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Hui Whakakotahi 2004– Coming Together as One

Hui Whakakotahi 2004– Coming Together as One

The Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC) is holding a national summit to help Mäori whänau identify and respond to alcohol-related issues facing their communities.

The summit will be held at Te Papaiouru and Tunohopu Marae in Rotorua from February 16 to 18 2004.

“This is an opportunity for Mäori communities, Mäori health providers, and Mäori alcohol and drug workers to support Mäori communities wanting to promote moderation or abstinence for Mäori whänau,” says ALAC Manager, Mäori Whänau Programmes, Te Atarangi Whiu.

“The overarching theme of the three-day summit is Te Ao Mäori – Hui Whakakotahi, Coming Together as One. We are bringing people together, physically and
spiritually – uniting people and united in kaupapa.”

Te Atarangi says the summit will focus on solutions rather than problems. And the solutions need to be focused on Te Ao Mäori.

“This holistic approach recognises that alcohol and drug problems don’t exist in a vacuum; they are indicative of other issues facing Mäori communities and we won’t make progress on alcohol and drug issues unless we also address these other issues.”

A report from Te Puni Kökiri in 2000 using data from the National Nutrition Survey stated that Mäori are considerably less likely to be moderate drinkers than non-Mäori. Although the proportion of Mäori who drink is lower than that of the population as a whole, and those who do drink do so less frequently, studies have shown that the median annual volume of absolute alcohol consumed by Mäori men is greater than that for the general population.

Seventy-six percent of the alcohol being drunk by Mäori was consumed in heavier drinking sessions (defined as eight or more drinks for men and six or more drinks for women).

Two out of three Mäori men and more than half of Mäori women said they had experienced one or more alcohol-related problems from their own drinking in the past 12 months.

One in three reported that consumption of alcohol by others had an effect on their home life; for one in five women this was classed as a large or medium effect compared to 15 percent of men.

The survey also showed that young Mäori aged 16 to 24 were also more likely to have reported experiencing problems from other people’s drinking, particularly sexual harassment, motor vehicle crashes, physical assault and other accidents.

The ALAC priority for the Hui Whakakotahi 2004 is to identify kaupapa Mäori solutions. Discussions will include the development of a taumata, identifying kaupapa Mäori models and developing a cultural framework to assist kaimahi in their work.

It is intended that the taumata will provide leadership and guidance to Mäori so that Mäori are united on alcohol-related issues. Kaupapa Mäori models ensure that solutions are relevant and appropriate for Mäori. The development of a cultural framework to assist kaimahi in their work will provide a benchmark for all services to attain within a cultural context. Such a framework will then validate different Mäori models of practice within service delivery.

Te Atarangi says proportionately Mäori suffer greater alcohol-related harm compared to Pakeha and now is the time to identify kaupapa Mäori solutions to reduce alcohol-related harm for Mäori and their whänau.

Registrations for the summit close on 23 January 2004. Registration forms are available from ALAC.

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