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An aquaplay/jogging group at QEII Park is
helping to change the lives and lifestyles of
some local Maori. The group has achieved a
combined weight-loss of about 350kg in the
past few years and a new outlook on life.
The group meets twice a week for
an hour and is coordinated by the Te
Puawaitanga Ki Otautahi Trust’s Nutritional
and Physical Activities Health Promoter
Harata Franks. It is one of a number of
regular weekly classes the Trust runs
under the CNPAP (Canterbury Nutrition
and Physical Activities) Project, which is
managed by He Oranga Pounamu and
funded by the Ministry of Health.
Harata says she has seen some
awesome life changes in the group
– purely through friendship, support and
getting active. For some, just having the
confidence to get in and out of the pool has
been a real achievement.
“I’ve seen whanau who’ve been able to
drop the weight and are now able to go
back to work. They might have had social
phobias and some may have just lost touch
with the outside world. We’ve worked hard
to create a really safe environment.”
The classes are primarily focussed on
introducing physical activity and good
nutrition to low income and non-active Maori.
Many of the participants find out
about the classes from Te Puawaitanga’s
Rapuora Mobile Nurse team, that works in
the community assisting Maori to manage
their chronic illnesses.
Diabetes Centre Maori Health Worker
Maureen Reason says up to 15 patients
who have diabetes and weight issues
attend the class.
“We have two men who have progressed
from wheelchair to walker, then to crutches.
Aquaplay / jogging – fitness