Waka Toa Ora: networking to enhance health

Waka Toa Ora is a network of organisations active and interested in the health and wellbeing of the Canterbury region. The network is led by the Canterbury DHB and is based on the World Health Organisation’s Healthy Cities model. The network was established in 2001 as Healthy Christchurch.

The initiative recognises that all sectors and groups contribute to a health Canterbury – whatever their focus. The network has over 200 signatory organisations. Waka Toa Ora helps enhance their efforts through networking, sharing information and collaboration.

The aims of Waka Toa Ora are to:

  • Forge a common vision for a healthy region.
  • Foster healthy relationships between diverse agencies and sectors, from ‘grassroots’ groups to government agencies.
  • Enable flexible, collaborative and prompt responses to emergent health issues.
  • Ensure all policy incorporates a health perspective.

The key groups within Waka Toa Ora

The signatories are organisations that have signed the Waka Toa Ora Charter, agreeing to work together to promote, protect and improve the health and wellbeing of people and whenua/land in Canterbury.

You can join the Waka Toa Ora network by becoming a signatory organisation:

The members of the Advisory Group are drawn from the health, local government and NGO sectors, and local iwi. The group facilitates events that provide forums for engagement and collaborative action.  The advisory group also supports the Healthy Communities workstream of the Greater Christchurch Partnership.

The Waka Toa Ora Support Team is based at Community and Public Health. The team coordinates meetings of the Advisory Group; responds to enquiries; manages and maintains the signatory database and website; produces the weekly email newsletter; and coordinates signatory-led lunchtime seminars as well as the annual hui.

How Waka Toa Ora supports the signatories and the community

The Waka Toa Ora website provides an information portal for news, events and opportunities of interest to signatory organisations and the community. Waka Toa Ora seminars and consultation events are regularly posted along with items from the community. Anyone can contribute items to be promoted on the website for free – these are moderated by Wak Toa Ora staff before being published.

Posts to the Waka Toa Ora website are distributed in a weekly email newsletter on Fridays to subscribers.

Waka Toa Ora organises regular lunchtime seminars – usually hosted at Community and Public Health’s Christchurch office. The seminars provide an opportunity for signatories to promote their work in the community, share information or raise and discuss issues of concern.   Contact Tracy Abbot if you are interested in presenting at a lunchtime seminar (tracy.abbot[at]cdhb.health.nz).

Waka Toa Ora also holds hui for signatories and other interested people or organisations. These annual hui usually have a particular focus and provide extended opportunities for information sharing and networking within the community.

For further information, contact:

Tracy Abbot
Ph +64 3 378 6738


World First All Right? Campaign

All Right? is a social marketing campaign designed to help us think about our mental health and wellbeing. It’s about helping people realise that they’re not alone, encouraging them to connect with others, and supporting them to boost their wellbeing.

Ultimately, All Right? is about ensuring wellbeing is at the heart of our recovery.

All Right? is a Healthy Christchurch project that is being led by the Mental Health Foundation and the Canterbury District Health Board.


Page last updated: 04/11/2019

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