Exclusive: Te Reo Marama and Maori smoking – Troughing 101

This is a Whale Oil Beef Hooked Exclusive series and will be running for the next few days. The reason I can’t run this story in one post is simply because it is too big. I have obtained under the OIA a large box of papers about one organisation purporting to be at the forefront of stopping Maori smoking. The only problem is that the organisation isn’t. It isn’t in the forefront of anything other than the self promotion of its principal Shane Kawenata Bradbrook and is spending up large on the taxpayer with little observable results.

On top of that WOBH has obtained an 88 page audit report (the full report and extracts will be published in subsequent posts) of the performance of Te Reo Marama which damning to say the least. Despite this the previous government kept on funding Te Reo Marama and its egregious troughing from the public purse for an additional two years.

This post serves as a preface if you will to the coming posts on Te Reo Marama and the huge wastage of public monies that have simply been used to enrich the life of Shane Kawenata Bradbrook. One other thing should be noted, whenever Shane Kawenata Bradbrook or Te Reo Marama comes under the microscope Shane Kawenata Bradbrook resorts to threats and intimidation, this blogger is used to such threats and will not be stopped from telling this story. Shane Kawenata Bradbrook also likes to say that he is mates with Pita Sharples and Tariana Turi and so “can’t be touched”. Well we will see about that shall we?

Just by way of example Te Reo Marama was established to combat Maori Smoking yet somehow Shane Kawenata Bradbrook saw fit to expend some $77,000 on international travel in the space of just three years. These figures are obtained from the OIA documents. Not only that over the past nine years under Labour Shane Kawenata Bradbrook has visited Chicago, USA in June 2000, Helsinki, Finland in August 2003, Hawaii, USA in November 2005, New York in April 2006, Washington DC in July 2006, Cairns, Australia in November 2006, Bangkok, Thailand in July 2007, Hawai again in Oct 2007, Broome, Australia in Nov 2007, Hawaii again!!! in May 2008, and Melbourne and Tuvalu in the same month, Durban South Africa in Nov 2008, Mumbai, India in March 2009, Perth, Australia in May 2009 and finally Darwin just recently in October 2009.

He has been quite the gad-about going to all those amazing places all in the name of stopping Maori smoking. All paid for by the taxpayer. Not only that Shane Kawenata Bradbrook claims all sorts of positions that there is no evidence to suggest he even holds such as being on the Executive Committee of the World Conference on Tobacco or Health. Even a Google search cannot find any evidence of such a claim.

Clearly Shane Kawenata Bradbrook thinks travelling to New York, Helsinki, India and other exotic places? must come before the good of the people. Speaking of the people let’s look at some of the statistics that Shane Kawenata Bradbrook is supposed to be trying to affect.

46% of Maori are regular smokers compared to 21% of non-Maori
The median age of Maori smoking initiation is 11.6 years
Maori of all age groups have higher smoking rates than non-Maori
Maori smoking prevalence is 50% in low socio-economic areas compared to 26% in high socio-economic areas
Maori women have the highest smoking prevalence of any ethnic group at 49%
The smoking rate of Maori females aged 25-29 is almost 4x that of non-Maori females in this age group
73% of Maori smokers use Roll your own
50% of Maori youth have smoking mothers and 48% smoking fathers

But wait there?s more…

Mortality rate for cancers overall for Maori was 77% higher than that for non-Maori during the years 2000-2004
Lung cancer is responsible for over 31% of Maori cancer deaths compared with 17% for non-Maori cancer deaths
Cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) death rates were 2.3x higher for Maori during 2000-2004.

Source: data from the New Zealand tobacco use survey as listed in the Ministry of Health Report on Maori smoking for the Maori Affairs Select Committee 12 June 2009.

It is clear as the nose on my face that millions of dollars of taxpayers money are being wasted on organisations like Te Reo Marama and the likes of blatant fraudsters like? Shane Kawenata Bradbrook. This blog over the next few days will expose just how wasteful that spending is and has become with a particular focus on Te Reo Marama.

Tomorrow: Troughing 102 – How to keep your funding despite a damning audit report.