Working for Kids


In its June editorial the Otaki Mail advocated putting kids at the forefront of all decisions, and now Otaki and Horowhenua are the beneficiaries of a new kids first programme. The first of an eventual nationwide initiative of Children’s teams started work in the area during the past month to work with vulnerable children. This is a collaborative approach between the police, MidCentral Health, general practitioners, social services, iwi, educationalists and the Horowhenua District Council and will be based in Levin.

The manager, Jacqui Moynihan, says “The strength is the pieces everyone plays, it’s about us as a community working together to ensure all our families are cared for.” Bringing knowledge and experience together these organisations will all work under one plan for these families under the auspices of the Government’s Children’s Action Plan. National Manager for the Children’s teams, Sue Mackwell said that “The whole focus for the children’s teams is bringing together all of the people involved in a child’s life so they can worSmokers will be urged to stub out for good this October in New Zealand’s first national stop smoking month – Stoptober. The ground-breaking new Ministry of Health campaign is targeting NZ’s 460,000 smokers and from 1st September smokers are being asked to sign up at to get free support and quit come 1st October.

Clinical evidence shows that smokers who manage to stop smoking for a month are five times more likely to quit, and smokers who use support to stop smoking are much more likely to stay Smokefree. Throughout Stoptober people wanting to stop smoking will be provided with daily emails and texts, and a free Stoptober app downloadable from, which has stress-release support in Te Reo Maori and English. The website will also direct them towards free stop smoking treatment in their area, which includes face-to-face, online and phone counselling.

This is not a finger-wagging campaign but an inclusive, supportive approach to getting as many smokers to stop and stay stopped. It follows on the back of the UK Stoptober campaign which has been running for two years and last year saw nearly 250,000 people quit smoking.

As part of the campaign a big red Stoptober ball (3m round) will be travelling from the top of the North Island down to the bottom of the South during September, stopping at various towns and holding community events to get smokers and their families to come down and sign up to quit.

In the MidCentral DHB region a small working party agreed to organise events across the district to raise local awareness of this opportunity for smokers.

Otaki has some passionate smokefree health promoters and quit coaches who were instrumental in offering an afternoon of activity in the Otaki Township.

Outside the Te Runanga o Raukawa office, quit smoking coaches Clare Climie-Williams (TOAM) & Miriona Johnson (AKP) manned a stand with stop smoking medications and information. This attracted the attention of many local shoppers.

The big red Stoptober ball arrived from its journey around the Horowhenua towns of Shannon, Foxton and Levin to be rolled down the sidewalk by a group of Kohanga Reo tamariki, their kaimahi and health staff.

This fascinated the citizens of Otaki who appreciated having the information on hand that they are seeing on their TV screens.

Visits were made to local kohanga reo and Te Wananga o Raukawa’s Nga Purapura.

Smokers can join by accessing, support to quit is provided through Te Ohu Auahi Mutunga and Aukati Kai Paipa both situated at Te Runanga o Raukawa.

The team would look at all issues facing families and how best to work together to put kids first.