New Medical Bariatric Service for Counties Manukau

Te Whatu Ora Counties Manukau is setting up a new specialist weight management service to support healthy living and combat obesity in the South Auckland community.

Te Mana Ki Tua, which is scheduled to start in mid-2023, includes wrap-around services to promote holistic well-being, low energy diets, health coaching, psychosocial support and healthy lifestyles.

The co-designed programme will be available to support people and whaanau preparing for bariatric surgery, and as an alternative pathway for those not considering surgery.

Professor Rinki Murphy, Clinical Head of the new service explains that this service will provide low-calorie meal replacements, medication adjuncts, and multidisciplinary team support for those suffering with severe weight related medical conditions.

The announcement follows a recent Health Select Committee report that shows seven out of 10 adults in Counties Manukau are overweight or obese.

The region also has 19% of New Zealanders in the most extreme 40+ body mass index group.

$1.4 million was phased for the financial year 2022/23 towards setting up the new service, which includes a clinic hub facility in Mangere.

A further $2.9 million is budgeted from 2023/24 onwards.

Maaori Health, Weight Management Project Manager Eva Takinui said that the name Te Mana Ki Tua means “the power is beyond”.

She says Te Mana Ki Tua aims to increase health literacy and independence, providing an equitable service that will see people invested in long-term behaviour change.

Te Mana Ki Tua encourages people who join the programme to invite their whaanau to also access the wrap-around support.

Bariatric surgeon Mr. Richard Babor said he was looking forward to collaborating with the specialist weight management service.

“Because we anticipate it will lead to broader, deeper, and more holistic care for patients suffering from obesity. Both for those patients intending to have surgery and those not.”

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