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Bilingual Health Information Just The Ticket

For immediate release
Date: Tuesday, April 29

Bilingual Health Information Just The Ticket

Waikato, King Country and Coromandel secondary schools say a new youth-focused health education tool is just the ticket.

In just three weeks, 37 of the region's 45 secondary schools have participated in the 'Whanau Pack' project.

The Whanau Pack is an informative booklet aimed at wh*nau, parents and caregivers of youth, produced by Waikato District Health Board's Population Health Service and New Zealand Police.

Many other community agencies have also contributed specialised information to the resource.

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

As part of the project, every Waikato and King Country secondary school gets the Whanau Pack at no cost, and includes support agency contacts, localised to various districts.

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.

"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," said PHS health promoter Hilary Karaitiana.

And the Whanau Pack is no different.

In addition to the English version of the booklet, 5000 copies have been translated into Te Reo Maori by University of Waikato Associate Dean of Maori and Pacific Development, Tom Roa.

"We recognised that 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," said Mrs Karaitiana.

She said the Waikato DHB is very proud of the Whanau Pack project, which started as a pilot in the north King Country last year.

Te Kuiti-based promoter Mrs Karaitiana and Ken Wells of Te Ngaru o Maniapoto Health Services created the Whanau Pack in response to particular needs in their communities.

With the help of Te Kuiti and Otorohanga police and other community organisations, the pack was developed and distributed to Piopio College, Te Kuiti High School and Otorohanga College.

The response from the communities was overwhelmingly positive, said Mrs Karaitiana.

"The schools have complemented the Wh*nau Pack as a user-friendly resource for parents that cover a diverse range of issues affecting teenagers.

"The evaluation feedback said the pack had filled a gap in the resources currently available for parents."

She said teenage years can be a very trying time for the whole family, and to be able to offer any support at all through this phase in a person's life is awesome.

The Whanau Pack is being launched during National Youth Week, from May 26 - June 1.

The main launch will be held at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton from 7.30-9.30am, in the form of a breakfast launch on Wednesday, May 28 to ensure principals are able to attend.

Keynote speakers at the Hamilton launch include Minister of Youth Affairs Nanaia Mahuta, Health Waikato chief operating officer Jan Adams, Mr Roa and a Waikato police representative.

Launches of the Whanau Pack will also take place throughout Waikato's smaller centres, as follows:

North Waikato - 12.30pm, Friday, May 30 at Waikato District Council, Ngaruawahia

South Waikato - 6-9pm, Thursday, May 29, Variety Show at Tokoroa High School

Taumarunui - Friday, May 30 at Taumarunui High School

Thames-Coromandel/Hauraki - 1-5pm, Saturday, May 31,Youth Festival at Goldfields


About Waikato District Health Board and Health Waikato:
Waikato DHB is responsible for planning, funding and providing quality health and disability support services for the 353,460 people living in the Waikato DHB region. It has an annual turnover of $915 million and employs more than 5300 people.

Health Waikato is the DHB's main provider of hospital and health services with an annual budget of $530 million and 4500 staff. It has seven divisions across five hospital sites, two maternity and continuing care hospitals and 21 community bases offering a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary health services.

Other Waikato DHB-funded health services - including primary health, pharmacies and community laboratories - are delivered by a wide range of independent providers.

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