Te Mana Hauora O Te Tairawhiti
10 October 2017
A Hauora Tairāwhiti Health Promotion Advisor has been named as one of just nine selected nationwide to attend the Oceania Tobacco Control Conference at Hobart.Tobacco Control Health Promotion Advisor Aporina Chapman, was awarded a full scholarship to attend by the New Zealand Quit Trust Smoking Group, as a Quit Trust leader – the only recipient from Tairāwhiti. The conference takes place from 17-19 October, drawing those working in health promotion, legislation and smoking cessation from all over the world.
“I am absolutely ecstatic. To receive a scholarship of this calibre is overwhelming, simply because it does not happen every day.”
Ms Chapman has worked in public health advocating for auahi kore - smoke free - for nearly two decades. “Over the years you come to work, you do your job, and you do not really think about the overall picture - but putting the application together did make me reflect on the work I had done and I thought, ‘Gosh I guess I really did do a lot’.”
Ms Chapman has been the coordinator for the district’s Smokefree Coalition Group, Taki Tahi Toa Mano, chairperson for Ease UP – a smoke free, alcohol free and abuse free side-lines steering group, regional facilitator for World Smoke Free Day and Stoptober promotions, and a representative at regional and national tobacco control meetings. She has also worked on plain packaging and Smoke free car submissions and been a strong advocate, and support-writer, for Smoke free policies.
Prior to moving to Tairāwhiti Ms Chapman was one of six national advisors for Auahi Kore, as well as the Midland Smoke free coordinator for Te Hotu Manawa Māori.
“This conference is all about professional development for me. I have never been to Hobart and I am looking forward to meeting an array of passionate people who work particularly with indigenous peoples. Most importantly I am hoping to bring back some refreshing ideas that I can bring back to our smoke free coalition.”
Ms Chapman says she loves her job and being able to make a positive difference in peoples’ lives is what she strives for every day. “I am still going to be here in 2025 and I am confident we can reach our Government’s goal, given the biggest support to see a smoke free Aotearoa 2025 came from Tairāwhiti.”
The Government has a goal to reduce the rate of smokers in New Zealand to five percent or less by 2025. Currently 15 percent of the country’s population smoke. This figure leaps to 28 percent when applied to Māori. However, our statistics are telling us our smoking rates are on the decline, particularly among our rangatahi and we intend to keep it that way.”