HPF – and New Zealand – is making a significant contribution to world health agendas. Its most recent input was to the scientific programme of the 16th World Congress on Tobacco or Health. As a member of the board of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi ensured the needs of indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities were included in the recommendations invited from the global organisation.
“This is a big step for New Zealand, the HPF and for Maori and all other indigenous peoples,” says Sione. Smaller countries and ethnic minorities are often overlooked and vulnerable to the driving force of large companies and countries. “Having a voice at this level is a wonderful opportunity to advocate for the rights of these less-represented peoples.”
Recommendations about the conference from the IUHPE included:Discussions about the post-2015 development agenda to ensure health, including non-communicable diseases and social determinants are given the appropriate attention. Discussion around support for politicians in the battle with tobacco industry on initiatives such as plain packaging. Seeing outputs and outcomes of the WHO Europe NCD ministerial event focussing primarily on tobacco.
- Focussing on ‘how to do’ as much as ‘what to do’
- Including the health needs of indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities in all strategies.
Sione is the first indigenous person from the Pacific region to hold an official post with the IUHPE. He is a member of the global board in his role as Vice-President of IUHPE, South West Pacific Region, which covers New Zealand, Australia, all small Pacific island nations and some countries in Asia.
IUHPE is a global umbrella organisation for health promotion professionals and organisations of the world. Its headquarters are in Paris. For the next three years (2013-2016) its South West Pacific Region office will be co-hosted by the Health Promotion Forum and the Health Promotion and Research and Evaluation Unit (HePPRU) of Otago University’s School of Public Health. HePPRU’s Director, Associate Professor Louise Signal, is also the Director of IUHPE for the South West Pacific Region.
Sione recently attended a meeting of the IUHPE’s Global Executive Board in Paris. Read more about the trip here.
The HPF is a national umbrella organisation for health promotion organisations and teams in New Zealand.