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Alcohol and drug issues affecting Mäori debated

Alcohol Advisory Council
Press release
February 5 2004

Alcohol and drug issues affecting Mäori to be debated

Mäori alcohol and drug practitioners and those working to improve alcohol and drug outcomes for Mäori are urged to attend this month’s national hui in Rotorua.

Organised by the Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC), the aim of the hui is to help Mäori whänau identify and respond to alcohol-related issues facing their communities.

“One of the issues being debated is the setting up of a Taumata (national leadership group for the Mäori drug and alcohol sector),” says ALAC manager Mäori Whänau Programmes, Te Atarangi Whiu. “Mäori community workers and Mäori whänau are calling for leadership and guidance in traditional ways to reduce harm from alcohol for Mäori whänau.

“This issue has been debated for some time and needs to be resolved so we can then firmly channel our energies into improving the health and well being of Mäori.”

Te Atarangi says prominent Mäori academics and practitioners within the alcohol and drug sector will set the scene for a vigorous debate on the issues.

There will be two keynote addresses on the opening day of the hui.

The first is from Moe Milne (Ngati Hine, Nga Puhi nui tonu), an independent contractor in the Mäori Health field with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the Hauora Mäori field, especially in the Mental Health and Disability fields.

She is followed by Te Orohi Paul (Ngai Tuhoe, Ngati Awa, Te Arawa), who has been involved in the Mäori Alcohol and Drug field for the past two decades and is currently Manager in a new Rotorua based Mäori PHO – Te Kupenga a Kahu.

Further debate around service development will be fuelled on the second day with a keynote address from well known academic and Director of the Eru Pomare Maori Research Centre of the Wellington School of Medicine Dr Paparangi Reid (Te Aupouri, and a presentation from Takarangi Metekingi (Tainui, Te Ati Haunui a Paparangi, Ngati Hauiti) the Deputy Director of the Moana House residential programme in Dunedin.

The final keynote speaker is Amster Reedy (Ngati Porou) who has been involved in Mäori education at all levels, from Te Kohanga Reo to being both a teacher and principal of Ngata Memorial College.

The three-day hui is being held at Te Papaiouru and Tunohopu Marae in Rotorua from February 16 to 18.

Registration forms can be downloaded from the ALAC web site at www.alcohol.org.nz

ENDS

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