Why this work is important

To reduce the smoking rates for New Zealanders our approach has been based on international best practices. While these approaches have had a significant effect for most groups, the smoking rates for Māori remain relatively high.

Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand has recently taken a new approach of 'client insights' to the problem of high Māori smoking rates, particularly through the search for a deeper understanding of some of the people at the centre of this issue, young Māori women.

Through the project ‘Addressing the challenge of young Māori women who smoke’ the Ministry used data, evidence and insights to find out about the barriers affecting young Māori women’s ability to quit smoking. This included:

  • taking a look at the evidence of what works in smoking cessation
  • using data from Statistic’s New Zealand’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) about the lives of young Māori women who smoke and making sense of that data through analytics
  • engaging with over 50 young Māori women, listening to the stories of their lives and their relationship with smoking.

From this project Te Whatu Ora has learnt a lot about the complexity of the lives of young Māori women, the things that challenge them and the strengths that uphold them and provide opportunities for change.