The Cook Islands paramount chief of Takitimu in Rarotonga, Pa Marie Ariki, is working to rally the support of government and her Tainui cousins in New Zealand for a health clinic she plans to run from her Mata Enua palace.
She plans to set up the palace clinic within the next year, but says the sooner she can form a team of helpers and secure funding, the better.
Pa Ariki has been in discussion with Tainui about setting up a clinic similar to Raukura Hauora o Tainui in Manukau.
She says she feels passionately about reversing the national trend toward obesity and helping Cook Islanders learn how to become healthy and fit by teaching them to be mindful of what they eat.
She says while wellness and living standards improve in the developed world, prosperity in the Western sense of the word has been a detriment to the health of Cook Islanders.