Chairman promotes healthy lifestyle
A year into running, spin, core and step classes has a group of grass roots fitness buffs transforming their lives. IronMaori Ki Hawera Whanau Training and Support was formed to create a family-based, non-judgmental environment to support all levels, sizes and ages.
On Labour weekend Ngati
Ruanui hosted its biennial Ngati Ruanui Festival, named after their Iwi matriarch Ruaputahanga.
’’The event attracts just under a thousand Ngati Ruanui descendants coming together to celebrate and compete in Kapa Haka, speeches, debates, touch, netball, volleyball, table tennis and triathlon,’’ chairman of Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui
Haimona Maruera said.
This year included a mini-tri, which involves a 300-metre swim, 5km cycle and 2km run/walk.
‘‘We have been long-standing supporters of IronMaori as we can see the positive impact it has on our people’s health and wellbeing,’’ Maruera said. ‘‘So including mini-tri makes sense. It complements IronMaori Taranaki, which we are sponsors of, and shows as an Iwi we proactively encouraging healthy life-style choices.
‘‘There’s too much focus on cure and not prevention.
‘‘Of course’’ he said, ‘‘our minitri also creates the best vibes. The whanau supporting on the day are fantastic, the supporters cheers are deafening, everyone gets in behind participants young and old, all levels, on all sort of bikes.
‘‘It’s a real positive atmosphere, and amongst all the fun the next relay team, or individual triathlete is formed.’’
‘‘This is why we’ve been so supportive of the Ki Whanau Gym and its volunteers. The gym provides a non-judgemental, caring environment that encourages those who are wanting to enter tri events and have fun.
’’We could see our mini-tri spring boarding interest into IronMaori Taranaki and IronMaori quarters, half and IronMan.
’’I believe as Iwi leaders we need to promote and support initiatives that are driven from the ground up, as the heart of communities know what they need.
‘‘The gym presents a perfect model of a community taking charge of its wellbeing. We look at the numbers attending, the full classes of spin provides Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights, with our own whanau instructing and think ‘wow now that’s Whanau Ora’. Healthy whanau make healthy communities and that’s a win/win for us all.
‘‘The weekend was a huge success, with many commenting it was the best Ngati Ruanui Festival we’ve ever had. The exciting aspect of this year’s Ngati Ruanui festival is that all the winners go forward to represent Ngati Ruanui at Taranaki Tuu Mai Event, which Te Korowai o Nga Ruahine are hosting next year.
‘‘So we’re expecting to see a lot more whanau in the gym training in preparation next year …Tihei Mauri Ora.’’
‘‘We need to promote and support initiatives that are driven from the ground up.’’ Haimona Maruera
Award winners pose for photographs after a successful weekend of competition.
From Left Karen Kumeroa, Bronte Gorham and Peter Thomspon. make their way round the course.