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Hāpai Te Hauora and National Tobacco Control Advocacy

Hāpai Te Hauora and National Tobacco Control Advocacy

This year marks 20 years of service delivery for Hāpai Te Hauora (Hāpai) a Māori public health provider who has led both national and regional work to increase health outcomes across all population groups, with a particular focus on reducing inequalities. This year also marks the Ministry of Health’s announcement that Hāpai will be the holder of the new National Tobacco Control Advocacy Service.

Hāpai is no stranger to national tobacco control with over three years running the Māori Tobacco Control Leadership service, Te Ara Hā Ora. Hāpai also has extensive experience in national public health workforce development training, policy, research, evaluation, alcohol and drug, problem gambling advocacy, as well as over a decade of Auckland regional tobacco control work. Hāpai hold a wide range of relationships with Iwi / Māori and a variety of Māori, Pacific, Asian and Mainstream NGO's, and with sectors beyond health including business, education, justice, housing, social services, and the environment.

The CEO of Hāpai Lance Norman believes that the organisation has “demonstrated the research, evidence base knowledge transfer, communication, strategic capability and collective influence needed to undertake the next stage of tobacco control advocacy in New Zealand. We look forward to pulling our networks – new and old - together to achieve the Smokefree 2025 goal”.

Mr Norman views all Ministry’s new tobacco control announcements as a sign of the momentum towards a more collective integrated tobacco control approach much like the Whānau Ora space. “We are expecting to see various partnerships across stop smoking services, DHBs, Māori and Pacific service providers, primary care, and whānau ora collectives more joined up and moving forward together to address tobacco which is killing 5,000 New Zealanders a year” Mr Norman also adds that “the reality has been that although we have seen decreases in smoking prevalence and consumption, decreases have not occurred evenly across population groups, especially for Māori and Pacific, an indicator that a new approach is indeed needed”.

The new National Tobacco Control Advocacy service will be going through an establishment phase from 1 July with an advisory board to support implementation.

Dr Lance O’Sullivan a campaigner of Māori Health outcomes is one of the advisory board members for the new National Advocacy Service, “the new Hāpai strategy for tobacco control advocacy will be fresh and innovative with a strong emphasis on leadership at all levels including from communities to influence policy makers. The needs of consumers of tobacco are changing, therefore new policy approaches and research developments need consideration. We need to constantly stay at the forefront of change” he says. Dr O’Sullivan welcomes Hāpai as the National Advocacy voice to provide evidenced based advice and leadership to inform decision makers, keep the public abreast of emerging evidence in denormalising smoking, increased quitting and prevention of uptake, as well as provision of evidenced informed information to communities and other advocacy agencies.


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