By Alice Chisnall-Kalouniviti, Health Promoter/Educator
Polynesian people were the first humans to navigate oceans, making incredible journeys thousands of years before Abel Tasman or the Vikings even made the history books.
Keeping healthy was an important part of life back then, and Te Piki Oranga have been showing today’s tamariki how it can be done using the latest Disney heroes Maui and Moana.
Dressed as the wildly popular characters, Te Piki Oranga’s Health Promoter/Educator Alice Chisnall-Kalouniviti and Pūkenga Manaaki Walter Tia have been attending local festivals, shows and community events to talk to whānau about healthy eating, physical activity and oral health.
“Moana and Maui are strong, unique characters that can tell compelling stories that our tamariki relate to,” says Alice. “Once whānau are drawn in by a Polynesian Princess or a Demi-god, it’s time to kōrero about making healthy choices – just like their idols.”
The response to Te Piki Oranga’s newest mascots has been overwhelming, with photos appearing across social media, and messages about teeth cleaning, 5+ a day and choosing water over fizzy drink being taken home all over the region. Workers from Nelson Marlborough Health and Nelson Bays Primary Health have recognised the success of the Disney pair and have signed up to be part of future health promotion events.
Maui and Moana make their next appearance at the Mapua Easter Fair on Easter Monday 17 April, where tamariki and rangatahi will be encouraged to enter competitions to show their knowledge of healthy food and drink choices to win Disney Prize Packs, books, toys and other goodies. We look forward to seeing you and your kaimahi there!