Arthritis NZ delivered much-needed gout education to local communities and whānau on the West Coast. This visit was part of the Takiwa Poutini Pilot Programme and was carried out in partnership with local health organisations, aiming to improve health outcomes for Māori, Pacific peoples, and those with disabilities.

Vicki Roper from Takiwa Poutini and Shanita Whittle from Te Mana Ora, National Health Public Service, organised the education sessions after we connected with them in October 2023 during a visit to the West Coast.


west coast gout education

The Takiwa Poutini Programme

The Takiwa Poutini programme is a three-year pilot initiative on the West Coast designed to enhance health and well-being. It focuses on the Māori and Pacific communities and people with disabilities. This initiative aligns seamlessly with our mission at Arthritis NZ, making this collaboration especially significant.

Leading the Gout education sessions were Arthritis NZ’s very own Zechariah Reuleu, health promoter and Pacific Communities Lead, and Tory Garnham, health coach and Learning and Development Manager. They conducted three Gout education sessions in Westport, Greymouth, and Hokitika.

Thanks to Takiwa Poutini, each session featured a “lunch and learn” segment. These sessions were timely, coinciding with the recent inclusion of gout in the Long-term Care funding plan for the West Coast as of 1 May 2024.

In Westport and Greymouth, the audience was comprised primarily of local health providers. These sessions facilitated connections among professionals who support whānau affected by Gout. Health professionals included pharmacists, kaiawhina, health coaches, and practice nurses who form part of a collaborative network aimed at addressing Gout more effectively.

west coast gout education

The final session in Hokitika was dedicated to whānau. The presentation underscored that they do not have to endure Gout alone. It provided crucial knowledge about Gout prevention, management during flare-ups, and the support available from our organisation and local resources.

“Our visit to the West Coast yielded promising outcomes. There is now a heightened understanding of Gout within the communities we engaged with, emphasising the importance of prevention and the available support. Our visit reaffirmed Arthritis NZ’s commitment to supporting all New Zealanders affected by arthritis, ensuring they have access to the education and resources they need,” said Garnham.

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