What Are the Experiences of Māori With the Green Prescription Service?
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This research was conducted to explore the experiences of Māori with the Green Prescription service. Additionally, I investigated variations of the GRx service that were culturally enhanced for Māori and then looked at the experiences of Māori with a culturally enhanced service. Approach I aimed to apply the values of kaupapa Māori and to employ principles of tikanga deemed appropriate for a kanohi-ki-te-kanohi interview. Participants were recruited from a range of communities throughout the Waikato that include Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa, Hale Health Wellness centre, Te Kohao Health services, and the Waikato University. Seven qualitative interviews took place. Single interviews ranging from 30-80 minutes took place with participants that met the criteria; that is, to be of Māori ethnicity and to have used the GRx service. Participants comprised two males and five females, all of whom were over 18 years of age. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and thematically analysed. Results Two main themes that emerged are the importance of whanaungatanga, and barriers and sacrifices with the GRx Service. The need for good relationships is essential for Māori to be able to engage and participate with the GRx service. For Māori, relationships are important and are the foundation for how future interactions will occur. Being comfortable, needing the whakawhanaungatanga and pōwhiri process, and having workplace and peer support are sub-themes of the first theme. The second theme focuses on the barriers and sacrifices that were identified from the interviews. Sub-themes include unhealthy food is more affordable; the difficulty of talking about being unhealthy, unfit, and personal circumstances; the importance of knowing the kaupapa; and participants never having heard about the GRx service before being referred. Conclusion Tikanga and kaupapa Māori strategies, such as beginning with whakawhanaungatanga and pōwhiri, culturally enhance the experience for Māori who use the GRx service. Understanding the barriers for Māori within mainstream health services, such as the GRx service, and addressing ways to alleviate these barriers are equally important. These are essential for positively influencing engagement, participation, and health outcomes for Māori within health services.