Healthy Families NZ is a large-scale initiative that brings together community leadership in a united effort for better health in the places we live, learn, work and play.  These environments include our neighbourhoods, schools and workplaces, our sports clubs, places of worship and local marae.  

Healthy Families NZ is in ten locations across Aotearoa where these communities experience higher than average rates of preventable chronic diseases and the risk factors associated with those diseases.  For Healthy Families South Auckland, we focus on the Manukau, Manurewa and Papakura areas which covers a population of 275,000 people. 

Many of our South Auckland whānau are impacted by the rise of preventable chronic diseases. Healthy Families South Auckland provides an opportunity to look at the underlying causes of poor health and wellbeing. We look at the different systems and environments which influence our behaviour towards being healthy and well as a community.   Most of our work is not focused in the health system, but on the broader determinants of health and wellbeing.   This means that working alongside leaders, community champions and other organisations is critical. We work across sectors and at all levels to ensure that system changes are sustainable and well-coordinated.

The risk factors Healthy Families South Auckland is focused on are:











Improving Māori health and enabling Māori leadership is an integral part of the Healthy Families NZ approach.  For Healthy Families South Auckland, we have also prioritised increasing equity for the Pacific population, South Asian population and children and young people.

Healthy Families South Auckland is delivered by The Cause Collective and Auckland Council’s, The Southern Initiative. Together, we have a common goal that all South Aucklanders enjoy good health and wellbeing, enabled by cultural, social and physical environments.

Our Approach

Our approach is about understanding the environments that affect our community’s health and wellbeing.
We work with our community partners and stakeholders to design and coordinate actions for systems change that could make a
big difference in reducing the risk factors for chronic disease and in increasing equity.

Some of our intiatives include:

Workplace Wellbeing Ecology

WalknRide Southside

Wai Water Southside

Food Systems

Early Years Initiatives

One Love Backyard Gardens



Alcohol Systems

Paths-Equitable walking and cycling investment for South Auckland


Our Principle

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Implementation at scale
Strategies are delivered at a scale that impacts the health and wellbeing of a large number of the population, in the places where they spend their time – in schools, workplaces and communities.

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Strengthening the prevention system requires constant reflection, learning and adaption to ensure strategies are timely, relevant and sustainable.

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Collaboration for collective impact
Long term commitment is required by multiple partners, from different sectors, at multiple levels, to generate greater collective impact on the health of all New Zealanders.

Knowledge is co-created and interventions co-produced, supported by a shared measurement system, mutually reinforcing activities, ongoing communication and a ‘backbone’ support organisation.

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Small scale experiments provide insight into the most effective interventions to address chronic disease. These experiments are underpinned by evidence and experience, and are monitored and designed to then be amplified across the system, if they prove effective.

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Equity of outcome
Health equity is the attainment of the highest level of health for all people.

Healthy Families NZ will have an explicit focus on improving Māori health and reducing inequalities for groups at increased risk of chronic diseases. Māori participation at all levels of the planning and implementation of Healthy Families NZ is critical.

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Leadership is supported at all levels of the prevention effort including senior managers, elected officials, and health champions in our schools, businesses, workplaces, marae, sporting clubs and other settings in the community.

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The line of sight provides a transparent view on how investment in policy is translated into measured impacts in communities, ensuring best value from every dollar spent on prevention.