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Whanau Pack Providing Help In More Ways Than One

For immediate release
Date: May 21, 2008

Whanau Pack Providing Help In More Ways Than One

Parents of more than 25,000 Waikato teenagers will receive realistic advice and information on a range issues affecting 21st century teens, next week.

One week out from the 'whanau pack' launch, Waikato District Health Board's project team is blown away by the response to its initiative.

An astounding 44 secondary schools will benefit from the value of the health education booklet which is aimed at whanau, parents and caregivers of youth, and produced by Waikato DHB's Population Health Service and New Zealand Police.

Just two secondary schools within the Waikato DHB region opted not to take part in the project.

The whanau pack, which was piloted in the north King Country in conjunction with Te Ngaru o Maniapoto Health Services in 2007, is being launched in Hamilton during National Youth Week (May 26-June 1).

The main launch will be held at Waikato Stadium in the Genesis Energy Lounge from 7.30-9.30am on Wednesday, May 28. Media are invited to attend this launch (see contact details below).

Keynote speakers at the launch include Minister of Youth Affairs Nanaia Mahuta, Health Waikato chief operating officer Jan Adams, Mr Roa and Waikato Police district commander superintendent Alan Boreham.

There will also be other launches throughout Waikato's smaller centres.

The whanau pack contains useful information required for parenting in the 21st century, covering many topics ranging from drugs and alcohol, sexual health, nutrition and truancy - it even covers the hot 'boy racer' issue.

As part of the project, every Waikato and King Country secondary school receives the whanau pack at no cost.

However, what really sets the whanau pack apart from other resources of its kind is that it is available in both Te Reo for wharekura and students enrolled in M*ori medium immersion classes, as well as English.

In addition to the English version of the booklet, University of Waikato Associate Dean of Maori and Pacific Development, Tom Roa translated a version into Te Reo.

"Due to the high number of orders we received, we are printing 7000 Te Reo copies and 33,000 English copies," said Population Health Service health promoter Hilary Karaitiana.

"Waikato DHB has a major focus on reducing inequalities and barriers to access, which means we want to make all our resources readily available and accessible to anyone who needs them.

"We recognise the translation of these booklets is vital for the success of this project. Where appropriate, families should have access to this sort of information in whatever form they feel most comfortable receiving it."


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