Maori are being encouraged to head along to a local marae this weekend for a free health check.

The third marae-based health checks will be held on Sunday at Tapuaekura Marae.

The initiative was launched by Ngati Pikiao Health Services in collaboration with Korowai Aroha and the Rotorua Area Public Health Services (RAPHS) to help Maori think about health checks differently.

The first free health-check clinic took place at the end of August at Taurua Marae in Rotoiti.

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The second was held last month at Pounamunui Marae.

The plan is to visit a different Ngati Pikiao marae each month. Anyone is welcome.

Puamiria Maaka, health services manager for Ngati Pikiao Health Services, said the original idea came from trying to find a way to get women to have their cervical smears.

She said the group then decided to promote other health checks to prevent conditions common among Maori.

These include diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure and respiratory illnesses.

For children, checks were offered for ears, nose and throat. There were also mirimiri (massages) available.

At each health check site there will always be a GP or nurse practitioner able to issue scripts.

Sunday's health checks will be at Tapuaekura Marae on the shores of Lake Rotoiti at 111 Curtis Rd. Contact Ngati Pikiao Health Services or Korowai Aroha for more details.