Topics: Fitness, Health, Te Arawa

Pakaru Tinana helping Te Arawa Koeke live longer

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Pakaru Tinana is helping Te Arawa koeke live longer.

The group of around 30 kaumatua come together every week for exercise sessions. They're now gearing up for the upcoming IronMaori competition in November.

According to member Laurie Morrison, it’s about doing things at their pace, “it's not about the biggest loser 'cause we have several success stories here.  It's about losing weight, keeping fit, and you know what, having a lot of laughs”.

Pakaru Tinana started off as a walking group every Tuesday and Thursday but a chance meeting with gym owner Calvin 'Mitch' Mitchell is making it possible for these Koeke to afford the gym.

“Some people have never ever being on a treadmill and now they are you know?  With Mitch we do a cross circle, so they are hopping on machines and doing exercises that they have never ever done before,” says Morrison.

Mitchell says, “for me it's really motivating and inspiring for myself.  It's like a self-check for myself to actually keep myself fit and healthy and all that stuff.  It started off with six people but grew. 

"Our kuia were the first members but as it got bigger our koroua jumped on board- but there's always room for more.

Wiremu Keep who is 65 says, “men, you are most welcome to come and train meet up with our kuia [and] workout on the machines inside here.”

The group believe their kaupapa can be replicated for other kaumatua to mix and mingle around the country.