News & Events

Stay safe and stay informed during Get Ready Week

25 September 2017

Get Ready Week will be held from Monday 9th to Sunday 16th October 2017.

Emergencies can happen anywhere, any time, and without warning. Make sure you and the people you care about are ready to get through by knowing the different ways to stay informed:

  • which radio stations to listen to,
  • which website to visit or social media to follow,
  • getting to know your neighbours; and
  • checking if you can receive Emergency Mobile Alerts.

In an emergency: Stay safe. Stay informed.

Stay informed with a radio

A radio (solar, battery powered or in your car) can help you keep up to date with the latest news if the power goes out. Tune into one of these stations in an emergency:

  • Radio New Zealand;
  • The Hits;
  • NewstalkZB;
  • MoreFM; or
  • Radio Live.

Stay informed by going online

Check your local council’s website for situation updates, as well as your regional Civil Defence Emergency Management website and social media.

Stay safe by knowing your neighbours

There’s strength in numbers. You can work with your neighbours in an emergency – to make sure everyone will get through.

Neighbourhood Support Groups bring local people together to create safe, supportive and connected communities.

Stay informed through Emergency Mobile Alerts – coming soon

Emergency Mobile Alerts will be a new way of receiving information about emergencies in your area. Emergency Mobile Alerts can be sent to your mobile if your life, health or property is in danger – without needing to sign up or download an app. Emergency Mobile Alerts are expected to be available by the end of 2017.

Nature is key during Mental Health Awareness Week

11 September 2017

Mental Health Awareness Week will be held from Monday 9th to Sunday 16th October 2017.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2017: Naure is key.The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 is Nature is Key: Unlock your wellbeing. There are simple things we can all do that will make a huge difference to the mental health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders. Research has shown that spending time in nature is great for mental and physical health. Spending time in nature:

  • makes us feel happier and more optimistic.
  • restores us when we’re feeling run-down.
  • reduces stress.
  • improves concentration.
  • improves life satisfaction.

This year the Mental Health Foundation encourages Kiwis from all walks of life to stop thinking of nature as something locked away in national parks and forests but as the daisies in the berm, the tree outside the window and the vast, beautiful sky above. Here are some suggestions…

Connect with nature

  • Go barefoot and feel the grass or sand beneath your feet.
  • Cloud gaze. Notice the shapes and how quickly the sky moves around you.
  • Walk in nature with a friend.
  • Bird watching.
  • Take a photo or find a nature photo online and make it your computer background.
  • Organise a picnic for your class, workmates or family in a local park.

Give back to nature

Take notice and be mindful of the natural environment

  • Watch the night sky. Learn what phase the moon is in and the stars and constellations you can see.
  • Go somewhere you have been meaning to visit in your local area
  • Explore a square of earth in the garden with a magnifying glass
  • Go for a bush walk and take your time as you take photographs
  • Create a photo diary of a favourite place, plant, animal or tree
  • Make a sundial and learn how to use it to tell time.

Keep learning and discovering about nature

  • Learn about the plants in your backyard and if any are edible or can used for medicinal purpose
  • Take a trip to the zoo and find about the animals and their habitats
  • Try to identify the different animals and plants you can see or hear when on a bush walk.
  • Do a handy backyard treasure hunt.
  • Create a worm farm in your backyard.
  • Volunteer for a nature-related charity to learn new skills.

Be active in nature

  • Climb your local mountain/maunga or swim in your local river/awa or sea/moana
  • Go for walk as a family after dinner or on the weekend. Take turns choosing the route or where to go.
  • Start a walking school bus for kids in your area
  • Design a treasure hunt or fun challenges to get to a mystery natural location for your friends, family or workmates.

Get more information about Mental Health Awareness Week, including how to order resources.

Source: Mental Health Awareness Week website.

Stand up for yourself during Sit Less September

4 August 2017

Sitting for prolonged periods is bad for your health no matter how fit you are! Sitting is the new smoking: The more you sit, the poorer your health.

All-day movement is just as important for maintaining good health as traditional exercise sessions and can contribute to fitness and suppleness. When you sit all day:

  • your hip flexors and hamstrings shorten and tighten; and
  • the muscles that support your spine can weaken and stiffen.



Sit Less September Competition: Share your actions or ideas

What have you done in your workplace to stand up, sit less and move more?

Email your actions and ideas to Ann Vanschevensteen at Community and Public Health during September to go in the draw to win a spot prize for your workplace(ann.vanschevensteen[at]

Sit Less September: Tell us what you doing to sit less and be in to win.


Tips to reduce sitting time at work

  • have standing or walking meetings/hui;
  • eat your lunch away from your desk;
  • go for a walk during your breaks or at lunchtime;
  • do some computer and desk exercises;
  • switch between working seated and standing;
  • stand up while on the phone, or walk around when on your cell phone;
  • walk to a co-worker’s desk instead of emailing or phoning;
  • stand at the side or back of the room during presentations;
  • park your car a little further away from work so that you get more opportunity to walk; and
  • consult your health and physical advisor about how to best to increase your physical activity, if you have impaired mobility or use a wheelchair.
Page last updated: 23/02/2016

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