Nga Kohanga Reo take on the Tupeka Kore Challenge

9 June 2016

Kōhanga Reo from around Taranaki are taking on the Tupeka Kore Challenge to create a tobacco-free community and future for their children. Development of the Tupeka Kore Challenge is part of Taranaki DHB’s committment to improving the health of our Taranaki Māori community.

Terēhia Newton, Taranaki DHB Health Promotor said, “The Tupeka Kore Challenge is a tikanga (tradition) based programme designed alongside  Kōhanga Reo for the Kōhanga reo environment. The aim is to reduce smoking and smoking-related illnesses in Māori children and their families, while normalising a tobacco-free culture.

These Kōhanga Reo are the first in Taranaki to take on the Challenge and are setting an example for other Kōhanga Reo throughout the region.”.

Tamati Neho, Waiwhakaiho Kōhanga Reo Chairperson said “We see the Tupeka Kore Challenge as a valuable and worthwhile tool for our Kohanga whānau to support the health and wellbeing of nga tamariki/mokopuna

Smoking is the most preventable cause of illness in New Zealand, yet 5000 New Zealanders die from smoking-related illnesses each year. 350 of these deaths are the result of exposure to second-hand smoke.

The Māori population are over-represented in these statistics. According to the 2013 census, 27% of Taranaki’s smokers are Māori, while Māori make up just 16.6% of Taranaki’s population.

In addition to the associated health risks, based on the average cost of $22 per pack, smoking one pack of cigarettes per day costs and individual at least $8,000 per year.

Whānau from the Kōhanga Reo will be supported in making positive life changing decisions around the health and wellbeing of their children. Helping parents to quit smoking, with the support of the non-smokers around them provides a whānau culture that is crucial to preventing children and young people from starting to smoke.

“Key principles in the programme’s design were choices and sustainability. This means Kōhanga can choose which of the available resources are incorporated into their curriculum based on their individual needs and aspirations. This enables them to continue teaching the Tupeka Kore message and supporting children and their families in this way after the DHB’s involvement in the programme finishes,” said Mrs Newton.

Teaching and supporting the Tupeka Kore messages in the Kōhanga environment will have flow-on effect to other aspects of the community’s health and well being, as it will regularly expose children to the concept of leading an active lifestyle that will create opportunities around health, work force and education.

“We encourage other Kōhanga Reo to join the Tupeka Kore Challenge,” said Mrs Newton.

Resources available in the Tupeka Kore Challenge programme include Quit Packs, personalised Tupeka Kore signage, learning and curriculum resources and direct access to support programmes which offer a range of ongoing individual, whānau and group support.


Tupeka Kore Challenge background:
The Tupeka Kore Challenge is a tikanga (tradition)-based education programme, specifically created for the Kohanga Reo environment, which values and places emphasis on tikanga and kawa (protocols).

The programme’s alignment with Kohanga Reo values, combined with the whānau approach model means smokers and non-smokers can work together to achieve quit smoking goals. This link is crucial to ensure the Kohanga Reo philosphies are upheld.

A passive approach is the preferred method for delivery. The development of the Tupeka Kore Challenge is part of Taranaki DHB’s committment to improving the health of our Taranaki Māori community using Sir Mason Durie’s Te Pae Mahutonga health model approach to Māori Health.


For more information please call:

Greer Lean
Communications Advisor
027 801 9084





Last updated: Thursday, June 9, 2016

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