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Healthy Families Far North are part of Healthy Families New Zealand, a large-scale initiative bringing together community leadership in a united effort for better health. With a focus on 10 locations across the country, Healthy Families New Zealand has the potential to impact the lives of many New Zealanders. 

The challenge 

Healthy Families locations across New Zealand are tasked with the challenge of driving innovation to create health promoting environments in the places we spend our time; from schools and workplaces, to sports places, marae and other community settings.

In order to rise to that challenge, individuals and teams across the 10 locations are exploring new methods and mindsets - among themselves, and their communities. 

We began working with Healthy Families Far North in early 2016 in response to their request to gain further depth and confidence in the use of social innovation and systems change methods.

What are we doing? 

We held a series of in-depth training sessions with the Healthy Families Far North team, and community partners. These sessions developed understanding and practical skills in social innovation (process and mindsets), co-design, the discovery process, behaviour, and systems change. We paired this with remote coaching, so that the team could apply their knowledge in context. 

We're currently working alongside the Healthy Families Far North team to explore the food system in Kaikohe. Healthy Families Far North and community partners are leading the work, with our support on process and practice. We're currently in the discovery phase, learning how the wellness of people living in Kaikohe can be supported through an improved food system. In particular, for those who experience the most disparity when it comes to accessing healthy and nutritious food. 

Shortly, the Healthy Families Far North team and community partners will move into idea generation based on what they're learning about the current (and potential) food system.

If you're interested in taking part in the work, or contributing your knowledge of food systems, please contact Kelly Ann at 

We created 

A social innovation and systems change curriculum (including online resources)


Our impact 

Through strengthening the practice of the Healthy Families Far North team, we are supporting them to increase the scale and depth of their impact on the health and wellness of people and whānau living in the Far North.