Waikato Women's Refuge is undertaking an extensive lifestyle change to combat health and mental wellbeing issues effectively. 

The 26-week wellness programme called 'Kia Puawai' is designed particularly for organisations who face work and lifestyle health challenges. 

With over 100 caseloads a week, CEO Ruahine Albert says the organisation wanted to pay and support their workers through the lifestyle changing programme.


"It's constant about looking at our health, for many of our older women, many of us are sick or have different ailing. And we are always looking for an opportunity to get ourselves well to keep working in this work. You know it's important."


The organiser of Kia Puawai, Annah Stretton, says the main focus of the programme is to encourage participants to keep to its principles for the majority of the day.


"As long as 80% in the day, whether it's moving whether it's eating well. 20% of the time I don't care what you do if you want to eat the doughnut and the takeaways you know just go for it."


Participant Te Ara Erueti says the results for the women speak for themselves.


"I feel better about myself and more confident like I think it's more to do with the energy levels that I have now and feeling good that I can actually fit my jeans."


Waikato Women's Welfare Refuge will now look to carry out the programme to their families.