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Whānau encouraged to ‘soak in wellness’ on Gamblefree Day

Whānau encouraged to ‘soak in wellness’ on Gamblefree Day

A special Gamblefree Day event is being held at Waitangi Soda Springs in Rotorua from 10am on Sunday 1 September, for whānau to get together and ‘soak in wellness’.

Eru Loach, Problem Gambling Foundation Health Promoter, says it is the perfect venue for whānau to come together as it is a place of historical Māori significance and a place of healing.

“Problem gambling is a big issue in our communities and can seriously impact whānau,” he says.

“Gamblefree Day is a time to raise awareness of the issue, promote healthy alternatives to gambling and it is also Father’s Day this year so what better time for people to be with whānau,” he says.

Eru Loach has been working with organisations and services in Rotorua and Kawerau to plan the event.

“For many years I have heard from my own whanaunga (relatives) about the times when they used to go to the Waitangi Soda Springs to relax, put aside the pressure and stresses of everyday life, to enjoy their time with whānau, friends and on occasions to heal,” he says.

“On this special day, Koroua, kuia (grandparents), mātua (parents), can reminisce of the times when they came to the Springs in the past, and be able to share their stories with their own tamariki and mokopuna.”

Waitangi Soda Springs has a long history in the Te Arawa rohe (area) passed down through generations. The Springs has always been a place where people could bathe and rest and allow the flowing hot springs to wash away the unwellness that people have, allowing the natural minerals and wairua to assist in the healing of people.

The event is also an opportunity to be entertained by the Choice Not Chance Local Legends who entered a rap, story, poem, and song competition to promote Gamblefree Day activities. Local events are happening in regions around New Zealand to celebrate the winners from each region who go through to the national competition.

Eru Loach says this day is for all people so come along and make a day of it.

“Bring a little kai for a shared lunch. The more the merrier! Nau mau haere mai.”

Waitangi Soda Springs is at 52 Manawahe Road, Rotoehu in Rotorua.


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