He Korowai Oranga (the Māori Health Strategy) acknowledges that Māori families need to be supported to achieve their maximum health and wellbeing. PATU© Aotearoa strives to do this by promoting a whānau (family) approach to exercise and uses group exercise based on high intensity interval training (HIIT) with the aim to fight against obesity and physical inactivity. PATU© Aotearoa is about re-defining the Māori warrior and the enemy (health issues) and in doing so transforming individual lifestyles, families and communities.
PATU© Aotearoa draws on traditional Māori values such as rangatiratanga (self-responsibility for their health and wellbeing), whanaungatanga (community involvement and cultural awareness), kotahitanga (working together, teamwork), kaitiakitanga (respect for property and resources) and manaakitanga (caring and sharing in a reciprocal fashion) by incorporating Atuatanga into each training session and embedding te reo me ōna tikanga Māori (Māori language and custons) within the programme. In doing so PATU© Aotearoa participants experience a range of outcomes across all of the four cornerstones of Māori health and wellbeing (Te Whare Tapa Whā): tinana (body/physical), hinengaro (mind/psychological), wairua (spirituality) and whānau (family/kinship).
In order to evaluate the effectiveness PATU© Aotearoa, it became apparent that a culturally appropriate, methodically sound, contemporary research tool needed to be developed. To begin this process the PATU© Aotearoa whānau were asked what aspects of health and wellbeing they considered to be important and how would they like them to be evaluated. From this it was found that participants acknowledged and embraced the holistic nature of the outcomes they felt were a result of attending PATU©. The whānau also disclosed that they felt compelled to engage in written surveys about PATU© due to loyalty but that they often required support in understanding written questions and this caused embarrassment and shame. After further consultation with the local Māori, health and research communities, the ‘Meke Meter' was developed as an imaged based tool, not dependent on literacy skills, to assess the multifaceted nature of Māori health and wellbeing.