A late sporting legend's name will live on in the form of a new aerobics venture aimed at combating the rising rates of obesity in New Zealand.

Onyou, the brainchild of the late Jonah Lomu and old friend Henry Vaeoso, has been in the pipeline for more than a decade but is due to launch nationwide next month, coinciding with the New Zealand Masters Games in Whanganui.

"Some 15 years ago I started this journey with my dearest friend, the late Jonah Vitale Lomu. Sadly his dream will never be realised, but his spirit will always be with us," Vaeoso said.

The anti-obesity programme has the backing of Rotary New Zealand, and following Lomu's death in 2015 All Black great Michael Jones has stepped up as patron.


Vaeoso will lead an aerobics demonstration at the War Memorial Hall, accompanied by several local Rotarians and celebrities, which he then intends to take around the country following its debut in Whanganui on February 11.

Vaeoso, a former New Zealand aerobics champion, says "Our plan is to create a movement led by New Zealand's sporting heroes to start lifting ourselves up by our bootstraps to create a healthier New Zealand for current and future generations - and have some fun along the way."

According to the Ministry of Health, New Zealand has the third highest adult obesity rate in the OECD, and rates are rising. Almost one in three adult New Zealanders (over 15 years) is obese, and one in 10 children.