Hawke's Bay health and wellbeing businesses are getting behind community efforts to mark what would have been the 100th birthday of Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela.

In September 2009, the United Nations declared the former South African president's birthday, July 18, "Nelson Mandela International Day" in recognition of his contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.

For the fourth year in a row International Mandela Day celebrations will also take place in Hawke's Bay, with Hawke's Bay health and wellbeing businesses celebrating on Saturday, July 21 with a free public health expo.

Organiser Bhavna Nagar said the event, which this year takes place in Mandela's centenary year, would be at the Napier War Memorial Conference Centre from 10am to 4pm.


"It's about celebrating Mandela's legacy by giving freely to your community. For the last four years we've done a similar format in the sense of having free treatments, everybody who volunteers on Mandela Day basically does so out of the goodness of their heart. It's a money-free event so there's no charge."

The health expo would include massage, reflexology, skull healings and pain management sessions.

"Basically, you name it we have it.

"They will be 15-minute treatments. On the day you book in for one of the treatments and you get an appointment."

There would also be another area for workshops and performances.

"We have belly dancing, Bollywood dancing and salsa. We also have a whole lot of stallholders with people giving free advice on health topics. Basically, the idea is we don't know what we don't know, so it's about exposing people to different ideas."

Formerly from South Africa, before setting up a psychology business in Napier six years ago, Nagar had now organised similar events for the past four years.

Last year about 500 people attended and it was hoped a similar number would take part this year, she said.


"I know there will be a lot of familiar faces. There's a lot of people who have been there since the first Mandela Day. All the treatment providers say it's just such a different buzz they get from any other workshop or expo because the energy is so different, even though they are working hard all day, they are really buzzing."

A timetable of events would be posted online and on the International Mandela Day Health and Wellness Celebration Facebook events page.