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Minimising Gambling Harm Public Health

We provide the information and support to talk about gambling related harm. We also provide opportunities for Māori communities to speak out on their views about this kaupapa. Māori communities in return, provide the content that helps to make both regional and community, policies and strategies. These policies and strategies inform the way our city evolves and what changes it needs to make to better support the way Māori communities live, play and work within it. Most importantly though, we make sure it is the vision of the whānau we connect with that underpins the mahi we carry out through the Preventing Gambling Harm kaupapa here at Hāpai.

Preventing gambling related harm is an objective across the wider population of Māori within Auckland, but the issues of significance they face as unique Māori communities inform the way in which they choose to address those harms. Understanding the harms associated to gambling is varied across our population, also enables us to understand the way we address those harms can be just as dynamic. At Hapai we are constantly forming new relationships, exploring new ideas and developing new concepts for our projects. Creating diversity ensures a growing number of Māori communities have the connection and resources to achieve their optimal wellbeing as is the original purpose of Hāpai - ‘oranga tangata, oranga whenua’

"our focus has been on empowering Rangatahi, Kaumātua and Consumers..."

David Frost - Hāpai Te Hauora

We have three major themes our work is done within:

  • Awareness raising in communities allows us to share the knowledge of how the region is addressing gambling related harm. This is also an opportunity to provide a space for our whānau to promote their own views to both the community and the wider Auckland network. This is always done through kanohi ki te kanohi.
  • Supporting communities to leverage their strengths. Finding opportunities to connect to each other and develop their own kete with tools, insight and relationships. We appreciate communities have a depth of knowledge. Our role is to become/teach/source/learn whatever it is that supports their vision for increased well being through preventing gambling harm.
  • Policy development both on a local and regional level helps design an environment that enhances community wellbeing. To that end, the uptake of these policies must to something that empowers communities to succeed. We build relationships with funders and local authorities to ensure our communities ideas are interwoven throughout a range of activities.

Additional services we deliver as part of our work across Auckland communities

Since 2018, our service has picked up the Effective Screening Environments and Safe Gambling Environments service lines, which enable us the opportunity to work with pubs, clubs and trusts to ensure they are providing an environment that supports and enables gambling addictions support to be accessed if a person is experiencing harm from their gambling.

A brief timeline in Aotearoa New Zealand

A brief timeline of the introduction, development and acceleration of gambling harm throughout the history of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Included in this timeline are several important highlights of various events that led to the displacement of Māori and their increased exposure to gambling harm.

Read here

Gambling Harm Awareness Week (GHAW) 2021

This year, Gambling Harm Awareness Week (GHAW) ran from 30 August – 5 September. GHAW is a time for whānau to check in with themselves and

In partnership with our hoamahi at Raukura Hauora o Tainui, we released Te Reo Raurangatira, voices of our community champions – our Rangatira o nāianei, a video series highlighting the voices of our community champions who made the choice to seek support for their harmful gambling behaviours.

This kaupapa was a year in the making. This time last year, we were in lockdown, with many of our whānau and hāpori disconnected from the support services they needed by the digital divide. Post-lock down, gambling expenditure was at an all-time high, especially on pokies. Whānau were reluctant to reach out for help.

This got our team thinking, that we need to come up with a kaupapa that would drive our whānau to seek support for the issues they were having with their gambling. Even in the digital age, there are very real barriers to seeking help, whakamā or stigma being the greatest of them all. To encourage our whānau to get the help they need, we turned to the experts in this area, our community champions.

We hope these stories served as inspiration for those who are yet to take the first steps to get their gambling under control, to pick up the phone, fill out a referral form or even send a FB message. The hardest thing to do is to take the first step! We also wanted whānau out there to know about the amazing service that is being provided by our mates at Raukura Hauora o Tainui. 

We tried something a little different this year in the knowledge that Covid-19 would be with us for a long time yet, and it paid off. Our videos got 100's of views and we had whānau reach out to us, keen to take the first steps to get their gambling under control, or just looking for someone to talk to. GHAW 2021 was a success in our books. 


5 June, 2022

NewstalkZB - Selah Hart: "It's a silent addiction that many people suffer from"

Hapai te Hauora CEO, Selah Hart joined the Weekend Collective to discuss what adding more Lotto games would mean for New Zealand. 

gambling harm

12 February, 2021

Hāpai Te Hauora welcomes new tenancy rules providing additional security for renters

The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2020 is being rolled out in three phases, with phase 1 changes in effect since 11 August 2020. 

media release

20 August, 2020

Hāpai te Hauora warns against further dependence on gambling proceeds as new $40million Lotto Fund announced

The Lotto Community Wellbeing Fund was announced this week by Minister of Internal Affairs Tracy Martin, Presiding Member of the Lottery Grants Board. The new $40 million fund is targeted to community and social activities in response to COVID-19.

media release, gambling harm

Our Team

Tara Dymus

Tara Dymus

General Manager
Madison-Rei Willison

Madison-Rei Willison

Public Health Advisor
Nakisha Tau

Nakisha Tau

Public Health Advisor