Te Ra o Te Raukura

In this case study Anita Taggart, a Public Health Advisor in the Nutrition and Physical Activity team at Regional Public Health, provides some insight into the decision to make Te Rā o Te Raukura a Sugar Free drink event. Te Rā o Te Raukura is an annual event that attracts up to 20,000 people to Te Whiti Park, Waiwhetu in Lower Hutt. This year it was combined with the Wellington Regional Kapa Haka Competition. It is a family orientated festival with a focus on health, art, amusement and education and includes over 100 stalls with a massive array of fine foods and crafts. This event is a smoke and alcohol free festival. In 2014 it was also sugary drinks free, meaning no sugary drinks were sold by stallholders, with the only option being diet drinks or water. In order for this to be a success, building relationships with others on the organising committee was particularly important. The sugar free idea was something that they worked up to introducing after working together for several years. Relationship building and gaining trust was key to this decision being supported by the organising committee. The decision to go sugar free for drinks followed on from the event successfully going smokefree and alcohol free. “To start with everyone needed to come to a consensus on what it would mean to go Sugar Free and how this could look for the event. This involved the committee discussing what they thought it meant.” As this was a big change for the event, the use of language was important, “we didn’t call it a policy on purpose, it was important in gaining support for this idea. Instead we chose the wording Guidelines”, says Taggart The event had previously had water coolers available where people could fill up a water container for a Koha. However, this year Regional Public Health sponsored a water truck and people could fill up their bottle for free, as Anita said “water should be free”. Food stall guidelines were made available to the Food Stall Holders to ensure clarity around what drinks they were able to provide. This was extended to include not having lollies and sweets as giveaways. “The Food Stall Holders were accepting of the guidelines and still wanted to be at the event.” Taggart says that people stuck to the guidelines really well on the In  this  case  study  Anita  Taggart  from  Hutt  Valley  District  Health  Board  provides  some  insight  into  the   decision  to  make  Te  Ra  o  Te  Raukura  a  no  sugary  drink  event.    Te  Rā  o  Te  Raukura  is  an  annual  event   that   attracts   up   to   20,000   people   to   Te   Whiti   Park,   Waiwhetu   in   Lower   Hutt,   this   year   it   was   combined  with  the  Wellington  Regional  Kapa  Haka  Competitions  taking  place  the  day  before.    It’s a   family  orientated  festival  with  a  focus  on  Health,  Art,  Amusement  and Education,  including  over  100   stalls  with  a  massive  array  of   fine   foods  and  crafts.  This  event  is  a  smoke  and  alcohol   free   festival,   and  for  2014  also  sugary  drinks  free.        This  meant  no  sugary  drinks,  with  diet  options  or  water,  being   made  available  by  stall  holders.     For this type of move to be a success the building of relationships with others on the organising committee for this event was particularly important.    The sugar free idea was something that they worked up to introducing after working together for several years.     Relationship building and gaining trust was key to this decision being supported by the organising committee.    The decision to go sugar free also followed on from the event successfully going smokefree and alcohol free.         “To  start  with  everyone  needed  to  come  to  a  consensus  on  what  it  would  mean  to  go  Sugar  Free  and   how   this   could   look   for   the   event.     This   involved   the   committee   discussing   what   they   thought   it   meant.”    As  this  was  a  big  change  for  the  event,  the  use  of  language  was  important,  “we  didn’t  call  it   a  policy  on  purpose,  it  was  important  in  gaining  support  for  this  idea.    Instead  we  chose  the  wording   Guidelines”.     The  event  had  previously  used  a  water  truck  where  people  could  fill  up  a  water  container  for  a  Koha,   however this  year   the  water   truck  was  present  but   the  koha  was   removed  “water  should  be   free”   says  Taggart.    Food  stall  guidelines  were  made  available  to  the  Food  Stall  Holders  to  ensure  clarity   around  what  drinks  they  were  able  to  provide.    This was extended to include Lollies  and  sweets  to   not  be  given  out  as  giveaways. “The   Food   Stall   Holders   were   accepting   of   the   guidelines   and   still   wanted   to   be   at   the   event.”     Taggart  says.    The  guidelines  were  adhered  to  really  well  on  the  Saturday  but  required  monitoring  as   sugar  sweetened  drinks  were  popping  up  for  sale  by  the  Sunday.    “All  that  meant  was    someone  had   to   remind   them   that   they   signed   a   commitment   to   be   sugar   free   and   that   that   they   needed   to   remove  the  sugary  drinks  and  everyone  was  ‘sweet’  with  that”.     Taggart  mentioned   that  a  learning   for   the   future  would   be   to  include   something  in   the  guidelines   around   not   bringing   sugar  sweetened beverages   to   the   grounds,   as   although   the   food   stalls   were   aware  of  not  selling   the  drinks   they  arrived  loaded  up  with   them,  just  in  case.    Consequences  may   also  be  considered  in  the  future  for  example  if  you  bring  them  in  the  stall  might  be  closed  down  “but   only  as  a  last  resort”.         The  organizing  committee  surveyed  those  directly  and  indirectly  involved  with  Te  Raa  o  te  Raukura.     There  was  nearly  100%  support  of   those  surveyed   for   the  Sugar  Free  Drink  Guidelines  adopted   for   Saturday but monitoring was needed on Sunday as sugar sweetened drinks were popping up for sale. “All that meant was someone had to remind stallholders that they signed a commitment to be sugar free and that they needed to remove the sugary drinks and everyone was ‘sweet’ with that”. Taggart mentioned that a learning for the future would be to include something in the guidelines around not bringing sugar sweetened beverages to the grounds, as although the food stalls were aware of not selling the drinks they arrived loaded up with them, just in case. Consequences may also be considered in the future. For example if you bring sugary drinks in, the stall might be closed down “but only as a last resort”. The organising committee surveyed those directly and indirectly involved with Te Rā o Te Raukura. There was nearly 100% support of those surveyed for the Sugar Free Drink guidelines adopted for the festival. Some of the comments from the survey included “good to see fizzy drinks were a no go”, “loved the free water”, “I’m into Wai Māori… free at that..”, “Would be good to advertise it next time so we come prepared with our own drink bottles”. Overall the decision was seen as positive and an important step towards getting people to change their way of thinking when drinking. The steering committee group members present at the debrief felt that given the positive feedback it was something they would consider for next year. Te Rā o te Raukura The name of this event Te Rā o te Raukura is significant to the people of Waiwhetu and the tangata whenua in the Wellington Region. The ‘Raukura’ was used as a symbol of peace, love and harmony by the prophet Te Whiti O Rongomai at Parihaka. He and fellow prophet Tohu Kakahi led their people to passive resistance and patient obedience as an armed constabulary invaded the peaceful village of Parihaka on November the 5th in 1881. Te Rā o te Raukura commemorates this day and celebrates unity in Lower Hutt City and the wider Wellington Region.