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Building the Healthy Families NZ movement, kanohi ki te kanohi

At the end of April, close to 70 kaimahi from the eleven Healthy Families NZ locations, and the National Team (Te Whatu Ora), were invited to Tūrangawaewae Marae in Ngāruawāhia to connect kanohi ki te kanohi and build our movement, develop our capabilities individually and collectively, whakawhanaungatanga, and, of course, share kōrero and kai.

It has been almost two years since we came together as a collective given disruptions due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns – the last hui was held in August 2021 in Christchurch, hosted by our Healthy Families Ōtautahi team at Te Puna Wānaka, within Ara Institute of Canterbury.

This year our newest location, Healthy Families Te Ngira, hosted the hui, titled ‘Healthy Families NZ – Now and Beyond’, at the prestigious Tūrangawaewae Marae. It was an absolute honour for us to be able to use this sacred, special place for our hui.

Day Two was the big day of growth and development for our kaimahi - following a fishbowl exercise to discuss questions and issues in both the Kai and Matauranga Māori spaces, a series of “unconferences” were held with fifteen quick-fire topics up for discussion, debate, and shared learning. Topics were set on the day to reflect Healthy Families NZ’s current situation and included: what does rapid innovation look like (and how to do it), how to integrate Matauranga Māori into Built Environments, how can we use Communications to better tell our story, and how to use the Evaluation Report to further enhance our mahi.

Finally, our Communities of Practice met up to discuss this year, and beyond – and, how to future proof the Healthy Families NZ way of working - systems change, innovation, leadership and partnership. The day was rounded off with presentations from each location team on the mahi they are doing in their respective communities.

Mel Turner, Healthy Families NZ Lead, says Healthy Families NZ demonstrates a true community up approach to health and wellbeing. “Our approach proves that if we give voice to communities and value lived experience, we can work together to achieve a collective impact that allows communities to thrive”.

A core objective of the initiative is building an innovative, wairua-centred workforce, grounded in mātauranga Māori. Healthy Families NZ kaimahi are innovative, agile, highly skilled in shifting mindsets, influencing local policy, connecting different partners and communities, and facilitating effective collaboration practice”.

All our locations headed back home after the hui inspired, enriched and ready to keep creating change in the places where communities live, learn, work and play this year – and beyond.


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