Kei waku nui, kei waku rahi, kei waku whakatamarahi ki te rangi. Kei ngā kai whakaniko i te reo tūpuna, kei ngā kai tuitui i ngā maunga kōrero.

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As we draw the curtain on another gregorian calendar year, it's with immense pride that we reflect on the collective strides we've made in reshaping the system landscape to foster improved health outcomes in our hapori. This journey of systems change has been one guided by whanaungatanga, where our roots delve deep into the soil of resilience, innovation, and shared vision.

We hope that our commitment to challenging the status quo has sparked ripple effects that resonate far beyond the confines of our mahi. Together, we've sown seeds of change, nurturing a garden of possibilities where better health outcomes flourish as the new norm.

Wishing each of you a rejuvenating summer break filled with warmth, fresh fish, and moments of connection. Take time to replenish your wairua, for we return with renewed energy and determination to continue our journey together.

Patua ki te rangi, takahia te whenua.

Ngā manaakitanga,

Kath Keremete, Healthy Families Far North Manager.

Read a summary of some of the best bits of 2023 for us this year! 


Tāmokohia te whenua: How pūrākau is inspiring new ways to play in our kura

Māui, the demi-god and hercules of the South Pacific, is one of the best known ancestors throughout Aotearoa. In most pūrākau he is depicted as cheeky and unconventional, but he’s also intelligent and inquisitive; an agent of change who has a willingness to take risks and explore the unimaginable.

Sport Northland and Healthy Families Far North are taking a united approach with local kura to adopt the curious and inventive traits of Māui, by exploring new ways to increase physical activity that put our tamariki at the centre of decisions that enhance the spaces they play in.

Read more: https://healthyfamiliesfarnorth.org.nz/our-stories/better-together-how-purakau-is-inspiring-new-ways-to-play-in-our-kura/


Exploring a Healthy Environments Approach to Waitangi Day

Aotearoa should be a place where everyone can access affordable, healthy kai. Where food supply is sustainable and resilient and provides and prioritises nutritious and culturally appropriate food for everyone.

With crowds of up to 30,000 expected to visit Waitangi in February every year and more than 150 market stalls on display at this year’s Waitangi Day celebrations, the Waitangi National Trust alongside Healthy Families Far North wanted to explore how we might better champion clear health and wellbeing initiatives by taking a Healthy Environment Approach, to enable and promote active, healthy and flourishing communities.

Read more: https://healthyfamiliesfarnorth.org.nz/our-stories/exploring-a-healthy-environments-approach-to-waitangi-day/


Community voice shapes new food and wellness hub in Whangaroa

Whangaroa Health Services (WHST) have opened the doors to a new food and wellness hub in Kāeo.

Te Ara Pae Ora, The Pathway to Healthy Futures, aims to build a food secure and resilient Whangaroa, with hopes to improve hauora and oranga across the rohe.

Community voice helped shape the re-furbished building, after Covid-19 raised many questions around food systems – crisis or no crisis – meeting the needs of small rural communities.

Read more: https://healthyfamiliesfarnorth.org.nz/our-stories/community-voice-shapes-new-food-and-wellness-hub-in-whangaroa/


Rangatahi design homegrown initiatives to support mental health and wellbeing in Te Hiku

Rangatahi are taking the lead when it comes to supporting mental health and wellbeing in their rohe, working together to design homegrown initiatives that work for them. 

The 12-strong group comprises of people aged between 16 and 24 from the Taikorihi area, extending from north Hokianga across to Mangonui, and north to Te Rerenga Wairua.

The working group will go through an intensive design sprint, to create two prototype initiatives that support rangatahi mental health and wellbeing in the Taikorihi Locality.

Read more: https://healthyfamiliesfarnorth.org.nz/our-stories/rangatahi-design-homegrown-initiatives-to-support-mental-health-and-wellbeing-in-te-hiku/


How Puanga Matariki celebrations are restoring traditional practices for hauora

Imagine an Aotearoa where mātauranga Māori was our first source of rongoā when it comes to hauora – understanding that our indigenous systems are prevention solutions for greater health and wellbeing.

All New Zealanders came together to celebrate the Māori new year, to take directions from the stars, and to connect with the traditions of a people who know how to prioritise te taiao for the health and wellbeing of their whānau.

Tohunga Māori, Papa Rereata Makiha, guided Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa through a pure – a ceremony to remove tapu. He reminded us that while we had come together in recognition of the new year, these ceremonies can be practiced when required to ensure our taha wairua, taha hinengaro, taha tinana, taha whānau and taha whenua are well.

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQFDzwkfUR8


Bridging the gap: Enabling mokopuna decisions in Te Tai Tokerau

Every year, those in decision making roles are making multi-million dollar decisions – decisions that impact and shape the future of our tamariki and mokopuna. But how often are they included in the decision making?

Healthy Families Far North have been working alongside the Far North District Council (FNDC), Waka Kotahi and the Northland Transportation Alliance (NTA), to collapse the distance between decision makers and those most affected by the proposed changes of the Kerikeri Transport Choices Project; allowing rangatahi to take the lead in designing locally-led solutions for their rohe.

Read more: https://healthyfamiliesfarnorth.org.nz/our-stories/bridging-the-gap-bringing-rangatahi-into-decision-making-for-our-mokopuna/


Ngā Raumaharatanga: Exploring new ways to whakamana whānau voice

Over the last few months Healthy Families Far North been involved in supporting the development of the mid-north locality, engaging with whānau in our hapori to find out what's important to them when it comes to our health system.

Gathering whānau voice is a step that is often missed, and it is humbling to be welcomed into the lives of people from all walks of life – this got the team thinking about how they might acknowledge the kōrero heard across the rohe. Working alongside local artist Marita Hewitt, the team reflected on the mahi captured, transforming whānau voice into tāonga to gift back.

“All whānau contribution into this space has been highly valued and we believe reciprocation should be given for their contribution. This acknowledgment is part of forming good relationships and is an important part of tikanga Māori.”

Watch here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jor7ro7_1yA&t=3s