Pacific communities can expect more support to go smokefree as Associate Ministers of Health, Dr Ayesha Verrall and Aupito William Sio, launched one of the new Pacific stop smoking services at K’aute Pasifika Trust in Hamilton today.
The Smokefree Pacific Advisory Group, chaired by Associate Professor Dr Collin Tukuitonga, was also announced, as part of the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan to deliver on achieving better outcomes for Pacific peoples.
“Creating a smokefree Aotearoa, where we eliminate the harm smoking causes our community, is a priority of our Government. Smoking-related harm is still widespread in our Pacific communities, with Pacific peoples being overrepresented across negative health outcomes caused by smoking,” Dr Verrall said.
“Funding from last year’s Budget of $8 million will be invested directly into Pacific health providers across the motu over the next four years in order to deliver tailored stop smoking services for their communities.
“An important factor impacting the accessibility of healthcare for Pacific peoples is the degree to which the services and workforce delivering them reflect and embody the values of the communities they service. Pacific stop smoking services have the opportunity to lead change around Pacific smoking rates,” she said.
“These Pacific health providers live and work in their communities and have established relationships and trust with them. This investment will help support the delivery of culturally appropriate and innovative smoking programmes that best suit the needs of the Pacific communities in their region,” Minister Sio said.
K’aute Pasifika is one of six Pacific services contracted to deliver stop smoking services to support the implementation of Auahi Kore Aotearoa Mahere Rautaki 2025, the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan.
The roll out of the new Pacific stop smoking services follows the launch of Smokefree May, a month of community-led events across New Zealand that will conclude on World Smokefree Day on 31 May.