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Community and Public Health in South Canterbury (Timaru)

South Canterbury has a population of more than 61,500, and includes the Timaru, Waimate and Mackenzie Districts, between the Rangitata and Waitaki rivers.

According to the 2013 Census, the region is predominately Pakeha, but the population is now more diverse with 7 percent Maori, 2.5 percent Asian and 1.1 percent of Pacific ethnicities.

The region has a high proportion of people over 65 in the country (20.4 percent), and nearly 1 in 3 people in South Canterbury live in rural areas, nearly twice the level for the rest of New Zealand.

The work of the Timaru-based Community and Public Health staff aligns to the South Canterbury District Health Board’s (SCDHB) strategic priorities. Key focus areas are healthy lifestyles, child and adolescent health, and reducing inequalities.

Assistance in the areas of environmental health and infectious diseases is provided by Health Protection Officers. They are also involved in biosecurity monitoring at the Port of Timaru, inspections and advice for Early Childhood Centres, and drinking water assessments.

The Timaru office also has a Community Health Information Centre, providing a range of health education resources from the Ministry of Health and other providers.

Health Promotion Activities in South Canterbury

WAVE (Well-being and Vitality in Education) is a major public health initiative in South Canterbury. It is a programme of intersectoral activities aimed at creating and supporting healthier environments for South Canterbury children and young people. WAVE is unique to South Canterbury in that it supports and enhances health promotion activities across the education sector, ranging from Early Childhood Centres to tertiary providers.

Community and Public Health also works with the South Canterbury District Health Board to support the Ministry of Health’s vision of good oral health for all, for life. Preventing and promoting good oral health is a most effective way to make improvements over the long term. The South Canterbury Child Nutrition and Oral Health Promoter works with the community to create environments that promote good oral health from an early age, including:

  • Supporting WAVE Early Childhood Centres to promote oral health; and
  • Providing one-on-one dietary and oral health advice to families of children at high risk for developing dental caries.

First Cut of Draft Timaru District Plan Released

Timaru District Council media release: 8th October 2020

The Timaru District Council has released its blueprint for the future of the district – Timaru District Plan: He Po. He Ao. Ka Awatea – and it’s asking everyone to have their say on it.

Timaru District Mayor Nigel Bowen said that this is an incredibly important document, and it’s vital that people take the time to learn more about it and have their say on the provisions in the document.

“The District Plan is often overlooked, but it’s one of the most important documents that council publishes as it manages how we use and develop land and protects what we love about our district,” he said.

“It controls what you can build on your property, what your neighbours can build on theirs, and what your neighbourhood is going to look like in the future. It also protects all of the things such as heritage, landscapes and the coastal environment that we value as a community. It sets a blueprint for the future development of the district in the decades to come.”

The council has moved away from having a print copy of the district plan to now hosting it online through a new interactive tool. This tool enables you click on a site and see what provisions of the plan specifically apply to that to that site. Feedback can be provided on any of these provisions straight from the online tool.

The date for public submissions has been extended to Thursday 31st December 2020.



HealthInfo South Canterbury/ Aoraki.

Page last updated: 27/11/2020

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