Today marks an exciting development in Māori public health advocacy as Hāpai Te Hauora signs a memorandum of understanding with tobacco control research groups ASPIRE2025 and BODE3 from the University of Otago. This relationship will draw on the complementary strengths of each group to inform and progress tobacco control in Aotearoa toward the goal of Smokefree 2025.
Lance Norman, CEO of Hāpai Te Hauora welcomes the new formal relationship with the University of Otago. “Hāpai Te Hauora is the voice of Tobacco Control Advocacy and we are excited to continue our evidence-based approach in this space with the support of Aspire 2025 and BODE3. Māori still disproportionately experience harm from tobacco use and its downstream effects on whānau, hapū and iwi. Along with our new partners at Aspire 2025 and BODE3 we recognise that the process of achieving a reduction in tobacco use is critical; this encompasses tobacco control as well as co-benefits such as building Māori health worker and research worker capacity and designing culturally appropriate interventions which are ‘by Māori for Māori”.
Professor Richard Edwards, Co-Director of ASPIRE2025 and Head of the Department of Public Health at the University of Otago (Wellington) met with Hāpai Te Hauora to sign the memorandum of understanding today. “Each of the parties involved have a strong commitment to achieving the Smokefree 2025 goal. We all know that, if we are to be successful for the whole of New Zealand, we need to be successful for Māori. With this in mind we are excited to establish a formal relationship with Hāpai Te Hauora as we work towards this shared goal”.