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MaraeFit is a marae-centric initiative that provides opportunities for sport and recreation organisations, whānau, hapū - and marae to increase physical activity and capability in an “as Maori” context.

Now in its fourth year, the project was created by Sport Hawke’s Bay. MaraeFit is based on the Sport NZ Ihi Aotearoa kaupapa Māori sport and recreation framework Te Whetū Rehua. This framework is the foundation for the He Oranga Poutama programme.

MaraeFit uses an age determined points system to incentivise engagement of the whole whānau. Participants can kōhā their points to a chosen local marae. The marae with the most points at the end of the annual series is recognised and acknowledged as “The Most Active Marae in their region”.
Important success factors for the programme have been:

  • Giving effect to Treaty of Waitangi principles
  • Being creative, to engage the entire whanau
  • Connecting whanau and marae through sport and recreation
  • Supporting and empowering marae to increase whanau participation in physical activity
  • Increasing cultural capability of non-Maori sport and recreation organisations. MaraeFit has seen an increase in the provision of events and activities that allow participation in a culturally relevant way, and it has strengthened connections between individuals, whānau and their marae.

Ihi Aotearoa is currently building the IT infrastructure of the initiative, providing workforce development workshops that enables the scalability of the programme to be initiated across all He Oranga Poutama Partner organisations in the first instance. Proposed launch date 1 December 2020.

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