A new pilot programme for the elderly in the Glen Innes, Panmure, Point England and Mt Wellington areas has been launched to provide time away from home for our elders. Called Metua Pakari, the programme is a partnership facilitated by the Auckland Eastern Bays Kuki Airani Trust and Pacific Homecare
The Metua Pakari Wellness Programme (which is Cook Islands Maori for ‘our elderly’) has been launched to provide much-needed “time away from home for our elders,” says Auckland Eastern Bays Kuki Airani Trust co-ordinator Ridgeland Kiria.
“Many of our elders are still looking after their grandchildren or great grandchildren and when the kids go to school they stay home and do nothing,” says Kiria.
For the elderly (aged 65 years and above) living in the Glen Innes, Panmure, Point England and Mt Wellington areas, Metua Pakari Wellness Programme was started when Kiria went in search for funding to help the Airani Trust.
The Trust had been taking their elders to the local library for years, but under new library management they’ve had to find a new place for their metua pakari to meet. Due to a lack of funding they couldn’t hire a hall on their own.
Pacific Homecare CEO Hamish Crooks, of Cook Islands descent, came to the rescue and was happy to partner up with Kuki Airani Trust to provide this pilot service for Pacific people of Cook Islands descent.
“The metua pakari programme is similar to our Fia Ola drop-in centre we already run for our South Auckland elderly from our offices in Papatoetoe,” says Crooks.
“Fia Ola means living longer happily and metua pakari is built on the same foundation. Pacific Homecare is pleased to be able to extend this to other areas and assist the Kuki Airani Trust.”
The programme provides activities and social events to support our elderly people to enjoy “living longer and living better” with a supportive social and cultural context.
The main focus is enjoyment through participation, with a health and wellbeing emphasis.
At their new venue Te Whare Piringa Community Centre, the group open with a prayer before getting into exercise, Cook Island dancing and discussions in their native tongue about a particular social or health issue.
One client, Tere Miimetua Tarapu, says it’s good to have others to talk to about issues raised during their discussion time, even if new people are a bit shy to begin with.
“It is good, even though it’s new to us.”
Teiho Tengaru, another client, says not only does she love being able to share and learn from other clients but she loves the exercise they all do before discussions.
Clients come alive during discussions as they talk about personal experiences and ideas with each other.
Kiria is happy with the turnout and says it’s good to “bring our people together, so they can talk together and get along, so they can sit down and laugh.”
Runs: Friday’s from 10am to 2pm
Venue: Te Whare Piringa Community Centre, 29 Fenchurch Street, Glen Innes
Transport: Pacific Homecare can arrange a pick-up if you need
Cost: It is free to registered participants