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Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand Runanga Whakapiki Ake i te Hauora o Aotearoa
Global, Uncategorized

More speakers have been confirmed for the world conference on health promotion in Rotorua next year adding to the diverse line-up.

They include respected indigenous leaders from around the world and New Zealand who will be sharing their knowledge and expertise at the 23rd International Union of Health Promotion and Education World Conference from April 7 to 11.

Registrations  for the conference which is co-hosted by the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand are now open and the call for abstracts has gone out.

We take a look at: Dr Stanley Vollant, the first indigenous surgeon in Quebec, Canada; Sir Mason Durie, one of New Zealand’s most respected academics, knighted in 2010 for services to public and Māori health and Tamati Kruger, Māori advocate and social and political analyst.

Dr Vollant who grew up in the Côte-Nord region of Quebec was exposed at a young age to the traditional teachings of his grandfather, which were marked by the importance of community values.

He received his degree in medicine from the Université de Montréal in 1989 and his specialisation in general surgery in 1994.

During the first annual “Stanley Vollant Challenge,” a six-kilometre walk to promote health and wellness he told CBC News that he wanted to inspire Indigenous youth across Quebec to follow their dreams, while also leading healthy lifestyles.

He said it was important to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous walkers together in the spirit of reconciliation.

“My vision is to bring people to celebrate wellness and also to celebrate [being] all together, Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.”

Sir Mason who was born in 1938, of Rangitane, Ngāti Kauwhata and Ngāti Raukawa descent, grew up in Feilding, where his hard-working parents showed him the importance of a strong work ethic.

Between 1986-1988 he served on the New Zealand Royal Commission on Social Policy and in 1988 accepted a position at Massey University as Professor and Head of Te Pūtahi a Toi, School of Māori Studies.  Up until retirement in June 2012 he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Māori Research and Development.

He has been at the forefront of a transformational approach to Māori health and has played major roles in building the Māori health workforce for more than 40 years.

He has also championed higher education for Māori and has published widely on Māori health, Māori policy, the Treaty of Waitangi, Māori education and whānau development.

In his book Nga Tini Whetu NAVIGATING MAORI FUTURES he says in the introduction that, “If there is a single message to this book, it is that Maori have the knowledge, skills and foresight to create a future where younger generations yet to come can prosper in the world, and at the same time live as Maori”.

The model he created for healthcare, Te Whare Tapa Wha, successfully challenged the notion that health is the same for people of all cultures.

He has also made significant strides with his work in mental health, and most recently, the prevention of suicide in Maori and Pasifika communities.

During 2009 he chaired the Ministerial Taskforce on Whānau Centred Initiatives and from 2011 was chair of the Whānau Ora Governance Group.  In 2018 he was also a panel member for the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addictions.

Upon being awarded the Blake Medal at last year’s Sir Peter Blake Leadership Awards Sir Mason told the NZ Herald: “The most important thing has been the difference to health. That’s where my career started and it’s continued to be what I spent most of my time doing.

“It’s really how to make people more aware that health is not just a question for doctors and nurses, but a question people have themselves.”

Mr Kruger is a Māori advocate and social and political analyst who has dedicated his career to the development of his iwi. From the Ngāti Koura, Ngāti Rongo and Te Urewera hapū of Tūhoe, Mr Kruger was instrumental in securing the largest Treaty of Waitangi settlement to date ($450 million) for the Central North Island Iwi Collective.

He is now a director of CNI Holdings, representing Tūhoe.

More recently, Mr Kruger was chief negotiator of the Tūhoe-Te Urewera Treaty of Waitangi Settlement. The landmark settlement included a Crown apology for historical grievances, a social service management plan for the Tūhoe rohe and a financial and commercial redress package totalling $170 million.

The settlement also included legislative changes to transfer Te Urewera National Park to its own separate legal entity, looked after by the Te Urewera Board, of which Mr Kruger is chair.

Mr Kruger’s contribution is not limited to his tribe. He chaired the Second Ministerial Māori Taskforce on Whānau Violence and developed the Mauri Ora Framework and was awarded the Kahukura award in 2013 in recognition of this work.

In an interview with Asia Pacific Report he said an important part of leadership involved navigating the difference between Māori and Pākehā politics.

“Part of the blessing of Pākehā politics is you have this apparatus called law, where you can bend people to one’s will. But in Tūhoe politics you have to depend on your reputation and integrity for people to find that whatever you have to say has some wisdom and truth in it.”

The official languages of the conference are English, Spanish, French and in a world-first for Māori and other indigenous cultures Te Reo Māori.

Abstracts must be in by August 31 and submissions can be made in the official languages.



Global, Uncategorized

Abstracts for the World Conference on Health Promotion that will be held in New Zealand next year must be in by August 31.

Submissions for the 23rd International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) World Conference on Health Promotion to be held in Rotorua from April 7 to 11 can be made in English, Spanish, French and Te Reo Māori.

The Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand (HPF) is hosting the conference in association with the IUHPE.

The approximate date of acceptance of abstracts is October 22 and all abstracts must be submitted through this online form.

All abstract submitters, including individual contributors, are encouraged to interact and collaborate with other presenters and participants wherever possible. Participatory, collaborative and non-traditional session formats will be given priority in the selection process.

Abstracts can be submitted in eight different formats: symposium; workshop;  research oral/poster presentation; innovation in policy and practice oral/poster presentation; round table discussion; alternative showing/new technology;  alternative showing/art and lunch with an author.

The committee is encouraging submissions to match the sub-themes of the conference. Abstracts can be submitted under one of the four conference sub-themes:

Health equity 
Ensure health equity throughout the life course, within and among countries, making each member of the global society an empowered lifelong learner.

Inclusive habitats 
Make all urban and other habitats inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable and conducive to health and wellbeing.

Climate change adaptation strategies 
Design and implement effective and fair climate change adaptation strategies.

Build effective, accountable and inclusive governance 
Build effective, accountable and inclusive governance at all levels that promotes, peace, justice and respect of human rights.

For further information on each of these formats please click here.




News, Uncategorized

Maori identity is the key philosophy behind the Māori Concepts of Health Promotion workshop says the course facilitator and Deputy Executive Director of the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand, Trevor Simpson.

The workshop held in Wairoa on May 7 and Blenheim (registrations still open) on June 1 aims to introduce participants to shared understandings of traditional Māori concepts, ideologies and practices in relation to health and wellbeing.

Additionally the workshop will consider how these ideas may be used to inform modern-day approaches to Māori health promotion planning, implementation and evaluation.

“The course looks at world views and how those traditional world views can inform contemporary Māori practice,” says Mr Simpson.

With the recent developments in relation to Whanau Ora the programme provides a basis for discussion in terms of what constitutes a well Māori community and whether traditional knowledge has the potential to elevate Māori health status and improve Māori health outcomes.

To register or for more information on the Blenheim workshop contact Emma Frost at or 09 300 3734 or click here.

The workshop will be held at St John, Marlborough, 93 Seymour St, Blenheim. Map

Course Facilitator, Trevor Simpson is the Deputy Executive Director and Senior Health Promotion Strategist with the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand. Trevor has a background in community development, Māori social development, Treaty settlements and Māori health promotion. He is committed to Māori health promotion as an important vehicle to improving Māori health outcomes and Māori community development.



Without a doubt, a stand out figure from the health promotion, public health and global health sectors is Colin Tukuitonga.  Speaking from Noumea, Colin shared some thoughts with us on his current work, public health issues for Pacific Nations and changes in health promotion over the years.

Thank you for your time this afternoon Colin, firstly, what proportion of The Pacific Community (SPC) work would you identify as health promotion?

Given the broad scope of my organisation’s mandate in food security, fisheries management & education, agriculture, public health, human rights and geoscience, this is difficult to answer however all of these things at one level or another are health promoting in their outcomes. We have a separate public health programme that has a large health promotion component and we work in 26 countries.

What are the biggest public health issues in the Pacific nations?

Most definitely non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Obesity affects three out of every four adults. We also have the increasing issue of obesity in childhood. All islands were part of developing the Pacific NCD roadmap with specific recommended actions. One of these was to introduce a tax on sugary drinks. Another was an increase in tax on tobacco.  The Pacific NCD roadmap is essentially a blueprint for the islands to follow. Some are active on this. Others less so. However, we expect all islands to implement a sugary drink tax.

Communicable diseases can affect some islands for example tuberculosis in Papua New Guinea.

How do you see the role of health promotion in addressing these issues?

Without a doubt this is where we need to be overall but resourcing places constraints on this. Many islands are doing their best to help but again, more often than not, hospital and treatment services take up the lion’s share of funding. We do what we can at SPC to encourage island nations to invest in core public health functions but it is challenging.

You have signalled SPC’s strong support for the 2019 World IUHPE conference to be held in NZ. What do you see as SPC’s role at the conference?

We have three roles. Firstly, general support for the hui. It is just fantastic that we get to have this event in this part of the world. Secondly, we are planning to provide some financial support. Thirdly, and most importantly, our role is to facilitate an opportunity at this global event for small islands to  share concerns and then work together, to take strength and to think about a way forward as an organisation of small islands. That is what we would hope to achieve.

Climate change is a major issue facing the peoples of the Pacific. What actions do you think are necessary to address this global environmental issue?

We made significant gains with the Paris Agreement, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.  Now with US withdrawing from that, it may take us back to before the agreement so trying to maintain momentum is really difficult. We need political support from many to honour the Paris Agreement. Without this we will be going backwards. Pacific nations have put a lot of energy into the agreement particularly the recommendations to limit emissions and enable funds for good work. Right now we are at risk of inertia with the US not agreeing to continue.

How do you see public health and health promotion developing over the years?

Well when I started people talked about more traditional quarantine measures, or the role of legislation to regulate behaviours or control diseases. We’ve come a long way since then. The watershed moment for me was the emergence of the Ottawa Charter. This changed things from a conventional public health approach to one of empowerment of communities and of developing healthy public policy.

For me it is about continuing this Ottawa Charter type approach and supporting nations to invest more in health promotion practices. To undertake things like health impact assessment and environmental impact assessment when large development projects are on the table. We have a range of tools to choose from but in general these are not always applied consistently.

Having worked in both New Zealand and the Pacific, how would you characterise the relationship between the two?

In some areas it is going well however I would say there seems to be a general lack of awareness in New Zealand about what is happening in the Pacific regions. I do note though that there is more and more interaction taking place.

We could learn a lot from the health promotion models and ideas in New Zealand. Smoking continues to be a significant problem in the islands.  We are impressed with New Zealand’s smoke free work.

Are there any other pointers from your recent work we could learn from?

Recently I was part of the World Health Organisation Global Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity as a commissioner. From that we produced a final report with a set of recommendations and cost-effective measures for ending childhood obesity. New Zealand and Pacific nations have been slow to pick these up. One would hope governments provide leadership and look seriously at the recommendations of this report.



Previously medically-focused, the University of Otago’s Department of Public Health has broadened its programme to embrace a range of disciplines including nursing, health promotion, nutrition, social work, physiotherapy and others interested in public health.

The new Public Health programmes now offer greater flexibility for students, and the opportunity for general as well as new discipline-specific qualifications, says convener of the University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) Department of Public Health programme, Associate Professor Diana Sarfati.  “Public health is a diverse and vital area, encompassing all aspects of our lives.  Students can develop skills in health promotion, epidemiology, health economics, environment and health, public health research, hauora Māori, how society affects health, and much more.” Public health training opens up a number of career opportunities, she says.   “Regardless of which aspect of public health interests you, it is a field in which you will really make a difference.”

The programmes continue to be offered from all three campuses in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington and enquiries are welcome from those with an undergraduate degree in any discipline.

The latest new 15 point papers are taught in half semester terms enabling students to structure their study around family and work commitments.

There are 21 papers on offer, including several distance options, providing students the opportunity to put together a broad programme of study, or tailor their qualification to their interests.

Enrolments for 2015 are now open, visit for further information. Courses begin at the end of February 2015.



Jo Lawrence-King

1 December 2014



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In the latest of HPF’s Keeping Up to Date series of peer-reviewed papers, Dr Kate Morgaine discusses how the fluoridation of community drinking water meets all the values and aims of health promotion.

“Oral health inequalities across the world are large and long standing, but not immutable,” says Dr Morgaine in her paper.  “Within New Zealand, dental caries is a significant disease that impacts both physical health and quality of life. A clear social gradient is also evident, with the heaviest burden being borne by those who experience the most deprivation in our society.


“Fluoride is important in oral health and in the prevention of caries as it has three functions. It enhances remineralisation following consumption of food; once incorporated into the enamel is inhibits demineralisation; and it inhibits the ability of bacteria to adhere to, and thus attack, tooth enamel.

Fluoride is a naturally occuring mineral, but it’s concentration in local water supplies is wide ranging.  In some countries, fluoride levels are adjusted downwards to prevent the harmful effects of high doses.  In New Zealand, however, they are adjusted upwards to provide optimal health benefits.

26 March 2015

Jo Lawrence-King



-An employment service by Framework

Workfocus aims to provide employment support for mental health clients for a range of ethnicities. The Workfocus team, based in Epsom, is comprised of ten employment consultants, including Asian consultants. Clients access the service through any form of referral, however, those approaching the service themselves must acknowledge their mental illness. Clients and consultants work in partnership in seeking employment and the client must be motivated to find work. Consultants support clients in all steps of the job application; including providing tips on filling in application forms and practising interview skills; however, clients must apply for jobs themselves. Workshops and training are also available (please contact Workfocus or Framework for more details).

The employment consultants, covering different areas of Auckland, provide ongoing support to clients in their employment journey, until they achieve a year of employment. However the main focus of the service is on finding a desired and attainable job.

According to Milly Zhang, an experienced employment consultant with the organisation, there are a number of challenges Asian clients might face when finding employment. Although they are usually hard workers and are motivated to find a job, their overseas qualifications and experiences are often invalid in New Zealand. Asian clients also face additional challenges as they adapt to a new social and employment environment.

Workfocus has been providing its service for over four years. For more information regarding Workfocus, please e-mail Milly Zhang or call her on 021 976 556.


Election 2014:  NZ political parties state their position


All but one of all New Zealand’s political parties have responded to last month’s invitation, by the Institutional Racism Special Interest Group (IRSIG), to state their position on addressing institutional racism in Aotearoa New Zealand.


Responses were as wide-ranging as the political parties.  A brief paragraph from the Act party suggested the issue centres on preferential treatment of Māori, while the Green Party issued an in-depth statement acknowledging that health and wellbeing is a basic human right and needs to be upheld for all New Zealanders, regardless of their ethnicity.


The New Zealand Labour Party was the only party to decline to respond


Institutional racism is defined as “an entrenched pattern of differential access to material resources and power determined by race, which advantages one sector of the population while disadvantaging another”[1].  Present-day examples of institutional racism can be seen in Waitangi Tribunal claims and lead to inequities in health, education, employment and criminal justice outcomes for Māori [and other ethnic minorities?].


The IRSIG is a tripartite group, with members from the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand – Runanga Whakapiki Ake i te Hauora o Aotearoa, the Public Health Association and the Māori Public Health Leaders Alumni.


Read the report on the parties’ responses.


Beginning to address institutional racism within the public health sector: insights from a provider survey – Keeping up to Date paper – Autumn/Winter 2013

Dr Heather Came’s paper identifies ongoing institutional racism and privilege in the public health sector, that breach Te Tiriti o Waitangi and contravene the stated public health and health promotion ethical principles.  It identifies a range of actions health funders can take to address the problem.


This was the 38th edition of the HPF’s Keeping Up to Date series of peer-reviewed papers.  Dr Came is Programme Leader/Lecturer in Community Health Development and Aucklant University of Technology (AUT).


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