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Family Planning to change name after 85 years

One of New Zealand’s most iconic organisations is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a makeover – and a name change!

From 14 February, Family Planning will become Sexual Wellbeing Aotearoa – better reflecting the work it does and its ambition to see that people are well and well-informed when it comes to issues of the heart, the mind, in fact all the body.

“When we started in 1936 our name was the very catchy Sex Hygiene and Birth Regulation Society,” says Chief Executive Jackie Edmond. “In 1939 we changed to Family Planning and that’s been our name ever since.

“By today’s standards, Family Planning is too euphemistic – it doesn’t say plainly, we know sexual and reproductive health, we know sex and gender, we know sexuality, diversity. We understand the impact those have on health and wellbeing,” says Jackie.

“Sexual Wellbeing Aotearoa is clearer and more direct. It says, you’re safe here with us, we care that you’re well and that you’re well informed.”

People who know Family Planning, love us, love our services and understood what we are about. But, when we tested the Family Planning name and brand, many confused it with a support group for struggling parents and as a government agency, like WINZ, among others. The idea that Family Planning was New Zealand’s most experienced and capable provider of sexual wellbeing services – education, guidance, clinical services – was getting lost. This was especially true for young people.

“Sexual wellbeing” covers all aspects of the organisation’s work providing clinical services, contraception access, fertility and reproductive health advice, sexuality and relationships education, training and resources, and other services that promote a sense of confidence and openness about a range of subjects, some of which can still be treated as taboo.

“Family Planning has been here for nearly 100 years; Sexual Wellbeing Aotearoa is ready for the next hundred.”


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