Who are we?

We recently changed our name from the 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.

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

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

  • 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 professionals. 

The team is based in The Liggins Institute 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 to our members-only area and gain full access to our e-learning, tools and research.

Register with us.

Log-in to our members area and e-learning.

Find out more.



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Healthy Start Professional Development has conducted an evaluation programme that involves regular surveying the needs and feedback of participants in our programmes, as well as non-participants from the wider sector.

This programme began in 2014 and continuted until 2017. You can find out more about these surveys and research projects here.



Our Partners

We are grateful for the supportive relationships and advice we receive from organisations including:

  • Tipu Ora
  • Toi Tangata
  • TAHA Pacific Parenting
  • Health Promotion Agency
  • Healthy Families NZ 
  • Women's Health Network 
  • Agencies for Nutrition Action
  • Well Child/Tamariki Ora Network
  • LENScience
  • Baby Friendly Community Initiative (BFCI) Coordinators
  • 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).

We are also proud to work with our evaluation partners COGO Consulting, the Liggins Institute and the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at the University of Southampton.

This project could not be possible without the support of our foundation partners below.