No one could have predicted the events that have defined 2020. The impact of COVID-19 on our people, mahi and how we think about and approach our work together will be long lasting.

The Healthy Families Hutt Valley Strategic Leadership Group reflected on their highlights and learnings from 2020. The resounding insights from across our leaders and the Healthy Families Hutt Valley team was that when we have strong relationships, and are focused on a shared purpose, anything is possible.

True partnerships in action

COVID-19 galvanised existing relationships and created new and unexpected partnerships. In Te Awa Kairangi the partnership of Kōkiri Marae Health and Social Services with Common Unity Aotearoa is  a great example of leadership and collective impact in our rohe. Kōkiri Marae created a new Pataka Kai in Wainuiomata in response to the growing need for kai across our communities. Common Unity Aotearoa partnered to provide fresh produce from their urban farms, expertise in creating healthy and heartwarming kai, and sustainability by sharing their experience in urban farming. The result has been the development of a new 65m x 6m maara kai. Healthy Families Hutt Valley are supporting this initiative and are working with the Pataka Kai leaders to build waiora into the kaupapa.

Raising community voice when it is needed most

Healthy Families Hutt Valley has been on a journey to build our capability in effectively capturing and elevating the voice of our people. Our skills were put to the test during 2020 with the urgent need for decision makers to have timely access to community insights. COVID-19 related insight reports covering play, the food system and active transport were quickly produced and shared along with our longer term insight reports for the food environment in Taitā and Pomare and Wainuiomata. Kai Experiences in Te Awa Kairangi pulls together insights from before and during COVID-19 and complements the evaluation report From Food Parcels to Food Resilience that Healthy Families Hutt Valley completed on behalf of Hutt City Council. This work provides the strong foundation for moving forward with our communities to build a food system that makes good food a reality for all of our people.

Co-designing spaces with communities

Opportunities from COVID-19 meant new funding pools were created by central government to enable communities and local government to respond and recover. Healthy Families Hutt Valley are proud to be a partner in Auaha Evolving Spaces, an initiative to co-design spaces with communities that was kick-started with funding from the Innovating Streets for People pilot fund from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. Lower Hutt had two projects funded, a new temporary pathway along Knights Road connecting key public and active transport infrastructure to the Lower Hutt CBD and a project to create more space for people in the popular shopping and dining destination of Jackson Street Petone. Working with community partners and Hutt City Council’s transport team has ensured the wellbeing of our people is at the centre of design decisions.  

2020 has also been a year of learnings for us as a workforce and within our prevention system. Our resilience and wellbeing has been tested throughout this challenging year. We now have a responsibility to take these learnings and new ways of working forward and ensure the health and wellbeing of our people is at the centre of our focus and decision making.