Hillary CommissionActive Living
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New Zealand 2000
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Green Prescriptions - The Cure

push play Arnold Tekenlenburg, a Green Prescription patient from Te Kauwhata.

After two years of being sick and feeling unmotivated, Arnold was prescribed a Green Prescription by his general practitioner. The cure - visit the gym and play golf. "Sport Waikato and the Green Prescription programme was the motivation and push I needed to be active again. It has put me back on track. Some days I still feel low but most are great! I am active again and that puts things back in perspective."

By June 2000 we will see:

  • A 10% increase in the number of people doing a minimum of 2.5 hours active leisure a week

New Zealand is not immune to the trend in the developed world of people becoming less active. The Couch Potato Index in New Zealand is currently '34' - 34% of us are too inactive for our own good. Two out of three Kiwis do, however, enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle and they are a model for the 900,000 who need to do more. Couch potatoes run a greater risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, depression and colon cancer, as well as many other chronic medical conditions. Research tells us that around 60% of inactive adults want to be more active - this is a huge opportunity for us to exploit.

Health research also tells us that the benefits of exercise can be achieved without stress and strain. As long as people raise their pulse or break into a sweat on most days of the week they will improve their stamina and wellbeing. Last year the National Health Committee recommended that adults should be moderately active for at least 30 minutes most days, or around 2.5 hours a week.

To take this message to all New Zealanders the Commission launched Push Play in April 1999. Sports trusts throughout New Zealand are pushing the new 'snacktivity' message - so far it has been launched in 43 centres. The National Heart Foundation of NZ, Health Funding Authority, Local Government NZ, Agencies for Nutrition Action, YMCA and many local gyms and community groups also back the campaign. And we acknowledge the great support of our marketing partner UnitedNetworks.

Push Play

More People More Active More Often
Sportspeople live actively. So do those who enjoy brisk walking, swimming or vigorous gardening. Health providers already know the effects of too much inactivity - 300 deaths a year and many illness conditions are attributed to it. The extra cost to the health system is estimated at a minimum of $50 million a year. Our strategic target by June 2000 is to reduce the Couch Potato Index - by increasing the number of physically active people. This alone will save hundreds of families from the needless loss of a preventable death.

To become active people need choice in their lifestyle - opportunities for activity that are nearby, affordable and easy. Our key partners in providing these opportunities are the sports trusts and local authorities. The Hillary Commission funds the 17 regional sports trusts to provide a range of events and activities to get more people more active more often.

Push Play has been successfully launched. With our partners we will encourage all New Zealanders to adopt an active lifestyle. The 95% of the country's mayors who have joined us know that '30 minutes a day' will help build healthy communities.

Green Prescriptions

Prescribing the Activity Cure

For some patients visiting their GP, appropriate physical activity is part of the cure. Green Prescriptions enable doctors to prescribe activity to their patients. People who will benefit from being active are those with arthritis, asthma, depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and osteoporosis. They receive written advice from their GP with specific information about the activity, its duration and intensity.

After successful trials in the upper North Island and Christchurch, Green Prescriptions was rolled out nationwide in November 1998. Our research shows that over a third of all GPs write Green Prescriptions and more than 6,000 Green Prescriptions are written every month. Seven Green Prescriptions Co-ordinators have been appointed in most regions to help GPs prescribe activity.

He Oranga Poutama

Greater Maori Participation

He Oranga Poutama provides the vital Maori dimension (He Tangata He Tangata He Tangata) for the Hillary Commission strategies. Based on the concept of participating for life in sport and active living, it is the flagship of support for Maori sport and active leisure.

12 Kaiwhakahaere (co-ordinators) promote the active-living message from Tai Tokerau to Ngai Tahu, Tai Rawhiti to te Tai Hauauru. They create opportunities for Maori sport in a Maori setting. These activities involve mokopuna to kaumatua. A record number of 39,500 people participated in He Oranga Poutama events at 200 marae settings.

He Oranga Poutama completed its three-year pilot in mid 1999 and has been a huge success in developing healthy lifestyles in rural/urban, marae, whanau, hapu and iwi settings. The evaluation by Dr Fiona Cram of Auckland University shows that He Oranga Poutama raised the level of Maori participation and used active leisure events as a vehicle for promoting health and wellbeing messages to Maori.

There is, however, disappointment in that two sponsors, the Health Sponsorship Council and ALAC, have decided to withdraw from the programme. Along with partners the Community Employment Group and Te Puni Kokiri (the Ministry of Maori Development) the Hillary Commission remains committed to He Oranga Poutama and the positive impact it has on Maori communities.


Fast Walks for Busy People

KiwiWalks enable busy people to enjoy the great outdoors on New Zealand's many accessible tracks. They're ideal for Push Play - which calls for 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week. KiwiWalks are safe and fun, take no more than an hour and don't require special gear.

In the two years since KiwiWalks was launched (by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Governor-General Sir Michael Hardie Boys) 60 local councils and DOC conservancies have joined the scheme and launched 150 KiwiWalks. KiwiWalks will soon be available in every community.

Working with Councils

Local Delivery is Best

As the biggest investors in sport and active living, district and city councils are important allies for the Commission. Councils spend over $300 million a year providing sport and leisure facilities and services. Councils are the best bodies to provide activity opportunities close to where people live, and that are quick and cheap. Local authorities have a lead role in promoting Push Play, and we will continue to work closely with them.

The Hillary Commission provides technical advice, information and recognition to help local authorities plan and deliver services so that more people can enjoy active-living opportunities. This includes strategic planning development, advice on policy and advocacy, and resources and expert opinion on the design and management of sport and active-living facilities and services.

Community Sport Fund

Supporting Community Sport

The Commission's Community Sport Fund provides the widest distribution of funding for sport in local communities. For young people's sport, coach and volunteer training or other active community leisure, sports clubs or organisations can apply to their local councils for help.

Over 5,500 projects or events are supported throughout New Zealand. This year the Community Sport Fund distributed $5.7 million to communities. Our partners in the scheme, local authorities, administer the fund and some contribute to it. Staff from 69 councils received training in how to operate it. A minimum fund of $22,000 is guaranteed to small district councils (such as Wairoa, Mackenzie and Kaipara) so that their rural clubs are not disadvantaged.


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The Hillary Commission for Sport, Fitness and Leisure
Te Komihana Haakinakina a Hillary
Our programmes are funded by the NZ Lottery Grants Board