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Speech: Turia - Speech at opening of U-Kinetics

Hon Tariana Turia
Associate Minister of Health

Hon Tariana Turia, Associate Minister of Health
Speech at opening of U-Kinetics Te Huinga Waiora
62 Grey Street, Palmerston North
6.00pm Friday 17 August 2012

I acknowledge the tangata whenua, the hau kainga of this rohe for welcoming us here; our hosts, the Universal College of Learning, particularly CEO Paul McElroy who invited me to come along tonight; and of course those of you from around the community who have come to support this initiative. Tena koutou katoa.

I have to say that when I saw this event was about Clinical Exercise Physiology, behaviour modification and U-Kinetics, I wondered whether there was anything I would be able to say to you tonight without the help of a very good dictionary.

And then I saw that the U-Kinetics Centre was also called Te Huinga Waiora – and I immediately understood.
Te waioratanga o te tinanga, o te hinengaro – this is the very essence of our lifeforce.

I asked a young woman in my office what the words, te huinga waiora meant to her, and she explained it in one word – rejuvenation.

It’s like the idea of a Fountain of Youth – the wellspring of new hope, of fresh energy. It is indeed a wonderful concept -a message of wellness – complete and utter satisfaction with life.

And so I am very happy to part of the launch of this ground-breaking health and wellness centre.

The clear message I have picked up from the information around this centre is that you are building a breeding ground for innovation.

Whether it is kinetics, or waiora we are talking about, there is recognition that a sound body and soul is the key to good health –and that there is no one way of achieving this.

The U-Kinetics centre will promote collaboration; drawing on both public and private enterprise to achieve social and wellbeing outcomes for the local community.

In this way, your intention is to create a collective conversation about how we can generate healthy outcomes; to be revitalised; re-energised, rejuvenated by entirely natural means.

U-Kinetics Te Huinga Waiora is also futuristic in your commitment to supporting the growth and development of a workforce that is prepared to work in innovative ways, a workforce that can produce multiple wellbeing outcomes, and of course a future workforce that can make a difference to the families within your community.

I want to reflect on your boldness in trying something new.

They say that doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting different results, is the definition of crazy.

Yet how often do we indulge in the drudgery of the same old activities and outputs that we have been churning out for ever and a day. Tasks that are a means towards an end; the monotony of the status quo.

You have chosen, instead, to look afresh at what we normally take for granted, raising new questions, new possibilities.

How can we encourage a greater focus on health, on healthy lifestyles, on education, on exercise? They’re all areas of life that sound great – but how do we help to make these areas that we choose to take up? It’s easy enough to promote physical fitness as a worthy goal – it’s quite another to actually achieve it.
You are willing to create new and better programmes for reaching more whanau, to attract the unlimited potential of our families.

There is a focus on health through providing exercise therapy treatment for those referred by specialists. The centre will increase access to specialised exercise and rehabilitation services.

There is also a focus on education through providing an avenue for students to participate in real life practice during their study towards the new Post-Graduate Diploma of Clinical Exercise Physiology.

And one of the most exciting aspects is the emphasis on science and innovation –the approach being informed by the research and evaluation of the clinical programme.

I am particularly interested in your Technogym Wellness system which monitors clients before, during and following exercise with a focus on how to make a difference in outcomes.

I want to congratulate UCOL, and the many organisations that have come together to make this centre possible including MidCentral DHB, TBI health; Central PHO and Health Workforce New Zealand.

Tonight marks the completion of many years of planning, meeting, building and developing the centre, so to see it standing, and to be here on the cusp of the service opening its doors to the community is very exciting.

It is through initiatives such as U-Kinetics that we are able to make a difference in the lives of others, and that is surely one of the most important aspects of this project.

As we gather to celebrate your achievements tonight, we must also reflect on the aspirations that we have for the health and wellbeing of the people and the families within Manawatu.

We must be bold in considering the needs of our whanau, and we must open both our hearts and our minds when we think about how we work with them into the future.

What you have done in the development phase of Te Huinga Waiora is to indicate a readiness to internalise and accept innovation as the modus operandi of this organisation. In effect, what you are doing is promoting a culture of creative dissatisfaction – always looking at how you can improve.

You must take that same approach now to uncover new ways of ensuring our whānau have every opportunity to act on their ideas and dreams; to plan out their own rejuvenation.

You must be ready to apply the philosophy of Whānau Ora – letting our families determine their own destiny – encouraging them to be decision-makers; architects of their own solutions.

We must work in ways that empower our families to take responsibility of their health, their education and their future. It takes heart to work in this space, and it takes courage. And it is this ability to relate, to feel and to care that we must instil in those who are working with our families.

I wish you well in all your endeavours whether it be supporting our families through providing physical and clinical therapy, or through the work you do in working with our students.

I thank you for your hard work, and for the service that you are providing to the many individuals and families within this region.

Tena koutou katoa

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