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Communities come together to celebrate hauora at Ihumātao

Each year, the first week of September marks Gambling Harm Awareness Week. This year Hāpai Te Hauora is hosting a day of hauora activities at Ihumātao. This initiative will showcase Māori concepts of wellbeing. It aims to confront the multi-faceted reality of gambling harm and addiction, as well as the community-based context in which positive interventions and community resilience can thrive.

He Whare Oranga - Haukahatia ngā tahataha o te whare - likens individuals to a whare or house. All fours walls of the whare - taha tinana, taha waiura, taha ngakau and taha hinengaro, must remain intact in order of the house to stand strong, and to be a shelter for others. This event aims to bolster, strengthen and reinforce the walls of those in attendance, bringing healing to the land and the people.

Hāpai Te Hauora knows that the harms of problem gambling often hide in the shadows. Symptoms are difficult to identify and stigma often becomes a barrier, which in turn prevents individuals with an addiction to gambling and those affected from reaching out.

Public Health advisor, Haylee Koroi, says that "Topics of hauora are often difficult for whānau Māori to engage in. Firstly, we very rarely see ourselves, or our ways of being within health care services. We want this event to be a space that makes people feel supported in the company of whānau and community, as has been the case here at Ihumātao for the last 5-6 weeks"

Hāpai te Hauora CEO, Selah Hart, states that the decision to host this wananga at Ihumātao was a conscious one "Hapai continues to take every opportunity to engage with Māori communities on the ground. We have been blown away by the community response to this event. We have seen donations, sponsors and community volunteers respond to a call for support, with minimal notice to get this event off the ground. This has our affirmed our belief that the community context is crucial for cultivating whānau ora."

South Auckland contains significantly more pokie machines than other areas in Auckland. Almost six million dollars in gambling funds left the Mangere-Otahuhu local board area last quarter, with no guarantee of it being reinvested in the Mangere-Otahuhu community. Haylee Koroi comments, "We know that South Auckland communities are paying both financially and in terms of their hauora for the greater good of the gambling industry and those who benefit from gambling funds. This is our chance to cultivate whanaungatanga within the community and if even one person in the crowd that is struggling, feels supported enough to reach out, we’ll be assured that the event was a success. Rain or shine, we’re going to be there."

For those interested in attending or supporting He Whare Oranga head to our Facebook page to RSVP or email haylee.koroi@hapai.co.nz.

Event details:

10am Saturday 7th September

56 Ihumātao Quarry Road, Mangere Auckland 2022

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