March 2005

Smack-free Ngongotaha

This initiative builds on a partnership developed to enhance the wellbeing of Ngongotaha families. A component of the initiative includes delivery of the "Incredible Years" parenting programme, and involvement of local retailers who have declared their businesses "Smack Free".  A 100% uptake from the businesses has resulted in New Zealand's first "Smack Free Street".  The project's vision is to make Ngongotaha the first "Smack Free Zone" in the world and the safest place for children to live.  Ongoing research will track parenting needs and attitudes.  The programme is funded by the Government SKIP programme's "local initiative" stream, the James Family (Child and Family division of Presbyterian Support Northern) and Te Whare Hauora O Ngongotaha.  Ngongotaha has a population of 4000.

This unique programme could be a model for initiatives in other small communities.  It has many positive elements including collaboration and partnership between agencies, engagement of the local community, support for parents and monitoring of results.  Congratulations, Ngongotaha!