Julie Beckett

Kia ora koutou

Ko Kurahaupō te waka

Ko Parengarenga te moana

Ko Maunga-piko te maunga

Ko Ngāti Kuri te iwi

Ko Te Reo Mihi te marae

He kaimahi auahi kore ahau, ki te hauora mo te iwi i te Papaioea. 

Ko Julie Beckett taku ingoa

Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tātou katoa



Please share a bit about your whānau with us. How would your whānau/ friends describe you?

I have 3 sons and 4 moko. My whānau on my biological dad’s side are from the Far North and whānau from mum’s side are from Pahiatua.
I have heard people describe me in this way and some of this is what I think….…Julie loves her whānau, can be quiet, caring, thoughtful and careful about what she says, is academic, tries to do everything properly, laughs at her own jokes, knows a lot about buying and selling vintage items at markets although it’s about making friends not money, is innovative, determined and loves animals particularly cats.


What motivates and keeps you going in your mahi?

My main motivator is providing a tobacco free Aotearoa for our mokopuna and essentially the world, as the moko will travel.  
The connection I have with my moko feels so strong and is unique and special. All I want to do is to protect them and at the same time let them grow without the impact of tobacco on their lives. 
Another motivator is remembering that quote by an executive from the R.J. Reynolds tobacco company. Who was asked if he or his Reynolds colleagues smoked, to which the executive shook his head, and replied,
Are you kidding? We reserve that right for the poor, the young, the black and the stupid!!


Who has inspired you in your work and why?

I believe a number of people have inspired me from my mum for loving me to pieces and for teaching me how to live within limited means (very useful when studying and helps with innovation for doing projects with a little or no budget) to the nanny I met in 1999 at a rugby game and told me about a scholarship at Massey that her daughter was on, to Sir Mason Durie for accepting me onto that scholarship, which effectively changed my life. 
I am also inspired by Hapai te Hauora; a powerhouse of strong academic Māori advocating for Māori is definitely inspiring. By Māori for Māori.


What do you think are some of the biggest challenges we face today in enabling smokefree whānau and what do you think are the solutions?

The recent focus groups run by Hapai made me think more about how smoking is for whānau. The focus groups highlighted the impact of the determinants of health and reminded me not to focus solely on tobacco use. I think some of the biggest challenges we face is understanding what whānau really want to help them to quit smoking and being innovative enough to help them while still fulfilling our KPI’s.
We definitely need more champions like Dame Tariana Turia who had such a big influence…..
Money, innovation, systemic racism, politics. While there is also division within the tobacco control sector itself. More options for whānau to give quitting a go, subsidised vaping.