Health Promoter Kaiwhakatairanga Hauora

Health promoters work with communities and groups to develop ways to improve people’s health. They also work with government agencies to improve environmental conditions.

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Health promoters may do some or all of the following:

  • develop policies, strategies and programmes for improving health
  • work with other agencies to co-ordinate health promotion programmes
  • work alongside schools and community groups to identify health issues and solutions
  • manage health promotion programmes
  • advocate and lobby for health promotion causes
  • establish networks in the community
  • develop promotional and educational material for publication.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for health promoters includes:

  • work in health
  • teaching
  • work with government agencies, charities or community groups
  • involvement in community health promotion activities.

As many health promoters work in a specific area of health, such as helping people to stop smoking, or with a particular sector of the community, such as children, experience in these areas or with these groups is useful.

Personal Qualities

Health promoters need to be:

  • excellent communicators
  • good at planning
  • outgoing and confident, with an interest in health improvement
  • able to work with a wide range of people from different cultures and backgrounds
  • able to motivate others.


Health promoters need to have:

  • an understanding of different cultural approaches to health
  • knowledge of the health system and political environment
  • knowledge of the Treaty of Waitangi and the Ottawa Charter of Health (used in New Zealand for planning public health)
  • project management skills
  • evaluation skills, for assessing how effective their programmes are
  • facilitation and negotiation skills.



Health promoters:

  • usually work regular business hours, but have to work evenings and weekends to attend community meetings or events
  • work from offices but also in the community at places like schools, rest homes and marae.

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a health promoter. However, health education, biology, chemistry, te reo Māori, home economics (food and nutrition), and social studies are useful. 

Health Promoters can earn around $58K-$86K per year.

Health promoters working for Te Whatu Ora Health NZ (former DHBs)

  • Qualified health promoters usually earn $58,000 to $86,000 a year.
  • Senior health promoters who supervise staff can earn $87,000 to $119,000.

Sources: Auckland Region District Health Boards/PSA, ‘Allied, Public Health, Scientific & Technical Multi Employer Collective Agreement, expires 30 June 2023’, 2022; and District Health Boards/PSA, ‘Allied, Public Health, Scientific & Technical Multi Employer Collective Agreement, expires 30 June 2023’, 2022.

Health promoters may progress to work in managerial positions.

They may also specialise in working with certain groups such as:

  • Māori
  • Pasifika
  • Asian people
  • migrants
  • children
  • men
  • elderly people.

They may also specialise in educating people about topics such as:

  • family violence
  • alcohol and tobacco use
  • mental health
  • healthy housing
  • community development.

Years Of Training

1-3 years of training usually required.

There are no specific entry requirements to become a health promoter. However, employers often prefer you to have a health promotion qualification such as a New Zealand Certificate in Public Health and Health Promotion (Level 5).

A certificate, diploma or degree in a related area can also be useful. Related subject areas include:

  • social sciences
  • education
  • public health
  • health sciences
  • nursing.

It is also useful to have experience in a related field such as:

  • child health
  • youth work
  • community housing
  • nutrition.

Some health promoters learn skills on the job while studying toward a relevant qualification.

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children. 

Health Promoter