Health Promotion AgencyWednesday 26 September 2012, 2:13PM
Media release from Health Promotion Agency
Former All Black captain and hard man Wayne 'Buck' Shelford is
urging men to front up over their health.
Shelford is the face of a national awareness campaign to encourage
men to visit their family doctor or nurse to get a heart health
check. He will be at VTNZ's depot in Parnell (65-71 the Strand) at
lunchtime today asking customers getting a warrant of fitness for
their car 'How's Your engine - get your heart checked'.
VTNZ and Shelford are lending their support to the campaign
developed by the Health Promotion Agency (HPA) in association with
the Heart Foundation and Pharmac.
"It's a simple message; you regularly check your car; it's also
essential to get your heart checked," says Wayne.
Wayne says he has been on a health journey himself with a well
publicised battle with cancer and weight issues. Having
beaten both, he now wants to encourage other men to look after
"The problem is we kiwi men are too staunch to go to the doctor for
a general check up. Men generally, and Maori and Pacific men in
particular, don't look after themselves as well as women.
"We've got all the excuses. 'I don't have time'; 'I'm not sick'.
Many men might not have a check-up for years, if ever. We need to
get rid of that attitude."
Wayne says Maori and Pacific men are at high risk. For
example, for Maori the statistics show that heart disease mortality
is about two times higher for Maori than non-Maori. Of Maori who
die from heart disease, nearly 50% are aged 45-65, compared to 18%
"So more of us are dying and we are dying younger."
"We need to make the time to look after ourselves because at the
end of the day, it's not just about us. It's being there for our
families. We're the senior warrior in our families and they
need us to be around."
Today's launch is ahead of World Heart day on Saturday September 29
when radio advertisements encouraging listeners to get a heart
health check will begin. The radio spots utilise Wayne in a clever
play on the famous line of 'Bring back Buck'.
"After the launch the campaign emphasis will move to regional
initiatives drawing on existing 'local champions' as spokespeople
and regional and community events," said HPA General Manager
Stakeholder Relations Tane Cassidy.
Mr Cassidy thanked VTNZ for their involvement in what was an
important health issue. VTNZ would be handing out leaflets
throughout October to customers at all its stations nationwide
urging them to get their heart checked, he said.