WAI 1909 – The Waitangi Tribunal Gambling Claim
How will it Improve the Health Outcomes for young Māori People?
In 2008, I lodged a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal in regard to problem gambling and its negative impacts on Māori people. The Tribunal is tasked with hearing grievances related to Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi) signed in 1840 between Māori and the British Crown. It is a historical claim focused on the lack of adequate protection of taiohi Māori (young people of Māori descent) and the intergenerational harm caused by problem gambling among their whānau, hapū, iwi (extended families and relatives) and urban Māori communities. However, this begs the question how can a Treaty claim improve the health outcomes of a generation of taiohi Māori who have been exposed to commercial gambling and its aggressive and targeted expansion and marketing? This paper frames the WAI-1909 claim as a Kaupapa Māori (Māori research approach) derived from the research of three wahine toa (warrior women) supporting the claim; and refers to epistemological standpoints of Māori women working in the gambling research space. I demonstrate how the gambling claim challenges the New Zealand government to honour the promises in the articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and to protect the rights of its citizens, especially taiohi Māori. The WAI-1909 gambling claim concludes that whilst the New Zealand Gambling Act (2003) includes a public health approach to problem gambling, it has not adequately addressed the rights of tangata whenua (Māori, the first people of Aotearoa/New Zealand) under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Ruth Ann Herd
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