Both the Māori Affairs and Health select committees combined today to hear submissions from a Māori public health organisation on making Aotearoa smoke-free by 2025.

But questions were raised about the missing $20 million of additional pledged funding for Whānau Ora.

CEO of Hāpai Te Hauora Lance Norman says the lack of funds could affect a Māori targeted approach to smoking cessation.

“Are we heading in the right direction? Yes we are because those numbers were much worse five years ago, but with respect, they're not good results for Māori and Pacific, so we are not doing enough - we will not hit 2025 - so we need to target and culturally appropriate services to look after our whānau.”

Based on Hāpai Te Hauora's figures overall 16% of the population smokes, but when it comes to Māori it's 35% and 25% for Pasifika.

Boyd Broughton from Action on Smoking and Health acknowledged former politicians such as Dame Tariana Turia and Hone Harawira who initially led the campaign on, but he blames previous governments for not heeding all the advice.

“They had a really strong committee. They listened to a whole lot of people around the country and they came out with really strong and thought about and researched recommendations. And the pity is that they weren't all picked up and those that were picked up weren't enforced as much as they had recommended.”

Norman is also critical of the missing $20 million funding for Whānau Ora.

“Where there's an inequalities gap between Māori and non-Māori you need to have targeted funding and targeted resourcing to address that issue, and those programmes need to be co-designed by Māori with Māori for Māori.”

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