May 10, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Maori Affairs Select Committe to hold inquiry on Maori tobacco use

2 min read

The Maori Affairs Select Committee will be holding an inquiry on the tobacco industry and Maori tobacco use and have called for submissions on this issue by 29th JANUARY 2010.

The purpose of the inquiry is threefold:

  1. Gain a comprehensive understanding of the actions of the tobacco industry to promote tobacco use amongst Maori, and
  2. Understand the impact of tobacco use on the health, economic, social, cultural and developmental impacts on Maori
  3. Policy and legislative measures to address the findings.

SmokingCAccording to Te Hotu Manawa Maori Pre European culture was Auahi Kore as smoking was inconsistent with traditional tikanga Maori. Captain Cook first introduced tobacco and as time went by tobacco became valued by Maori as a koha or trade article.

Tobacco was distributed as a gift at Waitangi by William Hobson prior to the signing of the Treaty and it wasn’t long before negative health effects emerged. In the early 1900s Dr Maui Pomare noted that smoking around Maori children was bad for their health.

In addition there has been a long tradition of Maori women smoking which was “immortalised” in early pictorial representations of Maori.

Smoking Facts

Lung cancer the leading cause of cancer death for Maori (Ministry of Health, 2004b). Lung cancer was the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Maori males and the second most common among Maori females during 1996-2001. It was the leading cause of cancer death among Maori males and females. On average, 240 Maori were diagnosed with lung cancer each year.

Terms of Reference (for Inquiry)

  1. The historical actions of the tobacco industry to promote tobacco use amongst Maori
  2. The impact of tobacco use on the health, economic, social and cultural well-being of Maori.
  3. The impact of tobacco use on Maori development aspirations and opportunities.
  4. What benefits may have accrued to Maori from tobacco use?
  5. What policy and legislative measures would be necessary to address the findings of the Inquiry?

For further information contact:

Shane Bradbrook
Director of Te Reo Marama:
Kaupapa Tupeka Kore

[email protected]

“Kia mau te kaupapa Tupeka Kore mo nga uri Maori”

“Resistance is a Tradition”

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