Tikanga Hauora. The Hauora Homies: An evaluation of a Kaupapa Māori Weight Loss and Lifestyle Change Model
Tikanga Hauora – The Hauora Homies: An evaluation of a Kaupapa Māori Weight Loss and Lifestyle Change Model provides an understanding about how tikanga was practised during the implementation of the Hauora Homies and Kick in the Butt programmes, specifically the cultural principles of whanaungatanga (relationship, kinship, sense of family connection) and manaakitanga (kindness, generosity, support, hospitality). The thesis looks at how participants understood tikanga and if they believed the programmes were kaupapa Māori in approach. The thesis then examines how these principles supported participants to achieve programme outcomes and the immediate impact of the programmes. Finally, this thesis explores the use of Facebook as the main mode of communication during the programmes to provide insight into how tikanga is transformed into an online space. The evaluation is positioned within a kaupapa Māori framework, since the Hauora Homies programmes was initiated by Māori, benefited Māori, and represented and legitimised Māori experiences and worldviews on the issue. Both the programmes and the evaluation are accountable to Māori participants. Continuous engagement with the participants of the programmes and the support of a whānau network were key aspects during the thesis process. In total there are 31 participants in this sample, 26 females and five males. Thirty participants identified themselves as Māori and one participant as Samoan. Interviews were conducted with 10 participants and one administrator. Facebook data representing 31 participants was utilised and personal observation notes provided further insight into the programmes. Interpretive analysis and descriptive statistics analysis, with an underlying ethnographic approach, were used to analyse the collected data. A kaupapa Māori approach facilitated an analysis from a Māori standpoint and Te Pae Mahutonga provided a Māori health framework to identify the health promotion outcomes of the Hauora Homies model. The evaluation found that tikanga played a significant role within the programmes and was a critical component which provided a whānau approach and platform for participants to express themselves as Māori where Māori culture and values were the social norm. Whanaungatanga and manaakitanga were found to be fundamental and were embedded and practised in the model and programmes by creating, maintaining and strengthening relationships by actively engaging with participants online and offline. The evaluation also found the programmes had a positive impact on participants’ knowledge, attitudes, behaviour and awareness, which supported them in reaching their weight loss and lifestyle change goals. The changes included increased nutritional knowledge, increased fitness, and confidence and leadership skills amongst others. This evaluation will contribute towards evidence-based research into what works and what does not for Māori in a tikanga Māori, kaupapa Māori setting. This can contribute towards the design and implementation of lifestyle programmes at a whānau (family), hapū (sub-tribe), iwi (tribe) and national level, as well as open a forum for indigenous people from other areas in the world.