Healthy Christchurch turns 10

Tuesday December 6, 2011

Ten years of working together to improve and promote the health of Cantabrians was celebrated at a Healthy Christchurch hui today.

Healthy Christchurch is a group of close to 200 organisations committed to working together to promote, protect and improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Christchurch.

Healthy Christchurch champion and Canterbury District Health Board chief executive David Meates said at the hui that Healthy Christchurch was formed to recognise that a wide range of factors influence health, which are largely outside the control of the traditional health sector.

“Where people live, learn, work and play has an enormous impact whether they stay well in the first place. For Christchurch to be a healthy city we need to have communities where people feel connected, where people have access to healthy food and affordable housing, and where they can take part in physical and cultural activities,” David Meates said.

“Healthy Christchurch’s key strength is that it brings together such a wide range of stakeholders, including government agencies, church groups, and social service providers. All these groups have an important role to play in creating a healthy city.”

Healthy Christchurch champions are community leaders committed to using their position and mana to advance the health and wellbeing of Cantabrians.

Healthy Christchurch’s newest champion, CERA CEO Roger Sutton, spoke at the hui.  Other champions who participated at the hui included Partnership Health Independent Chair Andrew Hornblow, Environment Canterbury Commissioner Rex Williams, and Pegasus Health Director Dr Martin Seers.

Andrew Hornblow said the rebuild represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to
to build a healthy, vibrant city.

“Having someone of Roger’s stature become a champion will help ensure the health needs of our city are considered every step of the way,” Andrew Hornblow said.

Roger Sutton said CERA’s work was a natural fit with the goals of Healthy Christchurch.

“CERA is committed to creating an attractive, prosperous and liveable city, and this means putting people and their health at the centre of what we do.  We have a great opportunity to design and plan a city that promotes physical activity and healthy lifestyles, and Healthy Christchurch has an important role to play in informing our work,” Roger Sutton said.

Healthy Christchurch’s latest work, the Christchurch City Health Profile, was launched at the hui. The profile provides an in-depth look into the wider environmental influences on health in Christchurch, and was based around the responses of almost 700 individuals and community groups.

David Meates said the consultation for the City Health Profile occurred prior to the Christchurch earthquakes, making it a powerful snapshot of what Cantabrians value and what they want to see more of in the rebuild.

The profile survey showed Cantabrians appreciated Christchurch’s clean drinking water and public libraries. Respondents wanted more cycle paths, community gardens, cheaper pool entry and public transport. There were also calls for greater regulations around alcohol availability and for rivers and lakes to be cleaned up for everyone to enjoy.

The profile will also be used to inform the development of a City Health and Wellbeing Plan.

Some of Health Christchurch’s key achievements over its first 10 years are highly regarded workshops and training including:

  • Treaty of Waitangi workshops and the Healthy Cities Short Course

  • Resources such as Simple Tips for those who experience mental illness and the One Stop Shock for recovery,

  • Removing silos and increasing co-operation between sectors for example the Poverty Hui and the Housing Project,

  • Leading an intersectoral approach to reducing alcohol harm,

  • Analysing the Urban Development Strategy in regards to its impact on the health and wellbeing of the community, and wellbeing and resilience projects following September’s earthquake.

For more information on Healthy Christchurch and the City Health Profile, go to www.healthychristchurch.org.nz

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Page last reviewed: 12 February 2014
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