New research on Pacific gambling habits released

The Pacific Islands Families Study update released this week highlights concerning trends in Pacific youth and maternal gambling behaviour. The study found that Pasifika youth were at risk of problem gambling if their mothers gamble



The research is part of the longitudinal Pacific Islands Families (PIF) Study that interviewed 923 mothers and 931 children aged 14.


Some of the key findings included:


  • The proportion of mothers who had gambled in the prior 12 months is 52%, up from 36% in 2006


  • The proportion of youth who had ever gambled increased from 27% in 2009 to 54% in 2014


  • The most common social experience of gambling for youth was bets with friends or family


  • Gambling among mothers had a highly statistically significant association with drinking alcohol, and increased alcohol consumption over time as well as being a victim of verbal aggression


  • Gambling among youth had a highly statistically significant association with being bullied and being involved with gangs


Dr El-Shadan Tautolo, Director of the PIF Study, said the research shows the need for better support systems to be put in place for Pacific mothers.


"We need to put measures in place to support people to retain or strengthen their Pasifika culture while building a sense of connection to New Zealand culture and society."


The National Minimising and Preventing Gambling Harm Coordination Service and Te Kākano, the workforce development provider for public health practitioners working in gambling harm minimisation and prevention are based at Hāpai Te Hauora.


Hāpai is the largest Māori public health organisation, with regional and national services in gambling harm minimisation.


"Hāpai support the call by the researchers behind this study for a more comprehensive plan to address gambling including workforce development, mobilising communities and more effective communication." says CEO Lance Norman.


"We work closely with the gambling harm prevention workforce and with affected communities. So we are pleased to see data which supports what we already know, that individual wellbeing is intrinsically linked to whānau and community wellbeing."


Hāpai commends the researchers from AUT who, with the support of the Ministry of Health, have been able to provide relevant and timely information specific to our communities' needs.


And thank the families involved in the Pacific Island Families Study for continuing to participate in longitudinal research which will benefit future generations.


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Or contact the gambling helpline on 0800 654 655