Step up for life with Healthy Steps

Healthy Futures has some exciting news to share! Following on from the success of the Kaukau100 initiative by local mum and Healthy Futures volunteer, Toni Shanks, we are proud to introduce you to Healthy Steps.

Healthy Steps is our fifth and latest initiative supporting children, families, and their whanau to provide solutions that make healthy choices easier.

Healthy Steps supports communities to be active and exercise together through a shared goal. By providing the tools needed to start up a group or put people in touch with an existing group, we hope it will be easier for families to keep active.

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Healthy Steps is fun, free and open to everyone.

Feeling nervous about starting a new activity? Healthy Steps enables you to set your own goals, exercise at your own pace, and meet people in your community to support and keep active with you.

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Connecting through Facebook means it’s accessible and convenient to stay in touch with others in the group. Feel like walking at 6am? Post a message on Facebook and see who wants to join you. Can’t make 6am, then consider taking the family after school or on the weekend. Healthy Steps offers you the convenience of working around your schedule.

Try something different. Why not organise a group Onesie walk? Or plan an afternoon picnic, an Easter egg hunt, or a dawn walk followed by a shared breakfast - the options are endless.


 Whatever you choose, Healthy Steps creates a wonderful sense of belonging in your community while motivating you and your family to achieve your exercise goal.

 So come on, what are you waiting for?

 Jump online now and start or join a Healthy Steps group in your neighbourhood. Simply follow this link


Neon Night Walk 3 – Fundraising and your support


Thank you to our supporters participating in the Neon Night Walk/Run 4 Good, who are out in their communities over the next month fundraising for the night time challenge -  walking or running up Colonial Knob on October 27th. #glow4good

Healthy Futures vision is a community where children are thriving, free from preventable health issues. Your efforts will help us to make a positive difference to the health of children in the greater Wellington region through our Garden to Table Schools Programme and our Wai Water initiative

Garden to Table teaches children how to grow and cook their own food – setting them up for a lifetime of healthy food choices.

Just $15 buys pantry supplies for a week,

$150 fills a whole term for one school!

The Wai Water Mission is to reinstate wai as the drink choice for New Zealanders, with the Wai Water Programme providing positive solution based approaches supporting schools to become water-only and enabling communities with the Healthy Futures Waterkit.

Need some tips to kickstart your fundraising?

Let your friends and family know that you are challenging yourself to the Neon Night Walk/Run 4 Good by sharing the fundraising link on your social media pages, personalise your post with a photo or explain why you are passionate about the event and raising funds for Healthy Futures.


Share your training updates, and remind people about the effort that you are putting in!  “Just back from my first 10k walk – wow those legs know about it!  Thanks everyone for the encouragement!”  Plus, a little thumbs up from our friends is always nice too.

Thank people publicly for their sponsorship.  Just like you might like the encouragement, a little recognition and positivity goes a long way.

Videos, pictures and funny stories from your adventures are always entertaining!  You don’t need fancy equipment; your phone will do just fine.  And don’t forget to tag @HealthyFuturesNZ on Facebook, @Healthy.Futures on Instagram, and use the hashtag #Glow4Good.

Ask to be included on your company, sports or social club newsletter, or share into your Facebook and Meet up or Neighbourly groups – spread the word and get people to join you.

You can also share some great stories to show the impact that your support makes to Healthy Futures:

- Success with healthy food policy in a Wellington School!

 - Wonderful feedback from a Garden to Table school

Thank you for your support – and we look forward to seeing you out there!



Miranda's Story

“I want to try and do something to prevent children from falling into the same traps of modern living that is causing so many of their parents’ generation to develop serious lifelong health problems.” 

Miranda is a Diabetes Nurse at Wellington Hospital and is committed to spreading some simple messages that can have a huge impact on long-term quality of life.

Simple, quick and affordable exercise with Move it Mama!

We all know we need some physical activity, but do you struggle to fit in exercise because it is just too hard to find the time? Or you simply cannot afford to buy trainers, let alone join a gym? We’ve found something that may help you to increase your physical activity and improve your wellbeing - it’s simple, quick and affordable.

"Kaukau 100" Spurs on the community to get moving!

Teacher Toni Shanks set herself a personal physical challenge that’s grown into a broad community movement, at the same time as raising money for Healthy Futures.

The #Kaukau100 involves climbing to the site of Wellington’s main television transmitter - what Wellington City Council describes as the most visible high point in the Wellington landscape.

Toni aims to climb Mt Kaukau 100 times in 2018, each time donating $1 to Healthy Futures.  For any family member she manages to drag up there with her, she’s donating an extra dollar.


“Like all New Year’s resolutions, I knew life would get in the way”, she said.  “I thought to give it purpose I would give to a Charitable Trust.  Healthy Futures is a perfect fit”.

“The idea matched some of its objectives.  It’s getting out, it’s being active, it’s promoting a healthy lifestyle.  So I thought I’d give $1 every time I did it, but that didn’t seem like a lot of money, so I hoped I could get another four people or so, so it would be $500 and I thought, that would be nice and good for the Trust”.

Toni created a Kaukau100 2018 group on Facebook. 

By mid-February there were more than 70 people in the group which has now increased to 87 so has grown in awareness and size.   "I’ve done 35 climbs and loving it"! 

She hopes all will donate to Healthy Futures.

“For a goal you need to tell somebody and write it down in order to do it and Facebook makes you accountable”, she said.

It’s called #Kaukau100 because that was Toni’s goal but she says it’s been great to see people set their own objectives.  Some are doing #Kaukau75, #Kaukau50 or #Kaukau20.

“50 is obviously once a week, which is a good goal.  Whether it’s 50 times or 20 times, each time it’s another dollar for a good cause”, she said.

Last year Toni ran a “Kids Kaukau Challenge” as a fundraiser for Khandallah School.

“I was up the hill a lot, doing health and safety.  I loved the hill, I loved the way it made me feel”, she said.

“I am a goal setter.  My drivers for my own family are that I’m trying to promote an active, healthy lifestyle and eat healthily. My children aren’t naturally athletic, so it’s a push to get them involved sports-wise.”

“Even if the kids aren’t doing it, they’re seeing their parents doing it.  It’s role modelling”, she said.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, except for one friend who posted “number two, want to spew”, Toni laughed.

“They climb the hill, they feel healthy and they hopefully then go and make healthy choices in the kitchen.”


“People are inspired by everyone’s photography.  They’re getting addicted, I’d even say obsessed.” 



“I’d like to start a photography competition and might approach businesses for prizes and incentives”, she said.


It was just an idea which has been embraced and now driven by a great community  of people. It is so lovely seeing people connecting and re-connecting because of this challenge. I think it is helping to build a resilient healthy engaged community and it's having such a positive healthy flow on effect to families and friends.

One walker told her the whole family had scaled the hill in the rain, something they wouldn’t have done had it not been for the challenge.

Families are spending time together.  Toni’s even heard of people having ‘dates’ up there.

Some are walking, some are running, others are doing it by bike.

Now that she’s created a social media movement and has something of a captive audience, Toni’s hoping that same group could be involved in things like a fundraising movie night.

She’s already thinking of organising a Kids Winter Onesie walk, with a reward at the top. 

We’d like to see if this might be started in other communities, too, like at Colonial Knob in Porirua; in Tauranga climbing Mt Maunganui; or at Te Mata Peak in Hawke’s Bay.

Toni wants healthy competition, but doesn’t want anyone to get demoralised by seeing the achievements of others.

But with winter approaching she knows it’s going to get harder.  “I’m stockpiling while I can!”.

To join the challenge, search for the Kaukau 100 page on Facebook and ask to join, or contact  Donations to Healthy Futures can be made via our Givealittle page.



“Any activity is good activity”,
she said.


Regional Survey Supports National Initiative for 'Water Only' Schools in NZ!

Results from a survey of greater Wellington schools reveals 28% of schools with a ‘water-only’ policy compared to the 10% of schools reported by the Ministry of Education. The survey also identified schools that wanted support, and lessons were shared that may be useful to schools implementing, planning or considering a ‘water-only’ policy. Making schools ‘water-only’ could be a first step in changing our children's environment to prevent obesity. Small steps but encouraging reading. Read more.

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Local students take action over fizzy drinks

We LOVE IT when young people are out there promoting healthy choices to their own communities…the message is so much stronger. That’s why we were excited to hear from Lauren Davies and students from the Year 10 Social Action stream at Onslow College who were talking about taking some fairly radical action at their school to try and rid the canteen of fizzy drinks.

Hear from Lauren about what motivated them and what they got up to here…

Bring free drinking water stations to Porirua City!

Healthy Futures are presenting a submission asking Porirua City Council to install water fountains with bottle refilling stations and we need your help.

Water stations are a simple and positive tool in local council’s toolkits that can help address health issues such as dental care and preventable diseases such as type 2 diabetes in children.

Porirua's children have high rates of tooth decay as this article highlights.