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Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand Runanga Whakapiki Ake i te Hauora o Aotearoa
Maori, Maori health promotion

Health Promotion Forum is privileged to have had a brief catch-up with Adrian Te Patu.

Adrian is a past board member of our organisation and is currently co-vice president of the Public Health Association of New Zealand. Last year he became a member of the World Federation of Public Health Associations and has just begun leading the Federation’s indigenous working group. Here are a few words from Adrian.


We know you’ve had a few roles over the years. Could you tell us about some of those?

I really enjoyed representing my communities as an elected member of our Community Board on the Christchurch City Council. Local government is having an ever-increasing role in our lives and it was an advantage for me coming from public health where thorny divisive issues like fluoridation are the norm. I was elected before the earthquakes and the response, recovery and community engagement principles were paramount. I particularly enjoyed having the confidence of Ngai Tahu in my role.


What are some highlights from your work over the years?

What I particularly enjoyed in the early 2000’s was being a member of the Think Tank of the Te Waipounamu Health Promotion Coalition. This South Island group was an active part of the Health Promotion Forum that organised hui, symposia, discussion platforms and networked across the island. Some significant leaders in health today were part of this and we were supported wonderfully by our coordinator Helen Rance.


Tell us about current projects you are working on

It’s a privilege to lead the newly established “Indigenous Working Group” of the governing council of the World Federation of Public Health Associations. This is a fantastic opportunity to promote the plight of some of the 370 million recognised indigenous peoples of the planet. This association is a recognised civil society by the World Health Organisation alongside significant organisations such as; International Red Cross, The Order of St John, Doctors Without Borders and others. Our working group is in the forming stage at present.


What do you see as the emerging ideas, issues and foci for/of health promotion and public health?

The importance and continuity of the HPF and the PHA. This requires us to be relevant and to adapt to the environment no matter what the political sway or appetite is. No government or coalition should determine the right of these organisations to exist. So we make it so….


Any other comments?

The awarding of the 23rd IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion to the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand in Rotorua 2019 is an amazing accomplishment and is part of a well planned and executed series of events. This is due to years of dedication under the stewardship of Sione Tu’itahi.


Maori, What is HP

A new paper, published in UK publication Ethnicity and Health in June, indicates we have a way to go to address ongoing inequities for Māori and other indigenous groups.  It points out that, in the Aotearoa context, Te Tiriti o Waitangi “is a legislative, policy and professional imperative for the public health community.”


HPF Deputy Executive Director, Trevor Simpson has co-authored the paper, which finds that there is variable application of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and there is room for further development in many areas of the New Zealand public health service.  It points to Treaty Understanding of Hauora in Aotearoa-New Zealand (TUHA-NZ) as “landmark document” and an essential tool to operationalise the policies outlined in Te Tiriti.


The paper Realising the rhetoric: Refreshing public health providers’ efforts to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi in Aotearoa, New Zealand investigates the ways public health units and non-governmental organisations meet their Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations in terms of service delivery to Māori. Drawing on data from a nationwide survey of public health providers the article argues New Zealand public health providers can strengthen efforts to advance tino rangatiratanga (Māori control over things Māori) in every day practice.


Trevor worked alongside Heather Came (Senior Lecture, Auckland University of Technology), Tim McCreanor (Associate Professor Massey University) and Claire Doole, (Senior Lecturer, Auckland University of Technology), to bring this important paper to fruition.


The work was supported with a grant from the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology.



Case Studies, Community, Maori

Te Kōpae Piripono is a successful whānau intervention based in Taranaki.  Te Pou Tiringa and the National Centre for Lifecourse Research, University of Otago have formed a research partnership to carry out a robust evaluation of the initiative. Research team members are Dr Mihi Ratima, Aroaro Tamati, Hinerangi Korewha, Erana Hond-Flavell, Dr Will Edwards, Dr Moana Theodore, and Professor Richie Poulton. The research programme is ‘Te Kura Mai i Tawhiti’.




About Te Kōpae Piripono

Te Kōpae Piripono was established in Taranaki in 1994 in the form of an early childhood education centre, and its governance body is Te Pou Tiringa. It was recognised in 2008 by the Government as a ‘Centre of Innovation’, with the potential to be implemented in other settings.


The initiative was premised on the accepted wisdom that early connection to culture, practice and language have a long-term effect on indigenous health and well-being. The emphasis on whānau ora has been integral to Te Kōpae since its establishment, with its underlying objective to respond to the social and cultural impact of historical grievance (massive land confiscations and Taranaki wars) and the continued trauma experienced by Taranaki Māori communities trying to restore their cultural and social strength and health and wellbeing.


Te Kōpae Piripono has been able to advance its vision in a way that is consistent with the Government’s Te Whāriki early childhood curriculum framework. The core aspiration of Te Whariki is for children to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body, and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging.  The programme’s early-childhood centre setting allowed for greater self-management and provided a more reliable source of funding that reflected the wide range of activity the initiative hoped to achieve and sustain.


Te Kōpae Piripono aims to revitalise Taranaki Māori language use and cultural practices.


  • It actively promotes the use of Taranaki mita (regional language variation), tikanga (cultural practice) and taonga (oral and cultural resources).
  • There is critical awareness among leaders of the importance of whānau participation beyond the walls of the centre in the revival of language.
  • The initiative maintains a firm stance on active language use and acquisition and has a rigorous whānau selection and induction process.

The programme has also developed its own model for positive resolution of issues, called ‘Te Ara Poutama’, which may be used for both children and whānau members. Children learn to advocate for their needs, and to negotiate and find solutions themselves. The process helps isolate the issue from the person, enables constructive dialogue, and fosters trust and confidence to positively resolve issues.


Longitudinal research shows that influences in early life matter greatly in terms of how a person fares later in life across a wide range of domains. It has been demonstrated that high quality early life interventions represent one of the best ‘investments’ a society can make to ensure an optimal start to life – one which will net significant returns over time via long-term benefits for individuals, whānau and society. There is huge potential for intervention in the early years to lead to substantial health gains later in life across a broad range of health issues that disproportionately impact Māori. These include health outcomes related to non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and also mental health issues and disability. While there is clear evidence around early years interventions leading to improved outcomes, what is largely missing are proven interventions that address ethnic inequalities, are effective for Māori and achieve sustainable positive health outcomes across the life-course. The aim of the Te Kura Mai i Tawhiti research is to contribute to generating an evidence base around what constitutes effective early life kaupapa Māori programming for tamariki and whānau that will lead to improved health outcomes later in life for tamariki.

Te Kura Mai i Tawhiti – research programme


Figure 1: Te Kura Mai i Tawhiti Research Programme

A feasibility or Proof of Principle study is under way in 2016 to firstly demonstrate the ability of the team’s research methods to determine change over time in tamariki and whānau on key constructs of interest (e.g. tuakiri, whānauranga, self-control). The Proof of Principle study will focus on whether, over the course of a year, an individual changes over time, taking into account developmental changes.


Findings from the Proof of Principle study will be used to design two future studies. Firstly, a 10-year prospective project to compare same age cohort tamariki in Te Kōpae Piripono, with at least two comparison early years programmes selected from Taranaki or similar regions. This involves conducting a longitudinal study to compare groups across key child behavioural and whānau development measures (i.e. the measures used in the Proof of Principle study). In addition to the prospective study, a retrospective (historic) study will be undertaken (Figure 1 – as a part of Tangi ana te Kawekaweā). This will focus on previous graduates and whānau of Te Kōpae Piripono from the past 20 years (n>150 whanau) with an emphasis on graduate outcomes in health, education, Te Ao Māori and other determinants areas that may have been influenced by the kaupapa Māori child and whānau programming.


If the research generates robust evidence of the success of the Te Kōpae  Piripono model, there is potential for the overall approach and/or key elements of the intervention to be scaled up for implementation in other settings (e.g. other ECE and Māori medium) to complement broader approaches to addressing determinants of health and education and in other domains. The research is currently supported by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, the Ministry of Education, the New Zealand Council for Educational Research and the University of Otago.





According to the New Zealand Medical Workforce survey released in late January 2016, Māori are under-represented in the medical workforce, when compared to the proportion of Māori in the general population.


An article in examines Nelson Marlborough District Health Board’s Māori workforce, where Māori make up 3% of the staff, compared to Māori residents representing 12% of the local population.  The article explores the measures being taken by the DHB to redress the issue.


According to the DHB’s Māori Health and Whanau Ora general manager Harold Wereta a long-term aim of the board is to strengthen the diversity of its workforce.  The board is exploring ways to improve the recruitment and retention of its Māori employers, he says in the article.


In the meantime the health board is working to improve the cultural awareness of all health board staff.  “Māori health and health inequalities are the responsibility of all health professionals,” says Wereta




Equality, Maori

In October 2015 HPF’s Deputy Executive Director Trevor Simpson and Senior Health Strategist, Dr Viliami Puloka together presented to a multi-sectoral group in Kaitaia.  “Towards Health Equity – putting the tools in the kete” discussed health and social inequities and suggested ways in which the group – from health and social services providers, WINZ and local authority representatives, police and education professionals – could work together to improve outcomes in their local community.

A working group formed from the meeting with the group continuing discussions and working more cohesively to improve equity in the wider northern region.




Case Studies, Community, Maori


Zoe Aroha Martin-Hawke is National Manager – Te Ara Ha Ora: Māori Tobacco Control Leadership service at Hapai Te Hauora.  Jo Lawrence-King finds out about her work and how it exemplifies the principles of health promotion.


Tupeka kore (tobacco free)

Hapai te Hauora has initiated a number of successful health promotion programmes, not least of which focusses on reclaiming a tupeka kore (tobacco free) Māori identify.


According to Zoe the organisation “strongly promotes a working model that focuses on empowering Māori communities to have a voice on tobacco harm, and to create environments that prevent future harm from a product that leaves our communities ill and dying. “


Hapai te Hauora promotes and provides practical examples on how to provide a platform for Māori communities locally, regionally and nationally to take action.  The team also works alongside other local, regional and national organisations who are also showing leadership in these areas.


“We are dedicated to ensuring Māori are strongly represented in local, regional and national policy development opportunities,” explains Zoe.  “Iwi prior to European contact were tupeka kore.  Māori leading and participating in the development of healthy and culturally affirming public policy, which contributes to reclaiming this identity, is one of our key health promotion strategies.“

By having iwi, hapū and whānau leading change, the Hapai Te Hauora team believe it will see more of a positive impact on intergeneration health outcomes.  This, they feel, will contribute more effectively to a sustainably equitable, healthy future for all.


All activities of the initiative have involved a process of evaluating outcomes based on empowering whānau and Māori communities to control their own wellbeing and to influence New Zealand society to ensure that their determinants of health are addressed. More recently Hapai have supported the development of a Rangatahi Māori Tupeka Kore Consumer action group.  The group consists of young Māori wahine who currently smoke, but are on a mission to prevent other young Māori from taking the habit up.  Their work is focused on changing how the product is sold in their local area.  The wahine are informing their local community about rules and regulations regarding the sale of cigarettes and are encouraging communities to monitor local dairies to ensure they are not selling single cigarettes or to people who are under age. They are also to working with merchants; encouraging them to take a stand by becoming smokefree retailers.


Within this work Hapai also provides support for personal health by linking action group members to smoking cessation treatment services; providing them with the expertise they need to successfully stop smoking.  Hapai/Te Ara Hā Ora often works to find ways to seamlessly link people with services, whilst also promoting the message that none of us is independent of our physical environment and that change needs to happen at all levels.

Hapai measures both short and long-term olicies, increased numbers of Tupeka Kore hapū, iwi and whānau and reduced rates of smoking initiation.  The growing engagement of Māori in tupeka kore work is also an indicator of the success of this initiative.

The quality of the engagement is also measured, including such things as:  transparency of the process; relevant, timely, fitting delivery of information and the degree to which the engagement is inclusive and culturally appropriate.



About Zoe Aroa Martin-Hawke

Zoe is a member of HPF’s board. Her broad background includes

  • Māori medium early childhood education,
  • Business and community partnership roles,
  • Managing strategic community engagement and bottom-up leadership movements for health issues such as problem gambling, nutrition and physical activity, tobacco control; alcohol and other drugs.

Zoe has also been heavily involved in workforce development opportunities and NZQA training programmes.  Her focus has been on increasing knowledge and delivery of best practice health promotion initiatives; with an emphasis on engaging Māori in policy development at a local, regional and national level.


About Hapai te Hauora

Hāpai Te Hauora invests in community and whanau wellbeing locally, regionally and nationally. Since 1996 the organisation has supported communities to have a voice on issues that affect them and their whanau so that whole communities can be well. It also provides infrastructural support to the hauora sector to strengthen public health action.

Hapai does this through innovative research, workforce development, public health planning, information technology solutions and policy development. Along with its subcontractors or whanau whanui, the team also delivers on public health issues including tobacco control, problem gambling, alcohol and other drug harm minimisation, wellchild, nutrition and physical activity.




Equality, Maori, News, Racism

A feature article on an Australian TV website has highlighted the issue of the indigenous health gap; an issue that echoes the situation of Māori here in Aotearoa New Zealand.


The article, by Bianca Nogrady, highlights the fact that indigenous Australians have a life expectancy ten years lower than non-indigenous Australians.  She identifies social determinants of health such as income, access to affordable housing, stress and race as key factors in this gap.


Crowded housing and ear infections




Nogrady cites an example, by Professor Dennis McDermott from Adelaide’s Flinders University, of housing and ear infections.  Where a large number of people live at close quarters – as is more common among poorer indigenous people – children are more likely to suffer repeat ear infections as they are passed around the household.


“What happens is that non-Indigenous kids get it maybe once, they have a brush with it, and then it’s gone,” says Prof McDermott. “But with Indigenous kids in an overcrowded situation, it goes around and comes back, goes around and comes back, such that it’s a huge impact on hearing loss.”


This hearing loss has life-long effects. Children can’t hear in school, adults can’t hear on the job, it can impact on mental health, anger management, and wellbeing, McDermott says.


The impact is doubled with racism

According to Prof. McDermott racism has a clear and proven impact on people, as does connection to country – or the land from which people come.


“That psycho-spiritual connection to country, and doing these ceremonies, observing, burning the country when necessary…, is actually a positive contributor to health.”


In Australia there is hard evidence to support that those people living ‘on country’ and experiencing at least some elements of a traditional lifestyle are healthier.  They tend to be more physically active, have a better diet, lower body-mass index, lower blood pressure, lower blood glucose levels, lower prevalence of diabetes and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.



Despite the issue seeming insurmountable Prof. McDermott is optimistic.  He compares the health gap to climate change, explaining that there is no vested interest in listening to the evidence and making a change.  However, he says; “I think if we can only get that message through and build a critical mass of discourse in the community, then the politicians will fall in line.”

The original article appeard on  Read it here.






Five key elements, outlined in a 2010 paper by Dr Mihi Ratima remain imperative to the success of Māori health promotion today.  Commissioned and published by HPF, Dr Ratima’s paper Māori health promotion – a comprehensive definition and strategic considerations looked at what was, at the time, a relatively new field of health promotion.  Five years on, HPF Deputy Executive Director Trevor Simpson revisits these key elements as a timely reminder that there is much yet to be done to solidify and affirm Māori health promotion as a discipline and practice.


1.     Consistent with Māori World Views

A key facet of the Māori world view is the belief that all things in the universe: animate and inanimate; seen and unseen; are interdependent and interconnected. All things connect to – and are impacted on by – the individual.  The individual is not separate from – or “above” – the natural environment.


The Māori storytelling tradition not only provides a foundation for beliefs of origin: it also constructs for the individual a model for behaviour, of collective aspirations and exemplars for human potential (see website).  Clearly there is a correlation here with ecological health promotion.  However more is needed to articulate the idea that an understanding, acceptance and incorporation of Māori world views into health promotion approaches can affect Māori health in a positive way.


2.     Māori holistic view of hauora- health and wellbeing

If we accept that the Māori view of health and wellbeing is holistic then there is an argument for health promotion to work in a holistic way too.  There is a need to investigate how we are designing health promotion interventions.  The most problematic thing is the current narrow focus on issues such as tobacco, physical activity and nutrition.  Issues-based and results-based accountability contracting present significant challenges to holistic health promotion. Positive health outcomes are often quite difficult to claim when health promoters are working across the wider social determinants of health. A new form of strategic and longer term thinking is required.


There are some parallels between the western model of health and indigenous Māori concepts of hauora – health and wellbeing.  Both share the concepts of physical and mental health.  But there are two other components of the Māori model of health that need further examination.


Professor Sir Mason Durie’s now widely acclaimed Te Whare Tapa Whā model identifies the two other key facets – whānau (family) and wairua (spirituality).  Together with physical and mental health, they make up the four cornerstones of Māori health.


The importance of whānau (immediate and extended whānau) as an indicator for health is now fairly well accepted in the health sector. The Whānau Ora programme was first rolled-out in 2010.  As interventions are evaluated, there will be an increasing body of evidence to inform future practice in relation to this aspect of Māori health promotion.


There is also growing acceptance that wairua is critical to Māori health status. Establishing the link between wairua and health outcomes can be difficult to validate, quantify and/or qualify, however and, while there is some research under way  more investigation will be needed; particularly from an indigenous Māori perspective.


3.     Increased control by Māori (individuals and whānau)

A key tenet of health promotion is empowerment; both of individuals and communities. It is an aspect that comes to the fore when contemplating health promotion work in Māori communities. Gone are the days of doing things “to” Māori communities. Regardless of what the intervention is, if Māori feel that they are not in control of, or party to the process, then the likelihood of success is diminished. Working “with” these communities rather than “on” them will ensure authentic relationships are maintained and nurtured, and increase the likelihood of good outcomes.


4.     Foster Māori identity

A strong identity for Māori is critical in all facets of life.  Access to te ao Māori (the Māori world), a sense of belonging, marae, knowledge of whakapapa, tikanga and te reo are all part of this. It loosely relates to the notion of tino rangatiratanga, or self-determination, encouraging Māori participation and ownership. Māori health promotion interventions must take this into account. Any interventions must incorporate a clear demonstration that Māori identity is valued and promoted thus increasing feelings of cultural acceptance and support rather than “othering”. Including things such as karakia, powhiri, mihimihi and manaakitanga into a Māori community health promotion programme would assist in assuring success.


5.     Interventions are culturally competent

The key issue in developing culturally competent health promotion interventions is that a culturally competent person must be involved throughout the process; ensuring the Māori content of the proposed health promotion project is appropriate.   Any human resource component will require a demonstrable level of cultural competence that goes beyond cultural “safety” practices and possibly means more than simply learning and knowing “about” Māori culture.  From the point of view of the capacity of the Māori workforce, though; this person may not always be Māori.










By celebrating and realising indigenous Māori elements of te Tiriti health promotion, HPF and its members are striving to be at the cutting edge of health promotion both locally and regionally.


Trevor Simpson looks back at how HPF has led the way in developing the relationship between Te Tiriti o Waitangi and health promotion in Aotearoa New Zealand over the past 18 years.


1997: the challenge is laid down

In 1997, during the HPF conference “Challenging the Future” an inspiring remit was put to the Health Promotion Forum of NZ and its members: to examine the place of The Treaty of Waitangi and the Ottawa Charter in health promotion practice.  An epic journey began, in which the vast talents and of a wide group of individuals combined to create a significant and forward-thinking document.  Launched in 2002 the Treaty Understanding of Hauora in Aotearoa NZ (TŪ-HANZ) provides a strong basis and strategic framework for health promoters to embed Treaty-based practice into their everyday work. TŪ-HANZ provides the solution to the apparent conundrum of connecting the Treaty to the health sector itself and all who work in it; and health promoters seemingly have been very generous in abating the confusion.


That health promoters themselves called for such a document suggests this is a workforce that recognises not only the importance of the Treaty itself but its direct link to health as a human right; the notion of health equity and the imperative of social justice. There is recognition that failure to act on any one of these would diminish the key values and principles of health promotion itself. This flows from the belief that a true (or truthful) Treaty partnership is equitable rather than based on trust, and is premised on rights and obligations contained in the articles themselves.  The matter of Māori health was a key premise for the drafting of the Treaty in the first place. Busby’s pre-Treaty correspondence with Lord Normanby is testimony to this. Hauora – health and wellbeing – therefore cannot be positioned away from the Treaty discussion – quite the contrary – it is the place start.


2008: HPF constitution amended to reflect values of te Tiriti o Waitangi

In 2008 HPF reviewed and amended its constitution to reflect its values and purposes within a new and contemporary context, and to further the development of health promotion from a unique Aotearoa New Zealand perspective. One key amendment included entrenching the key values of respect for – and commitment to – Te Tiriti o Waitangi; utilising the Māori text rather than the English. This signalled a subtle but important shift away from “Treaty” as part and parcel of its constitutional framework to align instead to te Tiriti;  the Māori context.  They say change is constant: sometimes, as in the development of Treaty based health promotion, it happens slowly and one step at a time. A natural evolution through changeable political landscapes and a growing awareness of who we are and where we have come from.


The new constitution also brought in Māori concepts such as manaakitanga (hospitality and kindness), tinana (physical health), wairua (spiritual health), hinengaro (psychological health), rangatiratanga (self-determination) and whanau ora (family health) into its values. In addition the HPF Board composition now requires that half of the members must be Māori – reflecting, in a human resource capacity, a visible Tiriti relationship. By elevating Māori world views to a constitutional level the idea of Tiriti based health promotion is energised or at least given a lift; and it provides a basis to progress to the next step.


Progress continues today

As health promoters in Aotearoa New Zealand we are moving ourselves closer to the place where we need to be. Of course we are not there yet but in this space HPF will continue to play an important and ongoing role. For instance we will be exploring the synergies between Whanau Ora and Tiriti based health promotion. We will also look into Māori health promotion and Te Pae Mahutonga as unique but complimentary frameworks to the Ottawa Charter and will take time to review TU-HANZ. At this point we can reflect on where we have come from in the journey and we can nurture the idea of Tiriti based health promotion and – perhaps finally – Tiriti nationhood.


Trevor Simpson is Deputy Executive Director and Senior Health Promotion Strategist at Health Promotion Forum, where he holds the portfolio for Māori health promotion.  He is regarded as a world authority in indigenous health promotion.


April 2015

Written by Trevor Simpson

Edited by Jo Lawrence-King



Maori, News, Policy

Outgoing co-leader of the Maori Party, the Honourable Tariana Turia, signalled her support for public health and health promotion this week.  In a heartfelt speech, delivered on her behalf to the Public Health Association Maori Caucus Hui, Mrs Turia emphasised the holistic definition of health.  She proposed the use of the phrase mauri ora (life force) to better describe it and expressed her desire to see a relentless effort to achieve equity of health outcomes for all.

Minister Turia’s speech ended with encouragement to continue our work: “keep asking the curly questions; demand answers that are sourced in our own solutions.   We must leave no stone unturned until we can change the circumstances for the health of all our whanau, and enable all our families to flourish.”




“Health is not merely the absence of illness or disease; a medical condition, a pinpoint on a chart,” read Mrs Turia’s speech. “It must be found in the sense that one’s life is rich and vibrant; the capacity to take action; to purposely make life better.”  Mrs Turia referred to the World Health Organisation’s assertion that health is a ‘positive concept emphasising personal and social resources, as well as physical, mental and spiritual capacities’. “We must organise to do whatever it takes to improve, promote and protect the health of the whole population.  We must mobilise on many fronts – participating in public policy processes; sharing information; building our workforce.”

“It was hugely encouraging to receive the endorsement of such a respected member of our community,” said HPF deputy executive director Trevor Simpson.  “Minister Turia’s words closely match our mahi (work) and will spur us on to continue contributing to public policy, building the health promotion workforce and offering support and leadership to health promoters across New Zealand and the world.”

Mrs Turia went on to propose a new definition for health – mauri ora – which, she says, “is about whanau flourishing – about vitality, integrity and energy.   We find mauri ora through positive relationships in the wider environment…”

And she expressed a wish to see an organisation created – dubbed the Relentless Institute – that ensured every person on the planet has equity of access and opportunity to health outcomes.

Mrs Turia planned to attend the hui, despite it being just ten days out from her valedictory speech in parliament.  Unfortunately fog kept her plane on the ground in Wellington, so her speech was delivered on her behalf by Adrian Te Patu, Public Health Consultant and facilitator for the hui.

15 July 2014

Written by: Jo Lawrence-King



Community, Maori



In a recent Health and Social Needs report prepared by Litmus Ltd for the Ministry of Health the Chatham Island community was described as having a strong sense of whānau connection, resilience and nurturing (Smith et al, 2013).  Our Deputy Executive Director, Trevor Simpson recently had the opportunity to witness these strengths for himself, when he visited Chatham Island in late March to present a series of workshops.

Some great work being done by the Ha o Te Ora o Wharekauri Trust- Māori Community Services (MCS) on Chatham Island is a great example of a “wrap-around” health promotion service in action within a small community.  It was encouraging to see the important role played by health promotion in an integrated approach to health and wellbeing on the Island.

Established to improve the health status of Māori, MCS’ three areas of focus are:

  1. Whānau Ora- Māori Community Health Service
  2. Whānau Ora Mobile Service
  3. Community Health Promotion

The Whānau Ora – Māori Community Health Service is underpinned by the notion of Hauora Wananga (health and wellbeing development from a Māori perspective and world view).  It works within and across a range of activities, including:

  • general health
  • education and promotion
  • advisory services
  • liaison and coordination.

The service draws on the four mainstay philosophical aspects of Te Whare Tapa Whā and utilises whānau health plans and face to face sessions to both identify whānau needs and to develop effective strategies for them.

The scope of the Whānau Ora Mobile Service is vast.  Two full time kaiawhina; one a community health worker, the other an enrolled nurse; work to improve prevention and self-care by empowering whānau to both manage their own health and develop health literacy.

Delivered across multiple settings including schools, kohanga reo, marae and provider clinics, the service provides:

  • health education,
  • health assessments,
  • children under 5 checks
  • smokefree cessation and other smokefree activities
  • health and social service referrals
  • a transport service
  • breastfeeding advice
  • family violence, alcohol, drugs and problem gambling services.

The Community Health Promotion work form the basis of cross generational knowledge sharing and interaction where kaumātua and rangatahi work together, sharing energy, resources and time.  The main focus is on increasing physical activity and healthy eating.

A 24/7 fully equipped gym, together with a qualified personal trainer, are available to all members of the community for a nominal $50 annual membership fee.  Classes offered at the gym include yoga, circuit training and line dancing.

Healthy eating is encouraged through:

  • Encouraging personal management of diet and nutrition
  • community gardening
  • a fruit tree planting programme
  • education on preserving kai
  • a traditional kai gathering programme
  • a Rongoa project
  • smoking cessation services
  • an after school programme.

The Service also offers a programme of social activities aimed at reducing the burden of isolation and increasing connectedness within the community.

Underpinning all these services is a free GP clinic and pharmacy based at the hospital and 24/7 for emergency service.

The approach to wide cross-community involvement is evident in all areas of work.  The service’s flexibility also makes it possible to include other social and health projects as they emerge.

Barby Joyce, manager of the Māori Community Centre says that, despite the vast array of existing services in place, the service will continue to “branch out” and take on board some of the innovative ideas of the local young people who she says “have much to offer to the community and to the development of the service.”

Although infectiously positive, Barby was honest in her appraisal of outstanding issues that need to be addressed. Housing standards, mental health, alcohol and drugs and family violence were still a concern:  “The service is working hard to find effective solutions to these issues,” she said.

Judging by the great work being done in this small community, there is a good chance solutions will be found: this service has shown itself to possess patience and perseverance; focusing on creating a strong, adaptive and healthy community.

Established in 2003, Ha o Te Ora o Wharekauri Trust- Māori Community Services are contracted to and funded by the Hawke’s Bay DHB and also Te Puni Kokiri to deliver services to all the residents of the Chatham Islands.

Although available to the wider community, the service has been tasked with targeting and making inroads into the Māori and Moriori populations. In the 2006 census 64.2% of the total population of the Island identified themselves as belonging to the Māori ethnic group. However the all-encompassing approach to the work means that all community members are valued and seen as important. On observation this has created a positive and warm environment and increasingly a place for many in the community to gravitate to.

With an underpinning philosophical approach of nurturance and a deep affection for the people and the land, Te Ha o Te Ora will remain a vital support mechanism for the Chatham Islands and all who live there.

Trevor’s workshops were held at Te Ha o Te Ora o Wharekauri Trust Centre in the small western settlement of Waitangi. Supported by staff of the Māori Community Service, these workshops provided a first time opportunity for a member of HPF to contribute in a small way to the workforce development needs of this isolated South Pacific Island. Along with MCS staff, a number of participants from various service providers together with individual community members attended.



Smith, L., Duckworth, S (2013) Wharekauri, Rekohu, Chatham Islands Health and Social Needs Report. Ministry of Health and Litmus Ltd 2013.


April 2014

By Trevor Simpson

Edited by Jo Lawrence-King





Every year Waitangi Day provides a useful basis to reflect on our nationhood and the common historical grounds that brought us all together. At the same time it reminds us about the relationship between Te Tiriti o Waitangi, hauora, health and wellbeing.  For HPF, Waitangi Day emphasises the importance of good human and societal relationships between all people.  HPF’s Deputy Executive Director explains the close relationship between hauora, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Health Promotion Forum.

HPF has a constitutional arrangement premised on two important factors; firstly an adherence to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and secondly the notion of health and wellbeing as an indomitable human right.

When we dissect the story we find information that supports the view that Te Tiriti o Waitangi was in part motivated by the declining health status of Māori. In 1832 James Busby, in communication with Lord Normandy decried the “miserable condition of the natives” much of which was a result of the pre-Treaty effects of unmanaged colonisation. Indeed when we look into the body of the language within Te Tiriti itself we see a direct correlation to health and wellbeing and the legal obligation to protect rights that ensure this. To begin with the preamble declares Queen Victoria’s desire to protect the authority of the chiefs to the own authority and infers a commitment to a peaceful future.

The 3 Articles and health

Article the First touches on the rights of sovereignty and the notion of governance. Good governance in any circumstance would require that those in power provide the resources and infrastructure that supports health and wellbeing for all citizens. Health promoters recognise that this reinforces the need to increase health equity and to accord the appropriate resources to ensure this happens.

Article the Second confers and affirms Māori rights to Tino Rangatiratanga or absolute sovereignty. This includes domain over everything held precious and their lands. Under this article, Māori would consider health to be a taonga. In the wider sense this article speaks about having authority and control over the determinants of health and wellbeing.

Article the Third relates to the idea of equal citizenship. In the field of health this, as with Article the Third, communicates the idea of health equity. That is, all people have the right to hauora. This of course resonates with the health promotion principles of social justice and fairness.

For HPF, Waitangi Day emphasises the importance of good human and societal relationships between all people. It connects with “hauora- everyone’s right” the vision of HPF and builds on the notion of Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a crucial component in moving Aotearoa New Zealand towards a just and equitable society.


Read more about Māori concepts of hauora.



6 February 2014

Trevor Simpson


Family and child, Global, Maori, What is HP



A speech to parliament on Wednesday 28 January 2014 by Minister Tariana Turia has highlighted the groundswell of support for Whanau Ora as a model for health and wellbeing applicable to all New Zealanders.  Health Promotion Forum (HPF) Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi believes that the model goes even further; with relevance to people around the world.


Whanau Ora [……] has been openly embraced by New Zealanders of all cultures and creeds,” said Ms Turia in her speech “[It is] about empowering and enabling families to set their own priorities, to focus on outcomes.”  According to Ms Turia 160 providers are now using the Whanau Ora tool, with approximately 33,000 New Zealanders benefitting from the approach.  Ms Turia is not alone in seeing the value of community health promotion, with Minister of Health Hon Tony Ryall reportedly considering funding for such a programme.


Ms Turia is not alone in seeing the value of community health promotion, with Minister of Health Hon Tony Ryall reportedly considering funding for such a programme. – See more at:
Ms Turia is not alone in seeing the value of community health promotion, with Minister of Health Hon Tony Ryall reportedly considering funding for such a programme. – See more at:



Tu’itahi welcomed Ms Turia’s speech and Mr Ryall’s interest in community health programmes.  “We are rapidly moving from a model of hauora (health and wellbeing) by and for Māori to one that is widely recognised as being of value to all peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand,” he said.  “I predict that it won’t stop there: this will become a model followed by peoples across the globe.”


Aotearoa New Zealand – and HPF –  are highly regarded internationally.  In particular our approaches to indigenous health promotion were well-received at last year’s International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) conference. Key elements of these approaches include a focus on the holistic view of health and wellbeing, increased control by communities over interventions and incorporating indigenous world views into health promotion planning. All of these aspects are reflected in the Whanau Ora approach.


Whanau Ora is founded on the principle of self-determination.  Unlike the conventional models of health care, the Whanau Ora approach empowers whanau and communities to have control over their own wellbeing.  Instead of focussing on illness and its treatment, Whanau Ora helps participants identify those elements that determine hauora and to prioritise strategies to improve outcomes.


“This is not an exclusively indigenous issue,” says Tu’itahi.  “There is a broad movement towards self-determination – in health and many other issues.  People around the world are taking an increasing interest in being well, rather than treating illness; on looking at the big picture of what affects our ability to fulfil our potential and doing something to address those determinants of our health.”   He believes that the Whanau Ora model will be one that is taken up and adapted for people around the world.  “Once again New Zealand will be a pioneer,” he said.  “Perhaps what we do need to recognise is that we owe Māori a debt of gratitude for a model that has the potential to revolutionise the hauora of people around the world.”


Visit the Government’s web-page about Whanau Ora.


Jo Lawrence-King


Global, Maori, Smoking



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.


Equality, Maori, Pacific


Bruce Jesson Lecture 2013

“Assertive, if not aggressive approach” called for by the Right Hon Sir Edmund Thomas

The Rt Hon Sir Edmund Thomas


Retired Court Appeal Judge the Right Hon Sir Edmund Thomas (pictured right – from 3 News) called for an “assertive, if not aggressive approach” by communities and community groups; to reverse the extreme inequality that currently exists in Aotearoa New Zealand.  He was speaking to a packed Maidment Theatre in Auckland, late October.


HPF Health Strategist Dr Ieti Lima was in the audience and reports on some of Sir Edmund’s key points to support his argument.


Call for “sufficient force”

In his powerful, engaging and, at times, challenging lecture, Sir Edmund proposed a focussed campaign to promote substantive human rights.  He further called for “sufficient force” to ensure people claim the minimal social, economic and cultural standards to which they have a right.  Sir Edmund asserted that, if the governing bodies or the courts cannot generate the required assertive approach to support people’s rights, the community must initiate the action needed.  “Discussion and debate will not suffice,” he said.  “This legacy is now too entrenched to be so readily reversed.”


Neo-liberalism at the heart of the problem

Sir Edmund was unequivocal in linking the “extreme – even obscene – inequality” that exists in Aotearoa New Zealand to the “traumatic neo-liberal transformation” that has been pursued here.


According to the retired judge, the top ten per cent of New Zealand’s population today owns half of the country’s wealth, while the bottom 50 per cent owns just five per cent of the wealth.


He pointed to Maori health statistics as appalling, and declared that he finds “the neglect of a people socially and culturally offensive.”


So how has this gross inequality been tolerated in a country that once prided itself on its egalitarian culture and sense of social justice?  Sir Edmund’s explanation was blunt; it has been fostered and sustained by the rich and powerful, to perpetuate their own wealth and privilege.  Sir Edmund argued that the term ‘equality’ is today more often than not defined in terms of equality of opportunity.  By suggesting that all people have the same opportunity, the term obscures the true extent of inequality within the community.  If this definition remains, it simply provides the opportunity for those in an advantaged position to further advance their superiority and privilege.


“This perspective of equality in turn impairs social mobility,” he said. “The disadvantaged are stuck with being disadvantaged. … It becomes a vicious circle”.


Neo-liberalism – according to Sir Edmund – is a theory that insists human well-being can best be advanced by ensuring strong property rights, free enterprise, free market and free trade.  He identified eight features of the neo-liberal legacy:


  1. Values directed by economic order
  2. Exploitation
  3. Equality
  4. Governmental intervention
  5. Unemployment
  6. Taxation
  7. Trade unions
  8. Social justice

Assertive action by community groups

Sir Edmund challenged his audience to consider who will speak for “losers” in a capitalistic society? How can they be guaranteed their basic economic, social and cultural human rights?  He proposed that a first step in any campaign to achieve a more equal and just society is to identify and challenge the damaging features of neoliberalism. Ultimately the aim is to arrest and reverse them.


In the absence of legal options to redress the inequalities, Sir Edmund called on a focussed campaign by community groups.  “They [must] possess sufficient force for people to claim that the minimum social, economic and cultural standards they reflect are theirs as of right”.


Sir Edmund was the speaker at the annual Bruce Jesson 2013 at the Maidment Theatre, University of Auckland.  He is a retired Court of Appeal Judge and former acting judge of the Supreme Court.  His lecture was made to a mainly academic audience.



Author: Dr Ieti Lima

Editor: Jo Lawrence-King


Community, Maori, Racism



Why are the raids of Ruātoki in Uruwera a health promotion issue? What can our profession do to help all those involved, as well as prevent such traumatic effects in the future?  Hauora editor Jo Lawrence-King investigates.


In October of this year, the unlawful Uruwera raids of the small community of Ruātoki were once again brought into the public eye. An episode of TV One’s Marae Investigates, marked the sixth anniversary of the event and the feature was followed a few days later by a speech in Parliament by Te Ururoa Flavell MP.


Why is this distressing chapter in our recent history a health promotion issue?  And how might we, as health promoters help address it?  Answering the first question is relatively straightforward: we need only go back to the determinants of health and the four essential ingredients to Māori of hauora (wellbeing).  The second is perhaps a more complex conundrum, but Deputy Executive Director of HPF Trevor Simpson has some ideas.


Operation Eight as a health promotion issue

Let’s look at why Operation Eight is an issue for health promoters.  Firstly we need to look at the Māori concept of hauora.  Professor Sir Mason Durie describes the four crucial factors of hauora as the four walls of a whare:


  • taha tinana; physical wellbeing
  • taha hinengaro; mental and emotional wellbeing
  • taha whanau; social wellbeing
  • taha wairua; spiritual wellbeing.

For the whānau of Ruātoki all four of these factors were taken from them on 15 October 2007. Indeed, in an interview on TV One’s Marae Investigates, highly respected paediatrician Professor Innes Asher* referred to the incident’s effect on the children of the community as “one of the worst cases of child abuse by state authority figures in modern time.”


It is reported that people were detained at five properties in Ruātoki by armed police, dressed in combat gear wearing masks and carrying guns. They were denied food and drink for up to nine hours.  They even had to ask to use a toilet. Other children were taken from their parents or grandparents and held in prison, while their caregivers were arrested.  “They would have been terrified,” says Professor Asher.  A road block  by similarly clad and armed police intimidated the occupants of cars passing into and out of Ruātoki.  According to one report the officers even came onto a school bus; frightening the children on board.  The people caught up in this operation – which was later found to have been unlawful – described their experience as  terrifying.


For most of the people caught up in the raids, three of the four factors of hauora may well elude them to this day; those of taha hinengaro (mental and emotional wellbeing) taha whanau (social wellbeing) and taha wairua; (spiritual wellbeing). Six years on, the trauma suffered by these people (and particularly their tamariki and mokopuna) has had little acknowledgement; apology or attempt at helping those affected.  “They have been abandoned by the state that abused them,” states Professor Asher.  The raids continue to have a terrible effect on the people of the community.


As well as the four principles of hauora, we can look at the fundamental conditions of health as defined by the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (World Health Organisation, 2013) and how they are impacted by this event.  They are:


  • peace
  • shelter
  • education
  • food
  • income
  • a stable eco-system
  • sustainable resources
  • social justice and equity.

Again, it’s clear to see that the people of Ruātoki were denied a number of these fundamental conditions on 15 October 2007, by some of the very people whose role it is to protect them.  It can be argued that those traumatised by the events of that day may still not feel they have peace.  They almost certainly do not feel they have social justice and equity.


In a speech to parliament on Wednesday 23 October, Te Ururoa Flavell called for action to acknowledge the events of six years ago.  “I do not understand how we can receive that sort of information and we can hear the horrific experiences our State forced upon children and not feel motivated to change or to act,” he said. “This is beyond party politics. It is beyond bureaucracy. This is about our children.”


In a later statement Flavell deplored the “ridiculous delays” by the Human Rights Commission in releasing their report on the incident:  “… are the human rights of Tuhoe people not important to the Commission? Is the Commission hoping the issue will just go away? The only other explanation would seem to be serious incompetence by the Commission, or political concerns about releasing an embarrassing report.”


The role of health promotion

According to HPF’s Deputy Executive Director Trevor Simpson (himself Tūhoe) there is a lot health promoters can do; both to help address the raids’ effects on the community, and to prevent such effects in the future.  The work falls into three categories;

  1. to speak out about  the impact of such injustices on the health of a people;
  2. to support those who are working to address them and
  3. to help build a society that has no tolerance for such abuses upon any community.

To address the effects of the raids on the people of Ruātoki, Trevor suggests the community might:

  • Employ Māori health promoters to work in the community to regain self-determination, hauora and a revitalised sense of community.
  • Use the health promoting schools framework in the local schools to empower students and their whānau to seek the conditions they need for hauora.


  • Have health promoters help with health providers and other services to engage with the residents of the community in a culturally appropriate way to address their trauma.

Perhaps even more significantly, Trevor believes health promotion has a key role in preventing such devastating effects on wellbeing in the future.  “We must use the experience gained in Ruātoki to inform policies and actions; to equip communities with better information and empowerment and to seek support and measures to redress the harm caused,” he says.


He suggests health promoters might work alongside the authorities concerned to help them identify appropriate ways of redressing the injustices.  “If we can help them see the effects their actions have had, we might be able to help them identify the best ways to address them.”


And in the future Trevor envisages a time when all authorities – indeed all organisations – are required to conduct health impact assessments on their proposed initiatives; this will help to mitigate the devastating effects of bad policy imposed on both individuals and communities. Without this measure we will continue to run the risk of potentially harming people.


The Operation Eight story illustrates the breadth of our responsibility in health promotion.  Hauora is affected by a huge array of factors.  Freedom to live without fear is one of the most fundamental of these.  The experience of the people of Ruātoki – and particularly their tamariki – serves as a reminder of the work that still needs to be done to achieve hauora for all citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand.


The Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand (HPF) – Runanga Whakapiki Ake i te Hauora o Aotearoa – is the industry leader in health promotion.  It is founded on the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion.


HPF offers education and training in health promotion and Māori health models.  Visit our Māori section for more information.

*Professor Asher is head of the department of paediatrics at Auckland University


Jo Lawrence-King



Competencies, Maori



Māori mental health patients are twice as likely as non-Māori to be put into seclusion.  Workforce development has been identified as one of the ways to address this disparity.



Seclusion means being placed in a locked, bare room alone. The person is monitored through a window and family members are kept away.  It is widely accepted that seclusion is not a legitimate form of treatment for escalating behaviour and can be highly distressing for the patient. The Ministry of Health reportedly has a plan to eliminate seclusion of Māori patients over five years.


In an interview on Radio New Zealand with Marion Blake, Chief Executive of The Platform Trust, said there are a number of possible reasons for the disparity, but there is no evidence to suggest Māori are any more violent than other people with mental illness.  She suggested one of the ways to tackle this disparity is workforce development – particularly in tikanga Māori.


Anne Brebner at health research organisation Te Pou says cultural issues aren’t on the top of everyone’s list of priorities when people seek treatment for mental health problems.


Health Promotion Forum offers workshops and courses to provide understanding Māori culture and health models.


The Platform Trust is a national mental health network of community organisations.



Find out about HPF’s training programmes:

  • A Treaty Understanding of Hauora in Aotearoa New Zealand (TUHANZ).  This is a practical, hands-on course, which explains how the articles of the Treaty can be applied to health promotion planning.
  • Working with the whanau ora tool  A practical guide to developing health programmes where Whanau, Hapu, Iwi and Māori communities play a leading role in achieving Whanau Ora.


  • Māori indigneity, whanau ora and the determinants of health.  Explores the link between Māori indigenous notions of health and wellbeing, the wider determinants of health and elements of whānau ora. As well as informing workplace practice this interactive workshop will provide an open platform for learning, sharing and personal development.
  • Māori concepts of health promotion.  Introduces participants to shared understandings of traditional Māori concepts, ideologies and practices in relation to health and wellbeing.


Story published 12 November 2013

Jo Lawrence-King

Photograph courtesy of Ophelia Cherry



Maori, Policy



Three key project areas were agreed at a recent hui taumata (summit) of Māori Public Health Leaders at Te Ohāki Marae in Huntly.

The three agreed areas of focus are to:


1. provide support infrastructure like communications, a clearing house, agenda setting and a mobilisation plan (dubbed He Mahi Kaitiaki).

2.promote action around institutional racism

3.foster wider social and political change.


All three of the projects will be interconnected: aiming to increase participation in Public Health dialogue, increase a sense of collective responsibility to make change and challenge the current political arrangements in health to do better.


The project ideas will seek further support and mandate at the national annual hui being held at Turangawaewae Marae this 14-15th November.


The hui drew on the knowledge of Māori public health Leadership programme graduates to develop a plan of action for Māori public health.  Led by Tania Hodges of Digital Ltd and Grant Berghan, Public Health Consultant hui asked the question “If there was just one thing we could do as leaders…?”

The agreed focus areas were arrived-at following two days of intense and challenging discussion, with debate focussed on improving health for Māori communities and whānau.


There are nearly 500 graduate members of the programme, with membership of the alumni  covering the length and breadth of the Aotearoa New Zealand and involves people from a wide gamut of Public Health.  There was much discussion around the importance of mobilising this expertise to improve Māori health outcomes.


Te Ohāki Marae itself was a significant venue for the summit, with historical references to Te Kirihaehae Te Puea Herangi who famously placed a stake in the ground where the marae and wharenui was to be situated. For the attendees at the hui the stake was seen to symbolise the point from which stronger Māori public health action would be advanced.


Further information:

The Health Promotion Forum offers training in several areas specific to Māori health.  Click here to find out more about our workshops and other training opportunities.

Read about Māori health models here.

Click here to find out about the Maori Public Health Leadership course.


Wordle created by Papatuanuku Nahi

Article created: 15 October 2013



Global, Maori, News, What is HP

Health promotion programmes in Aotearoa New Zealand were held up as models of best practice in August at the annual conference of the world’s most highly respected health promotion organisation.   Senior Health Promotion Strategists from the Health Promotion Forum (HPF) are participating at the conference of the International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) in Pattaya, Thailand, August 25-29 2013.



Trevor Simpson – Deputy Executive Director at the HPF – presented a plenary session to showcase a health promotion module developed by Maori and in close collaboration with the Maori service users for whom it was being designed.  “This is a point of difference from many other health promotion approaches to indigenous peoples,” says Trevor.  Very often health promotion resources and practices are developed centrally, with little or no involvement of – or representation from – the people for whom they are being developed.  “We have found our approach to be highly successful in inspiring and empowering people to make beneficial changes to their health.”


The HPF’s Senior Health Promotion Strategist Karen Hicks presented her abstract “A Contribution to the Global Dialogue”.  In her presentation she will discuss how health promotion competencies, the advent of a professional society and a code of ethics together give health promotion professionals the tools they need to make effective improvements in health.


New Zealand is strongly represented in health promotion globally.  The HPF’s Executive Director, Sione Tu’itahi, is Vice-President of the South West Pacific Region of IUHPE, while Associate Professor Louise Signal, Director of the Health Promotion and Policy Research unit (HePPRU) and Health, Wellbeing & Equity Impact Assessment Research Unit (HIA), Department of Public Health,  Otago University is its Regional  Director. Together the HPF and HePPRU co-host the IUHPE’s South West Pacific Regional Office.





Equality, Family and child, Maori



Inquiry into the determinants of wellbeing for tamariki Māori.


A report, issued in December 2013 by the Māori Affairs Committee, concludes that poverty is a major barrier to the wellbeing of tamariki Māori.  The authors call on all New Zealanders to support the work being done to improve the wellbeing of our tamariki, and New Zealand as a whole.  They encourage a collaborative approach between agencies and organisations to support the Whānau Ora – and similar – approach to working with Māori whānau.  They unambiguously reject a silo mentality.



Community, Diet, Maori

He Mara Kai (the food garden) is an initiative focusing on good nutrition and physical activity by supporting Kohanga Reo (Māori speaking early childhood centres) to grow vegetables. It was originally created as part of the Labour Government’s Healthy Eating, Healthy Action (HEHA) initiative 2004-2010.

Theresa Wharekura,  then Manager Te Kupenga Hauora, paints a picture of the initiative, its origins and its plans for the future.




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Te Pae Mahutonga (Southern Cross Star Constellation) brings together elements of modern health promotion.


View Te Pae Mahutonga (PDF, 153 KB)

Te Pae Mahutonga text



IUHPE presentation by Prof Sir Mason Durie

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Maori, What is HP

The purpose of this paper is to provide a definition of Māori health promotion and to discuss Māori health promotion strategic issues to inform practice.

Māori health promotion is the process of enabling Māori to increase control over the determinants of health and strengthen their identity as Māori, and thereby improve their health and position in society (Ratima 2001). While this brief definition gives an indication of what Māori health promotion is about, by itself it does not convey completely the meaning and uniqueness of Māori health promotion. To more fully understand Māori health promotion, it is useful to refer to two models for Māori health promotion – Te Pae Mahutonga (Durie 2000) and Kia Uruuru Mai a Hauora (Ratima 2001). Together, these models describe both the breadth of Māori health promotion and its defining characteristics. The characteristics include the underlying concept of health, purpose, values, principles, pre-requisites, processes, strategies, key tasks, and markers.

A full definition of Māori health promotion is necessary to guide practice and enable common understandings as a basis for clear communication and advocacy for Māori health promotion. – See more at:



Published in 2010, this paper provides a definition of Māori health promotion and discusses Māori health promotion strategic issues to inform practice.  Read it here. – See more at:


Maori, Racism

On Friday 30 January 2009 the Committee adopted the General Comment on Indigenous Child Rights. This Comment urges State Parties to adopt a rights-based approach to indigenous children based on the Convention.


The Committee On The Rights Of The Child sits within the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights. NZ is among the State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and ratified the Convention in 1993.



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