Whanau Pakari celebrates its graduates

9 July 2013

Professional Boxer Sam Rapira and Rynan Gooch at the Whanau Pakari graduation.

Taranaki families are celebrating as they graduate from Whanau Pakari a programme designed to encourage healthy lifestyles.

Whanau Pakari started in January 2012 as collaboration between Sport Taranaki and the Taranaki District Health Board, and provides a multi-disciplinary support package for those referred with weight issues.

Rynan Gooch and his family are due to graduate and are proud of what how well Rynan has done.

Health lifestyles coordinator Lisa Wynter said Rynan, along with the other participants will be graduating on Thursday and had worked hard through out the entire year making excellent changes towards building a healthier lifestyle.

“Rynan has done exceptionally well,” said Ms Wynter. “By making healthier food choices (moderating his portion sizes, increasing fruit and veggie and decreasing sugary drinks and high fat snacks) and increasing physical activity.”

Rynan is now playing soccer (player of the day this week) and martial arts and his confidence has improved.

Whanau Pakari focuses on the whole family, and since commencement has received over 200 referrals.  Whanau Pakari especially aims to access Maori whanau, as Maori and Pacific Islanders are over-represented in national figures for those trying to manage weight issues.

The services of a healthy lifestyles co-ordinator, Dietitian, health development/physical activity advisor, psychologist, and Paediatrician are provided for each individual in the programme. 

At the graduation will also be the Whanau Pakari new ambassador Sam Rapira, professional boxer and personal trainer. Sam has joined forces with the Whanau Pakari team to help support and inspire children and adolescents with weight issues in Taranaki.

“I have been involved with the Whanau Pakari programme for some time, and am a big supporter of their goals to help our Rangatahi make healthier choices and lead healthier lifestyles. I have a connection with this issue as I went through a lifestyle transformation myself and am so grateful I made the changes in my life to be healthy,” said Sam.

Taranaki DHB Paediatrician Dr Yvonne Anderson said feedback from participants to date has been overwhelmingly positive, and the popularity of the programme is growing.

“This is the first intervention programme of its kind in New Zealand to be put under the lens of a clinical trial looking at outcomes.  With the support of grants from the Health Research Council of New Zealand, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Taranaki Medical Foundation, and the Sunshine Trust, we will be in a good position to analyse the results of the programme and help inform future potential programmes throughout New Zealand,” she said.

If you are interested in finding out more about Whanau Pakari, please email the Healthy Lifestyles Co-ordinator on whanaupakari@tdhb.org.nz

For more information please call
Sue Carrington
Media Adviser
Ph 021 367 789


Last updated: Friday, July 12, 2013

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