Who are we?

We recently changed our name from the Healthy Start Workforce Project:
Healthy Start Professional Development have been operating since May 2013 - originally named the Healthy Start Workforce Project.  We changed our name and logo in 2019.  The name better reflects the service we provide to health practitioners and the logo, honouring our commitment to 'partnership' under the Treaty of Waitangi.  

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. 

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

Healthy Start Professional Development is a New Zealand initiative offering evidence-based programmes to the health and wellbeing workforces.

The programmes have been funded by the Ministry of Health in partnership with organisations including:

  • New Zealand College of Midwives
  • Plunket 
  • The Heart Foundation


The partnership approach recognises the important role all health practitioners play in these critical years for families, and is reflected in our tag line "A healthy start to life...starts with all of us".

The Ministry's funding means that the programmes can be offered free-of-charge to all New Zealand health and wellbeing professionals. 

The team is based in the School of Population Health in the Faculty for Medical Health & Sciences at the University of Auckland.


Find out more about the team:

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All New Zealand maternity and child health professionals are encouraged to register with us so that you can:

  •     Enrol in our education programmes
  •     Hear about our training events
  •     Receive our news.

Once you're registered you can log-in and access the e-learning, tools and research.

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Our Partners

We are grateful for the working relationships we have with the following organisations:

  • Tipu Ora
  • Toi Tangata
  • Health Promotion Agency
  • Healthy Families NZ 
  • Women's Health Network 
  • Activity and Nutrition Aotearoa (ANA)
  • Well Child/Tamariki Ora Network
  • LENScience
  • Baby Friendly Community Initiative (BFCI) Coordinators
  • Liggins Institute 
  • Auckland UniServices / Conectus 
  • The MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at the University of Southampton
  • The Ministry of Health Maternal & Child Nutrition and Physical Activity Providers, including:

                - Healthy Babies, Healthy Futures (Auckland and Waitemata)

                - Health4Life (Wellington Partnership)

                - Hawke's Bay DHB and Sports Hawke's Bay

                - Sport Waikato and Under 5 Energise

                - Counties Manukau DHB

                - Taranaki Mama and Pepe service (Tui Ora).