Research Projects



Currentright arrow Completedright arrow


Currentright arrow Completedright arrow


Currentright arrow Completedright arrow

Healthy Families NZ Evaluation

This project is led by: Dr Anna Matheson, Senior Lecturer in Health Policy, School of Health, Wellington Faculty of Health, Victoria University

Healthy Families NZ is a large-scale initiative that brings community leadership together in a united effort for better health. It aims to improve people’s health where they live, learn, work and play by taking a dynamic systems approach to preventing chronic disease. This involves working with early childhood education, schools, workplaces, food outlets, sports clubs, marae, businesses, places of worship, local governments, health professionals and more to create healthier environments.  The initiative is in 10 locations in areas with predominantly higher than New Zealand rates of risk factors for preventable chronic diseases or high levels of deprivation.


The Healthy Families NZ evaluation has 3 phases. Phase 1 and 2 were completed in late 2017 and mid-2019 respectively.  Phase 3 is in progress. At the heart of the evaluation is a case-comparison study approach. The diagram below describes the different aspects of the evaluation. 


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Matheson A, Walton M, Gray R, Lindberg K, Shanthakumar M, Fyfe C, Wehipeihana N, Borman B. Evaluating a community-based public health intervention using a complex systems approach. Journal of Public Health, 2018; 40(3): 606-613. link icon
Matheson A, Walton M, Gray R, Lindberg K, Shanthakumar M, Wehipeihana N. (2018) . Summative Evaluation Report: Healthy Families NZ. Massey University Evaluation Team. Ministry of Health. Wellington. link icon

December 2019


  • Dr Anna Matheson
  • Victoria University of Wellington, NZ
  • Nan Wehipeihana
  • ESR, Health Services Research Centre, Wellington , NZ


  • Ministry of Health