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dc.contributor.advisorJackson, Anne-Marie
dc.contributor.advisorHakopa, Hauiti
dc.contributor.authorKaraka, Darcy
dc.identifier.citationKaraka, D. (2015). A Kaupapa Māori Approach to the Fitness Gym (Thesis, Master of Physical Education). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractA Māori perspective of health and fitness is conceptualised from a holistic viewpoint. This thesis utilises the Te Whare Tapa Whā health model comprised of four tenets: taha whānau (family component), taha hinengaro (mental component), taha wairua (spiritual component), and taha tinana (bodily component) as a Māori perspective of health and fitness. Māori are overrepresented in negative health statistics that can be mitigated through exercise such as cardiovascular disease and Type II Diabetes (Ministry of Health, 2014). While CVD and Type II Diabetes are complex diseases, one potential part of the prevention and alleviation of these diseases is through health and fitness, and via the fitness gym. However, in terms of health and fitness there is a lack of cultural sensitivity in fitness gyms for Māori in New Zealand (Sukala, Page, Rowlands, Krebs, Lys, Leikis, & Cheema, 2012). This illustrates several research gaps that exist in relation to fitness and exercise, the fitness gym and Māori health. One of which, is the consideration for Māori health perceptions in relation to exercise in the fitness gym. The fitness gym promotes exercise to improve health and fitness. However, there is little known about the value of fitness gyms for Māori, and whether Māori values and principles can be integrated within the fitness gym. The purpose of this research is to examine how integrating a Kaupapa Māori framework within the fitness gym can improve Māori health. Kaupapa Māori theory was used as the methodological framework to acknowledge and advance Māori ways of being, knowing, thinking, speaking, acting and living (G. Smith, 1997). Te Ara Tika was used as an ethical framework to facilitate methods of best practice when engaging with participants (Hudson et al., 2010). The research methods involved semi- structured interviews, an exercise training session, and a questionnaire for each of the participants. Twenty-two participants (9 male and 13 female) were recruited (ages 17 to 55). All participants identified as Māori and were from a range of iwi (tribes). Kaupapa Māori theory, thematic analysis, and Bourdieu’s theory of capital were used to analyse the data. The main findings identified a space for a kaupapa Māori framework to exist in the context of a fitness gym to increase whānau motivation and adherence to exercise. The need to appropriately assess and measure whānau goals and motives for exercise arose as a key determinant of adherence to exercise in a fitness gym. In turn the acquisition of capital has been identified from engagement in exercise within a fitness gym. Economic capital was attainable via the positive effect that exercise has on enhancing work capability and productivity that influences the capacity to generate income. Social capital was attained through a collective approach that promotes whānau participation. Symbolic capital was targeted through positive role modelling and cultural capital was prompted from the passing of knowledge and education specific to health and fitness. Bodily capital was attained through the achievement of performance and/or appearance goals that informed people’s motives to exercise in a fitness gym. Other main findings were the factors that deterred and attracted Māori to the fitness gym. Deterrents related to socio-economic and socio-cultural barriers to the fitness gym, while attractors included whānau participation and positive upward social comparisons. This presents an opportunity for Māori to use a fitness gym in conjunction with a kaupapa Māori framework that encompasses a Māori perception of health and whānau participation. As a result, the fitness gym becomes a more viable context for Māori to pursue health and well-being. Furthermore, a reduction in the prevalence of health issues that many Māori face is achievable through potential implications of this research.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.titleA Kaupapa Māori Approach to the Fitness Gym
dc.language.rfc3066en of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences of Physical Education of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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