Apr 13, 2021

TangataWhenua.com

Maori News & Indigenous Views

4th Maraenui Whanau Ora Festival (Turia)

4 min read

4th Maraenui Whanau Ora Festival in collaboration with The Nui Trust and Napier City Council and other key stakeholders; Saturday 16th April, 2011 10am to 1pm w/Minister Responsible for Whanau Ora; Hon Tariana Turia

This is a fantastic initiative which I am so proud to be able to participate in.

There is nothing of greater urgency for our whanau than the call for healthy living. The wellbeing of our whanau is the number one issue for Maraenui; for te Ao Maori; indeed for Aotearoa as a nation.

When I think of number one it reminds me of something my mokopuna said to me last Sunday, when our staff and whanau comprised four teams in the Real Womens duathlon.

You might be familiar with the Real Womens series as there was one here in the Hawkes Bay a fortnight ago on the 3rd April. Essentially the emphasis is on getting out, getting active and experiencing the thrill of being part of an event. Most importantly, its not a race; its an event designed so women of all ages and fitness levels can join together in outdoor exercise.

Only problem was, the registration number we were given for the day was yes you guessed it number one. My mokopuna was greatly concerned that we might look as we were pretending to be something that we most certainly werent winners.

But as women passed us by, and we kept persevering on our 5km walk I told Piata that actually we were all winners.

The great thing about being in an event like the duathlon and indeed this event today, is to be part of the greatest kaupapa of all the drive to survive; to live well; to thrive as whanau.

I want to really congratulate everyone here in Maraenui for your commitment to each other, in holding this Healthy Lifestyles Expo Day.

And I want to particularly commend the Nui Trust, the Napier City Council and all of the other stakeholders that have made an investment in improving the health and wellbeing of the whole community.

The programme for this day is most impressive everything from health assessment checks to displays from Te Roopu Huihuinga about whanau wellness; the Napier Family Centre; safe drinking; Silvia Gee cooking demonstrations; childrens programmes, teen Mum workshops, and free flu immunization just to list a few.

I think one of the things I most liked about this Fourth Maraenui Whanau Ora Festival 2011 is that it has many different strands to your strategy.

From what I understand of this day its about:

  • Raising awareness of all the issues that affect your health;
  • Providing information about the harm emerging from issues such as gambling, smoking, drug use or lack of exercise;
  • A focus on intervention
  • And raising the profile of health providers and health options available to you.

A key emphasis throughout the festival is on the importance of whanau which of course is music to my ears.

By whanau we mean the wider extended family empowering and ensuring our whanau to know that they are the best people to take ownership of their solutions.

There is a concept in the disability sector which they refer to us nothing about us, without us. It could equally well apply to Whanau Ora.

I am always surprised when issues occur in our community and we immediately assume a provider or a helping agency will be the first port of call.

What you are showing here in Maraenui is that you are placing your faith in whanau as being your central focus to initiate positive change.

Of course providers and agencies play a vital role in strengthening the capacity of our families and our communities to respond to any challenge that comes our way.

But ultimately solutions will be best achieved when whanau themselves make decisions for themselves, and take ownership of the pathway forward.

I do want to acknowledge the importance of the Maraenui Urban Renewal Plan as having providing a map for this community to help you navigate your way towards improved outcomes.

The Maraenui Urban Renewal Plan is about ensuring that all the connections are made to enable groups to come together to effect change.

The transformation of the Maraenui Shopping Centre into a focal point for this community is a fantastic health promotion initiative which has been driven by the endeavours and the desires of your community.

You have acted in ways which shows everyone in Maraenui that they are Number One.

When I talk health promotion of course, Im not just thinking of charts and checklists this is more than just making health information available.

Its also about taking action walking the talk running the course creating safe and supportive environments to realize our potential.

Good health cannot be prescribed take a dose of this and apply three times a day.

Communities whanau, hapu, iwi, marae, homes must ultimately be able to determine themselves, about how together we can face all the challenges, address the health risks, and be the best that we can be.

I want to wish you all a wonderful day together at this Maraenui Whanau Ora Festival for 2011.

Health promotion strategies cover a wide variety of interventions designed to facilitate change and improve the health and well-being of the whole community and particular groups within it.

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