Research / Culturally centred health interventions for Māori and Pacific peoples

Oire Tokoroa Family Diabetes Prevention Programme

A type 2 diabetes prevention programme, co-designed with Pacific families and communities

illustration of community-centred health
Project Status: Completed Funding: $601,828 Timeframe: February 2021 – June 2023


What we are investigating

Take | Issue

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the New Zealand Pacific population is more than double that in the New Zealand European population and is projected to rise steeply over the next 20 years.

The Pacific population has unequal access to resources to support health and wellbeing, and existing health services are not always culturally responsive and acceptable to Pacific communities.

Whāinga | Aim

This project will co-design and implement a family-centred diabetes prevention programme in a Pacific community in Tokoroa. It aims to help families which are supporting members with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes to develop the practical knowledge that will enable them to make healthier food and lifestyle choices, within their own lived experience and cultural context.

It is hoped the project will develop a methodological approach that could be adapted and replicated in other communities.

Huarahi I Whāia | Approach

The project builds on an established research partnership with South Waikato Pacific Islands Community Services, which will co-develop a type 2 diabetes prevention programme that is culturally relevant to Pacific families within their community in Tokoroa. Recognising that Pacific families make up the nucleus of their communities and often determine how communities operate collectively, this project will pilot an holistic, family-centred prevention programme with the following elements:

  • Vaevae oro oro – identification of, and support for, the person in the family who does important tasks to support the family
  • Kai Tari food bags – provision of ingredients and recipes for four healthy Pacific meals for the family each week
  • Family physical activity nights – a range of options for three sessions a week
  • Whānau education days – educational workshops for family members led by Pacific experts (Diabetes Nurse Specialist, Nutritionist, General Practitioner).



Outcomes and Impact

Outcome | Putanga

  • The Oire Tokoroa family-focused diabetes prevention programme impacted positively on every aspect of daily life for the twenty families involved, including increased availability of food, better nutrition, improved literacy, more physical activity, new budgeting skills, closer family and community ties, and on-going employment.
  • The Kai Tari recipe books, containing 16 recipes with a Pacific focus and approved by a dietitian, continue to be used by the community and may be made available to others in the future.

Next Steps | Te ara kei mua

  • There are plans to adapt the Oire Tokoroa programme for other Pacific communities living in New Zealand and in the Pacific. You can contact the lead researcher to get more details.

Research presentation: Community-led research for sustainable futures
Healthier Lives Kōrero Tahi 2024: equity and beyond (13-14 February 2024)

YouTube video



Media | Pāpāho

Video | kōnae whakaata

Project Team

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