Project Energize

Team Energize

Project Energize began in 2005, is funded by Waikato District Health Board. Partners in the project include Sport Waikato and AUT University, University of Waikato, Waikato Institute of Technology, Sport and Recreation NZ, National Health Foundation.

Programme delivery partners are Māori and Pacific health providers Te Kohao Health, Te Korowai Hauora O Hauraki, Nga Miro Health and South Waikato Pacific Islands Health Committee.

Sports WaikatoPrimary and intermediate school children in the Waikato District Health Board region are involve in Project Energize which aims to improve nutrition and physical activity levels in those age groups, reduce obesity rates and reduce cardiovascular risk factors.

A total of 44,000 primary and intermediate schoolchildren are now part of Project Energize through 244 Waikato schools.

This evaluation involved 5110 of those children from 192 schools and is one of the largest child health studies every undertaken in New Zealand. More than one third of the children and families involved in the Programme and evaluation are Māori.

Best of Health Awards 2012Vital to the success of Project Energize are the 27 “Energizers” who work with schools, teachers and parents, giving physical fitness and nutritional advice and helping implement health and fitness programmes.

Each Energizer is allocated between 8-12 schools, one dietician works with the Energizer team.

Key findings from a 2011 evaluation are:

  • Obesity rates at 3% less than the national average
  • Children weighed less and had a lower body mass index than Waikato children of the same age measured in 2004 and 2006 Waist measurements were substantially less than those measured in Waikato children of the same age measured in 2004 and 2006
  • Ran 20 seconds (13%) faster compared to national data gathered for the same age groups between 2001 and 2007
  • 3000 questionnaires returned by parents and whānau of children showed 76% believed their children’s fitness had improved as a result of the programme
  • 78% of schools reported improved quality of daily fitness

Project Energize children’s health and fitness was compared with a range of national and regional data (control) by age group as well data collected being compared to previous evaluations done for Project Energize

  • 36% of children evaluated were Māori (this is a relatively high participation rate compared with previous child health studies)
  • 3,030 household questionnaires to parents and whānau were completed (again a high response rate) and 30% of households responding were Māori
  • 97.5% of 6 to 8 year olds in this study agreed water was healthy or very healthy
  • 99% of 9 to 11 year olds thought healthy eating was somewhat or very important

Waikato DHB’s expenditure since 2004:

  • 2014/15 $1,975,750 (budget)
  • 2013/14 $1,961k
  • 2012/13 $1,924k
  • 2011/12 $1,907k
  • 2010/11 $1,891k
  • 2009/10 $1,891k
  • 2008/09 $1,167k
  • 2007/08 $955k
  • 2006/07 $933k
  • 2005/06 $858k
  • 2004/05 $845k

Useful information


Useful links

In the news

Read all the Waikato DHB media releases about Project Energize here(external link)

Other news items: