Current Public Health Vacancies

Chief Clinical Advisor and Clinical Advisors, COVID-19 Clinical Response - Wellington

Help Shape New Zealand's COVID-19 Clinical Response

Ma tini, ma mano, ka rapa te whai

(Many hands make light work/ unity is strength.)

  • Contribute directly to the Ministry of Health COVID-19 national response
  • Wellington-based 12 month fixed term contract or secondment
  • Provide clinical advice to the wider COVID-19 Health System Response Directorate

The Ministry of Health is the kaitiaki of the health and disability system in New Zealand. We are responsible for providing active stewardship and leadership across the nation's health and disability system. We ensure the system provides people with the highest levels of care, regardless of who they are or where they live.

The Ministry's COVID-19 Health System Response Directorate provides operational clinical leadership and advice to New Zealand's COVID-19 programmes of work.

Workstreams include the following:

  • Strategic Operations
  • Response
  • Contact Tracing
  • Border and Managed Isolation
  • Immunisation, Testing and Supply
  • Science and Insights

We are looking for up to 1 Chief Clinical Advisor and 5 Clinical Advisors to join our expert teams.

In these roles, you will work with:

  • National and international technical experts to design and implement health initiatives to manage the national response to COVID-19, ensure that the borders are managed, advise on the most appropriate testing strategies and infection control measures, develop an immunisation strategy for the roll out of a COVID-19 vaccine, interpret and analyse the epidemiological data
  • Multi-disciplinary teams to provide clinical expertise in medicine, public health, primary health care, nursing, quality improvement, Maori health, Pacific health, allied health, DHB clinical care
  • The Ministry's Office of the Chief Clinical Officers (OCCO) and Director of Public Health (DPH) in terms of knowledge sharing and support

The roles:

Chief Clinical Advisor

Management Responsibilities: Direct line management of five Clinical Advisors

Description: collaborate with the DPH and OCCO to provide overall clinical leadership for the COVID-19 response and coordinate the directorate's clinical 'think tank'.

Clinical Advisor Response

Provide specialist clinical advice to the group responsible for operational management and coordination of the overall health response to COVID-19.

Clinical Advisor Contact Tracing

Provide specialist clinical advice to the group responsible for supporting case investigation and close contact tracing to prevent onward transmission of COVID-19.

Clinical Advisor Border and Managed Isolation

Provide specialist clinical advice to the group responsible for managing and coordinating health aspects of MIQ facilities, border operations and travel exemptions.

Clinical Advisor Immunisation, Testing and Supply

Provide specialist clinical advice to the group responsible for planning and implementing the COVID-19 immunisation programme once a vaccine becomes available in New Zealand.

Clinical Advisor Science and Insights

Provide specialist clinical advice to the group responsible for informing work across the directorate with expert technical and scientific advice and evidence-based insights.

The successful applicants will bring a strong equity focus to the roles, and have extensive links within health professional communities, amongst healthcare workers and District Health Boards. We are looking for people with significant experience as a registered health practitioner holding a current Annual Practicing Certificate. Full time or part time positions (from 0.4 FTE) available, based in Wellington or Auckland locations for a fixed term period (up to 24 months). All positions will be rostered to provide clinical coverage seven days a week.

The Ministry of Health is the kaitiaki of the health and disability system in New Zealand. We are the lead Public Health agency on the national COVID-19 response and have established the COVID-19 Health System Response Directorate to provide oversight of all activities contributing to the Ministry's COVID-19 response. Led by the Deputy Chief Executive, the functions work in close collaboration with each other, across the Ministry, health sector, and the wider All of Government response.

You will find a copy of the Position Description attached. Please click 'Apply for this Job' to upload your CV and cover letter.

For further information regarding the role, please contact the Recruitment team at

If you have any accessibility needs you would like to discuss, please call +64 4 816 2478.

Advertising for this role closes at midnight on Friday, 20 November 2020.

We encourage diversity and inclusion at the Ministry of Health and are committed to equal opportunity in all our employment policies and procedures. In particular, we want to ensure accessibility needs are well supported, so the recruitment process is fair and equitable for all. Therefore, please let us know if there is any support, we can provide to ensure the recruitment process is fully accessible to you. You can contact us at if you would like to discuss any accessibility needs you may have.

Advertise your vacancy for $92.00 (incl GST) and we will

  • advertise the vacancy on PHA's social media 
  • post your vacancy on the website until the application closing date

If you have any enquiries or you wish to place an advertisement please send the details of your vacancy to

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  • 16 Nov 2020 12:23 PM | Anonymous

    2020 Public Health Champion Awards

    The Public Health Association is pleased to invite nominations for this year's Public Health Champion Awards.

    Public Health Champion Award

    The purpose of the PHA's Public Health Champion Award is to recognise and profile the outstanding contribution by an individual to public health.

    Tū Rangatira mō te Ora award

    The Award is presented annually to a person or roōpu who demonstrate leadership in hauora Māori.

    Pacific Public Health Champion award

    The purpose of the PHA's Pasifika Public Health Champion Award is to recognise and profile the outstanding contribution by an individual or group to improve the health of Pasifika peoples.

    Important dates for the three awards:

    Nominations open Tuesday 10th November, 2020.

    Nominations close Friday 20th November, 2020 at 5pm.

    Recipients notified by Friday 27th November, 2020.

    Awards announced at the PHANZ AGM 2nd December, 2020

    For more information on the criteria and nomimation form please click here

  • 16 Nov 2020 11:55 AM | Anonymous

    We are pleased to announce that the following nominations received for the vacancies on the PHANZ board are now declared elected as per 11.1 of the PHANZ Election bylaw, and will commence their tenure at the PHANZ AGM Dec 2nd 2020. 

    11.1 If the number of candidates nominated does not exceed the number of vacancies to be filled, the Returning Officer shall declare the candidate or candidates nominated elected.

    Maxine Shortland (President)**Should  proposed remit 1  be ratified at the PHANZ AGM Dec 2nd 2020 then this position will become entrenched in our constitution as a Co-President in Te Tiriti based partnership with the Co-President Māori.  The change would occur at the 2021 AGM with interim arrangements made toward that end by the incoming council.
    Toni Paterson (General Executive)  
    Jalal Mohammed (General Executive) 
    Gail Duncan (General Executive) 

    We welcome our new executives to the team, for bios click here

  • 06 Nov 2020 11:58 AM | Anonymous

    PHANZ nominations for the executive elections are now open. For more information about how you can nominate for the current vacant positions and elections deadlines click here. Please note nominations must come from branches and not individuals

  • 05 Nov 2020 2:47 PM | Anonymous
    PHANZ AGM 2020 will take place on Wednesday 2nd 2020. Find out more details here
  • 05 May 2020 2:39 PM | Anonymous

    Budget 2020 must tackle climate crisis say health organisations

    3 May 2020

    Leading NZ health professional organisations have written to the Government asking them to prioritise Budget 2020 funding for a just transition to a climate-resilient, sustainable and low-emissions economy.

    The letter, led by OraTaiao: NZ Climate & Health Council, was sent to the Minister and Associate Ministers of Finance on Sunday 3 May, and urges the Government to heed health advice that has for many years been warning of the serious health threat posed by the climate crisis.

    Signatories to the letter represent more than 70,000 of the health professionals who have been on the frontline of responding to the pandemic. They include all the major health professional organisations representing nurses, clinical and public health doctors, public health workers and a wide range of other health professionals.

    “Government spending must do triple duty – by equitably supporting economic wellbeing, addressing climate change, and improving people’s health,” said Dr Alex Macmillan, Co-convenor of OraTaiao: NZ Climate & Health Council.

    “An example is investing in transport infrastructure that makes it easy and safe for people to walk, bike and use a wheelchair to get around, which can create jobs, address climate change, increase physical exercise, reduce traffic crashes and lower healthcare costs. Investments in housing, energy and food systems can also create jobs, address climate change, reduce inequalities and bring health savings.”

    “Doing these things fairly means they must be grounded in the Articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, designed in partnership with local communities, and ensure that benefits accrue to the groups currently most harmed by injustice,” says Dr Macmillan.

    “We can’t go back to business-as-usual, because that’s been a disaster for social, economic and environmental wellbeing,” says Dr Macmillan. “Smart investment, on the other hand, can achieve win-win outcomes for people, prosperity and the planet.”

    Quotes from signatory organisations

    “The RACP sees action on climate change as part of our ongoing campaign to Make Health Equity the Norm for everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand – healthy houses, healthy jobs, and healthy tamariki and whānau,”says Dr Jeff Brown, Aotearoa New Zealand President, Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

    “Alison Eddy, Chief Executive of the College of Midwives, recognises the urgent need for the Government to consider the next generation, who midwives welcome into the world every day. There is a fundamental obligation to support intergenerational justice to ensure the environment is safe and protected for our children.”


    Media Spokesperson: Dr. Alexandra Macmillan, Mob. 021 322 625

    Dr Alex Macmillan ( is a Public Health Physician, Associate Professor of Environment and Health at the University of Otago, and Co-Convenor of OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council.

  • 22 Apr 2020 2:44 PM | Anonymous

    Government urged to prioritise access to COVID supplies and vaccine ahead of trade rules

    “Working in cancer, every day I see the suffering and concern caused by unrestricted pharmaceutical pricing.  Because of IP rules, whānau are being charged a King’s ransom for medicines that will help keep their loved ones alive.  

    Now there is the chance this will be repeated across the whole of society, as corporations seek to profit from tests and treatments for COVID-19”, warns Dr George Laking, a medical oncologist from Whakatohea speaking on behalf of Doctors for Healthy Trade.

    As countries search for a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, New Zealand needs to ensure access to affordable supplies from offshore, without being held to ransom by pharmaceutical companies or waiting in a long queue behind countries with more influence or deeper pockets.

    Two open letters, signed by international and national organisations, have been sent to the Minister of Health and Minister of Trade this week urging them to address concerns that the World Trade Organization’s intellectual property rules could prevent New Zealand’s ability to secure affordable access to medical supplies, especially vaccines and potential medicines to treat COVID-19 that are currently being developed.

    One letter was addressed to a small group of countries, including New Zealand, who pledged back in 2003 not to use flexibilities in the WTO agreement on intellectual property that would allow them to import medicines made under compulsory licences in another country, even in a medical emergency.

    “It is totally irrational for New Zealand to keep its own hands tied, as it prepares to meet the COVID-19 needs of its population, by voluntarily shutting itself off from patented ingredients, components, and essential medical products and supplies”, says Prudence Stone, CEO of the Public Health Association of New Zealand, who co-signed the letter with Sarah Dalton, the Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

    “New Zealand needs to notify the WTO that it will now import medicines made under compulsory licence elsewhere”

    The second letter, signed by nearly 300 international organisations including Médicins sans Frontières Access Campaign, Public Services International and Oxfam International, as well as the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, Doctors for Healthy Trade, the Public Health Association, the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, called on WTO Members to stop trying to negotiate new agreements by the Internet, in which developing countries could not effectively take part:

    “The first and only priority for trade negotiators at this time should be to remove all obstacles, including intellectual property rules, in existing agreements that hinder timely and affordable access to medical supplies, such as lifesaving medicines, devices, diagnostics and vaccines, and the ability of governments to take whatever steps are necessary to address this crisis. …

    We call on WTO Members to ensure that all countries have the flexibilities to set aside trade rules that constrain their ability to resolve the pandemic crisis, without fear of repercussions, and to cease other negotiations and activities that divert their energy and resources from that goal.”

    The signatories called for a fundamental rethink of the kind of trade rules that encourage such monopolies and put people’s lives at risk in every country of the world.


    Dr George Laking 0221248262

    Prudence Stone 0272898987

    Jane Kelsey 021765055 (for WTO information)

  • 17 Apr 2020 10:22 AM | Anonymous

    Public Health Association defends government’s approach to COVID-19


    The Public Health Association supports the public health leadership demonstrated by New Zealand’s government in its pandemic response to COVID-19. Many more people would have died without this rapid evidence-based operation.

    CEO Dr Prudence Stone says many PHA members expressed their disappointment to her this week that a few members of the academic community were publicly questioning New Zealand’s response to COVID-19.

    “The aim for our government is to ensure that New Zealand does not see the kinds of scenes we see playing out every day on our TV screens: the chaos, confusion and utter despair in European cities and now the United States” Dr Stone said.

    “When we don’t see these same results here, we shouldn’t jump to a conclusion that COVID-19 in Aotearoa is, as Simon Thornley says, ‘not the disaster we feared’. It would have been without the government action. We averted it through preventative policy. That’s public health in action.”

    Members of the Public Health Association are mindful, however, that New Zealand’s Health & Disability System, as well as its Welfare System, were under review as New Zealand went into lockdown. The Health & Disability System Review panel looked at evidence showing health outcomes were inequitable in New Zealand by race, mental health, sexuality and disability. The Welfare Expert Advisory Group saw evidence that New Zealanders seeking income support were not being treated with dignity by our welfare system.

    “In a pandemic, this inequity of health outcomes and poor service to New Zealanders needing income support will only be amplified,” Dr Stone said, “unless we take action on addressing these inequalities with the same public health approach by our leaders.”

    Dr Stone said the Public Health experts among the PHA’s membership acknowledged that elimination of the COVID-19 virus may not be possible globally, unless and until a vaccine is discovered and distributed everywhere. Elimination within New Zealand should however be  possible before any global end-point, provided that the present level of public health action is maintained and combined with effective longterm border protections.

    “On both fronts, national and global, the public health approach is necessary to not only prevent the disease spreading, but eliminate it one day altogether,” said Dr Stone. “New Zealand must ensure it can import a vaccine, if and when one is developed, with an equitable distribution programme to implement its supply here in Aotearoa. If there are roadblocks to either, government should clear them now. That’s more public health action to come that is clearly necessary.”

    The Public Health Association’s Asian Caucus Chair Dr Lifeng Zhou hopes the public remains assured of the measures being taken by government and follows the appropriate code of the Alert Level government makes official throughout this pandemic. New Zealand’s approach is being heralded internationally as a best case scenario and example of the Public Health framework being applied by decision makers.

    “We all need to draw on our common humanity and be explicit about our values. Recognising this will help us make good decisions in difficult situations so that, for example, the need to impose restrictive measures and to protect ourselves does not conflict with fairness, respect, and neighbourliness” Dr Lifeng Zhou said.

    Contacts for Media:

    Dr Prudence Stone, CEO 027 2898987

    Dr Lifeng Zhou, Asian Caucus Chair


  • 07 Apr 2020 1:07 PM | Anonymous

    Francis Kewene is a Māori Caucus representative on PHA's Executive Council.

    As a former Māori health promoter, a Health Protection Officer, and now a Hauora Māori Professional Practice fellow in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at the University of Otago, I felt a responsibility and obligation to volunteer to help with contact tracing for coronavirus.
    Over a week ago I received an email inviting me to a training session at our local Public Health Unit. The tension as I arrived in the building was palpable. I arrived in a large board room already filled with familiar and unfamiliar faces. Everyone was sitting side by side, less than a metre from each other, which under the circumstances surprised me, and on one wall there was a screen filled with people in a number of different sites on Zoom.
    The person leading the session launched straight into how we would conduct the contact tracing, the survey we needed to run through, and the resources we would need to support this work. I could feel the tension rising in my body. I could feel my brain spin as I felt a silent scream build: “Where is the whakawhanaungatanga? Where is the humanity of introductions? This is not my normal. This is not my normal!”
    Then I could no longer hold the scream when I was told we would need to apologise before we asked the ethnicity question in the survey as “this question often makes people uncomfortable”. I was shocked. Enough apologising.
    “Enough!” I raised my voice in a room of people who did not know me and whom I did not know.
    “And by the way, if we are going to be working together, if we are to support one another, let’s connect first. We should have had a moment at the start of this sessions to introduce ourselves to one another.”
    Silence. The training recommenced.
    Each and everyone of us is doing our bit during these challenging times. Everyone is doing their best, but we know that doing our best must not be to the exclusion of Māori and our Māori normal. Our normal has changed, but we can still stay connected, we can still support, and find strength through our whakapapa.
    My name is Francis Kewene, I am a small piece of paua in the eye socket of my tupuna carved on the wall of our wharenui. I am a mama, a sister, a cousin, and aunt. I am a worker, I am part of a team, I am part of a community trying to do what we can.
    We as members of the Public Health Association choose to be here because we believe in the power of the collective. I reach out to you all, and ask members, particularly the Māori members of the PHA to raise our collective voice. Share what is happening in your communities with one another through this pānui. Through our email links we can support each other with our skills, expertise and aroha.

    Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā National Māori Pandemic Group

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