Healthy Families NZ

System Change


New Zealand has a high incidence of chronic preventable diseases, including obesity. There are large differences in the prevalence of these diseases across ethnic groups and a greater proportion are from the most deprived areas.  Healthy Families NZ is a government initiative targeting 10 locations across the country intended to impact the lives of over a million New Zealanders.  The 10 locations are focused on making systems change to address these complex problems by changing the environments in which people live, learn, work and play.


Catapult was engaged by the Ministry of Health to design and deliver multiple forums across the country to create systems change and develop strategic leaders capable of leading systems change. Interventions included the design and delivery of national hui including the whole workforce of 100 people; facilitating strategic sessions with community leaders from across multiple agencies (e.g. DOC, Health, Education, Councils) to activate their spheres of influence; and programmes to develop leaders.


Significant health system changes including:

  • Organisations adopting health promoting policies
  • Communities introducing water only policies
  • Councils changing guidelines for events to become health promoting
  • Iwi groups adopting wellbeing approaches.

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