change). As such, public health is the only part of the health system solely concentrating on keeping people well and out of hospital.

Work in public health units includes such activities as: monitoring drinking water, working with schools, workplaces and sports clubs to strengthen their capacity to be healthy settings for living, learning, playing and working; and undertaking public health research to develop and share evidence about health and wellbeing and how to improve it.

The South Island Public Health Partnership brings together those working in public health to share ideas and take a combined approach to public health issuesThe Partnership’s vision: A connected and equitable South Island health and social system that supports all people to be well and healthy. The overall goal of the Partnership is to improve, promote and protect healthy well-being of populations and reduce inequities.The Partnership has been successful in developing joint position statements in the areas of alcohol harm reduction, air quality, warm housing and environmental sustainability, as well as providing support for a range of public health initiatives in the South Island.

The Partnership’s workplan is currently on hold to enable members to concentrate their resources on the immediate pandemic response. The tentative workplan for 2020/2021 has a strong focus on equity, environmental sustainability and the promotion of healthy environments.

SI Public Health Workstream Terms of Reference

SI Public Health Workstream Charter


Smokefree/Auahi Kore Position Statement

In 2013, all five South Island DHBs agreed to a single Smokefree position statement.  Developed collaboratively by the South Island Public Health Partnership, the position statement represents DHBs working together to support the South Island to be a place where Smokefree lifestyles are the norm and harm from and exposure to tobacco smoke is minimised.    It collectively reiterates support for the Government’s goal of achieving a Smokefree Aotearoa New Zealand by 2025, and aims to reduce the tobacco-related harm by actively focussing on these outcomes:

  • Protect children from exposure to tobacco
  • Reduce the demand for and supply of tobacco, and
  • Increase successful quitting


      Click here to read the Position Statement.



Alcohol Position Statement

In 2012, all five South Island DHBs agreed to a single position statement to address alcohol-related harm.  This, along with an evidence-based background paper, were developed collaboratively by the South Island Public Health Partnership. 

The position statement acknowledges the wide range of alcohol-related harm that is experienced by people in the South Island and that the burden of this harm is carried disproportionately by some population groups.  It recognises that alcohol use is a major risk factor for numerous health conditions, injuries and social problems.  Additionally, alcohol-related harm costs the health sector significant money, time and resources. 


The position statement articulates each DHB's commitment to:

  • developing an Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy
  • identifying and recording alcohol-related harm in a consistent way, and
  • supporting local authorities to develop sound alcohol policies 


Click here to read the Position Statement or here to read the evidence-based background paper on alcohol harm



Rheumatic Fever Prevention and Management Plan

The Minister of Health has recently approved the South Island Rheumatic Fever Prevention and Management Plan. This plan will be implemented by all South Island DHBs and has a funding package to provide free antibiotic prophylaxis and care for all Rheumatic Fever patients.  


Member of the South Island Public Health Partnership and Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ramon Pink emphasised the importance of regular health care checks and prophylactic antibiotics for those with Rheumatic Fever, as well as preventing its spread. “It is enormously important to ensure those most disadvantaged in our community are not going to suffer further complications and health disparities related to this disease, because they can’t afford the on-going costs of preventative care.  The South Island’s commitment to free care for the duration of risk, usually for up to ten years, is a step in the right direction. We only have a small number of patients in this region and we want to make sure we hold numbers at that level.”


To view the plan, click here.


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