The environmental crisis, the economic crisis and pandemics such as Covid-19 are global challenges that impact on human wellbeing, and our understanding of health promotion.

The implications of these challenges to our current understanding and application of health promotion in Aotearoa New Zealand will be explored by a panel of speakers at our webishop next month (see poster).

Register HERE.

The panel will also explore some pathways into the future, and will discuss with participants the following questions:

How can we elevate our consciousness of health promotion to include the health of our planet?

How can we broaden our understanding of health promotion to include Indigenous approaches to global environmental crises?

What practical solutions can health promoters adopt as they work within institutions and engage with families and communities to address the environmental crises at local level?

The panel includes: Dr Viliami Tutone, a renal physician at Middlemore Hospital, Auckland, who applies health promotion approaches to his community development work Aotearoa, and his professional interest in planetary health; Dr Rachel Kumar Director, Health Promotion at the School of Population Health, University of Auckland and Sione Tu’itahi, Executive Director of HPF, a member of the Global Executive Board of IUHPE and Co-Chair of the IUHPE Global Working Group on Waiora Planetary Health and Human Wellbeing. 

Email for more info.

More about the speakers: 

Dr Viliami Tutone

Viliami is a renal physician at Middlemore Hospital, Auckland, who applies health promotion approaches to his community development work in New Zealand, and his professional interest in planetary health. He is a member of the Global Working Group on Waiora Planetary Health and Human Wellbeing, of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE).

Sione Tu’itahi

Sione the Executive Director of HPF and is a member of the Global Executive Board of IUHPE. He is also the Co-Chair of the IUHPE Global Working Group on Waiora Planetary Health and Human Wellbeing

Rachel Simon Kumar

Rachel’s  research background is in gender, race/ethnicity and diversity, policy studies and health with particular focus on New Zealand’s ethnic and migrant communities, and women in the global south. She has previously taught at the University of Waikato, Victoria University of Wellington. Her current roles include Director, Health Promotion at the School of Population Health Auckland Uni, and co-Director, Centre for Asian and Ethnic Minority Health Research and Evaluation (CAHRE) at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. 

Registration costs:

  • $29.00 incl GST Members. Check if you are a member HERE.

$49.00 incl GST Non-members. View membership application



The re-emergence of Covid-19 in the community and the subsequent lockdowns have again put Kiwis under immense pressure!

Job and financial uncertainties, worries about you or your loved ones catching the virus, children unable to go to school and concerns about the future can lead to overwhelming stress and anxiety.

So, taking extra care of your health and mental wellbeing is crucial and HPF, as does many of our members, provides tools, resources, and information to help you cope and get through these uncertain times.

HPF has developed a handy resource to help build your whanau and family capacity, and maintain your wellbeing. ‘A Health Promotion tool for empowering whanau and families against Covid-19’ is available on our website.


We also have some informative webinars, such as ‘Health promoting ways of building family and whanau capacity against Covid-19, and beyond’, ‘Te Whare Tapa Wha, Covid19 and Māori Health Promotion’ (and many more) which can be viewed on our YouTube channel.


“Families are a powerful front in defending health challenges and promoting wellbeing,” says HPF Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi. “By staying home and saving lives, families are the first line of defence at the community level.


“Our tools focus on building family skills to not only fight against Covid-19, but also to maintain family competence to be in charge of the holistic wellbeing, post-Covid 19,” he added.


Many of our members have a website page dedicated to ‘Covid-19. Hapai Te Hauora has a ‘Covid-19 Information Hub’ on its website which includes Covid-19 daily updates, links to booking vaccinations and colourful and descriptive Covid-19 resources.


The Mental Health Foundation also has some great wellbeing tips, based on the Five Ways to Wellbeing and Te Whare Tapa Wha.


Accessing the correct information about Covid and vaccinations, what you can and can’t do under the alert levels and so on is also vital, especially as a lot of misinformation can be spread on social media.


The Asian Network Incorporated provides relevant information, including links to detailed information about living at Alert Level 4 in a number of languages.


Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki has a dedicated Covid-19 page with all the latest updates and information.

The Fono has a slideshow running across its home page with Covid info such as where to get your vaccinations, a phone number to call for support and much more.

(Banner photo by Jacek Pobłocki on Unsplash)



Today on World Health Day we urge you to accept the invite from the World Health Organisation (WHO) to join a year-long new global campaign to eliminate health inequities, and build a fairer, healthier world.

The theme ‘Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone’ was inspired by the Covid-19 pandemic which according to the WHO has pushed more people into poverty and food insecurity and amplified gender, social and health inequities.

“Covid-19 has hit all countries hard, but its impact has been harshest on those communities which were already vulnerable, who are more exposed to the disease, less likely to have access to quality health care services and more likely to experience adverse consequences as a result of measures implemented to contain the pandemic,” says the WHO.

All over the world, WHO points out, some groups struggle to make ends meet with little daily income, have poorer housing conditions and education, fewer employment opportunities, experience greater gender inequality, and have little or no access to safe environments, clean water and air, food security and health services. This leads to unnecessary suffering, avoidable illness, and premature death. And it harms our societies and economies.

That is why we are calling on leaders to ensure that everyone has living and working conditions that are conducive to good health.  At the same time, we urge leaders to monitor health inequities, and to ensure that all people are able to access quality health services when and where they need them.”

HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi says “We are virtually safe in our country because we have all being working hard together, and are kind to one another. But we are part of our global family, and our common home, planet Earth, is broken.

“So, as we collaborate with the rest of the world to stamp out Covid-19, essentially a zoonotic challenge and a planetary issue, due to our broken planet, we must adopt a higher consciousness of our inherent interdependence as humanity. We must embrace a new paradigm of being more collaborative, caring and kind to each other and to the planet because we are all citizens of our only planet. Nothing short of this much-needed global responsibility at the individual and collective levels can stem the accelerating challenges of this planetary health and socio-economic crisis.”

The WHO is promoting four critical actions that it wants to see from governments and other groups involved in global health leadership: work together; Collect reliable date; tackle inequities and act beyond borders.

Read more about these actions.



Don’t miss out on your chance to hear from and interact with internationally recognised leader in health promotion Dr Trevor Hancock at HPF’s next webishop on February 17.

Dr Hancock who is based in Victoria, Canada will be the guest speaker at the webishop, ‘No health without a healthy planet’ on Feb 17.

“It’s only in the past few years that health promotion has started to pay serious attention to the ecological determinants of health and the concept of planetary health,” says Dr Hancock.

“But when the UN Secretary General says ‘the state of the planet is broken. Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal’ and when the Director General of the WHO says we must ‘protect and preserve the source of human health: Nature’ — then it’s time to pay attention!”

Dr Hancock who is one of the founders of the (now global) Healthy Cities and Communities movement will provide a brief update on the Anthropocene (global ecological change and the social and economic trends driving those changes) and their health implications.

He will also look at what we have to do to become healthy, just and sustainable societies and communities, providing a good quality of life and good health for all within the limits of the one small planet that is our home.

“This means a 65 – 80% reduction in the ecological footprint of high-income countries, something that is not receiving serious consideration, in fact is not even being talked about,” says Dr Hancock.

“It will require profound transformations in society, economics, law and especially the core values and world views that drive our present suicidal path.

“But while there is a need for global and national action – and I recognise that Aotearoa New Zealand is showing leadership in several areas – we also need to recall the sage advice to ‘Think globally, act locally’.

“So, I will close by focusing on the creation of healthy and sustainable communities, and the role of health promotion, especially in starting the conversation on becoming a one planet community and society.”

Click here to register and find out more about the phases of learning and webishop costs. Discounts are offered to HPF members.

Participants are encouraged to participate in the exercises and material that will be disseminated before the webishop.


Dr Trevor Hancock is a public health physician and health promotion consultant.

He ‘retired’ in 2018 from his role as Professor and Senior Scholar at the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria.

Dr Hancock’s main areas of interest are population health promotion, healthy cities and communities, public health, healthy public policy, environment and health, healthy and ‘green’ hospitals, health policy and planning, and health futurism.

His recent focus has been the combination of his two main areas – the relationship between human health and the natural environment and the healthy community approach. 

In 2o15 he was awarded Honorary Fellowship in the UK’s Faculty of Public Health for his contributions to public health, and in 2017 he was awarded the Defries Medal, the Canadian Public Health Association’s highest award, presented for outstanding contributions in the broad field of public health, as well as a Lifetime Contribution Award from Health Promotion Canada.

Dr Hancock is one of the founders of the (now global) Healthy Cities and Communities movement and co-authored the original background paper for the European Regional Office of the World Health Organization in 1986.


The Executive Director of the Health Promotion Forum, Dr Tu’itahi is a member of the Global Executive Board of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUIHPE). Dr Hancock and Dr Tu’itahi are members of the newly established IUHPE Global Working Group on Waiora Planetary Health and Human Wellbeing, which champions the Rotorua Legacy Statements of the World Conference on Health Promotion 2019 in New Zealand.


Kiwis are being encouraged during Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) to reflect on the challenges the nation has faced together in 2020 and to reimagine what wellbeing looks like. The theme for this week which is Reimagine Wellbeing Together – He Tirohanga Anamata challenges us to reflect on the big and small actions we’ve taken to take care of each other this year, and to look at wellbeing through a new lens. Mental Health Foundation Chief Executive Shaun Robinson says he is proud of how New Zealanders “have rallied together and tackled the challenges of shifting through different levels … Our new normal is quite different… MHAW is a timely reminder of how important it is to embrace the simple things we can do each day to really help strengthen our wellbeing – that’s what will help us during the tough times.” Each day of MHAW has a theme inspired by Te Whare Tapa Whā, a model developed by Māori health advocate and MHF patron Sir Mason Durie. (Go to HPF’s YouTube channel for more about the model) “Te Whare Tapa Whā helps us to find ways to look after our taha wairua (spiritual health), taha tinana (physical health), taha hinengaro (emotional and mental health), taha whānau (family and friends). When all these things are in balance, including the whenua (foundations) we thrive. When one or more of these is out of balance, our wellbeing is impacted,” says Thomas Strickland, Kaiwhakarite Māori Development Specialist, MHF. Robyn Shearer, the Ministry of Health’s Deputy-Director General, Mental Health and Addiction says he’s pleased to hear so many schools and kura are taking part this year. Across Aotearoa, almost 10,000 workplaces, communities, whānau, schools and kura are celebrating the taonga/treasure that is our mental health. For more info about what’s happening around NZ and to register click here.

Unity, effective leadership, clear communication and collaboration were highlighted in a webinar run by HPF as some of the key factors that helped boost the resilience of the Pacific community in Aotearoa NZ through all the alert levels, including lockdown Dr Seini Taufa the Research and Evaluation Lead for Moana Research and Dr Colin Tukuitonga the Associate Dean Pacific, at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences were the key speakers at the webinar held yesterday. (June 30) ‘Appropriate Covid-19 Response with a Pacific lens moving to the future’ was the last of HPF’s special series of webinars aimed at advising and guiding organisations and communities through Covid-19. We will let you know when the webinar is uploaded to our Youtube channel Dr Taufa discussed the key factors she believed helped the Pacific community get through the crisis so successfully. These included working together collectively and collaboratively and good leadership utilising the three major health promotion strategies of the Ottawa Charter: to advocate; mediate and enable. She pointed out that clear and transparent communication, particularly during this era of social media and livestreaming, was crucial as we are constantly bombarded by messages and information, some accurate and some inaccurate. For Pacific communities she emphasised the importance of providing ‘ethnic-specific’ information and how the messenger was just as important as the message. Also important in moving forward, she stressed was the need for more Pacific-led research. Dr Tukuitonga said he was impressed with how we [Pacific] got on as a community and that communication, unity and cohesion were key to our success. “… we worked well together … We need to maintain this cohesion to combat future threats.” Dr Tukuitonga warned that the Covid crisis was clearly not over in New Zealand and that the community must continue to be vigilant and practise good hygiene, social distancing, and other precautionary measures. It was important that measures at the borders continue to be robust and as tight as they can be, he urged. Dr Tukuitonga also addressed the escalation of racism during Covid-19 and the need to continue to fight the long-term threat to the Pacific Islands and the world – climate change.