'True Māori, Pacific solution' to bowel screening campaign

By Kelvin McDonald
Puhimoana Ariki Collective: Sam Robinson (left) and Inia Maxwell and Rongopai Stirling-Maxwell (centre) are with Māori agency Wawata Creative. Also pictured are Matt McNeil of The Digital Cafe, and Pasifika couple Amatailevi Stella Muller and Robert Muller of Bright Sunday. Photo / Supplied

A collective of Māori, Pacific and local communications experts will lead out a national bowel screening campaign programme (NBSP) for the Ministry of Health dedicated to reducing bowel cancer deaths. 

Puhimoana Ariki Collective is a collective of three Aotearoa-owned agencies: Rotorua and Wellington-based Māori agency Wawata Creative, Pacific agency Bright Sunday headquartered in South Auckland and The Digital Café in Wellington.

“We’d talked about forming a collective to provide a true Māori, Pacific and local solution. The bowel screening campaign was the opportunity we’d been waiting for to come together to achieve better outcomes for our people,” says Puhimoana Ariki Collective’s creative director Inia Maxwell (Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Rangiwewehi).

The collective’s Pacific creative lead Amatailevi Stella Muller says it is an opportunity to infuse the campaign with Māori and Pacific knowledge and creativity.

"This is an exciting opportunity for our collective to evidence and demonstrate a creative and campaign development process that truly embodies Māori and Pacific ways of engaging, thinking, working and creating,” Amatailevi Stella says.  

“What sets us apart is our ‘deep knowing’ and insights informed by our lived experiences, relationships and connections to our communities - this is our value add.”

The campaign is the first for the newly formed collective and will launch in June/July this year.

“Bowel screening participation rates for Māori and Pacific peoples are well below those for non-Māori, non-Pacific populations, and this campaign is all about changing that," NBSP manager Cathy Whiteside says.

Whiteside says the selection panel was impressed by Puhimoana Ariki Collective’s credentials and commitment to communicating with Māori and Pacific audiences.

The campaign will promote public awareness about bowel screening, with a focus on increasing participation, particularly for eligible Māori and Pacific people, and disabled people.

It seeks to complement and enhance the comprehensive work already underway locally and regionally by district health boards, and to tap into the insights and learnings from kaimahi, Puhimoana Ariki Collective says.