Charter Background

Who is involved in Healthy Christchurch?

Healthy Christchurch is an intersectoral initiative that is based on the idea that all sectors and groups have a role to play in creating a healthy city, whether their specific focus is recreation, employment, youth, environmental enhancement, transport or any other aspect of city life.

Healthy Christchurch was initiated and sponsored by large organisations operating within the city. In order to foster genuine collaboration and inclusiveness, groups and agencies were approached and invited to become involved in shaping the Healthy Christchurch initiative from the earliest phase. Over 150 groups and organisations expressed an interest in joining together to work for a healthy city.

Go to the A-Z of Healthy Christchurch signatories.

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Development of the Healthy Christchurch Charter

The draft Healthy Christchurch Charter was developed through a series of workshops and hui. The draft was circulated widely for comments and was subsequently amended slightly. It is a starting point for developing our relationship, based on shared values and mutual respect.

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Signing up to the Healthy Christchurch Charter

Any group, organisation, network or business with a commitment to the health and wellbeing of Christchurch people can be involved in Healthy Christchurch.

The Charter does not create any legal relationship between signatories but sets out signatories' mutual intentions to work together for a Healthy Christchurch.

Healthy Christchurch recognises that each signatory has a defined mandate, whether it be statutory or otherwise, with respect to its own responsibilities and has a range of activities that it may continue to do independently. The charter applies to those activities where signatories agree they can achieve better outcomes by working together.

It's not too late to sign the Charter. Contact Healthy Christchurch if you want to know more.

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What signatories can contribute to Healthy Christchurch

Signatories will contribute to Healthy Christchurch according to their means and agree to meet every 6 months to address issues of mutual concern, develop priorities and plan cross-sectoral and inter-agency strategies. Signatories will offer what they can towards Healthy Christchurch and groups can contribute differently. For instance they can contribute staff time, equipment, money, or offer their expertise and experience.

The groups who initially signed the Charter wrote the first action plan and outlined the priorities and practical projects for Healthy Christchurch in 2002.

A series of workshops brainstormed and prioritised collaborative projects to be carried out under the Healthy Christchurch banner. Healthy Christchurch involves biannual forums for all signatories, a number of largely self-managing project groups, focus groups on specific issues and occasional speaker meetings and debates. Signatory groups may be involved in all or any of these according to their interests and time commitments. There will be a small coordinating group to ensure that information is available to all signatories and to undertake any employment responsibilities the Initiative may have.

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The outcomes of Healthy Christchurch

Healthy Christchurch has become a major vehicle for enabling cooperation between agencies to improve health and wellbeing across population groups. Signatory forums provide a useful means of consultation, training and debate. Signatories prioritise a variety of collaborative projects which promote wellbeing, whether these focus on environmental, economic or social aspects of life in Christchurch.

Many successful projects have been completed since the official Healthy Christchurch launch in February 2002, including researching what constitutes a genuine 'living' wage for local workers and encouraging its implementation; including in Christmas food parcels to 800 disadvantaged children and their families toothbrushes and fluoridated toothpaste as part of a wider programme being planned to address the complex issues which make tooth decay a real problem for many Christchurch families; and compiling a comprehensive health information directory for schools. Early in 2005, Healthy Christchurch sponsored a consultation forum around Community Outcomes as the forerunner to the Long Term Council Community Plan for Christchurch which will be revised later in the year.

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The relationship between the Ottawa Charter and Te Tiriti O Waitangi

The attendees at the Charter development workshops and hui stressed the fundamental importance of two documents to the Healthy Christchurch porcess: the Treaty of Waitangi and the Ottawa Charter. Many groups already structure their work in response to these documents and felt any local document should reflect this.

Healthy Cities and the Ottawa Charter

Healthy Cities is a World Health Organisation initiative, launched in 1986, that attempts to address broad community issues and has been the major platform for addressing urban health in World Health Organisation's "Health for All" policy.

Healthy Cities is based on principles identified in the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion 1986, which include:

  • Health is a social rather than purely a health sector matter;
  • Many factors influence our health, from individual characteristics, to health services, to social, economic and environmental factors.
  • Health is the responsibility of all city services;
  • Health is an outcome of collaboration between community members, planners and providers of public and private sector services

The Ottawa Charter identifies the following prerequisites for health: peace, shelter, education, food, income, a stable eco-system, sustainable resources, social justice and equity and identifies five key action strategies to promote health: build healthy public policy; create supportive environments; strengthen community action; develop personal skills; re-orient health services.

Te Tiriti O Waitangi

Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the founding document of Aotearoa - New Zealand and central to health promotion in this country. The provisions of the Treaty drawn from the three articles are:

  1. Kawanatanga - closest English word is governance
  2. Tino rangatiratanga - Māori control and self determination
  3. Oritetanga - Equality

The Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand has facilitated the development of the TUHA-NZ Memorandum (A Treaty Understanding of Hauora in Aotearoa-New Zealand). TUHA-NZ was developed to give a practical understanding about how the Treaty of Waitangi can be applied in a meaningful and practical way by health promoters in Aotearoa - New Zealand.

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The Future of Healthy Christchurch

The future direction and activities of Healthy Christchurch are determined by the groups that have signed the Charter. To be successful, they need to be shaped by everybody.

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Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch