Henwood, Wendy; Whāriki, Te Rōpu
November 2007
Social Policy Journal of New Zealand;Nov2007, Issue 32, p155
Academic Journal
Nutrition and physical exercise health promotion programmes have been around schools and communities for a long time, but only recently has culture been acknowledged as an important feature of health promotion approaches. This paper draws on the experience of Korikori a Iwi, a community development action research project that used Māori culture as a basis for encouraging good nutrition and regular physical exercise in five Māori communities. Although community action objectives are grounded in research-based knowledge, the strategies used to achieve these objectives are grounded in the community's knowledge base - in this case, that of te ao Māori (the Māori world). In addition to findings from across the project sites, the way in which one of the programme providers, Hauora Whanui, approached Korikori a Iwi will be used to demonstrate how culture laid the foundation for a health initiative that supported the building of Māori capacity within the community. Formative evaluation assistance during the developmental phase of the programme provided a way to improve the link between research and public health practice, and to explore the significance of tikanga Māori (Māori customs and traditions) and related strategies as a vehicle for change, increased capacity and community resource development. The knowledge source drawn upon in this process is often referred to as Te Puna Matauranga, which implies that an existing pool or spring of knowledge is available and available to be accessed.


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