Meet the faces of our diabetes medicines campaign

Aroha Awarau

(Ngāti Maru, Ngati Porou, Niuean, Samoan)

An award-winning journalist, film-maker and playwright says, “When I had my toe amputated because of this disease, I was filled with whakaama. My lifestyle has completely changed as a result, but I need medication as well to keep healthy. It was a no-brainer for me to put my name to this campaign, because I know first-hand what happens when you don’t manage this disease properly and get the best medications.”

Phil Merritt

(Ngāti Kauwhata)

Lives locally in Tauranga Moana and well known within his community. He lives a healthy and active lifestyle in order to best manage his type 2 diabetes.

“I want every person to live their best and healthiest lifestyle, so they get to enjoy their mokopuna,” says Merritt.

Makaia Carr


Has nearly 180,000 people in her social network and was motivated to spread the word of the campaign, after the impact of diabetes in her  immediate whānau.

“My mum has type 2 diabetes, so I am reminded every day of this disease and how it affects our health,” says Makaia.

Adam Blair


One of New Zealand’s most highly decorated rugby league professionals is not a stranger to supporting the awareness of diabetes after being involved with the 2020 Fitbit MoveMeant Challenge.

“A lot of my whānau got diabetes as they got older. I reckon we are a bit stubborn when it comes to asking for help, there are resources out there to help us feel better and live a healthy lifestyle,” says Adam.