South West Pacific health promotion leaders have undertaken in March to develop a work plan that includes research, New Zealand representation at global health promotion meetings and to develop a health promotion work plan for the region.
The decisions were taken at a March meeting of the South West Pacific regional committee of the International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE)
Health promotion work plan for the South West Pacific
The committee is to begin work on a plan for health promotion development for the South West Pacific region. Priority areas for the three-year plan include
- workforce development
- indigenous health promotion and health issues.
The meeting approved a submission from HPF to investigate some of the challenges that face the discipline of health promotion and its practitioners in the region. These include policy decisions that disadvantage certain sectors of the community, job-losses due to the recession and research on the effectiveness of health promotion.
Indigenous NZ health promotion advances
Two new members were welcomed onto the committee, further strengthening region’s indigenous health promotion work. Dr Viliami Puloka, a health promotion team leader at the Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC), is based in Noumea, New Caledonia. His appointment is the first from a small Pacific nation in ten years.
Trevor Simpson, Deputy Executive Director at HPF was also co-opted onto the committee, taking advantage of his work as a member of the Regional Indigenous Health Promotion Working Group of IUHPE.
Already in place is Dr Heather Gifford:chair of the SWP regional indigenous health promotion working group and co-chair of the IUHPE global working group for indigenous health promotion.
As a member of the global executive board of the IUHPE, Sione Tu’itahi was tasked with keeping indigenous health promotion on the agenda at all meetings. “This is great news for both Maori and Pacific health promotion,” he said. “Our progress and positive experience with Indigenous health promotion in New Zealand is leading the way at a global level”.
Sione Tu’itahi is executive director of the HPF, vice-president of the South West Pacific region of the IUHPE and a member of its global executive board.
The South West Pacific region of IUHPE includes New Zealand, Australia three countries in South East Asia and all other 22 Pacific small nations and territories. Its regional office is co-hosted by HPF and the Health Promotion and Research and Evaluation Unit of the School of Public Health, University of Otago.
30 April 2014
By Sione Tu-itahi
Editor: Jo Lawrence-King