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CHATHAMS MESSAGE: The Maori TV and NZ Prostate Cancer Foundation team at Chatham Islands airport. Dene Ainsworth is second from left.

PROSTABLOG NZ: NZ’s Maori television channel has broadcast a beautifully produced programme on men and prostate cancer on the Chatham Islands.

It features Dene Ainsworth (Te Ati Awa), who goes to the remote islands, 800km east of NZ, with Hawkes Bay urologist Dave Mason to talk to people about the dangers of undetected prostate cancer.

Their visit was funded by the NZ Prostate Cancer Foundation. See the programme here:

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WHITIREIA journalism student CARL SUURMOND went to the Chatham Islands with the Prostate Cancer Foundation last weekend. Here’s his first report (see below for his SLIDE SHOW):

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FLYING PROSTATE TEAM: from left, Carl Suurmond, Dene Ainsworth, Daniel Marshall, David Mason, Ash Zoias, Kelvin McDonald and Joe Tapara.

PROSTABLOG NZ: The men of the Chatham Islands are a tough  breed of fishermen and farmers whose work environments have shaped their hardwearing demeanour – but it’s the women of the island who are really tough.

Without the support and encouragement of wives, partners and mothers, many of the male inhabitants of the island may not have turned up at the presentations on prostate cancer held over the weekend.

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Prostate Cancer Foundation board member Dene Ainsworth (left) and Joe Tapara.

That’s the view of Joe Tapara (Ngāti Ruanui),  cultural adviser for the Hao Te Ora o Wharekauri Trust and member of the Chatham Islands Māori Community Health.

“The wives and the partners were the reason why so many men turned up,” he said. “Without them nagging, I’m not sure how many would have bothered.”

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Dene (right) in the jump seat behind the pilots.

The weekend presentations aimed to raise awareness of prostate cancer and promote early detection, with a focus on reducing fatalities amongst Māori men.

Maori are less likely to be diagnosed early and suffer a death rate after diagnosis that is twice that of non-Māori.

The trip was funded and organised by the NZ Prostate Cancer Foundation, in conjunction with Māori Community Health and Chatham Island Health Care.

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David Mason (right) and Daniel Marshall get checked out on a boat at Port Hutt.

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ISLAND FOOD: The team is spoiled at Kaingaroa.

The team included the expertise of urologist Dave Mason and trainee urologist registrar Daniel Marshall, both from Hastings.

Otaki’s Dene Ainsworth (Te Āti Awa Iwi), a board member on the foundation, and prostate cancer survivor, shared his own experience during four well-attended presentations to several communities around the island, which is 800km off the coast of Christchurch.

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Dene speaks to one of the Chathams gatherings.

In total, 40 men out of 135 over the age of 40 – and a few women – turned out, and in small communities like Kaingaroa Harbour, Owenga and Port Hutt just about all the male population was there to have their questions and concerns answered.

The tour round the main of the Chathams group was organised by Mr Tapara, with plenty of help from other locals.

Mr Ainsworth said the weekend was a great success and the desired outcome had been achieved.

“It was a bloody awesome weekend.  I think we achieved more than we could have ever hoped for.  The reaction from the islanders was first class and they’re really keen to get us to go back and do this on a regular basis.”

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Mr Mason and his colleague were there to address medical concerns and provide advice.

“I think the turnout has been amazing,” said Dave Mason.  “Each place that we’ve been to, the guys have come out and talked about things in different ways and brought up different concerns.

“There was a good bit of interest and a good spread of age groups.”

Mr Marshall said the men were not shy about asking questions.

“From talking to them afterwards it seems they’ve got a lot out of it.  They certainly haven’t been shy in asking questions and finding out what they want to know, which is what it’s all about.

“Seeing the island, seeing the style of life here, the way everyone gets on so well in the community here – it’s been brilliant.”

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The waterfont at Waitangi, the main settlement.

The weekend came about through a serendipitous meeting between Dene Ainsworth and Joe Tapara at the first-ever Māori men’s health conference, Tane Ora, held in Blenheim earlier this year.

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MAORI TV: Kelvin McMcdonald (left) & Ash Zoias.

Dene spoke about prostate cancer in a presentation at the conference and was heard by Joe Tapara.

The two talked about men’s health and prostate cancer and Joe told Dene that his presentation was needed on the Chatham Islands.

“I agreed that Chatham Islands men should have the same access and opportunity to these sorts of presentations as ‘mainland’ New Zealanders,” said Dene.

The trip, which was funded by the Prostate Cancer Foundation, was filmed by a crew from Maori Television, which will show it on its top current affairs programme, Native Affairs.

VIEW THE CHATHAM ISLANDS TRIP SLIDESHOW HERE

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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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chathamsMAPPROSTABLOG NZ: Men on the isolated Chathams – 10 small islands 800km east of NZ – are getting the message about prostate cancer this weekend.

Prostate Cancer Foundation board member Dene Ainsworth (Te Ati-awa), who has taken a prostate team there to talk to the men and test those who want it, says they are getting good attendances at their meetings.

In an email to his wife, Jan, back on the Kapiti Coast north of Wellington, he wrote today:

We drove to Kaingaroa, a 1hr 45min drive, and we spoke to 13 men there.

Again, a good turnout, as there is only 30 people, total, that live there.

It was a lively meeting, with predominantly fishermen who called a spade a f***n shovel, so there was some lively debate, aided by one of the guys celebrating his birthday and being reasonably well-lubricated when he arrived.

The team – there for just the weekend and heading home tomorrow – includes Napier urologist David Mason and a colleague, Maori TV, and a Whitireia Journalism School student, Carl Suurmond.

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