“The art and science of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts of society.”

– World Health Organization

Councils have an important and powerful influence on the health and wellbeing of communities.

Councils make plans and policies, provide infrastructure and deliver community services, all of which impact the determinants of health and wellbeing. 

Learn about actions councils can take to improve community health and wellbeing:

Food security Smokefree
Emergency management Sugary drinks


How we can help 

Our Healthy Policies team includes Health Improvement Advisors that work with councils to promote local planning and policy-making that leads to good health outcomes for the community.  

Our Health Protection team includes Medical Officers of Health, Health Protection Officers, Communicable Disease Nurses and Licensing Officers to ensure compliance with various health-related laws. The team provide advice and recommendations to councils about physical environmental issues that impact on population health.   

Find out more here and below.

Healthy Policies Team

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The Healthy Policies team works with local government, coalitions and organisations to ensure local planning and policy-making leads to good health outcomes for the population.

The team gives advice and recommendations on issues such as smokefree outdoor spaces, and the built environment.

Key work areas for the Healthy Policies team are:


The Healthy Policies team scans national and international literature and liaises with colleagues within Toi Te Ora and around New Zealand to provide up to date data, research and evidence to support policy advice.  

  • Since 2008 Toi Te Ora has conducted a Population Survey every four years, on the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of residents about a variety of topics.
  • Toi Te Ora has contributed to a number of evidence based position statements which have been adopted by the Bay of Plenty District Health Board and also has publications on a variety of public health topics.
  • Toi Te Ora can lead and/or provide support with Health Impact Assessments to identify the impact a proposed policy, strategy, plan or project might have on community health and wellbeing.


Collaboration, Advocacy and Health Promotion

Members of the Healthy Policies team meet regularly with councils, local and national organisations to collaborate, advocate and promote community health and wellbeing.

The team leads input from Toi Te Ora into council planning processes, including district, annual and ten year plans, as well as spatial and regional plans. Team members are also involved in council working groups and forums, and often contribute to council strategies and plans.

The Healthy Policies team works with each of the nine councils in our area:


Members of the Healthy Policies team meet and collaborate with a wide variety of organisations and agencies, including:


Supporting Health in All Policies development

Health in All Policies is an approach that Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Health Boards have adopted for ensuring a health lens is applied to major decision-making, both internally within District Health Boards and in working with key stakeholders such as councils.