Haere mai,

We deliver online and workshop-based professional development training for health practitioners.

Complete our programmes and learn how nutrition and physical activity during early life, have a lifelong and intergenerational impact on reducing the risk of developing lifestyle related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

Increase your skills and confidence in supporting clients, patients and whānau to make immediate and lasting lifestyle behaviour change.


A pregnant woman

Pregnancy a powerful time for establishing life-long health

Pre-conception, pregnancy and the pre-school years  - ‘the first 1,000 days’ – is a crucial period in which lifestyle behaviours can have an enormous impact on lifelong, and even intergenerational health.

Nutrition and physical activity in the first 1000 days both have particular impact on the risk for both the mother and child in developing preventable diseases later in life such as:

·       Type 2 diabetes

·       Heart disease

·       Obesity

·       Some cancers 

It's becoming more and more important for maternity and child health professionals to include discussions about lifestyle behaviours in their routine practice.

Find out what this means for you in your role as a health practitioner










Why is changing health-related behaviour so difficult?

Maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviours is critical to life-long health.

In New Zealand we've seen dramatic rises in the last decade in the number of people diagnosed with lifestyle related diseases. 

We know that giving information alone does not make people change, so what is it that helps people make lasting lifestyle behaviour changes? 

Interventions around lifestyle behaviour change are often influenced by six commonly held beliefs that are actually myths! 

These myths have made the business of health-related behaviour change more difficult than it needs to be. 

6 common myths that get in the way of effecting behaviour change
(152.7 kB, PDF)

Develop skills, tools and strategies to support real change!

Make every contact count by using Healthy Conversation Skills to have more effective, empowering conversations that support lasting lifestyle behaviour change. 

Learn more here - Healthy Conversations Skills workshop


Healthy Start Professonal Development  

Offers three complementary workforce development training programmes for health practitioners - funded by the Ministry of Health.

Our programmes are valid for professional development / CME points for New Zealand registered GP's, nurses, midwives and exercise professionals.  

  • Our early-life science programme - the first 1,000 days explores the science around how and why, nutrition and physical activity in the early years has a life-long and intergenerational affect including on the risk of developing lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer.
  • Our alcohol and tobacco exposure during early life online education training explores why and how exposure to alcohol and/or tobacco during pregnancy and early childhood (first 1000 days) affects immediate and lifelong health outcomes for the child. It will help you talk confidently and deliver consistent, clear messages about alcohol/tobacco use in pregnancy. 
  • Our Healthy Conversation Skills workshop develops practical skills, tools and strategies to support your patients/clients to make lasting lifestyle behaviour changes.
Register for our programmes
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Why did we change from the name "Healthy Start Workforce Project"?

The Healthy Start Workforce Project has been operating for over six years now and we are updating the name and description to better reflect the service we provide to health practitioners, and our commitment to honoring the Treaty of Waitangi and partnership.

Meaning behind the logo design

The DNA and helix image incorporates a simple koru graphic, demonstrating the kaupapa of early life science and education. The koru symbolises new life and new beginnings - which refers to our focus on the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. A unique period of opportunity when the foundations of optimum health, growth, and neurodevelopment across the lifespan are established. Also a critical time in the development of chronic disease later in life.

The line in logo - apart from using this as visual divider, the line refers to genealogy, whakapapa and the process of tracing, mapping our ancestral ties. The round circle at the end of the line, is a reference to genetic markers within sequences. Genetics plays a huge role in our physiological and biological makeup alongside our lifestyle choices, in the development and progression of chronic diseases.

Our Partners
SponsorsSm May 2019