Research update: Oire Tokoroa

28 September 2023

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The Oire Tokoroa Family Diabetes Lifestyle Programme, led by Massey University researcher Associate Professor Ridvan Tupai-Firestone, and co-designed with Tokoroa-based health provider South Waikato Pacific Islands Community Services Trust (SWPICS), led by Akarere Henry, recently held a celebration to mark the end of the project and provide feedback to the community.  
This type 2 diabetes prevention programme, built around the central role of vaevae oro-oro (family champions) in supporting Pacific families, impacted positively on every aspect of daily life, including increased availability of food, better nutrition, improved literacy, more physical activity, new budgeting skills, closer family and community ties, and even on-going employment.  
The family groups that participated in the programme co-created an intergenerationally-friendly Pacific cookbook which, along with Kai Tari food bags, enabled the whole family to participate in meal preparation. With family members working long hours or shift work, preparing meals and doing fun activities together as a family was hugely valued by participants. In addition, SWPICS staff have broadened their skillsets as community co-designers to further advance their services to the wider population in Tokoroa. There are plans to adapt this successful model for use in other Pacific communities, both in New Zealand and other Pacific Islands.

Read more about the Oire Tokoroa project on their project page.

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