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Huia Tāngata Kōtahi – Unite The People Wānanga Series 2023

In recognition of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Problem Gambling Foundation will launch a new wānanga series of online videos on Waitangi Day, featuring conversations with Māori influencers about the systemic injustices experienced by Māori including gambling harm, through a social justice lens.

The videos, entitled Huia Tāngata Kōtahi – Unite the People, have been funded by Health Promotion at the National Public Health Service (formerly Te Hiringa Hauora/Health Promotion Agency) from the Safer Gambling Aotearoa Community Fund.

Te Rukutia Tongaawhikau (Taranaki, Ngāpuhi) Bicultural Relationships Manager at the Problem Gambling Foundation says what makes the project so special is looking at community wellbeing through the lense of Māori equity, indigenous rights, tūpuna mātauranga towards intergenerational wealth creation (not money) and kaupapa-Māori that make the impossible possible.

“We want our whānau viewers to be critical of the systemic injustices, aware about harmful gambling, and to be reflexive about kaupapa that support community wellbeing through a Māori lens,” she says.

Te Rukutia says the Māori influencers have been so generous with their time and space for this Kaupapa.

“I want to acknowledge this wonderful group of people who have been willing to discuss and share their knowledge and experience about themselves as people of influence in the spaces they occupy by Māori for Māori of Māori,” she says.

“We are grateful we had the support and collaboration of the team at the National Public Health Service for this initiative that promotes the wellbeing of the community and helps in our mahi to prevent and minimise gambling harm in Aotearoa.”

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The wānanga series will be available on Monday 6 February at

A special launch and blessing will take place online via Zoom tomorrow (Wednesday) 1 February. This commences with a briefing at 11am, followed by the launch event from 11.30 until 12.30.

To join use this link:

Meeting ID: 883 5148 1740

Passcode: 016320

The video series includes:

Mātike Mai Aotearoa: Associate Professor Veronica Tāwhai

Massey University Pūkenga Tiriti. Associate Professor Tāwhai is a founding member of Te Ata Kura Society for Conscientisation, and a lead contributor and facilitator to Mātike Mai Aotearoa, the call for Constitutional Transformation.

Veronica discusses her experiences as an advocate for Māori political determination as a vehicle to achieve a socially just society where all peoples can flourish.

Māoriland: Libby Hakaraia (MNZM)

Filmmakers Libby Hakaraia and husband Tainui Stephens founded the Māoriland Film Festival (MFF) to bring social, economic, and cultural benefit to Ōtaki. In 2023 the MFF turns 10 years old and is set to be the largest indigenous film festival in the world. The MFF operates from the Māoriland Hub, the Centre for Indigenous Film and Creative Excellence where rangatahi are training as storytellers and artists.

Libby discusses her experiences with multi-levelled racism as the driver to want to make change in the world through indigenous storytelling.

Soldiers Rd: Taaniko and Vienna Nordstrom
Co-founders of Soldiers Rd Portraits, their unique photography experience has connected hundreds of whānau and indigenous peoples all over the world to reclaim their mana through the visual representation of themselves in the likeness of their tūpuna.

Taaniko and Vienna discuss the importance of valuing cultural heritage as a vehicle to heal and make transformational change in the world.

Rongoā Collective of the ART Confederation: Sharlene Maote-Davis, Hemaima Carkeek-Wiremu and Pania Solomon

Co-founders of the Rongoā Collective of the ART Confederation, Sharlene, Hemaima and Pania visualise the importance for whānau to reclaim their rongoā practice accessible in everyday life for the three iwi Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Toa Rangatira.

Sharlene, Hemaima and Pania discuss rongoā practices to regenerate our healing connection to wairua and mauri.

Māori equity and gambling: a presentation at the International Gambling Conference 2022
Is Māori equity attainable in the Midlands? The dream versus reality of pokie machines in Māori communities.

The intent of the presentation is to share observations as a Multi Venue Exclusion (MVE) Coordinator, analysing gaming venues in Māori communities across the Midlands region: Whakatāne, Kawerau and Ōpōtiki Territorial Local Authorities (TLAs).

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