Programme boosts rangatahi wellbeing

A health and wellbeing programme designed to support rangatahi to enhance their hauora and develop a sense of identity and belonging was successfully delivered by Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki in Thames High School last term.

Phusion, which is a collaborative programme working alongside schools and various youth support services and other community health providers, is “interactive, challenging and fun”, says Mahinaarangi Skipper, Kaikōkiri – Iwi Health Promoter (Sexual Health).

 Ms Skipper says after participating in the programme Rangatahi will be able to demonstrate knowledge in Nga Taonga Takaro and participate in various traditional Māori practices such as mau rākau, karakia and pepeha.

“They will understand the importance of maintaining a good overall health, develop leadership skills and have ability to work in a team environment.

 She says Phusion also equips rangatahi with the information and strategies necessary to make safe choices.

“We strive to ensure our taiohi health and wellbeing is a priority and ensuring our tamariki gain skills to guide them through their journey into adulthood.”

 Ms Skipper adds that the students loved doing the programme. One thing they had to ensure she says was that “we found different avenues for our taiohi to express themselves without standing up, smaller group discussions worked out well for our rangatahi.”


 Phusion was developed by Whakapai Hauora, Iwi health service based in Palmerston North and was developed to support rangatahi Maori to make heathier lifestyle choices.

 The fusion of physical activity, nutrition, Hauora, resilience and cultural identity supported rangatahi Maori to address specific health issues and promote awareness of ora and support the integration of traditional Maori practices.

The programme is still run by Iwi health services in Palmerston North. The name Fusion was created by those who founded the programme, Rachel Ngataki and Taylor Hakaraia-Woon who worked in their Public Health team. The programme was then gifted to Emma Hawkins, Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki’s previous kaimahi who introduced it to Hauraki.

Te Korowai adopted the programme in 2019 to encourage key health messages in schools