Marae health and wellbeing initiative impresses Eastern Bay hapū
18 March 2015

Improving the health and wellbeing of hapū was the theme at Toroa Marae in Whakatane recently as Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service (Toi Te Ora) previewed the Hapū Hauora initiative.

The Hapū Hauora initiative is being developed by Toi Te Ora, working collaboratively with members from local hapū.  Hapū Hauora aims to help improve the health of whānau and hapū through creating a healthy marae environment.  To support this aim, a website is being developed for hapū that will provide information on five key health areas including nutrition, smokefree, immunisation, alcohol and physical activity.

“This resource puts the spotlight on health and wellbeing within the marae setting, it is certainly a necessity”, says project lead, Brad Bluett, Health Improvement Advisor for Toi Te Ora.

Based on the preview, which showcased the ‘Healthy Kai’ nutrition tool kete on the website, initial feedback showed positive support for the initiative.  “It’s important to gather feedback from the very people this resource has been developed for.  All signs point to Hapū Hauora being on track to achieving its objective of being a vital basket of information, knowledge and resources to improve the health of hapū through creating a healthy marae environment”, says Brad.

The website will have a tool kete for each key health area, where hapū can use resources, interactive tools and templates to help support their efforts to improve health on their marae.  These tool kete have been developed using evidence-based health promotion models, along with input from local hapū.  For example, as part of the nutrition tool kete, a video has been developed which shows hapū steps to creating a self-sustainable maara kai, or raised garden bed.  Hapū may also want to make their marae smokefree and develop a smokefree policy, in which case, they can use the smokefree policy template from the website.

“We’ve also received enquiries from Māori Health Providers, District Health Boards and other interested parties regarding its development which is really encouraging,” says Brad.