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Pacific communities gather to promote better health

Pacific communities gather to promote better health

Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, today commended Pacific churches on their DIY approach to promoting healthy lifestyle choices at the opening of the Healthy Village Action Zones (HVAZ) at St Pauls College.

“With Pacific people sometimes experiencing poorer health and lower life expectancy than other New Zealanders, it is important that we come together as a community and learn more about healthy eating and lifestyle habits,” says Mr Lotu-Iiga.

HVAZ in the Park is a one-day event which seeks to promote healthy eating and lifestyle messages. It is a partnership program between the Auckland District Health Board, AH+, Procare, the Tongan Health Society and 42 Pacific Church Communities across Auckland.

The day included a walkathon, youth sports day, a health screening site and a stall-holders corner where members can share their services and messages.

“The HVAZ program identified an important issue with Pacific people’s health and members of the group have worked hard to ensure that our people are given the tools, knowledge and understanding to lead healthy lives,” Mr Lotu-Iiga said.

The HVAZ has 3 key goals:

· Building capacity and capability in the communities to run health programmes promoting physical activities, nutrition, smokefree environments and helping smokers to quit.

· Increase awareness of health education and health services that are available.

· Reduce health inequalities of pacific people with long term conditions.

“Over 200 people were in attendance today and that is a great sign for the future health and wellbeing of our Pacific communities.” says Mr Lotu-Iiga.


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