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Kia ora and welcome to the second issue of Spotlight on Tobacco.  We have some brief updates in this issue, which we hope you find useful.

Spotlight on Tobacco includes the latest tobacco control activities happening in the sector. We'll include helpful tips and tools, decisions, events and anything we think will be useful for you to know.

This newsletter is intended for anyone with the responsibility for achieving the Better help for smokers to quit health target.

Updates on Ministry of Health website

The Tobacco Control section on the Ministry of Health website has been updated. We now have more information available on plain packaging, e-cigarettes, Smokefree 2025 and more. Please have a look and let us know if you think something is missing, hard to find, or just not clear.

Resources under review

The Smoking Cessation Guidelines 2007 are currently being reviewed. The updated version should be available by the end of the year.

The e-learning online tool is also under review. The purpose of the review is to develop specific training audiences, by taking different job roles on different training paths. The content will also be in line with any changes to the Smoking Cessation Guidelines.


The contract for the new midwife smoking cessation training programme has almost been confirmed. The contract should be signed and in place by 1 July. Training places should be available by October. We will provide a further update when these are available.

The Team

Here is an overview of the Tobacco Control team at the Ministry of Health today. In each issue of Spotlight on Tobacco, we will introduce each team member in a bit more detail (as below).

Health Targets and Policy
Paul Badco, National Programme Manager (DDI) 04 816 2949
Brendon Baker, Senior Advisor, Policy (DDI) 04 816 3930
John Stribling, Advisor, Policy (DDI) 04 816 4395
Leigh Sturgiss, Senior Advisor, Primary Care (DDI) 04 816 2554
Monique Leerschool (currently on secondment)
Heather Button, Advisor, Secondary & Maternity (DDI) 04 816 2978
Irene Kilford, Senior Advisor, Innovation Funding (DDI) 04 496 2550
Danielle Crooks, Stakeholder Engagement (DDI) 04 816 4362
Alofa Tiai, Programme Administrator (DDI) 04 04 496 2442
Dr Hayden McRobbie, Clinical Advisor
Karen Evison, Tobacco Control Champion
Dr John McMenamin, Tobacco Control Champion (Primary Care)

Public Health Tobacco Control Service Funders
Manaia King, Manager (DDI) 09 580 9119
Jo Muschamp, Senior Portolio Manager (DDI) 09 580 9013
Tony Brown, Portfolio Manager (DDI) 07 929 3633
Colin Charan, Portfolio Manager (DDI) 04 816 3911
Rebecca Kemp, Portfolio Manager (DDI) 03 974 2313


Heather Button studied at the University of Auckland, earning an Honours degree in Health Sciences, as well as a Masters degree in Public Health. Heather’s Honours dissertation focussed on the role of strategic planning in directing health systems. The research involved comparing New Zealand and England's national health strategies, and determining whether these strategies had the power to direct their respective health systems towards the strategies' key objectives. Heather's Masters thesis focussed on including smoking cessation treatment as part of alcohol and drug abuse treatment programmes. This was an explorative study, done in conjunction with the Community Alcohol and Drug Service in Auckland.

Heather started at the Ministry of Health in January this year. Her key responsibilities are to provide advice and support around the secondary care and maternity Health Targets.

In her spare time, Heather is a huge movie fanatic. Throughout her studies she worked full time as a Manager for Hoyts Cinemas. Heather also enjoys reading and is currently making her way through The Diary of Anne Frank. She recently finished The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, which she highly recommends to any avid reader.

Thank you!

Annual planning is almost complete for this year. We would like to thank all those involved for your hard work and contribution towards these plans. Well done!