Hāpai Te Hauora, supported by indigenous academics and public health experts, recently took a stand against the appropriation of Māori culture and the potential to cause harm through problem gambling.
In January 2017 Hāpai Te Hauora was alerted to the presence of an online gaming product called 'Maori' created by international software company Endorphina Ltd. The game includes images of tāne and wahine Māori, waka, pounamu, stylised bone carvings and a rendition of the haka Ka Mate.
Hāpai Te Hauora is deeply concerned to learn of a new online gambling site targeting Māori and using shameful cultural rip-offs.
Endorphina Games has launched an online slot game called 'Maori' using imagery which is blatant cultural appropriation including images of wahine and tāne Māori, pounamu and stylised bone carvings.
Endorphina, an online gaming company based in the Czech Republic, claims their game is a "celebration of cultural heritage" from New Zealand.
Hāpai Te Hauora is encouraging whānau to go 'fizz free' this summer by launching #FizzFreeWhānau on New Year's Day 2017. This campaign supports whānau to become more informed about the risks of regular consumption of sugary drinks and to choose other alternatives such as water or milk in place of 'fizz' for the month of January.
One of the criticisms around tobacco tax is the possibility for disproportionate stress that these taxes can have on low income families. There is evidence to suggest that many low income families will continue to purchase tobacco and will compensate by cutting back on essentials such as bread, milk or electricity.
Smokefree 2025 is the Governments goal to make New Zealand essentially smokefree by 2025. By 2018 the daily smoking will need to fall to 10% and Māori and Pacific adult daily smoking rates to have fallen to 19% and 11% respectively. This means, by 2018 we are aiming for an estimated 58,000 smokers to have quit daily smoking, 27,000 will be Māori and 8,000 Pacific.
The alcohol industry appears to be putting its considerable lobbying weight into challenging the rights of communities to determine the way alcohol is sold in their neighbourhoods.
A recent television media interview for TVNZ's Seven Sharp was titled "Time to stop dimming the lights? Gaming rooms are designed to fuel addiction". University of Auckland Professor Peter Adams has specialist expertise in addiction, and he raised concerns about the potential of gaming environments in New Zealand to create and reinforce behaviour which leads to problem gambling.
Hāpai Te Hauora is making a stand against sugary drinks by endorsing a new consensus statement launched by the New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) today. NZDA spokesperson Dr Rob Beaglehole said, “This is about informing the public about the negative health impacts of sugary drinks, and to advocate for a comprehensive approach to reduce sugary drink consumption.” The Consensus Statement can be found at healthysmiles.org.nz.
In recent weeks several alcohol delivery services have promoted their businesses in the New Zealand media. The news website Stuff reported on one in Hamilton and another in Auckland.