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Teenagers target for seriously fun Phat Pacs

Call it fat and full of fun ideas for keeping safe – the Phat Pac is back in time for summer, promoting safe sex, safe drinking and safe driving.

Neatly stashed away in a wallet-sized pack there is a condom, lubricant, mints and a temporary tattoo promoting safe driving, along with useful safety messages.

About 50,000 Phat Pacs will be given out to young people from the Waikato, King Country, Thames Coromandel and Bay of Plenty during summer, and throughout 2002.

According to Phat Pac spokesperson Maraea Nikora, the Phat Pacs were designed and written by young people through a working party including health promoters, iwi providers, public health nurses, road safety co-ordinators, peer educators and youth workers.

“The Phat Pac is in it’s third year – but every year it’s re-designed,” Maraea says.

In fact, an extra 20,000 were produced this year to accommodate the Bay of Plenty region, catching on to the success of the project.

This year the design includes a cultural flavour, and Maraea said the artwork for the cover of the Phat Pac was inspired through a competition. The winner, Terekia Madden, designed a cartoon picture of a young person holding the pack complemented by Maori designs inspired by Tiki O’Brien.

With messages promoting road safety, safe drinking, safe sex and legal issues it provides a tool for teaching teenagers about keeping themselves safe. Many of the messages were re-worked by a team of youth who were focused on delivering safety tips in teen-speak. Some of the Phat Pac tips are even written in text messaging.

The project is funded by Environment Waikato, Environment Bay of Plenty, Health Waikato, Te Ahurei A Rangatahi, Ministry of Health, Toi Te Ora Public Health, Taumarunui Community Kokiri Trust, CAFÉ – Taupo, Health Sponsorship Council and other charitites.

“We have had excellent support from a variety of health providers,” Maraea says.

The Phat Pac will be launched on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 at 1pm at Youthzone, Bryce Street Hamilton. The packs will be distributed throughout the summer at youth venues.

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