Meri Kirihimete!

If you could sum up 2021 in a single word, what would it be? This is something we’ve been reflecting on as 2021 comes to a close and we look back to all the highs, lows, learnings and experiences we have had this year.

If you’d asked us in January, our word might have been “potential” for all the opportunities to change the way we live in our new COVID context. In September it could have been “resilience” for all the personal, organisational and community resilience we’ve needed to contend with the continuous change and challenges this year has brought.

Now the year is almost done and the word that springs to mind is “optimistic”. While this year has certainly brought challenges and has tested all our abilities to pivot and adapt, it has also been a year where transformational systems change has gained momentum.

The locality approach, which underpins Healthy Families NZ’s kaupapa, is being embraced across different sectors and taking a holistic view is now far more common than ever before. From our position of being funded by the Ministry of Health and led locally by Local Government we see the potential that whole system reforms could have for the wellbeing of our people.

Our capability and mātauranga has grown through working alongside the amazing leaders and champions in our communities. We are so grateful to have shared stories, experiences and perspectives with each other. We’ve also invested time and energy into our practice so that the work we do together is impactful and benefits the people of Te Awa Kairangi.

One of the great things about the Healthy Families Hutt Valley kaupapa is that we try to celebrate progressive wins. Systems change can be hard, long and unrelenting and it feels like 2021 was a bit like that too. The team have pulled together this quick video which captures our progressive wins and highlights from 2021.

We are optimistic that the collective hard yards that have been put in this year, plus the hard yards that are yet to come, will result in our neighbourhoods, communities, cities and Aotearoa actively contributing to the equity and wellbeing of our people.

In the meantime, we wish you very happy holidays and a safe and restful break with your friends and whānau.

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, ēngari he toa takitini
My strength is not that of an individual but that of the collective.