Statistics show Te Reo Māori protects against alcohol harm

Published: Fri 18 Oct 2019 02:27 PM
New statistics show Te Reo Māori protects against alcohol harm
Recently the Health Promotion Agency released a report into hazardous drinking in New Zealand. The report shows that Māori who drink alcohol and live in deprived circumstances are less likely to have a harmful relationship with alcohol if they speak te reo Māori.
Hāpai Te Hauora GM Māori Public Health, Janell Dymus-Kurei, says that the report adds to the evidence that te reo Māori me ōna tikanga (Māori language, knowledge and traditions) are vehicles for wellbeing for Māori. "We are not surprised to see that speaking our Indigenous language is protective against alcohol-related harm" she says. "Hopefully these findings will precipitate a new approach to health promotion which positions matauranga Māori at the centre. This is how we work in Māori public health and it’s time that the rest of the system caught up."
Key findings from the report are:
-Māori with higher levels of education are less likely to be hazardous drinkers
-Māori hazardous drinking rates increase with deprivation but only for those who do not speak Te Reo Māori
-Inequities among Māori and non-Māori persist across all age groups
Jessikha Leatham-Vlasic works in the Māori Public Health team at Hāpai, she believes this report confirms what already know as Māori, that learning and speaking our language supports and reinforces our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. "Most importantly we see the correlation between te reo Māori and its ability to strengthen whānau connections and social support systems, which we see as imperative to reducing alcohol harm".
Sarah Herbert a Lecturer in Te Kupenga Hauora Māori at The University of Auckland states that "it comes as no surprise that having the ability to speak Te Reo Māori works as a protective factor against alcohol harm among Māori. However, as our 2013 census data shows, only 21.3% of all Māori reported being able to converse in Te Reo Māori about everyday things. What about the 80% of our whānau who do not speak Te Reo Māori? How may they be protected against alcohol harm? We must critically work to combat the drivers of harmful alcohol use among Māori which we know fundamentally stem from the ongoing legacy of colonisation."
Nicki Jackson, Director of Alcohol Healthwatch agrees that the findings are positive, but there is still significant work to be done to allow whānau Māori to have equal access to health and wellbeing. "Wellbeing begins with healthy communities. Inequities in alcohol harm are preventable if we are committed to addressing many of the underlying social factors related to drinking, such as socio-economic deprivation, discrimination, and the saturation of alcohol outlets in communities."
Hāpai Te Hauora advocates for reduced alcohol-related harm through the following actions:
-Raising alcohol prices
-Reducing the availability of alcohol
-Restricting alcohol marketing, especially through sponsorship
Link to report here:āori-and-non-māori

Next in New Zealand politics

Green Party Unveils Clean Energy Plan
By: Green Party
Press Statement From Michelle Boag
By: Michelle Boag
Statement from Rt Hon Winston Peters
By: New Zealand Government
Government and Air NZ agree to manage incoming bookings
By: New Zealand Government
New Investment Creates Over 2000 Jobs To Clean Up Waterways
By: New Zealand Government
Snail Like Progress On Government Vehicle Emissions Targets
By: NZ Energy and Environment Business Week
Green Party Proposes Transformational Poverty Action Plan
By: Green Party
New protection for dolphins
By: New Zealand Government
ACT Leader's Address To Election Campaign Launch - ASB Waterfront Theatre, 12 July 2020
By: ACT New Zealand
New Zealand To Review Relationship Settings With Hong Kong
By: New Zealand Government
Hamish Walker - A Personal Statement And An Apology
By: New Zealand National Party
Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-start COVID Rebuild
By: New Zealand Government
Government Strengthens Managed Isolation System
By: New Zealand Government
ACT Announces List For 2020 General Election
By: ACT New Zealand
Greens Energy Policies; Positive For Working Kiwis
By: New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media