Innovative Childrens Aerobics Excites Government

  • Georgina te Heuheu
Associate Minister of Health

At Papakura Marae in Auckland today, Associate Minister of Health, Hon Georgina te Heuheu and Minister of Maori Affairs Hon Tau Henare today announced Government's support for "Tamariki Maraerobics" soon to air on television.

"For the first time ever children's aerobics will feature regularly on national television using the Maori language to promote healthy living for the young", said Mrs te Heuheu.

"The programme has been developed by young people for young people, she said, That is why the Government is excited by it".

"Maraerobics is new, fresh, innovative and unique. I am sure it will catch on with young people" Mrs te Heuheu said, " and maybe the not so young too."

The programmes have aerobics taught in Maori by a teenage troupe, interspersed with health and safety messages such as: "wear a seatbelt"; "wear a helmet"; "never smoke"; "brush your teeth twice a day".

"My hope is that regular exercise becomes "cool" with kids and that health and safety messages become part of their everyday lives" Mrs te Heuheu said.

"The overall message is "good health is exciting - it's cool". Our Kids are our future and the Government is committed to a healthy future" Mrs te Heuheu said.

The project began two years ago and the language ability and aerobic capacity of the children involved has improved dramatically, their confidence and schoolwork has also improved The troupe have performed on ETV, What Now and at the MDC Maori Sports Awards.

Half a million dollars has been provided for the funding of this project. This sum includes a contribution of $60,000 from Te Mangai Paho-Maori Broadcasting Funding Agency.

Maori Affairs Minister Hon Tau Henare said the programme's aims were twofold and he was personally enthusiastic about it.

"It's not only about te reo, but also it's a proactive health message done with a flair and panache only Maori can do" said Mr Henare.