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Celebrating 10 years of community health partnership with local councils

Wednesday, December 6, 2023   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: health in all policies, collaboration, Report
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Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury has marked a significant milestone in partnership with local councils, celebrating 10 years of Joint Work Plans with Environment Canterbury and Christchurch City Council.

People’s health is not only impacted by the healthcare system. It’s also created by the world around us - such as the air we breathe, the quality of our environments, and our access to community resources.

Recognising the importance of addressing these issues, Te Whatu Ora Waitaha joined with local government to take coordinated action, aligned with a Health in All Policies approach.

Although the organisations had worked together for many years, formal Joint Work Plans (JWPs) were set up with Environment Canterbury in 2012 and with Christchurch City Council in 2014. The work is managed through an online portal designed and managed by staff at Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health.

Team Leader Policy, Te Mana Ora, Chantal Lauzon says the JWPs allow for collaborative work across areas including promoting healthy environments, strengthening communities, and improving connectivity and accessibility.

“Successful projects have included equitable support for home heating solutions leading to improved air-quality, smoke-free policies, encouraging healthier commutes, and exploring the health impacts of climate change.

“Working in this intentional way across operational, management and governance levels has made for stronger relationships across the organisations and led to a more collaborative approach to our shared areas of work.

“Our efforts have also been strengthened by developing a better understanding of the determinants of health and the Health in All Policies approach.”

Public Health Physician Anna Stevenson says prior evaluations have shown the plans have had a considerable influence on the ways the organisations work, ensuring that health and wellbeing is embedded into ways of working.

“The 10-year celebration presentations from CCC and Environment Canterbury highlighted numerous examples of successful projects between the three partners.”

These projects on their own are significant but the real value of the JWPs lies in the strong relationships that enable staff to better manage sometimes competing priorities and resources. “This is a world -leading example of Health in All Policies activity,” she says.

Contact Chantal Lauzon for more information about the Joint Work Plans (chantal.lauzon[at]

Read more about 10 years of the Joint Work Plans [PDF].

Find out more about Health in All Policies and intersectoral work by the team at Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health.

Shared success stories from Joint Work Plans

Here are some examples of joint work over the past decade as our agencies work together to support the health of our communities and the environment.

The Fresh Air Project

The Fresh Air Project was created through a partnership between Christchurch City Council (CCC), the Cancer Society, and the then Canterbury District Health Board (now Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury) to support hospitality venues to go smokefree and vape-free in their outdoor dining areas, creating healthier environments for customers and staff.

A voluntary smokefree outdoor dining pilot was launched in 2016, involving 20 hospitality venues in Ōtautahi and Selwyn. The project was supported with advice, resources, and marketing. The pilot was a success, with positive feedback from customers, and 18 venues opting to remain smokefree after the trial period. The collaboration between partners was also a victory, paving the way for more participating venues across Ōtautahi and Waitaha.

Joining against alcohol-related harm

The Christchurch Alcohol Action Plan (CAAP) builds on the strong partnerships and collaborative mahi to reduce alcohol harm in the city. Launched in 2017, the CAAP has fostered a shared vision, enabling partner organisations and the community to collaborate and address alcohol-related harm throughout Ōtautahi. This plan was a three-way partnership between CCC, NZ Police and Health.

Encouraging healthier commutes

The success of the Healthy Commute programme at Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury elies heavily on collaboration. CCC provides personalised journey planning while ECan offers incentives for using public transport. The programme's objective is to enable staff to adopt new, eco-friendly commuting habits such as walking, cycling, scooting, or taking the bus – all of which promote good health for people and the planet.