Health indicators are low in most Pacific countries. Modern legal infrastructure to support a modern approach to prevention of disease and health promotion is important. Emerging infectious diseases, advances in research and changes in thinking about human rights have meant that legislating in public health has shifted from the approach in the mid 20th Century when most Pacific public health laws were drafted. This paper describes a project to develop a model public health law for the Pacific. Collaboration between researchers, a regional donor, regional organizations, and the ministries and departments of health of 14 countries will create a model public health law for the Pacific, including options for a regional approach. The resource will then be made available to individual Pacific countries and to a region, which will decide individually and collectively how that resource is used.