Our health and wellbeing benefits from our use and involvement in the natural spaces around us.


Exposure to our natural environments provides positive effects on human health and wellbeing. DOC is promoting the connection between the health of our environment and our people through Healthy Nature Healthy People.

About Healthy Nature Healthy People

Healthy Nature Healthy People.


It aims to encourage us to use New Zealand's natural spaces to maintain and improve our health and wellbeing. These spaces include land and water from our urban parks and beaches to our national parks, seas, lakes and wild rivers. 

We’ll be working together with other government agencies, NGOs, health services and providers, local government and parks organisations, as well as the private sector.

Our natural environment already provides so much; from protecting natural processes and features to providing clean air and water; underpinning tourism to preserving culture and heritage. Nature is also a source of inspiration, excitement, refreshment, relaxation and solitude.

Group walking. Photo: Jimmy Johnson.
Group walking

Group by Lake Waikaremoana.
Group by Lake Waikaremoana

How it started

Healthy Nature Healthy People is based on the successful Healthy Parks Healthy People programme created by Parks Victoria in Australia in 2000. Many countries have since adopted similar programmes and DOC is leading Healthy Nature Healthy People in New Zealand.

The movement seeks to reinforce and encourage the connections between a healthy environment and a healthy society. The principles are:

  • the wellbeing of all societies depends on healthy ecosystems
  • parks nurture healthy ecosystems
  • contact with nature is essential for improving emotional, physical and spiritual health and wellbeing, and
  • parks are fundamental to economic growth and to vibrant and healthy communities. 


If you would like to discover more about the Healthy Nature Healthy People initiative or explore opportunities to get involved in it, we’d love to hear from you.

Contact our Healthy Nature Healthy People team at:

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