Huringa Pai At The Heart Of Health And Fitness Movement In Gisborne

New Zealand Community Trust is pleased to announce a
grant of $20,000 to the Huringa Pai Charitable Trust towards
a 3D body scanner. This will greatly assist in adjusting
diet, evaluating body posture, designing exercises, tracking
weight loss and body composition status to support
motivating whanau to make positive and sustainable changes
in their lifestyles.

The Trust has enjoyed great
success with their programme, which focusses on the whanau
as a group, and is now working more intensively on a
one-on-one basis to support lifestyle changes with diet and
exercise to prevent and eradicate pre-diabetes and diabetes.
The body scanner plays an integral part in their clinical
follow-up and helps motivate whanau to make sustainable
changes, since they can track physical changes on the
scanner app over a period of time.

Tired of witnessing
too many in his community lose their lives unnecessarily to
diabetes and heart disease, Gisborne GP, Willem Jordaan,
launched a health and fitness movement called Huringa Pai
(Positive Change) in 2015. His mission was to support
whanau to make positive health changes with diet and
nutrition education and to encourage participation in
exercise classes and local sporting events.

“Even in
this modern day and age Maori still die on average 10
years earlier than Pakeha, with the major cause of death
related to cardiovascular disease from stroke and heart
attack,” Willem says. “Major contributors to this
cardiovascular disease are chronic diseases like diabetes,
high blood pressure and high cholesterol.”

Huringa Pai movement became a charitable trust in mid-2016
with a Board consisting of whanau who had been on a
life-changing health journey themselves and who became role
models and leaders in their community. Since its inception,
Huringa Pai has helped approximately 300 people improve
their health. Willem says their philosophy of ‘for the
whanau, by the whanau’ lies at the heart of their

“The reason we are having such a positive
impact is because it is whanau-driven. We believe that
only a combined, cross-organisational whanau ora effort is
the way to address this issue. We also believe that by
engaging our tamariki, we will see a sustainable change in
the future.

“Part of our plan is to identify
patients living with pre-diabetes and to address this with
them. We empower them to make positive change through diet
and exercise and support them every step of the way,” says
Willem, who specialises in indigenous health. “The fitness
classes are very popular with around 45 people attending
each session. By getting funding to pay the fitness
instructor, our classes are accessible for everyone. It has
become an institution on Tuesday and Thursday nights where
the community come together, connect, and get

“Our whanau used to have the worst
statistics of diabetes in New Zealand and I’m proud to say
that our fitness classes and the positive effect they have
had on our community mean that lots of our whanau are now
free of

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