Reversing the Harmful Effects of Gambling in Indigenous Families: The Development of the Tu Toa Tu Maia Intervention


Although gambling misuse amongst Māori is a critical public health issue, little investment has been made in Indigenous interventions to address this harmful behaviour at a community level. This paper outlines the development of an intervention created specifically for use by Māori health promoters, to ensure services meet the needs of Māori gamblers and their whānau (extended family). Using a kaupapa Māori method of analysis, data from 20 qualitative interviews with Māori women, and contract work in a Māori community, a checklist for safe gambling in Te Arawa was devised. Development of the Tu Toa Tu Maia resource employed a collaborative approach, drawing on the wisdom and advice of Elders, community members, and other stakeholders. The findings from the small doctoral study and contractual work demonstrate that culturally congruent resources, using metaphors that Indigenous peoples understand and can relate to, are more likely to be accepted in Māori communities. The paper provides an overview of the doctoral study, outlining the participants, method, and discussion with a view to elucidating how Laurie Morrison came to develop the Ta Toa Tu Maia resource. The paper concludes by noting that through real, collaborative, and informed engagement with Indigenous communities, culturally congruent and relevant resources to address public health problems experienced by these communities, can emerge.

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