Health Promotion Forum (HPF) Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi is calling on health promoters at all levels to join forces and make a difference to hauora here and around the world. “They say think globally, act locally, but these days we must think and act on all levels,” says Sione .
Sione returned last Friday from Paris, France, where he attended a two-day meeting of the GlobalExecutive Board of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE). At the meeting the Board put together a work plan to contribute to solving global health challenges and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the IUHPE. One of the key resolutions was to redouble efforts to unify and energise the health promotion movement and Sione hit the ground running when he arrived back in Aotearoa New Zealand.
“The world is but one global village and challenges impacting on the international level influence the national and local levels as well,” said Sione. “Take the economic recession or global warming, for instance. Both challenges affect everyone at every level, whether you are in Paris, Auckland, or Ha’ano, [Sione’s home Island in Tonga]. “We must work together or we will all be affected by these common challenges, many of which are human-made and, therefore, can be resolved.”
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 is 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.
The HPF is a national umbrella organisation for health promotion organisations and teams in New Zealand. While its primary focus is on the national level, HPF has both a global reach and a local impact.
Sione issued a personal invitation to health promoters around the country: “If you wish to be part of the solution on all levels, join a global movement and a national organisation.”
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Pictured above are (from left):
IUHPE President, Professor Michael Sparks, of the Australian National University, Ms Marie-Claude Lamarre, Executive Director of IUHPE, and Sione Tu’itahi, HPF Executive Director and Regional Vice-President of IUHPE, at the meeting held at the Paris Global Centre of Columbia University.
Story published: 13 December 2013
By: Sione Tu’itahi
Edited: Jo Lawrence-King