Case Studies, Community, Maori

Health promotion is at the heart of Hapai te Hauora

 

Zoe Aroha Martin-Hawke is National Manager – Te Ara Ha Ora: Māori Tobacco Control Leadership service at Hapai Te Hauora.  Jo Lawrence-King finds out about her work and how it exemplifies the principles of health promotion.

 

Tupeka kore (tobacco free)

Hapai te Hauora has initiated a number of successful health promotion programmes, not least of which focusses on reclaiming a tupeka kore (tobacco free) Māori identify.

 

According to Zoe the organisation “strongly promotes a working model that focuses on empowering Māori communities to have a voice on tobacco harm, and to create environments that prevent future harm from a product that leaves our communities ill and dying. “

 

Hapai te Hauora promotes and provides practical examples on how to provide a platform for Māori communities locally, regionally and nationally to take action.  The team also works alongside other local, regional and national organisations who are also showing leadership in these areas.

 

“We are dedicated to ensuring Māori are strongly represented in local, regional and national policy development opportunities,” explains Zoe.  “Iwi prior to European contact were tupeka kore.  Māori leading and participating in the development of healthy and culturally affirming public policy, which contributes to reclaiming this identity, is one of our key health promotion strategies.“

By having iwi, hapū and whānau leading change, the Hapai Te Hauora team believe it will see more of a positive impact on intergeneration health outcomes.  This, they feel, will contribute more effectively to a sustainably equitable, healthy future for all.

 

All activities of the initiative have involved a process of evaluating outcomes based on empowering whānau and Māori communities to control their own wellbeing and to influence New Zealand society to ensure that their determinants of health are addressed. More recently Hapai have supported the development of a Rangatahi Māori Tupeka Kore Consumer action group.  The group consists of young Māori wahine who currently smoke, but are on a mission to prevent other young Māori from taking the habit up.  Their work is focused on changing how the product is sold in their local area.  The wahine are informing their local community about rules and regulations regarding the sale of cigarettes and are encouraging communities to monitor local dairies to ensure they are not selling single cigarettes or to people who are under age. They are also to working with merchants; encouraging them to take a stand by becoming smokefree retailers.

 

Within this work Hapai also provides support for personal health by linking action group members to smoking cessation treatment services; providing them with the expertise they need to successfully stop smoking.  Hapai/Te Ara Hā Ora often works to find ways to seamlessly link people with services, whilst also promoting the message that none of us is independent of our physical environment and that change needs to happen at all levels.

Hapai measures both short and long-term olicies, increased numbers of Tupeka Kore hapū, iwi and whānau and reduced rates of smoking initiation.  The growing engagement of Māori in tupeka kore work is also an indicator of the success of this initiative.

The quality of the engagement is also measured, including such things as:  transparency of the process; relevant, timely, fitting delivery of information and the degree to which the engagement is inclusive and culturally appropriate.

 

 

About Zoe Aroa Martin-Hawke

Zoe is a member of HPF’s board. Her broad background includes

  • Māori medium early childhood education,
  • Business and community partnership roles,
  • Managing strategic community engagement and bottom-up leadership movements for health issues such as problem gambling, nutrition and physical activity, tobacco control; alcohol and other drugs.

Zoe has also been heavily involved in workforce development opportunities and NZQA training programmes.  Her focus has been on increasing knowledge and delivery of best practice health promotion initiatives; with an emphasis on engaging Māori in policy development at a local, regional and national level.

 

About Hapai te Hauora

Hāpai Te Hauora invests in community and whanau wellbeing locally, regionally and nationally. Since 1996 the organisation has supported communities to have a voice on issues that affect them and their whanau so that whole communities can be well. It also provides infrastructural support to the hauora sector to strengthen public health action.

Hapai does this through innovative research, workforce development, public health planning, information technology solutions and policy development. Along with its subcontractors or whanau whanui, the team also delivers on public health issues including tobacco control, problem gambling, alcohol and other drug harm minimisation, wellchild, nutrition and physical activity.