Maori challenges and crown responsibilities: Maori policymaker ideas on smokefree policy options

N Z Med J. 2010 Nov 26;123(1326):68-76.


Aim: To determine obstacles/opportunities within policy processes, for smokefree interventions appropriate to Maori. In particular, to explore Maori policymakers' ideas on how to achieve progress on smokefree homes, cars and community property.

Methods: Documents and interviews with 16 senior Maori officials and Members of Parliament, and nine interviews in two case studies, were used to explore Maori policymakers' ideas for (i) Progress, within relevant policy processes, on smoking in homes, cars and community property; (ii) Particular interventions that the interviewees felt were most and least effective, practical, sustainable, politically feasible or desirable in some way; (iii) The context, and obstacles and opportunities for such interventions. The case studies were of a Maori health service and a group of Maori District Health Board managers.

Results: Several key themes emerged from the research including, (i) children as drivers for change, (ii) strong national and local indigenous leadership needed for change, (iii) delivering smokefree messages as part of wider healthy living approaches, (iv) targeting of the messages for greatest impact for Maori, (v) need for a Maori approach, not a general approach, (vi) central and local government having a significant role in the prevention of tobacco harm, (vii) ideas on how tobacco tax revenue should be spent on tobacco control, and (viii) the rights of children to smokefree environments.

Conclusions: Results indicate that indigenous specific approaches and indigenous leadership are critical for Maori tobacco-free advances. Harnessing indigenous values and principles related to health, family and children was the preferred method of these Maori policymakers for delivering social marketing messages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Health Policy*
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander*
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Politics
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / ethnology*
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence*