News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


If it weren’t for your gumboots

Media Statement

Friday 30 November 2012

If it weren’t for your gumboots!


Gumboot wearing Maori men might just be the hardest people to persuade to have a health check, and Motu DoC ranger Joe Waikari is no exception.

The 39-year-old Department of Conservation ranger is happiest when detecting and trapping stoat, ferret and possums. He’s always in the bush, never out of his gumboots, and never used to give his health much thought.

But this month he and 53 other Maori men aged over 30 years were plucked out of the crowds of people competing in, and watching, the Tu Marae series of duathlons run by Turanga Health.

Mr Waikari, Ngati Porou, had just biked 20 kilometers for his whanau team in his gumboots, when he was asked by a Turanga Health nurse if he wanted a health check. “I was curious I suppose,” said Mr Waikari, who had recently given up smoking. “So I said yes.”

Mr Waikari’s health check revealed he was relatively well, but seven out of the 54 men checked were considered at high risk of a heart attack or stroke and were referred to their own GP. Turanga Health also stepped up to help them address their diet, physical activity and other lifestyle issues.

Event coordinator Dallas Poi said Tu Marae introduced whanau to multisport using marae-to-marae routes, and promoted healthy living by easing up on the drink, losing the cigarettes, and looking after your heart.

“We used the event to connect whanau back to their marae, but as well as that, we gave them the chance to learn more about their weight, blood sugar levels, cholesterol, exercise, and diet.”

“We targeted the health checks to Maori men over 30 because managing a chronic condition sometimes ends up on the backburner for them. We want to help them take control of long term health problems before the problems take control of them.”

The first Tu Marae duathlon in August went from Whatatutu to Te Karaka. The second in September was from Waituhi to Patutahi and the third in October covered Muriwai and Manutuke. The last race went from Waiherere to Te Kuri a Tuatai Marae in Gisborne.
Ms Poi said the offer of a heart check, known as a cardiovascular disease risk assessment, was made all the more acceptable because they could have it right there, right then, in a marae they felt familiar with. “A lot of them also had their wife, or daughter, or sister nagging them to do it!”

Mr Waikari and his family took part in all four Tu Marae duathlons with their three children and his wife’s parents. “That was a good part for me, having Nan and Grandpa with us, and our kids,” says Mr Waikari.

He credits his nine-year-old daughter Pagan’s suggestion he quit smoking last year as the catalyst for thinking about his health and entering Tu Marae. “Others had told me to give up the smokes, but it was her. When she said it to me something clicked.”

Unfortunately his children’s nagging had no bearing at all on his choice of footwear for Tu Marae and he cycled every leg in his trademark Red Band gumboots. He says they are comfy and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks.

“We don’t have to be the fastest or the slimmest-looking team. We did it at our own pace, how we wanted, and with the family, that was the highlight for me.”
Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Album Review: Donnie Trumpet And The Social Experiments: Surf

Chance the Rapper is one of my favourite rappers of the last couple years. He bought a uniquely fucked up, acid sound with his debut Acid Rap which has demonstrably influenced others including ILoveMakonnen and A$AP Rocky. It’s remarkable that, at such a ... More>>

Photos: Inside The Christchurch Arts Centre Rebuild

Lady Pippa Blake visited Christchurch Arts Centre chief executive André Lovatt, a 2015 recipient of the Blake Leader Awards. The award celebrated Lovatt’s leadership in New Zealand and hisand dedication to the restoration of the Arts Centre. More>>

Running Them Up The Flagpole: Web Tool Lets Public Determine New Zealand Flag

A School of Design master’s student is challenging the flag selection process by devising a web tool that allows the public to feed their views back in a way, he says, the current government process does not. More>>

ALSO:

Survey: ‘The Arts Make My Life Better’: New Zealanders

New Zealanders are creative people who believe being involved in the arts makes their lives better and their communities stronger. Nine out of ten adult New Zealanders (88%) agree the arts are good for them and eight out of ten (82%) agree that the arts help to improve New Zealand society. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Reprieve For Te Papa Press

Following its review of the role of Te Papa Press, Te Papa has committed to continue publishing books during the museum’s redevelopment, Chief Executive Rick Ellis announced yesterday. More>>

Law Society: Sir Peter Williams QC, 1934 - 2015

“Sir Peter was an exceptional advocate. He had the ability to put the defence case for his clients with powerful oratory. His passion shone through in everything he did and said.” Mr Moore says Sir Peter’s lifelong commitment to prison reform was instrumental in ensuring prison conditions and the rights of prisoners were brought to public attention. More>>

ALSO:

CTU: Peter Conway – Family Statement

Peter committed his whole working life to improving the lives of working people, both in unions and, more recently, as the Economist and Secretary of the Council of Trade Unions. He was previously Chair of Oxfam New Zealand and was on the Board of NZ Trade and Enterprise. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news