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What does the Public Health Association do?

Public health focuses on finding evidence-based ways to prevent disease, prolong life and promote the health of everyone in New Zealand. Therefore the PHA looks for organised ways to:

  • encourage equal access to health care and resources for every New Zealander
  • improve conditions, and influence laws and policies that affect everybody’s health
  • provide a collective voice on public health issues
  • support organisations to work together
  • provide national, regional and local events to share information and ideas
  • support Māori and Pasifika people in public health.

Te Pae Māhutonga

Te Pae Māhutonga is a model for Māori health promotion conceived by Dr Maui Pomare in the 19th Century and developed by Sir Mason Durie in the 20th Century.

It is a model the PHA supports.

The model brings together elements of modern health promotion in a cohesive manner by relating them to the constellation of stars known as the Southern Cross (te reo: Te Pae Māhutonga). Te Pae Māhutonga has long been used as a navigational aid and is closely associated with the discovery of Aotearoa New Zealand. It has four central stars that can be used to promote the four key tasks of health promotion: Mauriora (Cultural identity), Waiora (Physical environment), Toiora (Healthy lifestyles) and Te Oranga (Participation in society).

Te Pae Māhutonga also has two stars arranged in a straight line which point towards the cross. These are known as the two pointers and can represent Te Mana Whakahaere (Autonomy) and Ngā Manukura (Community leadership).


We work closely with
  • Health Promotion Forum (HPF)

  • The New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine (NZCPHM)

and are members of:

  • World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA)
  • Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA)

The PHA – a strong and informed collective voice for a healthy and well New Zealand.

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