Our mission is to support indigenous aspirations to flourish as individuals, families, tribes and nations who are recognized as sovereign people. We will deliver on our mission by:

  • Building indigenous peoples’ capacity to respond to, and reduce, the harms caused by tobacco smoking.
  • Advance knowledge on indigenous tobacco use and how to more rapidly reduce the number of people using tobacco in a harmful way.
  • Advance knowledge on the theory of addiction, behaviour change and harm reduction by adding an indigenous perspective.


Dr Marewa Glover (Director) is an indigenous behavioral scientist who has worked on reducing harms from smoking for over 25 years. She has over 100 scientific publications, has been involved in many trials and has led many research projects. Reducing smoking among pregnant Māori women has been a particular focus of her research.

Prior to establishing the Centre, Marewa was a Professor in Public Health at Massey University and Chair of End Smoking NZ a non-Government organisation that has advocated for a harm reduction approach to reducing smoking. Marewa was a finalist in the NZ Women of Influence Awards in 2017 recognising her high profile as a public health commentator and advocate. In 2018, she was honoured with the International Network of Nicotine Consumers Organisations (INNCO) Outstanding Advocate Award for her role in promoting vaping as an accepted risk-reduced alternative to smoking in New Zealand.


Raupō (Typha orientalis also known as bullrush or cattails) grows around the world and has been used in various ways by people throughout history. Raupō was a valuable plant in pre-industrial times. It was used by indigenous people as a source of food, for thatching and to make clothing items, mats, and poi used in Māori action songs. Parts of the plant also had medicinal uses.

As a swamp plant raupō provided a dense habitat for foul and eels which were also a source of food. In many parts of the world human spread has led to water-logged land being drained diminishing the size and number of raupō growing areas. Pollution, damage to waterways and loss of creek life has led societies back to looking at the raupō for its water-cleansing and regenerative uses.

The raupō symbolises our use of holistic thinking, honouring ancient knowledge and the connections we will be making between indigenous people.