Ngati Kahungunu celebrates a Smoke Free Waitangi Day

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(Source | Waatea News) The head of the Quit Group says Ngati Kahungunu is showing the way by making its Waitangi Day celebrations tobacco free.

Paula Snowden from Te Rarawa says 46 percent of Maori adults smoke compared with 21 percent of non-Maori.

She says it’s important iwi make a stand, such as the way the Hawkes Bay iwi is discouraging its pakeke from lighting up in front of tamariki.

Background to a Smoke Free NZ and Ngati Kahungaunu

On Thursday 6th May 2010 a Hui a Iwi was held at the iwi office to inform whanau about the consequences of tobacco use for Maori. The hui was facilitated by Shane Bradbrook Director of Te Reo Marama – Kaupapa Tupeka Kore: Tobacco Free. It was attended by a group of passionate people many of whom are already involved in the mahi of hauora.

Shane initiated communications with the iwi in 2007 and in 2008 a draft strategy was presented to the NKII Board and signed off in support of work that the District Health Board were doing in the communicites. At the time the only form of support the iwi endorsed was having the iwi logo on signage that was part of a smokefree campaign. The signs would be put up at park entrances throughout the Hawkes Bay Region, promoting smokefree zones.

In September 2009 public submissions were called on the Inquiry into the tobacco industry in Aotearoa and the consequences of tobacco use for Maori. The purpose of the inquiry is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the actions of the tobacco industry to promote tobacco use amongst Maori, and the impact of tobacco use on the health of the Maori population, and the wider economic, social, cultural and developmental impacts that arise from such health effects and tobacco use more generally.

A submission was developed and approved and Kahungunu representatives will appear before the M?ori Affairs select committee to speak to this submission at Parliament House in Wellington in May 2010.

On Friday 7th May 2010 the Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated Board adopted the Ngati Kahungunu Tobacco Use Strategy. Taurahere representative and re-elected Board member Owen Purcell has been appointed a lead role to in a working group who will work on an action plan around the implementation of the strategy. Ngati Kahungunu Iwi is the first iwi to take on the challenge to endorse a tobacco free iwi.

The 31 May is World Smokefree Day Aotearoa New Zealand. Ngati Kahungunu Iwi is happy to endorse the Ngati Kahungunu Tobacco Use Strategy to support happy health whanau.

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