World Smokefree Day quit card training for Maori

L-R: Shane Kawenata Bradbrook, Roiana Pihama (Nga Taiatea Wharekura) and Nichola Te Kiri (Health Promoter, Waikato DHB)Te Puna Oranga is actively campaigning on a wide number of initiatives to promote Tupeka Kore (tobacco cessation).

Initiatives to date include the training of over 100 quit coaches within the Waikato DHB region.

This training has been specifically targeted at Māori staff employed within a variety of disciplines. "Smoking is the single largest contributor to death and illness amongst Māori, the issue is not only a health issue, but a social, cultural, spiritual and economic development issue," said General Manager: Māori Health Ditre Tamatea.

"Poor health and premature death through smoking is hindering Māori development. Urupa (cemeteries) are full of people who have died because of smoking related diseases.”

Te Puna Oranga has developed a Tupeka Kore plan in conjunction with Iwi Māori Council and kaumātua kaunihera.

The plan’s implementation has been supported by the role out of 1500 pepipods and the intended launch of wahakura wānanga. Both projects hold strong smoke free and smoking cessation messages alongside breastfeeding and safe sleeping in an attempt to reduce the Māori sudden unexplained death in an infant rate (SUDI) as Māori accounted for 80 per cent of all SUDI rates.

"This training has not only seen the training of 100 Quit Coaches but also seen 20 rangatahi from Ngā Taiatea Wharekura and Ngaruawahia High School trained as Tupeka Kore champions which is inspiring and possibly the first in the country," said Māori Workforce Development Coordinator for Te Puna Oranga Natania Katene.

Year 12 student at Ngā Taiatea Wharekura Roiana Pihama said, “our goal from this training is to lobby to our board, principal and staff to become the first tupeka kore kura in Waikato and possibly Aotearoa."

Ms Katene has organised quit coach training for 30-31 May to coincide with World Smoke Free Day.