Family unites to improve young Robbie's health

By Ripeka Timutimu

At only 9 years old, Robbie Hartigan-Bryant knows too well how cruel the school playground can be after being bullied about her weight.

A year ago her parents Sharon Hartigan and Luke Bryant visited their family doctor concerned over the youngster’s weight.

The family was then referred to Sport Wellingtons Active Families program, which encourages healthier eating choices and more active lifestyles.

Robbie’s Mum says the program, which is on-going, has been a God-send and has given her daughter a new found confidence.

This whānau is a testament to those taking a positive and united approach to a better and healthier lifestyle.

The importance of taking positive action was highlighted in a recent report published by The New Zealand Medical Association which labelled the obesity rate in New Zealand as a "public health crisis".

The report also outlined that Māori and Pacific Island families were the ones tipping the scales.

Robbie Hartigan-Bryant is working hard to improve her health and with the support of her entire family she has already come a long way and is confident and determined to stay on the right track to living better.

Our reporter Ripeka Timutimu spent time with Robbie and her family and will bring you the full details tonight on Te Kāea at 5:30 and 7:00pm with subtitles.