Marae’s healthy change
A Hokianga marae has taken a stand to further ensure the survival of its descendants by becoming auahi kore [smokefree].
The Morehu Marae in Pawarenga has celebrated its adoption of its auahi kore marae policy on August 7 in a bid to celebrate the health of its people and send a clear message to smokers to stop before they start.
The policy comes on the back of the successful Wero stop smoking programme implemented by Te Hiku Hauora in the community last year. Of the ten smokers who took part, seven stopped for good.
Many marae members shared stories of loved ones who have succumbed to smoking-related illnesses.
‘‘For the future generation and the health of our young people – this is what the kaupapa is all about. If you don’t have some measures or some level of commitment to our people that we’re trying to help them, then we’re failing. I’d rather fail trying than not try at all,’’ says marae committee member Frank Herbert.
Fellow committee member Hepa Stephens says the policy is an expression of aroha. The ultimate goal is keeping the marae as a central place where good health is normal. ‘‘We want to make our marae a place where everyone can learn our tikanga and our reo, and enjoy good health. The marae is the place for that.’’
Morehu Marae is proud to go smokefree.