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Posts Tagged ‘Chatham Island men’

Chathams5PROSTABLOG NZ: A Chatham Island gale whips up the tail feathers on a passing Weka – but men on the island were far from ruffled by the visit of the NZ Prostate Cancer Foundation team last weekend.

They turned out in big numbers to hear the prostate cancer message from the team, whose visit to the island is being reported by Whitireia journalism student Carl Suurmond (who took these pictures). SEE PICTURES HERE>

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CHATHAMS WELCOME: Dene Ainsworth (white hair), urologist David Mason and his colleague arriving at Waitangi airport on Friday.

Carl tagged along with the foundation’s Dene Ainsworth, two Hawkes Bay urologists and a filmcrew from Maori TV, who all flew to the islands on Friday and were due back today.

The men spoke about the risks of prostate cancer to meetings organised by Chathams health worker Joe Tapara.

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WILD COAST: Carl Suurmond at Petre Bay, which forms half the main Chatham Island's west coast.

Here’s Carl’s first impressions:

Things are going well here, although the weather has not been the best (set to change to less rain tomorrow (Sunday).

Had to take advantage of a one-hour break in the rain and get some footage of the scenic reserve that is behind the lodge.  Amazing place. The people are really great, as well.

I passed on a boozy night at the local with some friendly young fishermen we met at the Kaingaroa Harbour Social Club, where we had a barbeque.

The presentations went well today, with a large turn out at Kaingaroa.  Good questions were asked and it seemed beneficial to all those who attended.

Dene has been great, and I admire his passion and enjoy his informative presentations where I have learnt a fair bit myself.

Maori Television has been doing a fair bit of filming and I have observed a few techniques.  Kelvin and Ash are really nice guys.

The Urology team from the Hawkes Bay, Dave(Mason) and Daniel, are also really great guys, who answer questions well and are fun to be around.

I’m not sure if there will be any testing, though. The PSA machine is here, but they say it hasn’t been trialled yet.

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One of the meeting venues.

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PROSTABLOG NZ:  A chance meeting between two Maori men may affect the future well-being of 135 males living on the Chatham Islands.

DENE AINSWORTH  (Dominion-Post picture)

DENE AINSWORTH DomPost pic

The meeting has led to a NZ Prostate Cancer Foundation-funded initiative, which will soon see the island’s over-40 male population offered health checks and prostate cancer screening tests.

More than half the island males have Maori and Moriori ancestry, and while they have no proven genetic pre-disposition, statistics show they are less likely to be diagnosed early, and suffer a death rate after diagnosis that is twice that for non-Maori.

Earlier this year, the Foundation helped Kapiti Coast man Dene Ainsworth get to Blenheim to attend Tane Ora, the first-ever Maori men’s health conference, so he could make a presentation.

One person who heard him was Joe Tapara, a representative of the Chatham Islands Māori Community Health.

Later, the pair talked about men’s health in general, and prostate cancer in particular, and Joe reckoned a talk along the lines of Dene’s presentation was needed on the Chathams.

“I agreed that Chatham Islands men should have same access and opportunity to these sorts of presentations as ‘mainland’ New Zealanders,” says Dene (Te Ati Awa), who is a prostate cancer survivor and now a member of the PCF Board.

He put the idea of a Chathams visit to the PCF in August and it was approved for the last weekend in September.

Dene will be accompanied by Napier urologist Dave Mason, who is donating his time and insists on paying his own travel costs, and who will offer free health checks to those men who want them.

The two will work with island health workers, and will be guided by their advice about the island’s needs.

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According to the last census (2006), the 10-island Chatham Islands group (800 kilometres east of New Zealand) has a population of 609, whose ethnic origins are European (66%), Maori (57%) and Moriori (the first settlers).

Some 22% of the population (135) are men 40-plus, the milestone age when prostate cancer risks begin to rise.

The main island, Chatham, has a hospital and resident doctor, but no ready access to a specialist like Dave.

The islands are connected to NZ by regular air service, but fares cost many hundreds of dollars.

Julian-Wilcox

Julian Wilcox

Along to cover the trip will be Maori Television presenter Julian Wilcox, who will report it for the channel’s flagship current affairs programme, Native Affairs.

Also covering the three days – checkups by Dave and four presentations by Dene – will be Whitireia Journalism School student Carl Suurmond (Tainui), who will shoot video and still photos, and write articles.

Dene is Business Manager for a research and policy company, Mauriora-ki-te-Ao/Living Universe Ltd, which offers products and services that concern the development and communication of ideas, particularly as they relate to the creative potential of Māori knowledge, people and resources.

Owae Marae

Owae Marae

Dene: “Nō Waitara ahau, engari inaianei e noho ana ahau ki Ōtaki. Ānei toku pepeha: Ko tokomaru te waka, ko Taranaki te Maunga, ko Waitara te Awa, ko Te Āti Awa te iwi, ko Ngāti Rahiri te hapu, ko Owae te marae.

“I come from Waitara and am currently living in Otaki. I whakapapa to Te Āti Awa iwi and the hapu of Ngāti Rahiri and my turangawaewae (home place to stand) is Owae marae in Waitara.

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