Stephanie Erick, the new Kaiwhakahaere (General Manager) for the National Tobacco Control Advocacy Service leads a rich, busy life but her vision for smoke-free communities is simple; “Healthier families. More kaumātua on the marae.”
It’s been a rewarding, challenging 20 months for Mihi Blair. As she steps down as GM of Tobacco Control Advocacy at Hāpai she tells us how the support of wāhine Māori, the voices of her tamariki and watching her beloved dad die from lung disease gave her strength and determination in her work.
As Team Leader Leader at ProCare, MIKE POCKLINGTON mentors stop-smoking practitioners. He tells us how quitting his habit, years in education and a Māori world-view have shaped his work.
This month, we highlight Sue Taylor, the recipient of the Dame Tariana Turia award which she received at the Oceania Tobacco Control conference in Sydney, Australia. Sue was nominated for her decades of tireless work championing the health and wellbeing of whānau, hapū, iwi- particularly drawing attention to the equitable improvement of Māori and tikanga within the tobacco control sector
This week we introduce Selah Hart, our new Chief Executive Officer. Selah grew up in Blenheim and has whakapapa links to Ngāti Kuia, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Apa Ki Te Ra To and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa.
Selah is a well-known face in Māori public health, having worked for Hāpai for nearly ten years in a variety of roles. This depth and breadth of experience at Hāpai has positioned Selah to take the organisation, which has a proud twenty year history of delivering public health services, into the future.
Katerina has recently joined the Hāpai whānau for placement as part of the Social Work degree she’s studying towards at Unitec. She’ll be supporting us over the next few months with developing compassionate and progressive smokefree policies. We feel really grateful to have such a strong, intelligent wahine Māori join our tobacco control team.
Dr Wodak is a physician and was the Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service, at St Vincent's Hospital, in Sydney, Australia from 1982 to 2012. He began advocating for drug law reform in 1987. Wodak is President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation and was President of the International Harm Reduction Association.
Te Mania Kapa currently works as a quit coach at Te Kaha o Te Rangatahi and is passionate about enabling rangatahi to lead smokefree, healthy lives.
Tasha Hohaia is of Ngāpuhi descent, a dynamic leader who set out to be a lawyer and was admitted to the bar in 2013. In 2017 she stood in the NZ General Elections as a Māori Party Candidate for Manurewa. This year she attended the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York, compelling her to look at systemic shifts and changes needed in NZ.
As we draw closer to Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 it is timely that we include a round up of what’s happening on the Pacific Tobacco Control front.