Te Pou Hauora Tūmatanui – the Public Health Agency

The Public Health Agency leads and strengthens population and public health, with a greater emphasis on equity and the wider determinants of health such as income, education and housing.

Established on 1 July 2022, the Public Health Agency (PHA) sits at the heart of Manatū Hauora and leads all public health and population health policy, strategy, regulatory, intelligence, surveillance and monitoring functions, and has a key role in providing advice to Ministers on all public health matters.

The PHA provides public health leadership across the health and disability sector and beyond, and influences the wider​ determinants of population health to enable people, their whānau and environments to be healthy and improve their wellbeing. 

The Public Health Agency will also develop a more effective public health knowledge and surveillance system to integrate mātauranga Māori and tofa loloto into evidence-based health policy. The use of intelligence and monitoring of public health will inform the system on how to help New Zealanders live longer, healthier lives.

PHA Deputy Director-General

  • Dr Andrew Old

PHA Interim Leadership Team

  • Clare Possenniskie, Transitional Manager of the Office of the Deputy Director-General
  • Becky Jenkins, Lead Transformation Office
  • Jane Chambers, Lead Public Health Policy and Regulation, Lead Public Health Strategy
  • Gill Hall, Lead Intelligence, Surveillance and the Knowledge System
  • Gerardine Clifford-Lidstone (currently on secondment to Health NZ), Director Pacific Health
  • Dr Harriette Carr, acting Director of Public Health
  • Graham Cameron, Lead Chief Advisor Māori Health
  • Ross Bell, Lead Equity and Population Health
  • Jason Jones, Director Emergency Management
  • Salli Davidson (seconded from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), Group Manager Global Health

Pou Whirinaki – Strategic Intent

Pou Whirinaki are the design elements the Public Health Agency uses to represent the concept of weaving together relationships, strategies and plans. The visual design has two key elements, the whenu (the horizontal strand in weaving) and pou (straight and true post used in construction).

The whenu remind us that we need to weave together multiple relationships, strategies and plans. There’s no single weaver, but a large team who need to cooperate and work together. The pou remind us that we’re building towards the five key system shifts and health systems principles.

Together, the design shows that the functions of the Public Health Agency and connections to other agencies in the health and disability sector need to be firmly bound together so that the people of Aotearoa New Zealand feel safe and connected in their health and disability services.

Public Health Advisory Committee

The new Public Health Advisory Committee will provide the Minister of Health and Associate Ministers with independent, public-facing, science-based public health advice.

It will prioritise equity-based approaches, including considering underlying factors that affect the health of people and communities. Members will be informed by and reflect the perspectives of Māori and Pacific peoples and the wider community as they employ creative solutions to drive better health outcomes.

A formal process of selecting and appointing members is currently underway and will be announced once Ministers and Cabinet have made a final decision.

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