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$680,000 healthy start for Taranaki families

Hon Tony Ryall
Minister of Health
Hon Jo Goodhew
Associate Minister of Health

12 July 2013 Media Statement
Healthy Families NZ: $680,000 healthy start for Taranaki families

The Government is investing $680,000 to encourage Taranaki Mums to eat and exercise well during and after pregnancy, giving their babies a healthy start.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says “recent international research evidence and advice from Professor Sir Peter Gluckman suggests that preconditions for overweight and obesity are set very early.

“That’s why the Government is focusing on improving women’s health in pregnancy and the postnatal period by promoting healthy eating and physical activity – and good nutrition for their infants and toddlers.”

Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew says the $680,000 will extend the Taranaki Mama and Pepe Hauora Programme which promotes healthy eating and exercise for pregnant mothers, breastfeeding for their babies, and exercise and healthy eating for their pre-schoolers.

“The extra funding will employ five organisers to focus on women with high needs in five communities. They’ll run at least one new initiative to boost maternal and child physical activity and nutrition in each community,” Mrs Goodhew says.

The communities are New Plymouth North including Waitara, New Plymouth West including Moturoa, Marfell and Spotswood, Stratford and surrounds including Inglewood, Coastal including Opunake and South Taranaki including Hawera and Patea.

Mrs Goodhew says the service will be led by Tui Ora Ltd on behalf of the Te Kawau Maro Alliance in collaboration with, and building on the work of a range of local providers, including Sport Taranaki, Plunket, Taranaki District Health Board Public Health Unit, Maternity and Paediatric Services, and the Heart Foundation

Mr Ryall says “This is one in a series of investments in Healthy Families NZ the Government is making to help families around the country give their children a healthy start.

Funding for the new initiative is from within the Ministry of Health’s existing budget. The $680,000 announced is initially over two years and the project will be fully evaluated for potential further roll out.

“The Government is committed to New Zealand children getting the best possible start in life and projects like this will be a great help to families,” Mr Ryall says.

“This initiative will support work being done by a whole range of organisations to help mums and families make positive nutrition choices for their children,” Mrs Goodhew says.


ENDS

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