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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Using the Stars to Weave a Smokefree Heritage - an Indeginous Approach to Health Promotion

Nicola Te Kahuitanga MacDonald, B/Ed, ASH NZ, PO Box 99126, Newmarket, Auckland, 1005, New Zealand

Objective: To use a contemporary Maori model of health promotion to deliver traditional Maori cultural practices encompassing Smokefree messages to Maori communities.

Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand, 47% smoke compared to 22% Non-Maori smoking prevalence. Prior to colonisation in the 19th century Maori were Smokefree.

Maori view of health is holistic, Te Pae Mahutonga is a contemporary model of health promotion framework based upon the constellation the Southern Cross; each star represents mental, physical, cultural, spiritual, social and ecological aspects of health.

This framework provided the basis to deliver a comprehensive workshop supporting traditional weaving practices that forbids the use of tobacco whilst weaving.

The workshop strengthened participants' desires to return to, reaffirm and restore Te Ao Maori - Maori Worldviews and Te Ao Auahi Kore- A Smokefree World.

Methods: Incorporating six strategic principals of Te Pae Mahutonga, traditional weaving practices and customs that supported Smokefree messages were taught. Maori look upon feathered cloaks with high regard and value, participants were required to weave a feathered cloak.

Throughout the weaving process, lessons were drawn from Te Pae Mahutonga to reaffirm customary practices restoring Smokefree lifestyles. Participants were asked to replace their smoking addiction for traditional weaving lore.

Results: Twenty attended, all completed their feathered cloaks. Six participants were smokers, quit smoking and have remained Smokefree over 3, 6 and 12 month period. A Maori model of health promotion provides a comprehensive approach that supports Maori worldviews and customary practices, which enables Maori to reclaim their Smokefree heritage.