Taurite Tū: Responsive Strength and Balance Programme for our Kaumātua

Katrina Potiki Bryant - IIRC20
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Taurite Tū is a Kaupapa Māori falls prevention exercise and wellness programme offered to Māori and their whānau. This programme has been developed and delivered within Te Runanga o Ōtākou rohe, following research driven out of Te Runanga o Ōtākou.

Initial research (funded by 2018 HRC Ngā Kanohi Kitea grant,) addressed concerns by Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou (TRO) upoko, Edward Ellison, that kaumātua Māori were not receiving targeted falls prevention approaches. Kaupapa Māori Research (KMR) principles were applied: addressing needs identified within rūnaka; consulting with Kaumātua (Rōpu Kaiārahi) at all research process and importantly resulting in positive outcomes ageing Māori.

The name, Taurite Tū, was suggested by the Rōpu Kaiārahi: Taurite- meaning the balance of everything, and Tū- to stand; refers to standing strong as the elements of wellbeing are balanced (inferring to a holistic approach), and of course balanced standing. Experts in mātauraka Māori contributed to the development of Taurite Tū exercise classes

At the core, Taurite Tū exercises consist of weekly, 2 hour group classes of exercises and shared kai. The exercises are a combination of exercises from community evidence falls prevention programmes adapted to engage Māori by adding elements of tikaka Māori: te reo Māori, karakia, waiata, mihimihi, whakawhanaukataka, and Mātauraka Māori.

During Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, Taurite Tū staff noted many participating kaumatua did not have internet access or the internet skills for connectivity over this self-isolation period. In response, Fearing this may contribute to barriers to access of healthcare and information for our kaumatua TRO Taurite Tū unit repurposed funding to conduct a pilot study addressing internet usage for our kaumatua. 20 of our most at risk kaumatua have been offered tablets (supplied by Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu and for 3 months support with online carrier bills. 2 rakatahi have been employed to conduct pilot study, offering mentoring for our kaumatua. TRO have continued work, further addressing access of healthcare and information for our kaumatua, given limitations of internet and technology use within our kaumatua. This research informs use of falls prevention apps, (such as ACC newly released Nymbl) and
Taurite Tū online delivery. Foundation work for this pilot study was done within an HRC funded Summer Studentship research, titled “Use of online technology for effective wellness and exercise programme delivery for older Māori”, and supervised by Ms Bryant. Results from this literature were helpful to inform this pilot study.

This presentation reviews the outcomes from this 3 month pilot study, offering avenues for further research addressing solutions to this potential issue contributing to barriers for our ageing Māori to online health delivery.