Public Health Partnership

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all now well 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.

The South Island Public Health Partnership brings together those working in public health to share ideas and take a combined approach to public health issues.

The Partnership’s vision is: ‘A connected and equitable South Island health and social system that supports all people to be well and healthy.’

The Partnership’s workplan is of course subject to the demands on members to concentrate their resources on the immediate pandemic response. The workplan for 2021/2022 (which will be reviewed as capacity allows) has a strong focus on equity, environmental sustainability and the promotion of healthy environments.

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

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 




  • The First 1000 Days: A South Island Report
    21 Sep 2021

    The First 1000 Days Report was published in September 2018 and developed by Community and Public Health (Canterbury DHB) with the South Island Public Health Partnership as part of the Partnership’s contribution to the Hauora Alliance*. The report includes a handy summary document, comprehensive report and appendices (links below). The report sets out to provide […]

  • Improving Health Through Transport Planning
    27 Aug 2018

    News 27 Aug 2018 UK public health specialist Lucy Saunders presents on the Healthy Streets initiative in Christchurch earlier this month. Making streets more inviting and public transport more accessible is part of an approach that could be adopted across the South Island to improve health and social connection. UK public health specialist Lucy Saunders, […]

  • Creating Healthier Streets A Special Christchurch Event
    31 Jul 2018

    News 31 Jul 2018 Lucy Saunders The South Island Alliance is pleased to be supporting public health specialist Lucy Saunders’ upcoming visit to Christchurch. Lucy is a prominent public health consultant visiting from London, where she currently leads on the integration of transport and public health, supporting Transport for London, boroughs and advocacy organisations. Lucy […]