The Health of the People

The Health of the People

‘My hope and expectation that the Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry would waken us from our national slumber has not been realised.’

In August 2016, 40 per cent of the residents of Havelock North were struck down by a serious bacterial infection. Eminent medical researcher David Skegg argues that the outbreak highlights weaknesses in our country’s health infrastructure – weaknesses already evident in problems ranging from child nutrition to cancer. New Zealand, Skegg explains, must invest more in public health and find the political will needed to oppose the forces that damage health. Personal health care is important, but we neglect public health at our peril.

What are BWB Texts?

BWB Texts are short books on big subjects by great New Zealand writers. Spanning contemporary issues, history and memoir, new BWB Texts are released regularly, and the series now amounts to well over fifty works.

All recently published BWB Texts can be purchased in print and digital formats using the ‘Buy’ or ‘Preorder’ buttons on this page. You can also subscribe to the series – a great gift idea! Find more information about subscription offers here.

For guidance on these purchase options please visit our Sales FAQs page or email us.

Print publication:
Ebook publication: May 2019
Pages: 144
RRP: $14.99
ISBN: 9781988545585
DOI: 10.7810/9781988545585

Search inside


'Up to no good', Bruce Munro, Otago Daily Times, 19 August 2019.

'Public vs private health interests', Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand, 25(3) p.41, April 2019.

'Urgency Called on Water Reform', Water Journal, Issue 209 pp.32-33, May/June 2019.

'Public health priorities?', Barbara Brookes, Corpus NZ, 6 May 2019.

'Health crisis - What will it take to break through?', Boyd Swinburn, NZ Herald, 3 May 2019.

'NZ’s deadly public health battle', Newsroom, 16 April 2019.

'Public health body’s shameful demise', New Zealand Doctor, 4 April 2019.

'Another e-coli outbreak' (audio, 9'11''), The Panel, Radio New Zealand, 10 April 2019.

'NZ moving 'fatally slow' to combat bowel cancer - Sir David Skegg', Newshub Nation, 30 March 2019.

'Time to re-examine Ministry of Health’s function', Otago Daily Times, 27 March 2019.

'Skegg contributes to discussion on NZ's lack of asbestos management plans', Stuff, 17 March 2019.

'Book reveals tobacco industry leagued with boozemakers to kill New Zealand's Public Health Commission', Stuff, 17 March 2019.

'Sir David Skegg: national leadership on public health needed', Radio New Zealand, 6 March 2019.

'Poor leadership to blame for declining public health', Radio New Zealand, 5 March 2019.