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Maori Community Projects Given Funding Boost

27 August 2008

Maori Community Projects Given Funding Boost

Waikato DHB has granted more than $360,000 to seven local community providers for their projects aimed at improving Maori nutrition and increasing physical activity.

The projects range from increasing awareness of physical activity and nutrition among Kaum*tua to develop resources that help inform healthier choices of kai for children.

Waikato DHB Te Puna Oranga (Maori Health Unit) general manager Riana Manuel said the projects each have a slightly different objective but the focus remains the same - to improve nutrition, reduce obesity and increase physical activity.

"It is fantastic to be able to support these initiatives and we look forward to reviewing them in 2009.

"The funding is a way of empowering these communities to be innovative and come up with local solutions based on the needs of their people.

"It is about community development and ultimately improving the health outcomes for M*ori people," she said.

The successful projects will be implemented by: * Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki (Thames-Coromandel) * Taumarunui Community Kokiri House * Nga Miro Charitable Trust (Ngaruawahia and Huntly) * Te Rohe Potae o Rereahu Maniapoto Charitable Trust (Te Kuiti) * Rauawaawa Kaum*tua Charitable Trust (Frankton/Dinsdale) * Ng*ti Maniapoto Marae (Te Kuiti) * Te Kohao Health Ltd (Hamilton).

The funding comes from the inaugural round of the Maori Community Actions and Projects released earlier this year by the Ministry of Health as part of the national Healthy Eating, Healthy Action (HEHA) project.

Waikato DHB's Maori population, which sits at around 22 per cent, is a priority population group in the national and regional HEHA strategy.

Applications were sought earlier this year from Maori health providers for projects that are driven by communities, build on existing strengths and networks and are consistent with the aims and associated outcomes of HEHA.

"This is the first time the DHB has provided funding to Maori communities for specific projects aimed at improving nutrition, reducing obesity and increasing physical activity.

"It is an excellent opportunity for Maori communities and we are excited to be a part of it," Ms Manuel said.

HEHA is the Ministry of Health's strategic approach to improving nutrition, increasing physical activity and achieving a healthy weight for all New Zealanders.

For more information about HEHA and the Maori HEHA work plan visit www.waikatodhb.govt.nz/HEHA.

ENDS


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