Te Hiku Hauora’s Aukati Kaipaipa (Stop Smoking) team currently deliver a 12 week programme aimed at Maori men who want to stop smoking. They meet every Monday for the remainder of the programme at Manukau marae, where they are taught the knowledge and skills of mau rakau, thereby providing a healthy alternative to reaching for a cigarette.

Now in its 4th week, the first session was held at the Nurses Rec Hall in Kaitaia and on that day the group (because of a double booking) found itself sharing the space with Te Hiku Hauora’s Korikori A Kaumatua roopu.

The kaumatua of that roopu not only shared the hall that day but their whakaaro (thoughts) around smoking.

The day turned out to be a successful interchange of encouragement for both parties, with the young men talking about their reasons for quitting ie. for their whanau, the cost of cigarettes and escalating health issues.

In turn, kaumatua recalled for the roopu the days when cigarettes were brought for them by the box load, with others telling the young men that it is the tobacco companies that are taking all of your money and robbing you of a life, with one kuia poignantly sharing with the roopu her experience of how she lost her husband to smoking.

Another kuia, prompted by the korero, made a plea to these young men saying, “We need you. We need you to be around for our marae, our mokopuna and our future. Just look around the room. There are more kuia here than there are koroua”.

The kaumatua roopu are eager to follow up with the progress of the tane at their 6 week mark and intend to visit them at the marae.

For more information about the Aukati Kaipaipa programmes that we run, please phone 408 4024 or 0800 408 4024.