Minister launches Healthy Families East Cape - Friday 17 April 2015 - Press Release

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has today launched Healthy Families East Cape at Te Poho o Rawiri Marae in Gisborne.

Healthy Families NZ is about encouraging people to live healthier lives by making good food choices, being physically active, moderating alcohol consumption and being smoke-free, says Dr Coleman.

The programme challenges communities to think differently about how to address the underlying causes of poor health at a local level.

The East Cape is the first community to launch the initiative. $2.7 million is being invested into Healthy Families East Cape over four years. Lead provider Te Whare Hauora o te Aitanga Hauiti has established the Horouta Whânaunga Collective - a partnership of eight local iwi.

Today’s launch of Healthy Families East Cape highlights how local iwi have come together to improve people’s health. We want to see this type of approach adopted by communities across the country, says Dr Coleman.

In Budget 2014 the Government invested $40 million over four years to establish ten Healthy Families NZ communities which will cover the highest risk population.

Dedicated local health prevention teams will work with local leaders to create healthy changes where people spend their time – in schools, workplaces, marae, sports clubs and other community settings.

Healthy Families NZ is based on the world-leading Healthy Together Victoria initiative which is achieving large scale reach across the Victorian population.

The programme will also be launched later this year in Invercargill, Far North, Lower Hutt, Rotorua, Whanganui, Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura, Spreydon-Heathcote, and Waitakere.