The joint government initiative between Sport New Zealand and the Ministries of Health and Education will allow primary and intermediate schools and kura to have access to a dedicated and skilled physical activity workforce.

The government has invested $47.6 million over four years to build on the success of other government programmes across physical activity and nutrition to foster healthy and active learning environments and better connection to communities.

“I’m thrilled we have funded the Healthy Active Learning programme,” Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson said in a statement.

“This is a real-life example of our wellbeing approach, with different agencies working together to deliver positive outcomes for our young people.

“Regional sports trusts, regional education offices and public health units are partnering with one another to engage 313 schools and kura to develop school cultures and processes that value and prioritise quality nutrition and physical activity.”

As part of the initiative, the Ministry of Health will create toolkits, in Te Reo Māori and English, to help all education settings to create a healthy food and drink environment.

The Ministry of Education will also create new Health and Physical Education (HPE) and Hauora curriculum resources to support all schools and kura to enhance the understanding, planning and delivery of HPE and physical activity.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins commended the initiative for building on what already exists in each education setting, so that the support provided is customised according to the different needs of schools, kura and their communities.

“Children and young people spend a lot of their time at school, so we need to ensure we are helping to instil a lifelong love of physical activity and being healthy,” Hipkins said in a statement.

“That means creating inclusive and quality physical activity experiences that help children make positive and informed choices about food, nutrition, physical activity and their own wellbeing.”

Healthy Active Learning is a voluntary initiative and is being delivered at no cost to education providers.

Phase two of the initiative will see it reach a further 500 schools and kura in 2022-2024.