Waka Hourua

Off the Couch Trust

Off the Couch Trust

Off the Couch Trust currently has a contract with Procare Health, delivering last resort intervention for morbidly obese addressing addiction, depression and health risks including suicide. The Trust’s Big Boys Group Pilot featured many transformations, changes in eating and fitness regimes, and significant weight loss. The changes have been noticed by families, and in churches and workplaces. The will to achieve personal goals and support others has been remarkable.

Their Waka Hourua fitness programme caters for all whānau or family members. It draws on Mason Durie’s Māori model of health promotion, Te Pae Mahutonga, and the core aspects of Māori health; Mauriora (cultural identity) Waiora (physical environment) Toiora healthy lifestyles) and Te Oranga (participation in society) under the guidance of Ngā Manukura (community leadership) and Te Mana Whakahaere (autonomy) to build a suicide prevention tool for Māori and Pasifika communities.

The programme was delivered over a 12 week period, three training sessions per week. Two instructors progressed participants through the programme that steadily increased in intensity as fitness levels improved. The training involved exercises and equipment, taking place in the park and the gym. The group debrief at the end of each session was important. Everyone spoke, each was heard by their peers and the group found common themes particularly in relation to sickness, obesity and depression. At the end of the programme participants continued to be monitored and motivated.


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