Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Hutt City in good health

Hutt City community leaders have welcomed an evaluation report which shows how the Healthy Families Hutt Valley kaupapa is contributing to improved local health and wellbeing outcomes.

In the eight years the initiative has been running across the country, Hutt Valley has shown the most improvement in health and wellbeing, based on the New Zealand Health Survey and B4 School Check data.

The report says across all Healthy Families NZ locations improvements tended to be seen in child health, particularly in body size and immunisations, along with tobacco use in adults. Aspects of health and wellbeing that tended to show deterioration were mental health, cardiovascular-related indicators, and an unmet need for primary health care. Changes in physical activity and oral health varied across the Healthy Families NZ location areas.

Healthy Families Hutt Valley is part of the Healthy Families NZ initiative, which has a vision to create a healthier Aotearoa by addressing the systems and environments that impact health and wellbeing. The approach is community-led, systems-focused and grounded in mātauranga Māori.

The local initiative is led by Hutt City Council. Council Chief Executive, Jo Miller says she’s pleased with the results of the Healthy Families NZ Summative Evaluation Report 2022.

“We know that in healthy environments children learn better, workplaces are more productive, people are happier and healthier, and communities thrive. This community-led approach recognises that communities are best placed to understand and prioritise their own health and wellbeing,” said Ms Miller.

She said that over time many Councils were adopting the tools and methods used by Healthy Families NZ, in particular shifting power to communities and enabling them to assert more ownership, voice and influence on issues that affect them.

The Report says the role of community voice, leadership, priority setting, and solution generation have been especially evident.

The Summative Evaluation Report was commissioned by Te Whatu Ora and led by Te Kura Tātai Hauora, School of Health at Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington. The Report is available on the Healthy Families NZ website www.healthyfamiliesnz.org/publications

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