Environmental Issues

Many activities have the potential to adversely effect our environment, and consequently have adverse public health effects. Services such as potable drinking water and safe sewage have contributed historically towards large improvements in population health.

Over recent years other issues have become very much a part of environmental health, such as:

  • resource management
  • shipping sanitation
  • biosecurity
  • waste management
  • recreational water
  • shellfish gathering, and
  • housing.

The Health Protection Officers at Community and Public Health work with local and regional authorities on environmental health issues, and provide services around the following:

Find out about Community and Public Health’s involvement in waste management.

Learn about drinking water safety and quality in the Community and Public Health coverage area.

Insanitary living conditions including hoarding and squalor

Insanitary living conditions can be caused by:

  • Hoarding
  • Rotting food
  • Animal or human waste
  • Insect or vermin infestation (e.g. fleas, cockroaches, flies, ants, rats and mice)
  • Offensive odours
  • Poor house maintenance (e.g. issues with plumbing, wiring, structure of house or roof)
  • Issues with animals (e.g. feeding of stray animals, or large numbers of animals).

Community and Public Health has a responsibility to address health risks caused by insanitary living conditions at a property, to both occupants and visitors. This includes risks of injury, infection, and respiratory issues.

Staff will work with Environmental Health Officers from local councils to make an initial visit to determine if there is a health risk, and who needs to be involved in any resulting intervention. This may include other agencies such as hospitals, older persons health or other services.



Download or order resources from the Community Health Information Centre.

Contact your local CPH office for further information:

Ph: +64 3 364 1777
Fax: +64 3 379 6125

Ph: +64 3 687 2600
Fax: +64 3 688 6091

Ph: +64 3 768 1160
Fax: +64 3 768 1169

Public Health Implications of Land Use Change and Agricultural Intensification with respect to the Canterbury Plains

Land use change has been occurring rapidly in recent years, both at a global scale and within Canterbury.

While there is potential for this change to create wealth – there is also potential for unintended effects which may impair the health of communities.

This 2014 literature review is intended to provide information to help anticipate and avoid negative consequences of land use change. It updates the original literature review completed in 2010.

Page last updated: 28/03/2017

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