After incorporating traditional mau rakau movements in their fitness sessions, the Ōranga Tinana Kaumātua group of Rotorua will now take their moves to the 2018 National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference, kicking off in New Plymouth tomorrow.
The group has been invited to speak at the conference.
Dr Laurie Morrison, who is one of the four kaumātua representatives at the conference, says, “We were a little bit reluctant at first to use the rākau but because we have got a bit more comfortable around all of the different steps to the dance routine it has become easier.”
The group, which has a membership of 30 kaumātua aged between 60 and 80 years old, trains every Tuesday and Thursday at the Toa Advance and Health Centre in Rotorua.
“The kaumātua only pay $2 a session and we’ve been able to encourage Māori gym owners to actually embrace kaumātua” says Morrison.
The organisers of the conference were impressed by the group's promotion of the importance of fitness, which is why they have invited them to speak and showcase their moves at the event.
Ōranga Tinana Kaumātua member Huhana Davie, of Ngāti Pikiao, says the group will be showcasing the mau rakau moves they have only incorporated into their fitness sessions.
“The rākau is being used in the form of our kanikani steps with our line dancing.”
The National Kaumatua Service Providers Conference begins tomorrow in New Plymouth.