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While Te Ihu kaiako Ngarino Te Waati aka “Beez” prepares for Te Matatini with Te Waka Huia, he's also improving health and wellbeing through Māori Movement.

Based on mātauranga o ngā atua, Māori Movement uses the concept of haka to create an online exercise programme for all levels of ability. 

"I think people align themselves to liking the haka," says Beez, whose introductory video went viral on release two months ago. 

But what inspired him to lead Māori Movement, he says, was "our people." 

"We've got some of the highest statistics of obesity in the world, so that motivated me. I want to keep healthy so that I can be my best and demonstrate this lifestyle at forums such as Te Matatini to showcase as my tupuna did, a seasoned warrior of Te Ao." 

Māori Movement's first series debuts with 35 instructional sets of 15-minute exercise lessons, demonstrated by Beez and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa graduates Sophie Williams and Edmund Eramiha. 

All callisthenic workouts are influenced by the wairua of a particular atua, and divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. 

The second series, of at least half a dozen health programmes planned, is already in production.

"You can do it in your own home and eventually in licensed classes around the world. Once you subscribe you gain access to all the materials, and in six months time we'll start recruiting for trainers to teach."

With whakapapa to Waikato and Tauranga Moana, Beez uses a team of tikanga advisors, so he can use Māori Movement as an opportunity to "build a language of unique movement" to promote Te Whare Tapawha.

"I've had to translate terms from Roman to English, to Māori, so a challenge for me was, how do I make this simple so a five-year-old to a 90-year-old can understand?" 

Beez is an experienced fitness trainer, rugby representative, mau rākau practitioner and performer who formed indigenous performing arts' company Hawaiki, Tu with his wife Kura, in 2012. 

Hawaiki Tu showcases Haka Theatre which combines Kapa Haka with contemporary dance and Māori Theatre. 

Kura teaches the discipline at TWoA as a level 4 Certificate in Performing Arts and helped tailor Beez's Māori Movement into a Level 3 Kāwai Raupapa Certificate to bridge tauira into her class. 

His inaugural Kāwai Raupapa cohort doubled in size over the 18-week period, due to the programme's popular and inclusive physical nature. 

"They got really fit, they had no choice," says Beez. 

"The biggest transformation as a whole was we lost 175kg together. I had a plan and structure, and everything flowed." 

Rangatahi are his main focus, targeting school leavers who, after qualifying, could contract themselves as instructors to teach Māori Movement in schools.
 
"For me, it's about personal development and being able to prepare them for the industry or whatever path they want to go down," says Beez. 

"I used to think, hopefully, if I can inspire one person to just change their habits then I've done my job. But then I thought, 'no, how can I reach the world?' Māori Movement, let's create it."


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Published On: 15 Feb, 2017

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