Andrew Waa

Ngāti Hine Ngā puhi

Andrew Waa is a public health academic whose research work has focussed on how we can eliminate tobacco-related harm among whānau Māori and achieve a Tupeka Kore vision for Aotearoa. With 20 years of experience as a social scientist in public and private research, policy development and teaching, he is a valuable expert in the field.

As co-director of the Aspire-2025 research centre, Andrew leads research and programmes that align with the government's Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 goal. He places significant emphasis on the whānau perspective, recognising that sustainable improvements in health can be achieved by understanding how behaviours affect families, be it in terms of financial burdens or health consequences.

Andrew has recently been actively involved in initiatives to reduce vaping rates, particularly among Māori rangatahi, given their proliferation. He has expressed concerns about the need for better government policies to protect rangatahi from vaping. In his capacity, he advocates for legislation and policies that address Māori health and wellness needs.

As a Research Associate Professor based within Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora a Eru Pōmare, Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo, the University of Otago, Andrew has also conducted research on reducing impacts of communicable diseases among whānau and the diverse needs of urban Māori.

For this latter work, he provides insights into the aspirations of local Māori residing in urban environments, the representation of Māori interests in urban governance, and the challenges and opportunities for Māori participation in urban development.

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