Edited by Associate Professor Louise Signal and Dr Mihi Ratima, the book’s contributing authors include HPF’s Executive Director, Sione Tu’itahi, past Pacific Health Promotion Strategist Dr Ieti Lima and past HPF Executive Director Alison Blaiklock. Sione was invited to speak at the launch. A transcript of his speech (below) summarises the many reasons this book is a welcome addition to the texts of all those involved in population health in Aotearoa New Zealand. “Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa. Warm Pasifika Greetings and good afternoon one and all. Firstly, may I acknowledge the unifying spirit that has brought to fruition this challenging but very rewarding process. Together we have woven our diverse knowledge together for the hauora – the collective and holistic health wellbeing of our communities and peoples – in Aotearoa and abroad. Secondly, may I acknowledge, the Mana Whenua of Whanganui a Tara, Wellington; the leadership of Otago University and, in particular, its School of Public Health My sincere thanks to Louise for her kind invitation for me to say a few words. I am honoured and privileged. This book is significant in a number of ways:
- It is the first health promotion textbook that is based on our Aoteaora New Zealand experience and realities. It is therefore of marked relevance to our context and applies directly to our joint effort to address the determinants of health and inequities.
- The process by which the book was produced, both in contents and presentation, reflects a successful partnership that resonates with the letter and spirit of our nation’s founding document, Te Tiriti o Waitangi; an example worth emulating.
- The book gives prominence to Matauranga Maori, while weaving together the knowledge of the west, the knowledge of the east, and indigenous knowledge systems. It holds them up as a set of effective solutions for addressing our health challenges.
- While the primary focus is on Aotearoa, the book brings in the experience and knowledge of Moana Nui a Kiwa and other regions, thus making it a very valuable contribution to our collective effort at the global level to address planetary health.
- There is a growing awareness in all sectors; government, community, and corporate; that, to be effective in addressing our socio-economic, cultural, physical, ecological and spiritual wellbeing, we must take an integrated health promotional and preventative approach.
- There has also been a marked increase recently in the number of courses and qualifications on health promotion and public health in universities, polytechnics and wananga. This book is a ‘must have’ reading and resources for all learners.
- Finally, awareness is of the connectedness of the challenges is grown in other sectors, such as social development and education. They see the increasing need to learn from other sectors, such as health, with some of their effective approaches such as health promotion.