Promoting positive and responsible sexual health
Community and Public Health promotes healthy relationships, positive sexual and reproductive health, and responsible sexual behaviour.
Our aim to reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies. We also aim to reduce levels of sexual violence in our communities and levels of stigma towards sexual minorities.
Staff at Community and Public Health provide the following services:
- Sexual and reproductive health information to the public.
- Distribution of condoms and lubricants.
- A programme of seminars to update and inform those working in the area of sexual health especially with youth. Contact Diane Shannon at the Christchurch office for more information (+64 3 378 6755).
- Support the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender community.
- Contact tracing for Sexually Transmitted Infections.
- Produce a sexual health newsletter twice a year.
Here are some ideas on positive sexual health behaviours:
- Healthy relationships are the key to good sexual health – respect yourself and your partner.
- Delay your first sexual experience until you are sure you are ready.
- Use condoms and lube every time. Lube makes condoms less likely to break and increases pleasure.
- Reach out for help if you are being pressured to have sex – your body, your decision.
- Limit numbers of sexual partners.
- Use reliable contraception unless you want a baby now.
- Protect your whakapapa (family tree). Untreated STIs can cause infertility.
- Have regular sexual health check ups as some STIs have no symptoms.
- Drinking alcohol can affect the decisions you make, including around sex.
Next Sex and Consequences seminar
You are invited to come along to this seminar on social and community topics related to sexual health. You will be able to attend either in person or via zoom. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and for networking.
Date: Wednesday 12th May 2021.
Time: 1 to 5pm.
Location: Burwood Hospital.
This seminar will feature the following presentations:
- Urethritis and Update of Syphilis Statistics with Dr Edward Coughlan;
- Vaginal Discharge with Dr Jane Kennedy;
- Youth and Sex – What’s the Problem? with Dr Sue Bagshaw;
- Qtopia with Alice Anderson and Jennifer Shields.
Have Your Say On the Contraception, Sterilisation, And Abortion (Safe Areas) Amendment Bill
Health Committee media release: 22nd March 2021
The NZ Parliament Health Committee is seeking public submissions on the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion (Safe Areas) Amendment Bill. The bill aims to protect the safety and wellbeing, and respect the privacy and dignity, of women accessing abortion facilities and practitioners providing and helping with abortion services. It seeks to do so by providing regulation-making power that would enable safe areas to be set up around specific abortion facilities.
This consultation closes at midnight on Wednesday 28th April 2021.
Dealing with sexual health issues and infections in New Zealand
New Zealand has high rates of STIs and unintended pregnancies compared to other countries. Chlamydia rates are especially high among young people aged 15 to 24 years and gonorrhoea rates are also high in some areas.
Syphilis rates are steadily increasing. The highest rates are still among men who have sex with men (MSM) but rates are also increasing among heterosexual men and women. Of particular concern are the cases of congenital syphilis (mother to baby) now being seen.
However there has been a significant drop in genital warts cases since the introduction of the HPV vaccine – now available free for boys as well as girls. Abortion rates among teenage girls have also dropped dramatically and this is likely due to increased education and the emphasis placed on the use of contraception.
Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is available to now available in Christchurch to people who are at high risk of becoming infected with HIV. Contact the Christchurch Sexual Health Centre for further information.
Free period products to be available in all schools and kura
Beehive media release: 18th February 2021
All primary, intermediate, secondary school and kura students will have access to free period products from June this year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti announced today.
The announcement follows a successful Access to Period Products pilot programme, which has been running since Term 3 last year in 15 schools and kura in the Waikato region.
“Young people should not miss out on their education because of something that is a normal part of life for half the population,” said Jacinda Ardern.
“Removing barriers to healthy, active, educational outcomes for children and young people is an important part of the Government’s Youth and Wellbeing Strategy.”
“The positive response from schools and students to the pilot has encouraged us to expand the initiative to all New Zealand schools and kura,” said Jacinda Ardern.
The Ministry of Education will work with suppliers to manage a phased roll out of the scheme, with period products available towards the end of Term 2 for schools and kura that opt-in by March of this year. Those schools and kura that do not initially choose to take up the initiative will continue to be able to opt-in to the initiative at a later date.
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
Information for the LGBTQIA+ community
The Community and Public Health website now has a new page on health for the local rainbow community!
Sexual Health Services in Your Area:
Useful Phone Numbers
Family Planning Line
0800 46 36 54
Cervical Screening Programme
0800 729 729
Healthline (For a nurse 24 hours)
0800 611 116
0800 37 66 33
0800 802 437
OUTline (for rainbow community)
0800 688 5463
Safe to talk (Sexual harm support line)
0800 044 334 or text 4334
Christchurch Sexual Health Centre
03 364 0485 or 027 212 7335
Rodger Wright Centre
03 365 2293
NZ Prostitutes Collective
03 365 2595
The REAL Sex Talk online
This web series has been developed to educate Kiwi teenagers about sex in an approachable and informative manner. The series features a variety of New Zealand celebrities who openly share their own personal sexual experiences on camera. Local medical experts also feature in each episode with practical advice and information on sex, sexual health, relationships and identity.
Topics covered so far are include:
- The first time;
- consent, contraception and protection;
- sexually transmitted infections;
- respect, relationships and peer pressure; and
- pleasure and masturbation.
The REAL Sex Talk videos are available online from:
The REAL Sex Talk is supported by Rape Prevention Education, Family Planning and Rainbow Youth.