Healthy Families Far North Training

posted in: Chip Group Updates
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What do hot chips and an early morning winter breakfast at the Kohewhata Marae in Kaikohe have in common? Another successful Chip Group training workshop where engaged locals learnt how to prepare healthier hot chips. Working together as ‘prevention partners’ The Chip Group and Healthy Families Far North helped empower attendees about the role and responsibility they have to improve the health of their community.


The Far North and Kaikohe in particular is known to have an over-saturation of food outlets which is having a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of the local population.

The Healthy Families Far North team have been investing in a ‘Whole of Community’ approach – enabling them to create a healthier food system. Starting with providing better choices and opportunities to assist in reducing obesity and other health related conditions experienced by the Kaikohe population. Shirleyanne Brown, Manager of Healthy Families Far North shares her feedback about the session below…


“Gathering insights on the food system across the community has guided our approach to bringing about a system change that recognises and invests in local leadership through settings such as Marae. Our partnership with The Chip Group enabled us to help address the below insights gathered:


  • Many whanau value convenience over good, healthy kai
  • Convenience food can be seen as a reward for working hard
  • Fast food is visible and popular and perceived to be affordable
  • Fast food outlets are part of the social fabric of Kaikohe
  • McDonalds has become a hang-out for whanau and young people
  • Some people value commercially-bought food over local food
  • Particular fast-foods are highly valued by children and young people
  • Food marketing is pervasive and has shaped expectations of how food should look and taste


We were so thankful to Kate for conducting a training at Kohewhata Marae. This added to our partnership with the Marae as they are making significant changes to the food they serve, while promoting healthier options with other Marae and across their community.


Kate’s delivery was extremely informative and engaging. The feedback was positive with the participants sharing that they learnt so much in such a short time.  They all would encourage food outlets, marae and sport clubs to attend this training.”

 – Shirleyanne Brown, Healthy Families Far North.


Education around potatoes and dispelling myths about hot chips and their ‘fattening’ status was a huge part of the session. Attendees left with the skills required to know what it takes to cook chips with significantly less fat and sodium. As one of the operators pointed out, “I will never look at a potato the same way again.”


Part of the Chip Group’s contract with the Ministry of Health is to work closely alongside the ten different Healthy Families groups across New Zealand and this was our first time engaging with the Far North team. We look forward to continuing this relationship and hosting similar sessions throughout the country.


Kate Underwood

Training and Education Manager

The Chip Group