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Paving the way for active travel across Aotearoa

No matter where we live or our circumstances, everyone – children, families, elderly, and disabled people, should be able to move easily around our cities and neighbourhoods. We all have different lives and needs – getting children to school, people getting to work on time, and older people getting around their community. Having good public transport, protected cycleways, and walking paths help us open up our cities in ways which support everyone’s health and wellbeing.

We know that people who are more active in their daily lives are happier and healthier, which reduces the risk of preventable chronic disease. Healthy Families NZ want to see that being a reality for everyone in Aotearoa. Our Healthy Families NZ location teams are committed to supporting local people to bring about the changes they’d like to see to enable active travel in local neighbourhoods across Aotearoa.

A collective approach by Kōkiri Marae, Big Street Bikers and Healthy Families Hutt Valley with local whānau from Wainuiomata, are testing a new way to address travel equity with the HIKO Pilot Project. The project involves lending out 25 e-bikes to whānau to support the uptake of e-bike use for shorter, active journeys.

The e-bike scheme trials a new way to support whānau to be more active, more often with a holistic intervention to reduce transport costs, open up transport opportunities, increase physical activity and reduce driving. By sharing the learnings, insights and local impact, we can elevate the voice of our communities to influence change at a national level that will benefit all of Aotearoa.

Healthy Families Invercargill is working closely with local council, local people, road safety and recreation organisations on a range of initiatives designed to help make active travel more accessible for everyone.

Partners are planning to purchase a portable pump track which can be transported around Southland, enabling more people to discover the joy of cycling and scooting and testing the impact that more investment into pump tracks across the region would have. The team are also working with three local schools on active travel planning and exploring ways to encourage more students and whānau to walk, cycle or scoot to and from school.

Te Arawa stories is a new initiative from Healthy Families Rotorua, in partnership with the Rotorua Lakes Council, designed to get more people walking and biking on the city’s shared footpaths and roads.

The kaupapa takes participants on a guided tour through the city while listening to Te Arawa pūrākau (stories of origin), providing a unique opportunity learn about the local environment whilst taking part in physical activity.

By taking a collective approach to active travel, we walk alongside our local Councils, community champions and organisations to create opportunities which support people to be active, healthy and well. The continued commitment to active travel related projects that reimagine streets to be more people-friendly, and initiatives to address transport equity, we can collectively achieve sustainable mobility and pave the way for active travel across Aotearoa.


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