THIS year has seen some amazing leadership in healthy change across the Whanganui Rangitīkei Ruapehu District with examples from schools, kohanga reo, workplaces, sports clubs and marae sharing their stories to inspire and encourage others to consider the health and wellbeing of our community as part of their core business.

We've also seen the beginnings of a shift in culture that has the potential to create long-term change in relation to the access and consumption of water as opposed to sugar-sweetened beverages, beginning with the water-only schools movement which has since created opportunities for water-only events and discussions in relation to increasing the availability of drinking water in our parks, recreation spaces and facilities.

The Whanganui District Council is working on the Smokefree Bylaw, the Local Alcohol Policy and the Alcohol Control Bylaw, with opportunities for all of us to have a say on the impact they have on our community.

The latest developments in relation to the shared pathway signify opportunities for us as a community to look more closely at active transport and the potential outcomes in relation to this for the health and well-being of our families.


Conversations have also begun in relation to the redistribution of excess food, with a number of organisations across our community currently doing great work to meet the needs of our most vulnerable families.

The opportunity for a collective approach to looking at how food that is currently being wasted can reach those in need is something that could have a huge impact.

The number of organisations from multiple sectors that are actively working together to create healthy change signify the potential for wide reach across our community and the opportunities from this are numerous.

Health is everyone's business. And we all have a role to play in contributing to the health and wellbeing of our future generations. Creating healthy change that benefits us all is easier when we all contribute.

■ If you are interested in ways to make healthy change in your life, check out the Healthy Families Whanganui Rangitikei Ruapehu website and join the movement to create a culture where the healthy choice is the easy choice where we live, learn, work and play.