4 Nov 2009

500 Maori sign on to lose weight in South Auckland

8:06 pm on 4 November 2009

The organiser of a weight loss competition for Maori in South Auckland expects competitors to shed between 2000 and 4000kg of fat before the end of the month.

Tahuna Minhinnick from iwi consortium Mana Whenua ki Tamaki Makaurau told Waatea News he launched the 12-week challenge thinking he would be lucky to get 60 people taking part.

But with the backing of Maori health providers, more than 500 Maori in 41 whanau teams are trying to see how much weight they can collectively shed.

Mr Minhinnick says the secret to the challenge's success is that it is organised along whanau lines, with family groups competing against each other for up to $5000 in prizes.

"Maori like kapa haka, they like touch, they like netball, they like team things, and the whole idea of losing weight as a team will probably appeal to a lot of people in this challenge."

He says the average weight of participants in most teams is more than 100kg, with the heaviest averaging 130kg.