October 17, 2017
Indigenous tobacco control award for Hone Harawira
Hone Harawira and his former Maori Party leader Dame Tariana Turia disagreed on some things politically, but they agreed on the need to tackle the high rates of smoking among Maori.
Now Mr Harawira has been declared the first winner of an award for tobacco control in Dame Tariana’s name given by Maori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island tobacco control advocates.
The Mana leader says he appreciates the honour, even though more needs to be done to lower Maori smoking rates if Aotearoa is to be smokefree by 2025.
He’s also uncomfortable with policies which shame or punish smokers, most of whom want to shake the addiction but can’t.
"Maybe we should not be so harsh on the tax increases and put a bit more energy into going after those (tobacco) companies and forcing them to stop putting that stuff out there, forcing them to step away from the death and destruction they are causing all around the place," he says.
Mr Harawira says the profile he got on tobacco control was in large part because of the team that came together to help him.
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