It's a big ask, but food vendors at a major Maori and Pacific festival have been urged to cut out many of the rich and sweet treats that lure customers to their stalls.
Health authorities aim to eliminate "non-cultural" deep-fried foods and lollies, and to promote low-sugar drinks, fruit juice and water at the annual Polyfest. And they are working with commercial vendors to encourage menus that are lower in saturated fat and sugar and contain more fruit and vegetables.
The ASB Polyfest is billed as the world's largest Maori and Pacific Islands cultural festival. Some 8000 performers, 90,000 spectators and more than 110 food stalls are expected at the event, to be held at the Manukau Sportsbowl from March 18 to 21.
But unlike its "big-sister event" Pasifika, which restricts food vendors to "authentic Pacific Island products", Polyfest and the Counties Manukau District Health Board, a sponsor, are taking a softer line. This includes making awards to promote the 10 healthiest food stalls and is intended to encourage vendors to inject health into their own menus.
"We are reluctant to take a hard-line approach, even though other events have done that," said health board official Christine Martin.
Some commercial vendors - who pay at least $1000 for a site - had said they would drop hot chips and fatty mutton flaps. Others had been asked by board nutritionists to substitute light coconut cream for the full-fat variety in their raw fish dishes or to add plenty of vegetables to their chop suey.
But some selling fatty Western foods like deep-fried hot-dogs or chips had said they simply could not comply.
"Stallholders tell me they do not like the softly-softly approach we are taking, that there must be one rule for all, because if everyone is banned from producing, say, deep-fried foods, then it's fair. But with our approach, they risk losing business to 'the stall down there that is selling the real yummy fatty stuff'."
The health board adopted its line - supported by co-sponsors Manukau City Council and Sport and Recreation NZ - to build a consensus around offering healthy choices. It would be reviewed after the event and might be toughened up next year.
The board, with its Let's Beat Diabetes project, faced with adult Maori and Pacific national obesity rates of 42 and 64 per cent, wants to create a healthier "food environment".
Ole Maiava, the director of Pasifika, to be held at Western Springs Park on March 13 and 14, said the event was moving towards providing only "healthy alternatives", but could not promote itself like that yet because Palm Corned Beef was a sponsor and long-time supporter. "So we can't be hypocritical on that."
The aim was to filter out sellers of foods like hot chips and hot dogs. "I don't think we've had hot chips there for a few years."
Leanne Banno knows she could make easy money deep-frying chips, but she is committed to offering her patrons healthier meals.
An East Tamaki dumpling manufacturer, Mrs Banno has run a food stall at many different events including Grey Lynn Park Festival. But in March she will make her first appearance at Polyfest.
She welcomes the push by Counties Manukau District Health Board for healthier foods to be offered.
"I like Kentucky Fried Chicken. It's my weakness. I have got to have it once a fortnight," Mrs Banno said.
"But all that fat in your system is going to give you a heart attack one day."
Her Polyfest menu includes pork and cabbage dumplings, steamed and pan-fried in soybean or canola oil, barbecued skewers of prawns marinated in garlic butter and grilled-chicken burgers with lettuce and tomato - and not a shake of MSG on any of it.
"If I was selling chips, it would be really easy and good profit margins but it's not what I would eat so I won't sell it.
"We make good money. We do very well at functions. We have lines queued up."