Mangere College students explore ways to make water the first choice

Water is the best and healthiest drinking option, water is also a taonga we value. Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura is working across our community to position water as the first choice beverage option. To achieve this, the goal is to increase the number of water promoting environments in areas we live, learn, work and play.

Students and staff at Mangere College have spent the past 8 weeks developing their plan to become a water promoting environment. While Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura is leading the co-design process, analysing insights and facilitating the design approach, it is the college’s students leading the movement.

Having explored their views on water quality and accessibility, the students have also participated in workshops around the cultural and health values of water. Fundraising efforts have begun for school water-bottles, aiding in the attractiveness of water consumption and, students are developing a maintenance strategy for existing water fountains, to ensure that the water fountains are clean and allow for water to be more easily available.

This student-directed approach has a positive effect in influencing the behaviours of the main users of this learning space while also building capacity and involving young people in decisions that affect them. Students are taking newfound knowledge and experience back and sharing with their families, cementing sustainable change. At the completion of the prototype, Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura will share the case study with other schools in the region to grow the movement at scale.

If you are interested in creating a water-promoting environment in your learning facility, please email Andy Piutau:[email protected]