Shannon Karaka took the title at the Mr. Polynesia 2017 competition in Australia last week. This year the pageant's theme was to raise awareness around mental health in Polynesian men.
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Health Minister Johnathan Coleman has confirmed the budget will include new funding for mental health and addiction services as part of its Social Investment Package. However, the NZ Drug Foundation says unless funding is doubled it won't scratch the surface in terms of the growing need for support, particularly among Māori.
The tutor of Waikato Taniwharau Kaumātua Kapa Haka supports new research that Māori cultural performance and the Māori language may prevent dementia. Turongo Paki says some of their members have age-related forgetfulness and performing Māori dance keeps their minds engaged.