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Te Reo Asthma Shows Educate Tamariki This Māori Language Week

As part of Māori Language Week, Te Hā Ora - Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori - Maori Language Commission are bringing Heremana Te Kōpūtōtara (Sailor the Pufferfish) asthma shows to schools in Wellington.

The show’s presenter Hinerongonui Kingi will perform five Te Reo shows to Māori medium schools thanks to a partnership between ARFNZ and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.

Heremana te Kōpūtōtara is an engaging musical show about asthma that educates children and their teachers about asthma triggers, how to self-manage asthma, and what to do in an asthma emergency. The Foundation has been providing shows throughout New Zealand since 2010, and launched the Te Reo Māori version of the show in April 2019.

Asthma and other respiratory conditions disproportionately affect Māori communities in New Zealand, with Māori and Pacific families three times more likely to be hospitalised for asthma. The Hutt Valley, in particular, ranks in the top five DHB’s for medicated asthma prevalence for both children and adults, asthma hospitalisations and asthma deaths.

"These are statistics that we cannot ignore - it is essential to educate our tamariki about asthma in Te Reo in our at-risk communities" says Ngahiwi Apanui, Tumuaki (CEO), Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori.

Letitia Harding, Chief Executive, ARFNZ is proud to partner with Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori this Māori Language Week.

"Access to health education should not be a barrier to healthcare, our Heremana Te Kōpūtōtara asthma shows in Te Reo are just one step on this journey".

The partnership will see more than 450 tamariki educated about asthma this Māori Language Week in the Hutt Valley, Porirua and Seatoun areas. This brings the total number of children educated through the Sailor the Pufferfish Shows in New Zealand, in both English and Te Reo, to more than 75,000.

For more information about Sailor the Pufferfish asthma shows visit

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