Healthy Families NZ is a large-scale initiative that is a key part in helping New Zealanders live healthy, active lives.
There are 10 Healthy Families NZ locations around New Zealand. Together, they have the potential to impact the lives of over a million New Zealanders. The initiative aims to improve people’s health where they live, learn, work and play by creating health promoting environments across communities that enable people to make good food choices, be physically active, smoke free and free from alcohol-related harm.
It is uniting local leadership and supporting communities to think differently about the underlying causes of poor health and to make changes in our early childhood education settings, schools, workplaces, food outlets, sports clubs, marae, businesses, places of worship, local governments, and more to create healthier environments for all.
In 2015 the Ministry of Health contracted an evaluation of Healthy Families NZ to Massey University to follow the progress of Healthy Families NZ’s innovative dynamic systems approach to preventing chronic disease.
This Healthy Families NZ Interim Evaluation report shows that the initiative has been established with integrity to its intention and purpose and is a promising approach to prevention of chronic disease. The report also identifies enabling and supporting Māori leadership as an integral part of the Healthy Families NZ approach and one of eight emerging themes and lessons that are addressed in the report.
A supplementary report provides findings from analyses of the New Zealand Health Survey (NZHS) and the B4 School Check, comparing each Healthy Families NZ location with the overall NZ population.
The evaluation has two purposes. The first is to support the 10 Healthy Families NZ locations to evaluate, learn from, and continuously adapt their approaches (developmental evaluation). The second purpose is to understand how Healthy Families NZ has been implemented locally and whether it is contributing to the prevention of chronic disease (national evaluation).