Health in All Policies approach at Community and Public Health
Health in All Policies (HiAP) is an approach to working on public policies across sectors and with communities. It systematically takes into account the health implications of decisions, seeks synergies, and avoids harmful health impacts – in order to improve population health and health equity.
The determinants of health are biological, lifestyle and environmental factors that play a major role in the health and wellbeing of the community. Many of these factors are beyond the control or influence of the individual or the health sector. These factors form a complex web that is influenced by many sectors such as local government and transport – as illustrated in the diagram below.
The HiAP team at Community and Public Health is involved in building strong partnerships and working collaboratively with other sectors to consider the positive and negative impacts that policies and decisions have on health and wellbeing for the people of Canterbury, South Canterbury, the West Coast, and the Chatham Islands.
The aim of the Health in All Policies Team is to ensure health, wellbeing, sustainability and equity issues are explicitly addressed in all policy, planning and decision making processes – to improve health outcomes and mitigate health disparities.
Work at Community and Public Health aims to reflect the concepts of DEET: Determinants, Equity, Evidence and Treaty. Our work is guided by a social determinants approach that:
- promotes fairness and justice;
- is informed by evidence; and
- is framed by the Treaty of Waitangi.
HiAP is compatible with the holistic nature of Māori perspectives of health and wellbeing, by recognising the importance and interconnections between these factors.
Health in All Policies in Canterbury
Organisations in Canterbury have been working in a HiAP way for many years – beginning with Healthy Christchurch (since 2002), the Canterbury Health Impact Assessment Partnership Project (2009 to 2011) through to the Canterbury Health in All Policies Partnership (CHIAPP).
“The regional council’s work is very much about human health and wellbeing – working to make sure that people throughout Canterbury have a strong and healthy environment and economy, and cultural and social opportunities. We have found through working together that a joined up approach considering health is more than a planning process and we’re starting to see our staff explicitly factor these determinants of health into their everyday work.” – Bill Bayfield, Chief Executive, Canterbury Regional Council (Environment Canterbury).
Health in All Policies is an international approach
Canterbury’s HiAP work is modelled on an approach widely promoted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and used by public health organisations around the globe. From roots in the WHO declaration of Alma-Ata (1978) and the Ottawa Charter (1986) with their focus on healthy public policy and the social determinants of health, the concept of HiAP has been outlined and refined in a series of statements:
Canterbury’s success as a national and international leader in HiAP was confirmed in 2017 when WHO included the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy in their Case Study book “Progressing the Sustainable Development Goals through Health in All Policies”.
Legislative context for HIAP in New Zealand
The HiAP approach aligns with several pieces of legislation in New Zealand, including:
- The New Zealand Health and Disability Act 2000 – District Health Boards are required to improve, promote and protect the health of people and communities, and these responsibilities can be effectively carried out using a HIAP approach.
- The Resource Management Act 1991 which promotes the sustainable management of the use, development, and protection of natural and physical resources in a way that enables people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural wellbeing.
- The Human Rights Act which aims to ensure that all people in New Zealand are treated fairly and equally.
Community and Public Health’s HIAP approach recognises and gives effect to the articles of Treaty of Waitangi 1840. Tools associated with HiAP can be used to assess and address the inequitable health outcomes experiences by Māori.
For further information, contact:
Health in All Policies Team
Ph: +64 3 364 1777
Fax: +64 3 379 6125
Spotlight on: The Christchurch Alcohol Action Plan
Community and Public Health has been working closely with the Christchurch City Council and NZ Police on the Christchurch Alcohol Action Plan (CAAP).
The plan was developed in response to community concern and sets out a vision for “A safe, vibrant, healthy Christchurch free from alcohol-related harm”.
Get the latest on Health in All Policies in Canterbury
The Canterbury Health in All Policies Newsletter is produced by the Policy Team at Community and Public Health. It features HiAP approach in action in Canterbury as well as useful resources and links.
Broadly Speaking about health and its determinants
This FREE interactive short course aims to develop a greater understanding of those factors, beyond the health sector, that impact on the health of populations.
This course is delivered three times per year and is open to health and wellbeing organisations in Canterbury and the West Coast.
Information Sheets about Health in all Policies
Community and Public Health staff developed the following information sheets on Health in All Policies – as part of the Canterbury Health in All Policies Partnership (CHIAPP). All information sheets were updated January/ February 2015.
These sheets will be replaced with new resources in 2019.