Tane Takitu Ake ki Taupō (Men standing strong in Taupō) is a kaupapa Māori six-week program with a focus on Māori men's health with, or at risk of developing, multi-morbidities.
This behavioural change and lifestyle medicine program has been established alongside a similar programme that has been running successfully in Rotorua. The facilitators gifted the program to Pinnacle peer support worker Shane Rakei to adapt for the Taupō/Tuwharetoa region.
The Te Whare Tapa Whā model of dimensions of wellbeing are the four pillars of the programme:
Source: Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/en/diagram/31387/maori-health-te-whare-tapa-wha-model.
Three sessions were held each week involving health and wellbeing education, water and land-based exercise and one-on-one consultations.
Guest speakers from the Cancer Society, Heart Foundation, Tipu Ora smoking cessation and the Alcohol and Drug rehabilitation team provided education sessions. Further support was offered by Leanne Te Karu; Pihanga Health's prescribing pharmacist, Rachel Dykes; Lakes DHB COPD nurse specialist, and the Lakes extended care team.
The men were well engaged and asked many questions in the education sessions. The group's bond, cohesiveness and re-connection with their culture encouraged ongoing motivation for the programme.
On the day of the dietary focussed education session, morning tea was provided and for some it was their first experience of eating hummus.
"They were keen to learn how to make hummus themselves as well as explore healthy ways to cook fish and vegetables." says Shane Rakei, Pinnacle peer support worker who led the programme. "They boiled the fish instead of using butter and used onions to enhance the flavour."
The men enjoyed the hands-on participation of the session, one noting it was a "brilliant kōrero and cooking demo."
Nutrition session and cooking demonstration with Katie Harris, Pinnacle dietitian.
Preparing to paddle the waka tētē.
"It has been enormously encouraging to see positive changes in the participants," says Shane.
"Before the programme, one of the men virtually never left his house. He has since been regularly attending the pool sessions. His whole disposition/taha hinengaro has changed. Although naturally shy, he is noticeably happier and has continued to engage and participate in the programme. He was also the recipient of the Toa Tane award, awarded to the person who has made the most significant changes of the group."