Having a Fielday

From November 30 to December 3, GM for Advocacy Marie visited the Mystery Creek Fieldays in Hamilton as part of the Hauora Taiwhenua Health and Wellbeing Hub.

The Hauora Taiwhenua Health and Wellbeing Hub at the Mystery Creek Fieldays is a truly valuable initiative that we are proud to be a part of. With tens of thousands of people descending on Hamilton to take part in the largest agricultural trade show in the Southern Hemisphere, the Fieldays is the perfect opportunity to engage with people who live and work in rural NZ in conversations about their health and wellbeing.

The Hub brings together a range of organisations who are committed to supporting people to take care of their own, and their whānau health and wellbeing. This interactive, lively event provides plenty of opportunity for Hub visitors to walk through a massive inflatable bowel, or brain, get their hearing, blood pressure and other health indicators checked out and have those extremely valuable informal chats with health professionals.

This year’s Health Hub was bigger than ever before, and the wide variety of health care professional volunteering their time were able to offer thousands of check-ups, organise appointments, and have important conversations about health and wellbeing. Hauora Taiwhenua members from rural general practices and hospitals across the Waikato, medical and nursing students gave their time freely to work together to talk with visitors and let them know what we are about.

Politicians love a good audience and so it was no surprise to any of us when Ministers David Clark, Damian O’Connor and Kieran McAnulty announced new Rural Broadband Investments from within the Hub. With a quick run of fingers through her hair, and a speedy check of facts and details, our Chairperson, Dr Fiona Bolden found herself in the middle of this announcement and interviewed about the benefit of the investment on the evening news.

This year’s Fieldays wasn’t all hard work as our Chief Executive, Grant Davidson and I had a chance to sneak away from the Hub to race each other in the great Fieldays tractor race. In what turned out to be akin to a fast and deadly tango on four wheels like something out of Mad Max, we both had a lot of fun. Even though I’ve spent more hours than I care to think about driving a tractor, no one was more bemused than I when the Fieldays TV crew announced I’d managed the fastest time on the track that day!