A new innovative partnership will help to improve the physical health and wellbeing of Māori and Pacific communities in South Auckland.
The Ministry of Health is committing $500,000 in funding over two years to support Buttabean Motivation (BBM), led by David Letele. Part of this funding will also go towards evaluating the impact of this partnership over the two years.
Deborah Woodley, Deputy Director-General, Population Health and Prevention says BBM is a 15,000-strong movement in South Auckland which engages predominately with Māori and Pacific whānau to improve their health and wellbeing through physical activity and nutritional advice in a culturally safe environment.
“This is an innovative and collaborative partnership between the Ministry, BBM supported by The Just Move Charitable Health Trust, and Total Healthcare PHO.
“It’s an equity focused, local initiative where BBM focuses on supporting, educating, and training local communities, particularly people with long-term conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
“Long-term conditions are the leading cause of illness, disability, and death in New Zealand. In addition to personal health costs, they produce a significant economic and social burden.
“Improving equity of outcomes across Aotearoa is a key focus for the health system. We know Māori and Pacific people experience long-term conditions at a younger age, with poorer outcomes and a shorter life expectancy. Initiatives which align with the health system reforms and community-focused approaches are an important step forward.
“We need to engage not just at a national level, but locally, to ensure communities are supported in ways that best address their needs where they live, learn, and work, in a safe, culturally appropriate environment that resonates with them.
“That’s exactly what BBM does. It offers a supportive online and in-person community and runs a range of programmes tailored to individuals or groups. The programmes are uniquely structured with the way coaches engage with people and their whānau. It’s at no cost, which removes a key barrier for people.
“The programme is delivering positive results, with evidence of positive lifestyle changes from participants, including sustained weight loss. Participants and staff say this can be the last port of call for people struggling with their health, in a system which has traditionally been difficult to navigate.
“This new funding will enable BBM to strengthen its programmes – including, engaging and delivering additional motivational support, coaching and exercise programmes; developing a coaching network and ‘train the trainer’ workshops; increasing enrolment from groups and individuals with or at risk of long-term conditions; expanding the workforce including health screening, health coaching and medical support from Total Healthcare.
“This is a really exciting initiative. The first intake referred from Total Healthcare PHO into the new extended programmes starts from February 2022. I look forward to hearing how the partnership progresses,” Deborah Woodley says.