News & Events

It’s about your whānau this World Smokefree Day

13 April 2017

World Smokefree Day 31st May: It's about whanau.World Smokefree Day (31st May) is about celebrating and working towards smokefree/auahi kore lives for New Zealanders.

The theme for WSFD 2017 is ‘It’s about whānau.’ Whānau is a driving force for many people wishing to protect others from the harms of second-hand smoke. This is a common cause for all people, cultures, communities and families.

The call to action is for smokers and non-smokers to take control and stop exposing others to second-hand smoke, especially children.

Become a smokefree role model for your children, tamariki and mokopuna

World Smokefree Day is also about creating environments where our children are free from exposure to tobacco. Parents feel very strongly about not exposing children to smoking, whether they are smokers or not.

Children see their parents smoke and this has a strong effect on what they perceive as normal.

Parents, whānau and caregivers can make positive changes to the environment children are growing up in, even if they smoke. Talking to their children about smoking and establishing smokefree rules like not smoking around children, keeping the house and car smokefree is a fantastic start and a step in the right direction to protecting their children.

Support your whānau to quit

World Smokefree Day also provides an opportunity to encourage and help those who want to quit smoking and support friends and whānau on their quit journey.
For those who decide the time is right to quit, there’s more help available than ever.

Services like Quitline now provide support over the phone, online and by text. There is also an increasing range of medical products and nicotine therapies available, from as little as $5 per product for an 8-week supply.

It’s about freedom. It’s about whānau and being there for those you love. Take up the challenge and take a step towards a smokefree Aotearoa and quit smoking on 31st May – World Smokefree Day.

Source: Health Promotion Agency website.

Learn about the importance of immunisation for teenagers

10 April 2017

Immunisation Week (1st to 7th May 2017) is about raising awareness about the importance of immunisation to protect against serious illnesses. The theme of the 2016 Immunisation Week is: Ensuring your teenager is immunised.

Here are the key messages this Immunisation Week:

  • Make sure your teen is up to date with their immunisations.
  • Many teenagers missed out on vaccinations as young children (such as for measles) and need protection now against possible outbreaks.
  • Immunisation at age 11 and 12 years is important to provide ongoing protection against tetanus, HPV and other serious diseases. These vaccines can be given at school or your local general practice.
  • Most immunisations are free for under 18s.
Missed any immunisations? Talk to your doctor or nurse today to catch up.

Catch up on your vaccinations: protect yourself now and in the future

It’s important to check you are up to date with your immunisations, especially if you are;

  • leaving home for the first time,
  • thinking of starting a family,
  • beginning a career or
  • travelling overseas.

Catching up on your immunisations is easy, and often free from your general practice. Your practice nurse or doctor will be able to tell you what immunisations you need.

Many diseases like measles and tetanus can make adults seriously ill. Over 400,000 Kiwis between 10 and 29 years old are at risk of catching measles in an outbreak. You need two doses of measles vaccine to be best protected.

You can also protect your developing child if you are fully immunised. Catching rubella when you’re pregnant can cause miscarriage or serious birth defects. It is also recommended that pregnant women have the free seasonal influenza and whooping cough booster vaccinations to protect both them and their child.

Most people will be exposed to human papillomavirus (HPV) as older teenagers or young adults. Persistent HPV infection can lead to cervical and other HPV-related cancers. HPV also causes most genital warts.

There are some extra immunisations that aren’t usually free but are worth considering to make sure you’re protected. Some of these are free for those at higher risk of disease. Talk to your doctor about whether protection from the following diseases is a good idea for you:

  • Influenza
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Chickenpox
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B

Sources: Health Promotion Agency and Ministry of Health websites.

Count young people’s voices in your community during Youth Week

5 April 2017

Youth Week.Youth Week is a nationwide festival of events organised by young New Zealanders to celebrate the talents, passion and success of local young people.

Youth Week recognises the amazing contributions and achievements of young people in New Zealand. The week also recognises the youth workers, youth service providers and others working with and for young people.

The week inspires us to value, support, and affirm the diversity of young people in our society. We want Aotearoa to be a country where young people are vibrant and optimistic and are supported and encouraged to take up challenges.

For the older generation it’s about how we engage with the young people in our lives – whether it’s sharing our stories, supporting them to achieve their dreams or being a listening ear when life gets tough.

How you can celebrate or mark Youth Week 2017

Hear our voices translated in multiple languages.Youth Week 2017 (26th May to 4th June) celebrates youth voices in the community – Our Voices count; count our voices. This year’s theme is all about giving young people a voice that counts by supporting them to:

  • get involved in their community,
  • contribute to community development projects,
  • give feedback on policies or decisions that impact them
  • have their say in the upcoming national election, or
  • get informed about issues that affect them.

There will be lots of events happening nationwide to celebrate Youth Week.


Ara Taiohi is an organisation for youth development in New Zealand. They want to showcases examples of people supporting young people across the country on their website. Share your story or nominate someone else by sending an email (communications[at], with the Subject: Story).

Source: Ara Taiohi website.

Page last updated: 23/02/2016

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