Research / Culturally centred health interventions for Māori and Pacific peoples

Te Ranga i te Tira WellConnectedNZ

Improving individuals’ health by strengthening community connectedness

illustration of community-centred health
Project Status: Completed Funding: $1,129,598 Timeframe: September 2017 – August 2019


What we investigated

Well Connected Logo Web Small

Take | Issue

People with multiple long-term health conditions can experience isolation due to their health. They may be offered disease-specific rehabilitation programmes, which can be hard to get to, may not be seen as appropriate (as they focus on only one disease), and often do not include all aspects of well-being important for improving health. Attendance rates for such programmes are low.

Whāinga | Aim

This project aimed to develop meaningful ways of helping people with multiple long-term conditions access community support, increase their sense of connectedness within their community, and live more active, socially-connected lives.

Huarahi I Whāia | Approach

The team asked people living with multiple long-term conditions in Canterbury what they wanted and thought would work for them. Over 500 people (including individuals, community representatives and service providers) worked together with the researchers over the two years of the project.


This project was funded by:

The Ministry of Health, Health Research Council of New Zealand, and Healthier Lives National Science Challenge, as part of the Long-Term Conditions Partnership.


Outcomes and Impact

Putanga | Outcome

The study found that opportunities for meaningful social connections (both giving and receiving as a member of a community) exist and are important to people but are not always visible.  People with multiple long-term conditions may need help from a trusted source to access them.

Feedback from study participants was distilled into “pou ārahi” (guideposts) which include opportunities – at interpersonal, community and systems levels – to empower healthcare professionals to offer a supportive environment so that people with multiple long-term conditions can better navigate a path to enhance their own health and well-being.

Health and social care providers need to know what is available in community settings so that they can recommend community events and activities that will meet people’s needs and desires. A practical solution for community connectedness was therefore developed – a free interactive, web-based map which brings together information about community activities in Canterbury from a number of publicly available sources, overlaid on Google maps.

Te Ara Kei Mua | Next Steps

Other regions, health boards or councils may wish to roll out similar initiatives in their communities.

An information package, incorporating philosophies, strategies, operational detail, frequently asked questions and previously learned pou ārahi, is available to inform new co-creator processes so that communities can develop initiatives which are appropriate for their needs.

The research team welcomes enquiries from anyone interested in finding out more.

Nga Hua O Te Rangahau | Research Products

The WellConnectedNZ™ map, a social connections map for Christchurch.

WellConnectedNZ information package (available on request).

View the website for this project

Whakawhiti Mōhiotanga

Knowledge Exchange

Ētahi Atu Puka | Other Publications

      • Scoping of the PCW Service using the TIDier-PHP checklist and guide. July 2019. Report for Melissa McCreanor, Community Liaison Access Manager, Pegasus Health (Charitable) Ltd.

Ngā Rā Nunui | Events

Kōnae Whakaata | Video


Research Findings Brief

Social isolation can have a major impact on people’s health and wellbeing. People with one or more long-term conditions are particularly vulnerable to isolation. They have low referral and attendance rates at rehabilitation courses, despite the courses offering high-quality care and information. This can be due to various factors.

The aim of this research was to find ways to help people with long-term conditions live more active, socially connected lives.

Project Team

Related News Articles

Sign up to our Newsletter

"*" indicates required fields

Scroll to Top