By Eru Rerekura – | @erurerekura

Te reo opportunity missed in stroke TV campaign

An opportunity to incorporate Te Reo Māori in a stroke awareness television campaign has failed to materialise.

A Te Karere source has revealed that $600,000 was invested in the campaign with a desire to reach out to Māori who feature significantly in stroke survivor statistics.

Stroke strikes Māori the most the Stroke Foundation’s national Māori co-ordinator Nita Brown says.

“Tokomaha ngā tāngata o tō tātou whānau e pā ki tēnei momo māuiuitanga ki te ūpoko – arā ko te ikura roro,” hei tāna.

According to recent Stroke Foundation statistics, every day two or three Māori are admitted to hospital as a result of stroke. That's around 800 a year. Around 140 will die from stroke and that's more than the general population.

However, although there was talk of appealing to Māori in the current TV campaign, the Health Promotion Agency (HPA) didn’t produce a Māori or a bilingual version.

It made sense to use the Māori language to reach out to the Māori community, the Labour Party said.

“The lack of Māori faces and the complete absence of Māori voices is just plain rorirori (stupid). I think anyone would agree with me on that. It is 2017 and it's time to step up,” the party’s Health spokesperson Dr David Clark said.

It was an opportunity for the HPA – the organisation who created the campaign – to use Te Reo Māori, Ms Brown said.

“Ko te mea nui, me pāho, me whakamārama atu tēnei momo māuiuitanga ki te ao whānui – i roto i tō tātou nei reo Māori.”

The agency should adhere to the treaty's principles Dr Clark said.

“It's an official language of the country for goodness sake, this is not the dark ages - we need to step up and have language that's appropriate that reaches out to everyone.”

Te Karere requested an interview with the Health Promotion Agency, but they didn't want to answer our questions.

Ministry of Health responds

Q (Te Karere):I understand that there was a desire to focus on Māori and Pacific groups who represent a significant part of the population of stroke survivors?

A (MoH): Our existing campaign was based on MoH/Stroke Foundation's successful pilot in Waikato DHB, focusing on the Māori population.

Q: If that was the wish, then why does the advertisement lack any cultural diversity including not incorporating and Te Reo Māori?

A: The FAST poster has been translated into Māori and Samoan. There is a radio advertisement in Te Reo.

We have worked, and continue to work with DHBs to ensure we all reach populations that are hard to reach and high risk. Posters will be available in Te Reo for DHBs and stakeholders. Also a translated FAST radio advertisement will play on stations in the Māori media network.

Q: And if the focus on a Māori and Pacific audience was the directive, is the Ministry of Health (MoH) disappointed that the Health Promotion Agency (HPA) didn’t follow through with that?

A: The Ministry of Health is very satisfied with the work that the HPA has done and we continue to work with them on delivering and evaluating the current FAST campaign.

Q:Would the MoH consider incorporating Te Reo into the FAST campaign on TV in the near future?

A: The Ministry of Health and the HPA will continue to work with DHBs to evaluate the campaign and will be assessing the effectiveness of the approach as necessary.