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Monthly Archives: December 2015


Diabetes Action Month logo

Thousands of New Zealanders are being urged to seek medical advice after recently learning they are at greater risk of diabetes.

More than 3,500 people undertook an assessment of their risk factors during the inaugural Diabetes Action Month in November, with 68 per cent learning they potentially have a greater propensity for type 2 diabetes.

The core purpose of the first Diabetes Action Month was to alert New Zealand that everyone is at risk of diabetes. Activities in November included a national roadshow that visited 33 locations in 14 towns and cities, and the launch of an online version of the risk awareness tool, so everyone could assess their risk.

 “We have identified almost 2,500 people who really need to see their GP for a clinical test,” Diabetes NZ chief executive Steve Crew reveals.

“This tool scores a range of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes – including ethnicity, weight and exercise traits – and if they score above 6 points, we recommend seeking medical advice.

“Alarmingly there were even people scoring above 20, suggesting they are at extremely high risk for having or developing type 2 diabetes and need to see their doctor.”

Diabetes is New Zealand’s fastest-growing health crisis. The number of New Zealanders living with diabetes has doubled from 125,000 to 250,000 in the past 10 years, with 40 new diabetes diagnoses every day.

It is estimated a further one in four New Zealanders has prediabetes and a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Approximately 90 per cent of New Zealanders with diabetes have type 2, and it is often more lifestyle related.

“It’s conceivable that many of those we have identified as at greater risk will be diagnosed with diabetes,” Crew says. “It is important they seek help and support, and find ways to manage their condition, including a healthy lifestyle of nutritious food and regular exercise.”

The Diabetes NZ team reported frequently seeing obese parents and young children having fried food and fizzy drinks; people who have family members with diabetes who were resigned to developing diabetes too; and vulnerable ethnicities unaware of their risks. Maori, Pasifika and Indo-Asian populations have a greater propensity for type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes Action Month included a mission for New Zealanders to “Join the MoveMeant” and ensure they committed to regular exercise and good diet. Type 1 diabetes cannot be avoided nor is there a cure for it, however even those with type 1 diabetes can benefit from a healthy lifestyle, as this will help them manage their incurable condition.

The initiative coincided with the World Diabetes Congress in Canada, where Crew says New Zealand sat high in international rankings for diabetes prevalence.

“The US has a reputation for fast food and poor nutrition, and has the highest rate of diabetes among the developed world, at 12.8 per cent. Sadly we are not that far behind.”

 “New Zealand has a reputation of a clean, pure country, yet that image is sullied by being the 14th-worst among 38 developed countries,” Crew says. “More than nine per cent of New Zealanders have diabetes, compared to 6.3 per cent in Australia.

Diabetes NZ has a lot of work to do to support our vulnerable population, Crew says, to ensure Kiwis have the tools they need to live well.

“We need New Zealand’s help. Everyone should take responsibility for driving change,” Crew adds. “New Zealand needs to collectively get behind this worrying epidemic, don’t turn a blind eye, it is New Zealand’s to own and change.”


Website v2


Take on the Bays with us and help support the near 100,000 people living with diabetes!

Diabetes NZ Auckland Branch will once again be a participating charity in the Round the Bays event for 2016, taking place on March 6th.

After a successful Auckland Marathon this year, we’re working to raise more money and greater awareness of the work that we do, supporting the near 100,000 people living with diabetes in Auckland, as well as the near 1,000 young people also living with the condition.

Round the Bays is an 8.4km course, from the Auckland CBD to St Heliers. You’re free to run, jog or walk the course – we want as many people as possible to take part and support Diabetes NZ Auckland Branch.

It’s also a great opportunity to get involved with your workmates, maybe creating a team with your colleagues for some friendly competition or as a means of team building.


  • Head over to the Round the Bays website and remember to choose Diabetes NZ Auckland Branch from the second page on you registration




Diabetes NZ Auckland Branch would like to thank our two sponsors for Round the Bays:

Sanofi edit




Diabetes Fiji v2

Pacific youths come together in first of it’s kind event

Young people from around the Pacific with diabetes will meet in Fiji from today in a bid to form a regional network of leaders who can help others suffering from the disease.

Diabetes Fiji will host youths from Tuvalu, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Its project manager Viliame Qio says the first-of-its-kind event will train participants in how to lead diabetes associations and help others with the disease in their countries.

He says part of the conference involves a health camp, where participants will meet with doctors and learn more about food, oral care and eye health.

“At the end of four days our regional friends and our local participants will be able to gauge knowledge on how to take control of their diabetes and secondly become leaders in their own countries especially as diabetes is an epidemic in our region.”

Viliame Qio says it’s estimated 4000 youths across the Pacific have diabetes, and that number is growing.




Diabetes NZ Auckland Branch held our annual raffle this spring, with the winners announced last week. We wish to thank everyone who took part, bought tickets and sold them on our behalf. In total, we raised close to $15,000 – a fantastic achievement from all involved.

We’re very happy to announce the winners of this year’s event. The draw was made last following our Volunteers morning tea.

Congratulations to the those below:

1st prize (House of Travel voucher) – Barry Coley (Ticket number – 0028)
2nd prize (Lujo NZ outdoor furniture) – Vanessa Radonich (Ticket number – 3054)
3rd prize (Panasonic NZ Pack) – Mike Stockford (Ticket number – 0848)
4th prize (Fashion Pack) – Kulwinder Singh (Ticket number – 4991)
5th prize (Auckland City Fun pack) – Anne Longmuir (Ticket number – 1726)


Ministry of Health logo


The Ministry of Health invites expressions of interest from the sector for the appointment of a clinical practice champion for childhood obesity.

The role is sector based, and the individual must be willing to travel, and prepared to dedicate the required time to work with the Ministry to ensure delivery of the role objectives. Further details of the role can be found below.

Anybody who would like to be considered for the role should submit a CV demonstrating how they meet the attached criteria, a covering letter informing us why you would like the job, and a letter of support from your DHB (if you are employed by a DHB).

Please return your CV, covering letter, and DHB letter of support to Leonie McCormack, by 5 pm on Tuesday 15 December 2015.

If you wish to discuss the role further then please contact Karen Evison, National Programme Manager, on (07) 929 3628 or Pat Tuohy, Chief Advisor, Child & Youth Health, on (04) 496 2373.


Role criteria

The Clinical Practice Champion Childhood Obesity will work with all relevant stakeholders and alongside Ministry staff to support the achievement of the government’s objectives in the prevention and management of childhood obesity across the health sector.  Included in this role the Clinical Practice Champion Childhood Obesity will:

  • take a leadership role in enhancing and supporting the clinical related pathway(s) and health professionals/providers responses to supporting childhood obesity
  • provide supportive advice and leadership to build clinical buy in and maximise clinical outcomes intended by the target as well as the wider package
  • work with all relevant stakeholders and Ministry staff to support the achievement of the target i.e. an increase in the number of obese children under the care of a health professional to ensure that all children who are identified as obese are managed appropriately
  • act as the Ministry spokesperson and champion for the target, including media related enquiries, as well as the other initiatives in the childhood obesity package
  • work as a change agent with key stakeholders to promote service development relevant to achieving the target
  • review and monitor performance against the target
  • work with relevant Ministry staff to develop a programme of work to support the achievement of the target
  • support the sector to improve and sustain performance against the target
  • provide clinical advice, information and guidance on issues relating to the achievement of the target
  • lead the establishment of and chair a sector advisory group to support the target
  • provide written and verbal advice to the Minister of Health, Ministry Deputy Director-Generals and Director General
  • build good working relationships with clinical and non-clinical staff in the health system so that achieving the target involves a whole of system change.


20th anniversary

The first ever Silver Medal Lunch (left) and last week’s 20th anniversary event


On Thursday 26th November, Diabetes NZ Auckland Branch held our annual Silver Medal Lunch – celebrating those who have been living on insulin for 50 years or more. It provides a wonderful opportunity for those who have been living on insulin for so long to meet with others, share stories and discuss their contrasting fortunes over the years.

This year, the Silver Medal Club was celebrating it’s twentieth anniversary. The first ever event was held on World Diabetes Day on November 14th, 1995. It is testament to the will and character of those living with diabetes that we have club members still attending the annual function that were present at the inaugural lunch. Winsome Johnston – known to the be the oldest person in the world living with diabetes – was again in attendance, having been present at the first event twenty years ago.

The event allows members to share stories, discuss their respective dealings with living on insulin and how they feel the public perception has changed since their diagnosis. What came through as a strong theme on the day was the importance of accepting the condition as early as possible and the need to respect diabetes and not underestimate it’s impact.

Also as important was the need for role models to help people in the early stages of diabetes. Many at last week’s lunch felt that they had a responsibility to younger people living with diabetes, to help them understand what’s required to come to terms with the condition. Peer-to-peer support has such a crucial role to play in the diabetes community, especially for younger people and the Silver Medal Lunch is evidence of people living their life to the full, despite living with diabetes.


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