Whānau who have shown a commitment to the Northland DHB He Pihinga Ora programme were gifted bikes and helmets last Friday at an event at the Town Basin so they can continue to grow on their journey together as a whānau and make memories for their tamariki.
He Pihinga Ora (Supporting Raising Healthy Kids) is a pilot offered throughout Tai Tokerau to children and whānau who are above 98 percent in BMI at their Before School check. Kaiāwhina throughout the region support those enrolled with the programme to make some small positive changes to nutrition, activity and wellbeing within their whānau.
These changes are based on conversations held with the whānau around kaiora, hākinakina and hauora. Through this process of whakawhitiwhiti kōrero, other kaupapa Māori concepts come into play such as manaakitanga, aroha, tuku mana and whānaungātanga.
He Pihinga Ora is not designed to create marathon runners. Its focus is to support whānau to accomplish goals that enable them to spend more time together, make smarter kai choices or learn Te Reo Māori together.
Kaiāwhina Kerrianne Rameka said they have three strands that they focus on with the whānau: Kai Ora – Nutrition, Hākinakina – Exercise and Hauora – Well-Being.
"Using these strands, we ask what they've done in the past. What worked and didn't work, and if they know why. Our role is to support the whānau with the goals they set themselves for each of the strands by finding an activity that the whole whānau will benefit from, e.g. swimming, bike riding, walking the loop to giving meal ideas and recipes."
Kerrianne coordinated the provision of the bikes after they held a wheels day event earlier this year. Whānau brought their bikes, skateboards, scooters and raced around the loop. It was such a success that it will now occur once a term, and those that took part and have continued with their commitment to all strands of the programme were selected to receive the bikes and helmets.
My Ride Whangarei secured a reasonable price for the bikes and manager Paul Fancy said they then decided to donate the helmets, a rack and a baby seat after seeing how impressive the programme was.
"Kerrianne and her team have nailed it. With the new bike path from Kamo into town and summer coming, these bikes will help these families get out and about."
The first to turn up for the event was Blake Tucker and his parents Brett and Leanna who were thrilled to be gifted the bikes.
"Where we live it's really busy, so Blake wouldn't have been able to ride to school for years - now we can ride with him. Plus it's good for the environment," said Leanna.
Before the bikes and helmets were handed over, they were blessed and it then it was smiles all around as they were taken for a test drive around the Loop.
He Pihinga Ora Kaiāwhina Kerrianne Rameka and Blake Tucker with his new helmet