Tāne Ora at Whakatū - Going from strength to strength

By Blair Carpenter, Toitu Te Ora a Waipiro me Tarutaru Kino / Alcohol and Other Drug Cadet

It’s Tuesday 2 May on a cool sunny Autumn morning at Whakatū Marae and a group of Tāne of various ages and abilities are beginning to arrive for their fortnightly Tāne Ora group. A collection of bikes, wooden pallets and other materials lay ready to be fixed, repaired, reconstructed and given back to whānau in need. Some might ask what relationship this group has with a Māori health service, yet those in the group will tell you there are very few things better for their health and wellbeing than being active with peers and giving back to the community.

Moetu, a foundation member comments:

For a lot of us Tāne, this is the only time we catch up with peers and spend time at the Marae.

It also enables a lot of the Tāne to have a catch up with their Pūkenga Atawhai/Community Nurse for a health check.  

The group began in early 2016 predominantly for physical health. It was nurse led, however, after discussion with kaumātua it was agreed that Tāne should be facilitating their Tāne Ora group. So, we asked them what direction they would like to take and how they wanted to steer the waka. They decided on an activity based focus for the group, with an emphasis on giving back to the community. Since the changes, activities have included waiata/Christmas carols for kaumātua, gym workouts, guest speakers and barbecues. 

The group has grown from three to 12, with many more whānau expressing interest. For more information on Tāne Ora, please contact Blair Carpenter on 0274058327 or blair.carpenter@tpo.org.nz.