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Innovation and Co-Design in Council-Community Consultation

Healthy Families Whanganui Rangitīkei Ruapehu is a whole of community approach making changes to the systems that influence the health and wellbeing of individuals, whānau, hapū, iwi and communities.


Healthy Families Whanganui Rangitīkei Ruapehu brings community leadership together with community-led action to create healthier environments where we all live, learn, work and play in a united effort for better health.

Play environments can have a positive impact on community wellbeing when those play environments are fit for purpose, family friendly, safe and most importantly, fun!


Healthy Families Whanganui Rangitīkei Ruapehu are interested in innovating new ways of engaging communities in creating play and active recreation environments that make being active an easy choice.

So when the Raetihi Community Charitable Trust (RCCT) began the Raetihi park upgrade project in mid 2017, Healthy Families Whanganui Rangitīkei Ruapehu saw a great opportunity to partner with them in leading innovation and co-design and developing capability in the council-community consultation process.    


The Healthy Families Whanganui Rangitīkei Ruapehu role in this project is about leading the co-design of the park upgrade through a human-centric lens.

Healthy Families Whanganui Rangitīkei Ruapehu took this opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of innovative and contemporary ways of consulting with community around major public infrastructure and urban design that impact on population health and wellbeing. 


Through video interviews and ‘focus groups’ over a BBQ in the park, Healthy Families WRR gathered insights from Tamariki, Rangatahi, Pahake and Kaumātua and from those insights developed an understanding of and empathy for the lived experiences of the generations who have enjoyed the Raetihi Park facilities over the years.


As part of this project, Healthy Families Healthy Families Whanganui Rangitīkei Ruapehu and the RCCT led a co-design workshop with Rangatahi, utilising parameters guided by the insights the team already had about what was important for the community in relation to the park.

Rangatahi designed and prototyped their vision for the park upgrade and the community got right in behind the engaging consultation process with over 400 community members having their say on their preferred prototype.

The next step for the project is to turn the prototypes into concept drawings to present to council and funders to support the construction of the community designed park upgrade. 

Healthy Families WRR will continue to bring together community leadership and will continue to demonstrate innovative community engagment in co-designing human-centric public facilities that impact positively on community health and wellbeing.

And we have seen this happening already with the Ruapehu DC youth council recently commiting to utlising a similar co-design approach for the Beautifcation project funding.


With the extensive number of parks and playgrounds in the region across three district councils, several of which are in early stages of planning for upgrades, the case for innovation in urban design for community health and wellbeing is significant.

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