Choose Change

'Choose Change'

Auckland's four Regional Sports Trusts have joined the fight against diabetes, launching a new project across the city aiming to better the lives of those with the condition.

‘Choose Change' will see Harbour Sport, Counties Manukau Sport, Sport Auckland and Sport Waitakere, lead facilitators in the development of sport and recreation in their regions, offering a coordinated approach to effecting lifestyle changes to Aucklanders who have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic or have Type 2 diabetes.

The project is being led by Harbour Sport.

"Diabetes is a massive health issue in New Zealand," said project manager Maree Wright.

"According to the Diabetes New Zealand website, over 225,000 New Zealanders have the condition, and another 50 are diagnosed with it every day.

"So we are delighted to be using our expertise in getting people active, and collaborating with relevant organisations in the health sector, to effect real change for those who sign up," Miss Wright said.

‘Choose Change', which is being funded by the Ministry of Health, will have each person on a six month project, beginning with a thorough initial assessment, in which the individual is made fully aware of the commitment required and the outcomes the project seeks to achieve.

The assessment also includes objective biometric measurements, assessment of behaviours and diet, along with education and goal setting.  12-weeks of intensive support and accountability then takes place, before the support gradually decreases as each person makes positive changes and starts to take control of their own health and condition.

"This project is very comprehensive," Miss Wright said.

"Each person will also get a care plan especially personalised for them, which will include goal setting, and nutritional advice, and they will be monitored and supported all the way with the help of a Healthy Lifestyles Coordinator."

Exercise too, will be a big part of the project. 

"The four Sports Trusts share the vision of getting more people active across Auckland.  So we'll be getting everyone active as well, whether it's playing sport, getting them to the gym, enrolling them in an exercise class or getting them out walking," she said.

Specific groups will be targeted through the project:


  • Harbour Sport - New Zealand Europeans / Others
  • Sport Auckland - South Asian
  • Counties Manukau Sport - Pacific
  • Sport Waitakere - Maori


And in some circumstances, groups, including families who have risk factors or may already be diabetic, may be assessed together, especially if it's culturally appropriate to do so.  Harbour Sport's Active Communities manager Jay Martin is welcoming the project.

"Obesity along with a lack of physical activity are two of the main causes for diabetes," she said.

"28% of the New Zealand adult population, that's about one million adults, were classified as obese in 2011/12 and numbers are rising.

"This clearly demonstrates why the Ministry of Health is funding alternative models of prevention and treatment, like this project, as well as comparing results between different ethnicities, she said"

The ‘Choose Change' project will run for 12 months from July 2014, allowing for three 6-month projects to be delivered to a total of 240 people.

For more information:  

Maree Wright

Choose Change Project Manager - Harbour Sport


DDI: 094154655

M: 0211569127 


For Counties Manukau Sport Programme Information, please contact:

Satali Auvae

Healthy Lifestyle Co-ordinator for Choose Change, Counties Manukau Sport


DDI: 09 269 0194

M: 029 488 0465


For more information and FAQ's on the 'Choose Change' initiative, please click here

Key Partners:
SPARC Aktive Auckland Sport and Recreation Honda ASB Trust Fairfax Auckland Council John Walker Find Your Field of Dreams Foundation New Zealand Community Trust