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Hui to combat alcohol related harm amongst Mäori

Hui to combat alcohol related harm amongst Mäori

A hui to set up a kaumatua group to help combat alcohol and other related problems among local Mäori is to be held in Gisborne this week.

The Taumata Kaumatua hui will be held over two full days and some 120 people from Tairawhiti and throughout Aotearoa are expected to attend.

The hui is being organised by a steering committee consisting of key organisations within the Tairawhiti area. It includes representatives from Turanga Health, Ngati Porou Hauora, Hauiti Hauora, Tokomaru Bay Community Trust, Kahui Koroua/Kuia-Ruatoria, the Tairawhiti District Health Board and the Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC).

Organising committee chairwoman Paki Keefe says she is excited by the prospect of setting up a taumata kaumatua group for the area.

“The hui is an opportunity to discuss options on how we as kaumatua can apply ourselves and make an impact within whänau, hapü and iwi in relation to the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs. The kaumatua have the wisdom and the mana to deliver the message to our young people and support those working in the field of alcohol and mental health.

“The overall theme of the hui is ‘Arahingia nga mokopuna he taonga hoki’ that is, our kaumatua will show leadership to strengthen our mokopuna so they can be the leaders of the future,” she says.

“The hui will look at where we have come from; where we are now and where we are going.”

ALAC Group Manager Community Strategies Te Atarangi Whiu says ALAC is pleased to support local efforts to establish a Taumata Kaumatua group in the Tairawhiti area.

“Research released this month by ALAC shows the health burden of alcohol falls inequitably on Mäori,” she says.

”Mäori and non-Mäori have different alcohol consumption patterns on average. Non-Mäori are more likely to be alcohol drinkers and drink more often, but drink less on a typical drinking occasion, when compared with Mäori. The differences are such that average alcohol consumption per day between Mäori and non-Mäori is similar, but the impacts on health differ substantially.

”The combination of more harmful drinking patterns and a smaller proportion of the population in the older age groups where benefits for alcohol consumption accrue, means that the Mäori population is more adversely affected by alcohol than the non-Mäori population.”

Te Atarangi Whiu says getting local kaumatua to play a role in spreading the message of moderation and providing advice and support to local alcohol and drug workers can help reduce alcohol-related harm.

The hui is being held at Te Poho o Rawiri Marae, Kaiti, Turanganui A Kiwa from March 9 to March 11.

ENDS

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