2019 will be a pivotal year for ANA with a new Executive Director and several new Executive Board members working works towards achieving the ANA vision: Everyone in Aotearoa, can and does eat well and leads an active life.
Below key stakeholders share their aspirations for what they would like to see achieved in public health nutrition and physical activity in 2019. By embracing the opportunities to work within and between sectors we can collectively build capacity and capability to solve complex challenges and reduce inequities.
I look forward to connecting with you in 2019 and wish you a healthy and happy 2019.
Alison Pask, Health Promotion Manager, ANA
In 2019 I’m hoping to see the 135,000 children and their whānau living in poverty in New Zealand able to access healthy food and to enjoy an active lifestyle in safe, uplifting environments. To achieve this whānau, need warm, dry places to live and money left over after paying their bills with which they can buy good food which will be readily available at an affordable price in all local communities. Children will be protected from unhealthy food beverage marketing that makes junk food irresistible.City and district councils will be investing in the health of all of their constituents through investments in beautification of public spaces, even in low income neighbourhoods, and creation of safe and attractive routes for active transport. Let’s do this New Zealand.
Dr Lisa Te Morenga, Senior Lecturer Māori Health & Nutrition, Pūkenga matua School of Health, Te Kura Tātai Hauora, Victoria University of Wellington
We envision New Zealand cities and towns transforming into healthy and active places where walking and cycling are preferred modes of transport among all residents and streets are filled with people rather than cars. At school commute time, we hope to see more children and adolescents using walking, cycling, skateboarding and/or riding a non-motorised scooter to and from school and less cars stopped and parked at school gates. We hope Aotearoa will embrace the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030 with a vision for ‘more active people for a healthier world’. Aotearoa needs to continue supporting efforts to connect stakeholders across multiple sectors including government, health, sports, academia, transport, urban design, private sector and communities to work together on creating a healthier and more sustainable future.
Associate Professor Sandy Mandic, Active Living Laboratory, University of Otago
I am looking forward to seeing the Government’s strategy on reducing child poverty take shape, as actions to reduce child poverty will be hugely beneficial to the health and wellbeing of New Zealander’s. It is important that the health perspective is reflected in the Government’s poverty reduction strategies and annual measures. A change to the obesity plan to improve the environments in which we live in needed. Obesity is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer after tobacco, and children living in the most deprived neighbourhoods are 2.5 times more likely to be obese than those living in the least deprived. In particular I hope to see Government-led healthier food reformulation, and regulations to restrict marketing of unhealthy commodities to tamariki and rangatahi.
Sophie Carty, Health Promotion & Advocacy Manager, The Cancer Society of New Zealand – Otago and Southland Division Inc.
In an ideal Aotearoa in 2019, everyone would have the means, knowledge and access to step out their door into a clean, safe environment which supports their cultural, physical, mental and social wellbeing.
For some, that currently is the reality. However, high levels of inequity are a challenge to us all to work even harder towards addressing the determinants of health. We face many complex issues. Small, isolated activities are unlikely to be of lasting impact and may even increase inequity. In 2019, let’s aspire to:
- step out of issue-based silos and work effectively with one another and with other sectors
- be clear what success looks like but open to understanding and aligning with others’ agendas and timeframes, and
- demonstrate a commitment to genuine collaboration.
Here’s hoping that, in a year’s time, we can show that we have made a difference!
Sara Knowles, Senior Public Health Advisor, Taranaki DHB & Registered Dietitian
We aspire to a 2019 where there will be action to understand and respond to the needs of babies’ mother and whanau. Most families want to breastfeed their infants however we are yet to provide enough support to make this a reality. Activity to create a Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the Health Coalition Aotearoa are promising. NZBA will use these forums and the relaunch of the NZ Baby Friendly documents to play its role in taking care of our precious children.
Jane Cartwright and the Team at The New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance (NZBA)
Imagine if all our students arrived at schools with breakfast in their stomachs ready to learn for the day, plus good fuel in their bags to keep them going until home time. Imagine if all students that came into our classrooms could set a table, use a knife and fork correctly and understand etiquette/ table manners. Imagine if the nutrition messages about healthy living and eating were practised outside our classroom doors by all of the students, our teaching colleagues, sports coaches and managers, and parents/caregivers with of course an occasional treat! Then, our job as Home Economics teachers would be so much easier and more fulfilling as we could unpack more of the curriculum and teach what the Ministry of Education asked of Home Economics teachers in 2007 when the current curriculum was published. Students would be able to, through the context of food and nutrition, evaluate current issues and theories of nutrition, identify and reflect on factors that influence peoples choices and behaviours and use this knowledge to make informed life decisions that contribute to Haoura/ Well-being.
Nicola Potts, HETTANZ Home Economics Kaiārahi