You can now have your say on healthy food and drinks in schools.
The Health Coalition Aotearoa has made an easy submission guide so that anyone – teachers, parents, health professionals, and kids – can help make our schools healthier places for tamariki.
The Ministry of Education consultation is open until June 2, but the Government currently is not recommending it a duty for schools to provide only healthy food, or a duty in high schools to provide only healthy drinks.
“The reality is most primary schools are already fizz-free, so regulating them will make very little difference,” HCA Chair Boyd Swinburn said.
“High schools and healthy food in schools is the real next fight to protect children’s food environments on school grounds. In 2016 data, just a quarter of secondary schools had only healthy beverages,” said Mr Swinburn.
“Twenty-five per cent of all schools are covered by the free healthy school lunches programme Ka Ora, Ka Ako which already has nutrition principles for food and drink. The Government could use these existing principles to cover healthy food, not just drinks, in all schools for children of all ages.
“As the government changes, we go back and forth on the issue of child nutrition. Much stronger policies than the proposal announced today were introduced in 2008, only to see them removed with a change of government.”
Mr Swinburn said the food and drinks we serve to children and allow on school grounds is an essential health issue.
Setting a national policy in regulations for healthy food and drink in schools makes it easier for school boards and principals, rather than having to revisit it individually every few years, he added.
“This consultation is run by the Ministry of Education and aimed at schools, but equally, we encourage health professionals to submit, as our public health experts will be doing.”
Dietician Mafi Funaki-Tahifote says removing sugary drinks from schools is a step in the right direction. She encourages communities to rally behind the consultation, to apply it to all schools.
“We have a saying in Pacific communities that it takes a village to raise a child, and the school is a big part of that village,” she said.
“It is not just about health, but well-being. If children feel better, they do better at school and feel better about themselves.”
As we approach World Smoke Free day on May 31, Hauora caught up with public health expert and ASH (Action for Smoking and Health) founder and Chair, Emeritus Professor Robert Beaglehole to discuss the effectiveness of Government’s Smokefree 2025 Aotearoa Action Plan.
Launched in December 2021 the plan has introduced some bold new measures to make Aotearoa New Zealand smoke-free and we asked Prof Beaglehole how effective he thought the plan would be in accelerating progress towards the 2025 goal of a smokefree Aotearoa.
Prof Beaglehole also discusses the latest ASH Year 10 Snapshot Survey and what are some of the key actions that need to be prioritised to help smokers stub out the habit.
HAUORA: How did you become so enthusiastic about the quest to be smokefree and so motivated to be involved in the tobacco-control space?
PROF BEAGLEHOLE: My passion for smokefree Aotearoa came from two sources: the devastation caused by the tobacco industry on my immediate family as I was growing up and the epidemiological evidence that cigarette smoking was the most readily preventable cause of avoidable death and disease in New Zealand and of health inequities.
HAUORA: How much progress, since you established ASH in 1982, has Aotearoa New Zealand made in reducing the burden caused by cigarette smoking?
PROF BEAGLEHOLE:On the eve of the 40th anniversary of ASH, I can see there has been tremendous progress: adult smoking rates have declined dramatically, especially over the last couple of years, and smoking by young people is at an all-time low. Death rates from heart disease have fallen by over two thirds in the last 50 years and lung cancer rates are also falling, especially in men. The declines in smoking are important causes of these falls in death and disease rates.
HAUORA: The Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan has been widely welcomed, including by ASH. But with only three years to go how optimistic are you that we can reach this goal, which will require legislation and policy enacted, supported, and passed by Government, and what are some of key actions you think need to be prioritised during this timeframe?
PROF BEAGLEHOLE: It is a big challenge. But I am optimistic that overall, the population could reach the goal of being 95% smokefree by 2025, that is with less than 5% of the adult population being daily cigarette smokers. However, the concern is that if we don’t act decisively, we could be left with major inequities with higher smoking rates in poor people, including Māori and Pacifica. Cigarette smoking is now a marker of poverty – wealthy people in Aotearoa have already reached the goal, and young adults are well on track.
Yes, ASH welcomes the Smokefree Action Plan and the strong leadership provided by Hon Minister Verrall. New Zealand still has 390,000 daily smokers, and achieving a smoking rate of 5% by 2025 must reduce this number by 200,000. The number of daily smokers fell by almost 100,000 in the last health survey, a huge increase on past years. I think less harmful alternates, such as vaping have had a profoundly disruptive effect on smoking, but we need to do much more to maintain this momentum.
The only way in which the goal will be achieved is to increase and sustain quitting, especially for Māori, Pacific, and the poorest New Zealanders. This will also have the most immediate and measurable impact on health inequities.
For these reasons, ASH strongly advocates: substantially increased funding for community leadership; high profile investment in targeted social change campaigns; and specific programmes to support reduced harm products, including vapes, as alternatives to smoking.
The proposed long-term structural changes to smoked tobacco, including supply, de-nicotinisation and filter-bans are important long term and sustainable ways to devalue and end smoking. However, in the short term we need to look after and support the communities that remain addicted to smoking, otherwise we are facing increased inequities in smoking-related deaths and disease.
The short-term investment will also lay the groundwork for the ‘end-game’ policies to have greater support, and achieve equitable outcomes.
HAUORA:Do you think enough investment is being made into health promotion and community outreach programmes, as well as targeted mass media campaigns, to help smokers quit?
PROF BEAGLEHOLE: No. over the last few years there has been a major fall in investments in smoking control programmes. This is very disappointing since these programmes work. In the 2021 budget $36.6 million was allocated over the next four years for new programmes, including for Pacifica. This is a start but still grossly insufficient when you consider that the tax takes on cigarettes is about $2 billion a year, most of which is paid, of course, by poor people. Hopefully, there will be bigger allocations for smoking-control programmes in the forthcoming budget.
HAUORA: It must have been encouraging to see, after the ASH Year-10 Snapshot Survey [LINK] was released in February, that Aotearoa’s daily youth smoking rates are continuing to decline across all ethnicities. You must have also been encouraged that the survey found Māori students led the way with a massive 40% decrease in daily smoking rates since 2019.
PROF BEAGLEHOLE: Yes, very encouraging. Only 1.3% of 14-15-year-olds smoke on a daily basis. And the rate of decline in smoking by young adults is very fast. Young people have essentially achieved a smokefree generation. The decline in Māori youth is particularly encouraging.
HAUORA: The survey also revealed that alongside this drop in smoking amongst teens was an increase in vaping. Can you please share with us your views on non-combustible tobacco products such as vaping, to help quit smoking?
PROF BEAGLEHOLE: The Ministry of Health has it right: vaping is much less harmful than cigarettes and very useful in helping people transition away from cigarette smoking. Of course, vaping is not for non-smokers and especially not for young people. The legislation and regulations we have on vaping strike a reasonable balance between preventing young people from vaping and encouraging adult smokers to use, if they want, alternative and safer nicotine delivery devices. However, New Zealand was slow to legislate, and we are seeing the effects of this inertia. We need to give the regulatory settings, which are still being implemented, time to work. We also need to act with urgency on proposed controls on smoking products that are now more accessible than less harmful alternates.
HAUORA:Are there any new projects/surveys being undertaken by ASH?
PROF BEAGLEHOLE: Yes, we have a new project supported by the Medical Assurance Foundation looking at equity issues among smokers at high risk of further disease. We are also looking to partner with a major local authority on youth smoking programmes.
HAUORA:Do you have anything else to add?
PROF BEAGLEHOLE: It is possible to accelerate progress towards the Smokefree 2025 goal, but we must be mindful of the need to have equity at the forefront of all our work. I am sure the HPF can usefully contribute to this work.
HPF recently welcomed Dr Karyn Maclennan, a lecturer in Hauora Māori at the Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research Unit at the University of Otago, to its Board.
Dr Maclennan whose background is in pharmacology and psychology has worked in teaching, research and regulation related to medicines safety and optimal use of medicine. Her current mahi is focused on improving communication about medicines and health, and her research is primarily in the area of Māori health and health equity
Hauora was delighted to catch up with Dr Maclennan for an indepth interview to find out a bit more about her mahi and work with whānau and communities. We were also keen to find out more about her passion for using creative, accessible, and engaging methods of communication to empower communities to have confident discussions and make informed and positive decisions about their health and well-being, and what new projects are on the horizon.
HAUORA: We would love to know a bit more about you? Can you share with us a bit about yourself and your background?
KARYN: Kia ora, I whakapapa to Taranaki iwi through my mother, and I have Scottish ancestry through my father. My whānau have lived in Dunedin for several generations, a place that has close connections with both Taranaki and Scotland. I have lived and worked in both Wellington and England, but my husband and I returned to Dunedin nearly 15 years ago and are raising our three children close to whānau. I have a background in pharmacology and psychology and have worked in teaching, research and regulation related to medicines safety and optimal use of medicines. Since returning to Dunedin, my work has focused on improving communication about medicines and health, working with communities and, with my colleagues in the Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research Unit at Otago University, a commitment to understanding and improving Māori health outcomes.
HAUORA: On the professional front can you tell us about what your mahi as a lecturer in Hauora Māori, at the Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research Unit at the University of Otago entails and about what your current research is focused on?
KARYN: I am fortunate to work closely with Professor Sue Crengle in teaching hauora a iwi, Māori public health, to undergraduate students at Otago University. We’re grateful to experts in our community who at times join us as guest lecturers to share their knowledge and mahi. It is always hugely appreciated and inspiring; sparking conversations, encouraging deeper understandings of context, and stimulating creative thought about sustaining change. For some, I hope this ignites a career in Maori health, but for everyone, I hope this is woven into whatever they choose to do and how they live their lives.
My research at the moment is primarily in the area of Māori health and health equity. Most recently, I have been privileged to work with whānau and communities on issues including cancer supportive care, hauora rangatahi – the health and well-being of our young people, and health equity for Māori in the Southern Health System. I am also very much enjoying leading an Unlocking Curious Minds funded community engagement initiative, which aims to generate community conversations about medicines.
HAUORA: You are passionate about using creative, accessible, and engaging methods of communication to empower communities to have confident discussions and to make informed and positive decisions about their health and well-being. How did this passion evolve?
KARYN: I definitely enjoy spending time thinking about, talking about, and attempting to use creative, accessible, and engaging methods of communication to support whānau and communities in making well-informed decisions about their health and their use of medicines. Underlying this is the belief that, more than ever, rangatahi, whānau, and communities need access to culturally relevant, accessible and engaging information that is grounded in science, not mis- or dis-information. This is imperative in enabling young people and their whānau to have confident conversations and make well-informed decisions about their use of medicines, in building greater capacity to actively participate in addressing health issues in their communities, and in taking part in societal debate about important national and global issues, such as vaccination and antibiotic resistance. Everyone has the right to accessible health and medicines information they can use to navigate towards well-informed choices for themselves and their whānau. It is fundamental to promoting health, managing illness, and living well with chronic disease.
HAUORA: Part of your work at the community level involves leading a kanohi-ki-te-kanohi community engagement programme. How does this programme use these methods of communication, how effective are they and what are the aims of the programme?
KARYN: Framed by an overarching waka and wayfinding analogy, we have collated and created a suite of hands-on and interactive displays, demonstrations and activities through which tamariki and their whānau can journey into the science of medicines. Each paddle of our waka steers to a different part of this journey – exploring and discovering where medicines come from, how they work to prevent or treat illness, how to use them safely to protect ourselves and our planet, and putting our minds together to tackle current and future challenges related to medicines and health.
We take these resources to schools, marae, community hubs, and cultural festivals or events and have had overwhelmingly positive feedback from communities across Otago and Southland. As you might imagine, we have seen a huge desire for dialogue about Covid-19, vaccines, and community immunity over the last year, and have been privileged to support some of the incredible work being done in this area by NGOs and community groups in the Southern region. It has highlighted both the importance of kanohi-ki-te-kanohi engagement with our communities and a huge appetite for conversations about medicines – no te whitiwhiti kōrero i mohio ai, it is through shared conversation that I understand.
HAUORA: You’re also a member of the Taranaki iwi ki Ōtepoti ohu. Can you please elaborate on your role and what the aims of the group are?
KARYN: For all sorts of reasons, many Taranaki iwi uri live outside of the rohe, with some disconnected over many generations. In recognition of this, a key aspiration of Taranaki iwi uri is to strengthen our iwi cultural identity and bring us together as whānau. The Te Kāhui o Taranaki engagement team has done amazing work over the last year, travelling around and connecting with uri across the regions, and helping to establish a number of regional ohu. The purpose of these ohu is to facilitate connection, or reconnection, of Taranaki iwi uri with each other, and with Taranaki iwi kaupapa.
I am a member of the Taranaki iwi ki Ōtepoti ohu and, while Covid-19 has meant we have not yet come together face-to-face, we have an online space where uri living in Otago and Southland can connect. It’s a wonderful opportunity for new growth and the weaving of strong connections between uri and to our Taranakitanga.
HAUORA: Aotearoa New Zealand’s health system is changing the way it will structure and deliver health services to New Zealanders, with the new bodies, Health NZ and the Māori Health Authority, to come into effect in early July. How optimistic are you that this will improve services and achieve equitable health outcomes for Māori?
KARYN: The potential of the current time is energising and I am definitely cautiously optimistic! There is a long way to go and the details to come will be important. Having said that, we know what doesn’t work and can learn from what has gone before. I think we are poised at the cusp of tremendous opportunity.
HAUORA: What prompted you to join the Board of HPF?
KARYN: Working for, and alongside, others who share a common commitment to improved hauora through health promotion, giving effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the central positioning of whānau and communities is a wonderful opportunity and a pleasure.
HAUORA: Have you got any new projects/programmes lined up for the near future?
KARYN: I am excited to be continuing our community engagement work by taking Whakatere Waka, an extension and expansion of our Science of Medicines mahi, more widely across the Southern region and into provincial North Island communities such as Taranaki and Central North Island. We’ll also soon be launching a D-Bug digital game design challenge for rangatahi, where they can work in teams or go solo mode to design or create a game about viruses and how we can defend against them. I hope this will both create exposure and excite interest in potential careers combining creativity and science, such as through digital storytelling.
For Whakatere Waka, we are particularly excited to be partnering with the fabulous science communication team at Otago Museum, who are also continuing their award-winning climate change mahi by taking an interactive suite of resources to remote communities across mainland NZ, and to the Chatham and Pacific Islands. The connection and collaboration with communities is definitely the highlight for me – it’s both extremely rewarding and a whole lot of fun!
Broaden your knowledge of the determinants of health, application of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Ottawa Charter to health promotion, and learn more about key health promotion strategies and skills, values and ethics. Build stronger knowledge of indigenous models and how to embed them into practice. Establish more networks in the health industry!
HPF’s Māori Health Promotion Strategist and course facilitator Mereana Te Pere says people who work in the health field should understand that health promotion is its own field and discipline.
“Health promotion is mistaken as handing out flyers and promoting events – but it is so much more than that. Health promotion is about ensuring wellness for everyone, and includes spirituality and the natural environment. It’s about identifying and addressing the big issues that affect health, and enabling communities to drive the strategies to achieve collective wellness,” says Mereana.
“Health promotion is exciting and relevant because we can all participate and contribute to protecting hauora. This course is an eye-opener for anyone working in health. It gives students a broader understanding of what health means in Aotearoa, and equips the learners with strategies and action plans to address the pressing issues we face today. If you think you know everything there is to know about health promotion, this course will challenge that theory in a fun, supportive and interactive way.”
Mereana previously worked for The Department of Corrections within the prison system and as a Sport and Health Kaiako through Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
She has worked predominantly in the education sector with Māori and rangatahi. Her professional and personal aspirations have centred around developing and advocating for strategies that achieve educational success for Māori, with a focus on supporting Māori learners disenfranchised from traditional methods of schooling and learning. Her future goals are in elevating the skills and knowledge of the work force to better meet the health needs and rights of Māori communities and whānau. Through health promotion Mereana aims to enable Māori communities to achieve a more sustainable and better quality of life.
In December last year a senior leadership team of the Health Promotion Forum of NZ (HPF) and its collaborators joined over 5000 participants at a global health promotion conference who met virtually and in Geneva, Switzerland and agreed on the Geneva Charter for Wellbeing.
The 10th World Health Organization (WHO) Global Conference on Health Promotion marked the start of a global movement on the concept of well-being in societies and the Charter highlighted the need for global commitments to achieve equitable health and social outcomes now and for future generations, without destroying the health of our planet.
In a recent interview with the Public Health Association of NZ (PHANZ) HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi to find out more about the Charter and its key elements, such as the inclusion of the knowledge and leadership of Indigenous peoples, the contribution made by the HPF team to the Charter and its relevance to Aotearoa New Zealand.
PHANZ: The 10th World Health Organization (WHO) Global Conference on Health Promotion which was held virtually and in Geneva last December has been hailed as marking the start of a global movement on the concept of well-being in societies? How did you and the rest of the HPF senior leadership team and contributors find the experience of participating in this conference?
Sione: Our team was delighted and humbled by the invitation from WHO for the Health Promotion Forum (HPF) to offer a workshop on planetary health and indigenous knowledge at this world conference.
For HPF the invitation reflected on the close working relationship that we have built with WHO since the 2019 World Conference on Health Promotion that HPF co-hosted with the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) in Rotorua. Our theme of Waiora: promoting planetary health and sustainable development for all was very timely. Planetary health is the most significant health challenge in the world today. And we advocated for the role of indigenous peoples and their co-leadership in that conference. The WHO delegation at the conference were very impressed with our work, hence the invitation to contribute to their 2021 conference.
PHANZ: What are some of the key elements of the Charter that are of direct relevance to Aotearoa New Zealand and how much of a role did you and the rest of the team play in contributing to the Charter. I believe you played a key role in getting an acknowledgement of the spiritual dimension of well-being included in the Charter. Why is this element so important?
Sione: All delegates to the WHO conference were given the opportunity to contribute to the Charter. On behalf of our team, I contributed the concepts of planetary health, indigenous knowledge, the spiritual dimension of well-being, taking a systems-approach and elevating the consciousness and perspective to a one-world society, rather than viewing the health challenges from an individual state level. These ideas were well received by some members of the drafting team of the Charter, who came back to me for some refinement. Some of the ideas I contributed were also reinforced by one of the members of our Global Working Group on Waiora Planetary Health at IUHPE. So, it was a good team effort.
The Geneva Charter for Well-being is of significant and direct relevance to Aotearoa New Zealand for a number of reasons. First, the Geneva Charter builds on the 1986 Ottawa Charter. In our country, health promotion is based on the Ottawa Charter and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Second, the Geneva Charter points out planetary health as one of the major health challenges for humanity today. Third, it acknowledges that Indigenous peoples and their knowledge can contribute solutions. Fourth, the charter broadens our understanding of health and well-being to include physical, mental, social, economic, ecological, and spiritual wellbeing. There are other important aspects of the charter for New Zealand, but these are some to start with.
PHANZ: It’s so encouraging to see the inclusion of the knowledge and leadership of Indigenous peoples as a key element of the Charter. Do you see this as a ‘breakthrough’ especially when it comes to planetary health?
Sione: Including the last two dimensions of ecological and spiritual wellbeing in the Geneva Charter is quite a milestone achieved, especially from an Indigenous perspective. It means, among other things, our human family now can see the inherent oneness and interdependence of all aspects of life, and that our environment or Mother Nature is one with us. So, there cannot be human well-being without planetary well-being.
It is heartening and encouraging to see the Charter acknowledging the leadership of Indigenous peoples and the stewardship on sustaining the well-being of the planet and the environment. This is something that Indigenous leaders and their co-workers across the world have been advocating for over many decades as part of seeking the human rights, to stop racism and colonisation, raising their concerns at a number of international platforms such as the United Nations and its many agencies. We have come a long way and many initiatives are now in place to address these concerns, but we still have a long way to go at both national and global levels.
Meanwhile, the Geneva Charter provides an opportunity, and while it comes with a huge responsibility, I am sure Indigenous peoples across the world, together with their colleagues and co-advocates, will rise to the challenge. And I am sure we here in Aotearoa will continue to play a leading role.
PHANZ: Past epidemics, and the current Covid-19 pandemic have shown us the importance of resilient health systems. How much of an impact will the Charter, which focuses on a ‘wellbeing society’ and what needs to be done in order to better prevent and respond to the multiple health and ecological crises we face globally, have on our response to any future outbreaks/pandemics?
Sione: While not entirely new, the concept of a ‘well-being society’ is a more recent framing in different parts of the world. And while it manifests in different forms across diverse contexts and levels, it has some core elements that the Geneva Charter outlines. Among these elements is a more comprehensive understanding of health and well-being which I mentioned earlier – from physical and mental to social, economic, ecological, and spiritual. Health is not just physical and GDP. We must include the well-being of the planet and make sure all our human systems and activities are contained within the sustainability capacity of the planet. We have overstepped this planetary capacity and that is why we are facing global challenges such as pandemics, floods, global warming, and melting of polar ice. In other words, promoting well-being societies is a health promotion response to these challenges. It was heartening to see at the conference that New Zealand and a few other countries were commended for using the well-being approach and therefore are doing well in advancing the holistic wellbeing of their respective countries.
PHANZ: According to WHO the Charter will drive policymakers and world leaders to globally commit to achieving equitable health and social outcomes now and for future generations, without destroying the health of our planet. This sounds positive, but how do we get them to ‘commit to concrete’ action?
Sione: My take is that the Charter is a call for a societal approach at the global level and down to the local level. It provides a road map for institutions, communities, and individuals to do their part in our collective responsibility in creating a society that is healthy, peaceful, and prosperous, and where power and resources are distributed in equitable ways for the well-being of all at the global level, and down to the local level.
The Charter has outlined a pathway with five areas for action, similar to the framework of the Ottawa Charter. It requires a lot of study and application over the next few years. Similar to the gains made by the Ottawa Charter in informing and driving initiatives across the world to improve the health and well-being of societies, the Geneva Charter can do the same and more.
It can do more because the challenges of today are different from those in the 1980s. Also, we have learned over the intervening years that some of our human systems such as capitalism and neo-liberalism, colonisation, racial and gender prejudice, other forms of discrimination, and exploiting the environment are not working and we are suffering.
Today the environment is top of the agenda in all international meetings from the World Economic Forum to the UN. One can observe the same at the national level. World leaders are now taking health and well-being more seriously because they now see the inter-connectedness between pandemics, the economy, the environment, and geo-politics. In other words, all the determinants of health are connected as part of a whole system. Therefore, we must take a systems and eco-social approach.
More importantly, we need to elevate our consciousness to think and act for the well-being of the human family, not just one’s country. To use an analogy, our home planet is on fire. Focusing on our individual country room is a sure recipe for more catastrophes for all. Self-interest is a luxury we can no longer afford. And the spiritual dimension of well-being reminds us that our relationship with our fellow human beings, and our planet must be ethical and spiritual if we are to flourish individually and collectively.
CALL TO ACTION
The Geneva Charter for Well-being calls upon non-governmental and civic organizations, academia, business, governments, international organizations and all concerned to work in society-wide partnerships for decisive implementation of strategies for health and well-being. These will drive the transformation towards well-being societies in all countries, centring around the most marginalized populations.
The document encourages five key actions:
Design an equitable economy that serves human development within planetary boundaries;
Create public policy for the common good;
Achieve universal health coverage;
Address the digital transformation to counteract harm and disempowerment and to strengthen the benefits; and
Value and preserve the planet.
“Health does not begin in a hospital or clinic. It begins in our homes and communities, with the food we eat and the water we drink, the air we breathe, in our schools and our workplaces. We have to fundamentally change the way that leaders in politics, the private sector, and international institutions think about and value health, and to promote growth that is based on health and well-being for people and the planet, for countries in all income levels.”
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General.
(REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION OF NEW ZEALAND)
This year Atoearoa is celebrating ‘World Smokefree May’, as part of a national campaign for Aotearoa to be Smokefree by 2025.
Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall launched ‘Smokefree May’, a new campaign developed with Hāpai Te Hauora, at an event at Manurewa Marae recently.
‘World Smokefree May’ will lead up to the celebration of ‘World Smokefree Day’ on Tuesday 31 May 2022.
“… we recognise the need to celebrate our smokefree vision for more than a single day a year, so for the first time ever, we will focus on this mahi for the whole month of May,” said Dr Verrall.
“The Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan I launched last year detailed measures that will help us reach our goal of making New Zealand smokefree in the next three years, saving thousands of lives. This is a priority of our Government, and throughout this month a range of activities will take place to promote a smokefree lifestyle.
“Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in New Zealand and causes one in four cancers. Smoking-related harm is particularly prevalent in our Māori, Pacific and low-income communities. Our Action Plan will support all New Zealanders to quit smoking, or never start in the first place.”
Hāpai Te Hauora CEO Selah Hart said: “Our work towards having a smokefree Aotearoa by 2025 is part of a ground-breaking, world-leading strategy. All areas of our community, from our smallest tamariki, our whānau and community organisations to supporting legislation from central government are all backing each other.”
The theme is “We’re Backing You”, with a focus on the team effort to support whanau to quit and stay Smokefree. The key messages focus on whanaungatanga and wrap-around support, who provides it, and how.
The theme is matched with a three word whakatauki:
“Taituara, taiwhare, taieke”: with backing, even the tallest of oceans waves can be conquered.
Hāpai Te Hauora has created events across social media and kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) with the aim of encouraging those who are thinking about quitting to take the first step and put their plan into action.
“Hāpai Te Hauora is built on whānau, and we have decades of supporting the Smokefree2025 goal, alongside our collective efforts to achieve Tupeka Kore for all communities in Aotearoa. Being smokefree is essential to our future, and the future of our whakapapa. As we always have and will continue to do – we’re backing you,” says Ms Hart.
HPF is holding a webishop on May 26 to look at building the structures to support health promotion as a relevant field in Aotearoa for the benefit of the public health sector, the health promotion workforce, and the wellbeing of our nation.
Amid the pandemic and other related global crises that we are facing, health promotion has shown its efficacy. It can ensure the wellbeing of all peoples and communities, enabling and empowering them to take greater control of their wellbeing and the wellbeing of their environment that sustains them.
But health promotion needs greater recognition for its efficacy. The health promotion workforce needs stability for its future, especially as we are going through a significant reform at the national level, and in a globalised society that is in an unprecedented position of uncertainty and instability due to wars, economic, and environmental crises.
To this end, and to ensure the need and aspirations of the members of HPF and the health promotion workforce is realised, HPF is establishing a national accreditation organisation (NAO), aligned with the global accreditation framework of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE). IUHPE is the largest international organisation and network that leads the ongoing advancement of health promotion across the world. HPF is a member of IUHPE.
In this webishop we will discuss the collaborative effort in Aotearoa, led by HPF, to ensure the greater recognition of our profession, and its stability, as envisaged in the Te Uru Kahikatea, the Public Health Workforce Development Strategy of the Ministry of Health.
We are offering this webishop FREE to HPF members. Check you are a member (or join today).
Understand how te Tiriti strengthens health promotion competencies
Learn how te Tiriti contributes to world health promotion
Share ideas to enhance health promotion practice in Aotearoa
Sione Tu’itahi– HPF Executive Director
An educator, writer and international health promotion leader, Sione’s areas of interest in health promotion include planetary health, determinants of health, human rights, community development, public policy, and workforce development. Sione joined the forum in 2005 after six years as Pacific Manager at the Auckland Regional Public Health Service. He has also taught at a number of tertiary educational institutions. For more than 10 years he led the building of Pacific capacity at Massey University. A former journalist and broadcaster, Sione is the author of a number of books, academic papers, and children’s stories. As a voluntary community worker, he is a member of several national advisory groups in the education, health and community sectors.
At the international level, he has been an advisor to a number of World Health Organization (WHO) initiatives, a key-note speaker and presenter at conferences, and is a member of the first Unicef Global Think Tank, 2022. Sione was Vice President (2013-2019) of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) for the South West Pacific Region. He is a current member of the Global Executive Board of IUHPE, and its Vice-President for Communications, the first Indigenous person from the Pacific region to be elected to the role. IUHPE is an umbrella organisation for health promotion professionals and institutions throughout the world. Under his leadership, HPF successfully co-hosted the 23rd World Conference on Health Promotion in Rotorua in 2019 with IUHPE. This was the largest public health conference to be held in Aotearoa New Zealand.
He was also instrumental in establishing HPF as a national accreditation organisation under the IUHPE global framework for health promotion accreditation in 2021. In recognition of his significant contributions to health promotion and public health at the national and international levels, Sione was given the 2019 New Zealand Public Health Champion Award by the Public Health Association.
Viliami Puloka– HPF Deputy Executive Director
Viliami also holds the portfolio for Pacific Health Promotion. He joined us in June 2014. A Public health physician with a special interest in diabetes and obesity, Viliami brings with him a wealth of Pacific experience; combining his clinical skills and his Public health knowledge. He has gained a broad social and cultural appreciation from working with the diverse and unique islands of the Pacific. He has a strong multi-sectoral experience and programmatic approach in capacity building, project management and community development. Most recently, Viliami came from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) based in New Caledonia. Supporting and working with the 22 Pacific Island countries and territories, he led the fight against non-communicable diseases.
Before that, Viliami worked as a clinician, as well as looking after the public health programmes in the outer islands of Tonga. He was the first director of health promotion and non-communicable disease at the Government of Tonga. Viliami has an MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) from the University of Papua New Guinea and a MPH (Masters in Public Health) in Health Education/Health Promotion from the University of Hawaii. He is also a Research Fellow at the School of Public Health, Otago University.
Mereana Te Pere – Māori Health Promotion Strategist ((Waitaha, Tapuika, Ngāti Ranginui)
Mereana recently joined the team as a Māori Health Promotion Strategist after working for The Department of Corrections within the prison system and as a Sport and Health Kaiako through Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
She comes to our organisation having worked predominantly in the education sector with Māori and rangatahi. Her professional and personal aspirations have centred around developing and advocating for strategies that achieve educational success for Māori, with a focus on supporting Māori learners disenfranchised from traditional methods of schooling and learning. Her future goals are in elevating the skills and knowledge of the work force to better meet the health needs and rights of Māori communities and whānau. Through health promotion Mereana aims to enable Māori communities to achieve a more sustainable and better quality of life.
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He taiao tōnui mō ngā reanga katoa – a flourishing environment for every generation.
The Environment Aotearoa 2022 report has changed the way it reports its findings, drawing more on mātauranga Māori and exploring the link between the environment and our wellbeing.
This unique approach, distinctive from other approaches around the world, interweaves different knowledge systems, presenting a richer and more relevant picture of the whole environment and the connections with people.
Some of the key findings of the recently released report were that pressures of land-use change, and intensification, pollution, invasive species, and climate change were having detrimental impacts on the environment. New Zealand’s rare ecosystems and indigenous species are under threat with 94 per cent of reptiles threatened with extinction or at risk of becoming extinct, and nearly three-quarters of terrestrial birds threatened or at risk.
The area of highly productive land that was unavailable for agriculture increased 54 per cent between 2002 and 2019. Our climate is warming, glaciers are melting, and sea-levels are rising. Air quality in Aotearoa is improving slowly at a majority of measurement sites, but in many places, pollution levels are above the new World Health Organisation (WHO) 2021 guidelines.
These changes to the environment were impacting our ‘wellbeing and our connection to te taiao’ states the report. ‘Our wellbeing is linked to a healthy environment’.
‘Bringing a Māori world view (te ao Māori) recognises the interconnectedness of all parts of the environment, including people, and speaks to something that connects us all to Aotearoa New Zealand.’
“Environment Aotearoa 2022 relates environment change to human wellbeing,” said Secretary for the Environment Vicky Robertson.
“The report brings together a wide range of information to give us a broad picture of the health of the environment. Wellbeing is linked to a healthy, functioning environment.”
Environmental indicator data underpinning the report comes from local and central government, crown and independent research institutes, industry associations, and in a small number of cases, international sources.
Ms Robertson said the report’s primary purpose is to provide New Zealanders with the evidence-based information they need to consider in any decisions about their environmental impacts and New Zealand’s future direction.
Forest & Bird Chief Executive, Kevin Hague said the report brings together a wide range of information to give us a broad picture of the health of the environment.
‘Wellbeing is linked to a healthy, functioning environment,” said Mr Hague. ‘This report shows that nature is helping us in many ways, but it’s clear that much more needs to be done to protect nature so that it can continue to support and protect us.
‘The previous reports [2018-2021] show that all environments – critical to New Zealanders’ wellbeing – are struggling with the impacts of human activity in our warming world. We rely on nature, yet it can only help us cope with the impacts of climate change and benefit our wellbeing if we take decisive action to restore and maintain its healthy state.”
The report, produced every three years by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ, draws on nearly 50 environmental indicators, including 11 updated specifically for the report.
Meanwhile, the Government will be shortly releasing its implementation plan for Te Mana o te Taiao, the Government’s Biodiversity Strategy to protect and restore nature.
Today, on World Health Day, we join the rest of the world to reflect on the theme ‘Our planet, our health’.
Today the World Health Organisation (WHO) is focusing global attention on urgent actions needed to keep humans and the planet healthy and foster a movement to create societies focused on well-being.
WHO estimates that more than 13 million deaths around the world each year are due to avoidable environmental causes.
This includes the climate crisis which is the single biggest health threat facing humanity.
The climate crisis is a health crisis!
While the Covid-19 pandemic showed us the healing power of science, it also highlighted the inequities in our world. The pandemic has revealed weaknesses in all areas of society and underlined the urgency of creating sustainable well-being societies committed to achieving equitable health now and for future generations without breaching ecological limits.
Through the Our planet, our health campaign, WHO will urge governments and the public to share stories of steps they are taking to protect the planet and their health and prioritize well-being societies.
It’s ‘now or never’ to limit global warming to 1.5C warns the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report.
Providing the scientific proof to back up that assessment, the report – written by hundreds of leading scientists and agreed on by 195 countries – noted that greenhouse gas emissions generated by human activity, have increased since 2010 “across all major sectors globally”.
The report’s findings indicating harmful carbon emissions from 2010-2019 have never been higher in human history, is proof that the world is on a “fast track” to disaster warns UN Secretary General Antonio Gutterres!
Mr Guterres insists that unless governments everywhere reassess their energy policies, the world will be uninhabitable.
His comments reflect the IPCC’s insistence that all countries must reduce their fossil fuel use substantially, extend access to electricity, improve energy efficiency, and increase the use of alternative fuels, such as hydrogen.
According to the report greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025, and can be nearly halved this decade, to give the world a chance of limiting future heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
“This is not fiction or exaggeration. It is what science tells us will result from our current energy policies. We are on a pathway to global warming of more than double the 1.5- limit” that was agreed in Paris in 2015!”
In an op-ed article penned for the Washington Post, Mr Guterres described the report as “a litany of broken climate promises”, which revealed a “yawning gap between climate pledges, and reality”.
He wrote that high-emitting governments and corporations, were not just turning a blind eye, “they are adding fuel to the flames by continuing to invest in climate-choking industries. Scientists warn that we are already perilously close to tipping points that could lead to cascading and irreversible climate effects.”
There is however some encouraging action being taken by many countries.
IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee said: “We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now can secure a liveable future. I am encouraged by climate action being taken in many countries. There are policies, regulations and market instruments that are proving effective. If these are scaled up and applied more widely and equitably, they can support deep emissions reductions and stimulate innovation.”
Whether humanity can change course after decades of inaction is largely a question of collective resolve, according to the report. ‘Governments, businesses and individuals must summon the willpower to transform economies, embrace new habits and leave behind the age of fossil fuels — or face the catastrophic consequences of unchecked climate change.’
Today marks the start of Global Public Health Week (GPHW), which runs until April 8, 2022.
GPHW brings together institutions, communities, and public health actors from around Aotearoa, New Zealand and the world to recognize the contributions of public health and its workforce. This annual event engenders discussion on the best practices and missing gaps fundamental to disease prevention and the promotion of health and wellbeing.
‘The Covid-19 pandemic has made the public health field more apparent and appreciated. However, the risk of regression post-pandemic is high. We cannot lose this momentum; we need to act now to prevent the next pandemic. Making public health visible and understood is a key step for emergency preparedness. Facilitating sharing of the knowledge, resources and barriers faced by public health professionals globally is key to improving public health in all contexts,’ states the World Federation of Public Health Associations.
The Public Health Association of New Zealand CEO Grant Berghan said Global Public Health week was an opportunity to stop, reflect and reset according to the public health challenges and opportunities that were in front of us.
The theme for the week is “Public Health Matters: Building the New Future”.
In addition to the main theme, each day will focus on a specific theme:
The full programme for the 24th @IUHPE World Conference on #healthpromotion in May is now available!
In light of the new conference format, with all sessions online, the programme has been reworked and confirmed.
The exciting and varied programme features Plenaries, Sub-Plenaries, Symposia, Parallel sessions, Workshops, Roundtables and Alternative showings in art and technology – that will explore the conference theme ‘Promoting policies for #health, #wellbeing, and #equity‘ from multiple angles with various sessions offered in English, French, and Spanish.
The Interim Maori Health Authority has announced an inaugural funding package of $22 million to embed Te Ao Māori perspectives and initiatives throughout the health system.
The authority is part of major health reforms that will see New Zealand’s 20 DHBs replaced by one new body, Health New Zealand. A new Public Health agency will also be created within the Ministry of Health.
Co-Chair of the Authority, Tipa Mahuta, said the Authority hadn’t wasted any time in getting on with mahi to improve the health of whanau as it has been just three months since the Authority was stood up as an interim entity.
Last month the Interim Authority’s new CE Riana Manuel (Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Kahungunu), along with Fepulea’i Margie Apa, CE interim Health New Zealand were also welcomed to their new roles by Associate Minister of Health (Māori Health) Peeni Henare, and other key health officials. Both CEs expressed their commitment to meeting the challenges ahead and realising the aspirations of their tīpuna in delivering equity for all in the new health system.
“While our longer-term budget is still being finalised, this funding package is proof of our dedication to getting things done and lifting the health of Māori who have suffered for far too long,” Mr Mahuta said.
“The Māori Health Authority is here to make a difference for all New Zealanders. We are ready and willing to work alongside the Ministry of Health and Health New Zealand in making the transformational changes our people have been crying out for.
“A key priority is on driving growth within our Māori workforce by both supporting our existing staff, and ensuring Māori have a clear pathway into health mahi.”
Mr Henare, who along with the Minister of Health Andrew Little, announced the funding this morning said the authority was part of major health reforms that were to fix “a health system that for too long has failed to address the disproportionate health outcomes that Māori face”.
He said the initial investment “laid the foundation for the authority’s role supporting kaupapa Māori health services and expanding Te Ao Māori solutions across the health system.
“I am pleased the interim Māori Health Authority is getting to work quickly to commission providers to deliver services that will make a huge difference for whānau.”
Mr Little said the Government was committed to building a new national health system so all New Zealanders can get the health care they need no matter who they are or where they live.
Chair of Health New Zealand Robert Campbell who was speaking at Takapuwahia Marae in Porirua, hosted by Ngāti Toa, pointed out that these Māori-led solutions had long been ignored by governments, yet had previously “allowed Māori to flourish for centuries”.
“New Zealand has been dominated by monocultural thinking and approach,” he said.
“The system has not worked for Māori for many decades and we have to change it.
Today on International Women’s Day (@IWD22) we join the rest of the world in uniting under the theme “Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” and calling for climate action for women, by women!
Advancing gender equality in the context of the climate crisis and disaster risk reduction is one of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century, according to the United Nations.
‘Women are increasingly being recognized as more vulnerable to climate change impacts than men, as they constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent on the natural resources which climate change threatens the most. At the same time, women and girls are effective and powerful leaders and change-makers for climate adaptation and mitigation. They are involved in sustainability initiatives around the world, and their participation and leadership results in more effective climate action.
‘Continuing to examine the opportunities, as well as the constraints, to empower women and girls to have a voice and be equal players in decision-making related to climate change and sustainability is essential for sustainable development and greater gender equality. Without gender equality today, a sustainable future, and an equal future, remains beyond our reach.’
In her statement for International Women’s Day UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous says: “Let us make this International Women’s Day a moment to recall that we have the answers not just for SDG 5 but, through the advancement of gender equality, for all 17 Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030.”
Join us in celebrating all the ways women and girls are taking climate action at all levels, and help elevate their voices and support their work.
See how you can support a project for women in Kiribati, South Pacific HERE.
Watch a recording of an IWD Parliamentary Breakfast Livestream Event.
A webishop to explore and discuss the potentials of the Geneva Charter for Wellbeing to inform health promotion in Aotearoa in the next few decades will be held on April 7, starting at 11am.
In December last year the senior leadership team of HPF and its collaborators were among over 5000 participants of the 10th WHO Global Conference on Health Promotion, who met virtually and in Geneva, Switzerland, and agreed on the Charter.
The conference marked the start of a global movement on the concept of wellbeing in societies. The Charter which builds on the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion and the legacy of nine global conferences on health promotion outlines the necessary elements of a ‘wellbeing society’ and highlights the need for global commitments to achieve equitable health and social outcomes now and for future generations, without destroying the health of our planet.
“Building wellbeing societies, addressing planetary health and human wellbeing, acknowledging the spiritual dimension of wellbeing, and including the knowledge and leadership of Indigenous peoples are some of the key elements of the charter that are of direct relevance to Aotearoa New Zealand,” says HPF Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi.
The Charter will drive policy-makers and world leaders to adopt this approach and commit to concrete action, according to @WHO.
The webishop’s panel of speakers will comprise Dr Mihi Ratima, Mr Tu’itahi and HPF’s Deputy Executive Director Leanne Eruera who were all speakers at the conference.
“Health does not begin in a hospital or clinic. It begins in our homes and communities, with the food we eat and the water we drink, the air we breathe, in our schools and our workplaces,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General. “We have to fundamentally change the way that leaders in politics, the private sector, and international institutions think about and value health, and to promote growth that is based on health and well-being for people and the planet, for countries in all income levels.”
The Charter outlines the necessary elements of a ‘well-being society’ and what needs to be done in order to better prevent and respond to the multiple health and ecological crises we face globally. It identifies key action areas and offers instruments for implementation.
The document encourages five key actions: Design an equitable economy that serves human development within planetary boundaries; Create public policy for the common good; Achieve universal health coverage; Address the digital transformation to counteract harm and disempowerment and to strengthen the benefits and value and preserve the planet.
To change the global development landscape, both the wellbeing of people and the planet must become central to defining humanity’s progress. This Charter calls upon non-governmental and civic organizations, academia, business, governments, international organizations and all concerned to work in society-wide partnerships for decisive implementation of strategies for health and wellbeing. These will drive the transformation towards wellbeing societies in all countries, centering around the most marginalized populations.
Moving forward countries must prioritize health as part of a larger ecosystem that encompasses environmental, social, economic, and political factors. Universal health coverage, based on strong primary health care, must be at the core of all our efforts, as the cornerstone of social, economic and political stability. And the narrative around health should be reframed, not as a cost, but as an investment in our common future.
Dr Mihi Ratima (Whakatōhea, Ngāti Awa) is a Director of Taumata Associates (a Māori public health consultancy) and a leading academic in Māori public health and kaupapa Māori research. She is a Principal Investigator on the longitudinal research project Te Kura Mai i Tawhiti and was an inaugural 2016 HRC Ngā Pou Senior Māori Health Research Fellow. She is a former Associate Professor in Māori Health and Director of Māori Health Research at the Auckland University of Technology. Her international experience includes work as a Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow at Harvard University, a World Health Organisation analyst and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of New Mexico.
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report shows that climate change is a grave and mounting threat to our wellbeing and a healthy planet, says Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC.
“This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction … Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks.”
Scientists point out in the report that human-induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature and affecting the lives of billions of people around the world, despite efforts to reduce the risks. And it’s the people and ecosystems least able to cope that are being hardest hit!
The report states however that there are options to adapt to a changing climate and provides new insights into nature’s potential not only to reduce climate risks but also to improve people’s lives.
“Healthy ecosystems are more resilient to climate change and provide life-critical services such as food and clean water,” said IPCC Working Group II Co-Chair Hans-Otto Pörtner. “By restoring degraded ecosystems and effectively and equitably conserving 30 to 50 per cent of Earth’s land, freshwater and ocean habitats, society can benefit from nature’s capacity to absorb and store carbon, and we can accelerate progress towards sustainable development, but adequate finance and political support are essential.”
Cities, the report adds, can also provide opportunities for climate action – green buildings, reliable supplies of clean water and renewable energy, and sustainable transport systems that connect urban and rural areas can all lead to a more inclusive, fairer society.”
“There is also increasing evidence of adaptation that has caused unintended consequences, for example destroying nature, putting peoples’ lives at risk or increasing greenhouse gas emissions. This can be avoided by involving everyone in planning, attention to equity and justice, and drawing on Indigenous and local knowledge.”
HPF welcomes the newly released ASH Year 10 Survey which has seen a major decrease in the number of teenagers smoking cigarettes.
The study found the number of Year 10 students who smoke cigarettes daily has dropped from around 2% in 2019, to 1.3% in 2021.
The survey also found that Māori students led the way with a massive 40% decrease in daily smoking rates since 2019. Only 3.4% smoked daily in 2021.
Former Prime Minister and ASH patron, Helen Clark said “as a former Minister of Health, “I know that public health policy relies on the best possible evidence”.
She said the survey provided the evidence for policy-makers, the Government and researchers on youth smoking and youth vaping.
ASH Director Deborah Hart says the survey results show teenagers have already reached the Smokefree 2025 goal of less than 5% smoking daily (95% smokefree).
“We are delighted at this result because smoking kills 5000 Kiwis every year.
“The survey results are consistent with trends in young adults shown by the 2021 NZ Health Survey. This is the biggest fall in youth smoking rates in a decade, and it’s extremely encouraging to see young people leading the progress towards a smokefree Aotearoa.”
The fall in smoking was accompanied by an increase in daily vaping from 3.1% in 2019 to 9.6% in 2021.
Vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking,” Ms Hart says. “However, we don’t want youth to take up vaping.
“The main reason students gave for vaping – 39.8% – was ‘just to give it a try’. While for those who vape daily, the most common reason was because they enjoy it – 31.1%.”
The ASH Year 10 survey is one of the largest and longest running surveys of youth tobacco and vaping behaviours and attitudes in the world. It has run annually since 1999 with the exception of 2020 which was cancelled because of Covid-19. In 1999 it found 15.6% of Year 10 students smoked cigarettes daily.
HPF has joined a growing number of individuals in showing support for government action to protect children from exposure to unhealthy food and drink marketing.
The Protect Kids from Junk Food Marketing group is asking the Government to listen to the evidence and create a healthier future for tamariki in Aotearoa. They can do this by making a new law to protect children from unhealthy food and drink marketing.
The group points out that children in Aotearoa New Zealand “face excessive levels of unhealthy food and drink marketing every day. The unhealthy food and drink industry use marketing techniques to influence children’s eating behaviours. This shapes what children want and creates pressure on parents to purchase these products.
“We must put our children before food industry profits and act now to protect their health and wellbeing.
“We want to put parents back in control. By restricting the influence of the junk food marketing industry, we can create the best environments for tamariki to grow up in. Children free from the influence of marketing can make healthier choices and form healthy habits.”
Public health experts and providers are throwing their weight behind the recommendations in the Cancer Prevention report released by Te Aho o Te Kahu, the Cancer Control Agency this month.
The aim of the report says Te Aho o Te Kahu chief executive Professor Diana Sarfat is to create environments that help whānau live long healthy lives, free of cancer. “We know environments heavily influence the decisions people make. Given this, we want environments that make the healthy choice, the easiest choice.”
HPF Board member and Hāpai Te Hauora CEO Selah Hart says the recommendations clearly have the potential to improve health equity and health outcomes for Māori.
“The report is very explicit that the burden of cancer in Aotearoa is unfair and affects Māori at greater rates than Pākehā New Zealanders. Inaction on the evidence would be an effective breach of Te Tiriti. Māori and iwi providers are working hard to prevent cancer in their own communities, but we those efforts to be better supported by the state.”
Report lead and public health physician Dr Nisha Nair adds that Pūrongo Ārai Mate Pukupuku has a strong focus on equity. “If we are to really tackle cancer inequities, prevention is our most powerful tool.”
Health Coalition Aotearoa Chair (HCA), Professor Boyd Swinburn, who was an expert-reviewer of the report says this is the most comprehensive suite of recommendations to prevent Kiwis dying of cancer to date.
“These recommendations in six key areas are evidence-based and represent a clear policy suite the Government should urgently follow to prevent the harm and grief of cancer in Aotearoa. We are pleased the Smokefree Action Plan is aligned with these recommendations, but there are many areas where nothing is moving, and the time cost can be measured in lives predictably lost.”
The report focuses on six key areas: tobacco, alcohol, poor nutrition and excess body weight, insufficient physical activity, excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation and chronic infections.
In light of the current public health situation the 24th IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion #IUHPE2022 has decided to switch to a fully virtual conference, meaning you can now participate from anywhere in the world.
The presenter registration deadline for the conference which runs from May 15 – 19 has also been extended until Monday, February 21 (NZ time), and early-bird rates will apply to all registrations up to that date.
‘As health promotion leaders we value and share a responsibility toward ensuring a safe, accessible, and healthy environment for all to participate,” say conference organisers.
‘We appreciate the innovation that online formats have brought to the world over the last two years, and we look forward to connecting, collaborating, and sharing coffee with you from all parts of the globe! As a global community of health promotion professionals prepares to come together, it remains clear that there will be much to discuss in “Promoting policies for health, wellbeing and equity”‘.
Meanwhile five new keynote speakers have been added to the line-up of conference speakers. For more on the speakers click HERE.
An article co-authored by HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi, Huti Watson, Prof Richard Egan, Margot W. Parkes and Dr Trevor Hancock features in a special Issue of Global Health Promotion this month to celebrate the International Union for Health Promotion and Education’s (IUHPE) 70th anniversary.
Waiora: the importance of Indigenous worldviews and spirituality to inspire and inform Planetary Health Promotion in the Anthropocene addresses the fundamental challenge facing health promotion in its next 70 years, which takes us almost to 2100: how do we achieve planetary health?
The authors begin with a brief overview of the massive and rapid global ecological changes the world is facing, the social, economic and technological driving forces behind those changes, and their health implications.
They propose an ‘Indigenous-informed framing to inspire and inform what we call planetary health promotion so that, as the United Nations Secretary General wrote recently, we can make peace with nature’.
Central to the argument is the need for a new set of values, which ‘heed and privilege the wisdom of Indigenous worldviews, as well as a renewed sense of spirituality that can re-establish a reverence for nature’.
You can find out more about the authors and read the full article HERE.
Access to the entire issue, which features eminent and new voices in health promotion, is free for the next six months, so be sure to take advantage of this offer and GET READING!
Congratulations to everyone involved, including – Professor Margaret Barry (IUHPE President) as Guest Editor, Editor in Chief Erica Di Ruggiero, Managing Editor Ana Gherghel and of course all authors and reviewers.
Don’t miss out and register now for Te Tiriti-based futures + Anti-racism 2022 where you’ll get to hear from an incredible line-up of speakers & leaders who over 10 days will discuss topics including institutional racism and anti-racism, decolonisation, building Te Tiriti-based futures and transforming our constitution.
Sessions will explore topics such as Islamaphobia, the union movement, media, criminal justice, UN human right mechanisms, anti-racism history and more.
There will also be a dedicated day focusing broadly on upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi before international speakers will discuss their experiences with these issues from their contexts.
But that’s not all!! On the final day there’ll be a platform for emerging voices, from students pushing the boundaries in anti-racism internationally, called Ke mura i te ahi, an epic 24-hour marathon of short interactive talks powered by Pechakucha. ((Japanese for chitchat).
The deadline for these talks has been extended until the end of the month so jump on board now and submit your abstract HERE.
In 2020, the inaugural Te Tiriti-based futures + Anti-racism had over 15,000 registrations. This time organisers are aiming for more than 20,000. There are 75 hand-picked speakers from Aotearoa NZ, the Pacific, Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe & Australia.
The organisers are a group of tauiwi and Māori with experience in activism, research and community development.
Today we join the rest of the nation in virtually commemorating Waitangi Day and to take stock of our nationhood and national identity.
Let’s also take the time today to reflect on the relationship between Te Tiriti O Waitangi and its impact and link to hauora, health and wellbeing, which remains just as relevant today.
“In Aotearoa New Zealand, health promotion is based on Te Tiriti and the Ottawa Charter,” says HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi. “It is important to mark Waitangi Day to remind us all of Te Tiriti. But ensuring that the articles of our nation’s founding document are translated into action and concrete outcomes for the betterment of all is of the utmost importance.
“Equally important, and in light of lessons learned from our two-year experience with Covid-19, working together in unity, and understanding our inherent interdependence as a human family and with our environment, is central to our flourishing as a national and world community.”
HPF’s Māori Health Promotion Strategist Mereana Te Pere says it’s gradually becoming more accepted across NZ society that giving Māori the power and resources to decide for themselves how to address health issues is the more effective strategy that generates positive outcomes.
“While there are still some areas of the community who challenge these equity-based approaches, the majority of Aotearoa are choosing justice, bold strategy and faith in our society over fear. Te Tiriti o Waitangi is a powerful tool for achieving justice for everyone”
Read about what NZ PM, Jacinda Ardern had to say about Waitangi Day HERE.
Waitangi National Trust Chairman Pita Tipene said he was very pleased that some of the special activities normally held in person on the hallowed ground where Te Tiriti o Waitangi was first signed can still be observed, albeit virtually.
“We are creating a virtual Waitangi Day, honouring the promise of Waitangi to the nation and encouraging all New Zealanders to continue conversations and debate about Te Tiriti and our nationhood, especially with the bicentennial being only 18 years away now.”
Waitangi National Trust Board decided late last year to cancel all in-person events at Waitangi Treaty Grounds during Waitangi Week 2022. Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework it would be practically impossible to safely proceed with the usual Waitangi commemorations, which attract 30,000 to 40,000 people annually.
Consequently, the Board decided to deliver a virtual Waitangi Day experience, much of which has been recorded at the Treaty Grounds itself, to be aired to the nation today, 6 February 2022.
(Pictured: The pou haki (flagpole), located on the upper grounds near the Treaty House and Te Whare Runanga, marks the spot where Te Tiriti o Waitangi was first signed on 6 February 1840.)
At HPF’s first webishop for the year we’re putting the health and care of the natural environment under the spotlight!
Questions like ‘what planet are we leaving for our moko?’ and ‘why should we care?’ will be addressed by a panel of experts led by HPF at the webishop: HEALTH PROMOTION AND PROTECTING PAPATUĀNUKU on Thursday, Feb 10, 2022.
Our panel will discuss the types of approaches and strategies that health promoters must adopt to be effective in tackling:
Why the health of our environment is something health promoters should be addressing? What is the importance of a Māori lens? What are the most urgent issues and how should we tackle them as health promoters?
The panel comprises:
Sarah Pohatu (Senior Analyst, Ministry for the Environment) Ngati Porou, Ngai Tahu, Nga iwi o Turanga
Sarah has worked in Maori public policy roles in iwi, heritage, central and local government sectors. She currently works for Ministry for the Environment implementing and delivering freshwater policy. She is involved in and passionate about land use decision making for Māori land.
Rangipo Takuira-Mita (Te Pu-a-nga Maara Taiao Collective) Te Arawa, Te Rarawa, Ngati Kahu, Ngati Maniapoto
Rangipo is part of a rangatahi led taiao roopu Te Pu-a-nga Maara. They create and develop indigenous solutions for sustainability of natural resources, including the preservation and protection of the awa and waterways. Their work is intended to enable Māori and communities to monitor and protect their whenua and achieve food sovereignty. Their mahi is guided by mātauranga Māori and principles, as well as western science. Rangipo is the recipient of a GirlBoss New Zealand Trailblazer Awards, she is listed on the YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand’s Y25 list of female future leaders tackling climate change and equality, and was a University of Canterbury Young New Zealander of the Year Semi-Finalist.
The Earlybird discount rate for the 24th International Union for Health Promotion and Education Conference #IUHPE2022 in Montreal, Canada has been extended to January 24.
And if you become an IUHPE member and register before this date you’ll get the ‘BEST DEAL!
To get an idea of what to expect at this major event take a look at the engaging & exciting programme, which has been put together by a committee comprising health promotion experts and support staff, at https://iuhpe2022.com/programme-at-a-glance
The hybrid conference will provide a unique opportunity to take stock of strategies and actions that can be taken to align policies with health, wellbeing and equity objectives, and to reinvigorate all sectors of society and all regions of the world concerned with supporting health and wellbeing.
You won’t want to miss out on this opportunity to join and exchange knowledge, and share experiences with a vibrant/forward-thinking group of decision-makers, practitioners and researchers in the field of health promotion from around the world.
Members of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) Global Working Group (GWG) on Waiora Planetary Health will be presenting the webinar ‘Waiora: A 70-70 vision for planetary health promotion with an indigenous framing’ on December 7.
HPF’s Executive Director and co-chair of the working group, Sione Tu’itahi will moderate the webinar which will reflect on the last 70 years of health promotion, and then envisage the next 70 years by striving to define healthy and sustainable pathways.
The founding of IUHPE in the mid-20th century coincides with the proposed start date for the Anthropocene epoch. In just a few generations, humanity as a whole has become a force in nature that is undermining and unbalancing Earth’s natural systems.
Since these natural systems constitute the most fundamental ecological determinants of health, undermining them is a profound threat to health, and an existential threat to modern civilisations, and human survival. Continuing with business as usual for another 70 years is unthinkable – a public health disaster to which COVID-19 would pale by comparison.
This means that addressing the health implications of the Anthropocene is the greatest challenge for health promotion professionals in the 21st century.
Building on an upcoming article by the GWG on Waiora Planetary Health, the webinar will embrace Indigenous framings.
Central to its argument is the need for a new set of values which heed Indigenous worldviews and a renewed sense of spirituality to re-establish a reverence for nature.
“This is a very timely webinar, given that our planetary home is broken and our wellbeing as humans is being challenged by a pandemic caused by the human-induced, ecological crisis,” says HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi and GWG co-chair.
The hard work, resilience, and commitment of HPF staff, especially during what has been a year of challenge and change, was acknowledged at HPF’s virtual Annual General Meeting this week.
Board Chairman, Mark Simiona (Otara Health Charitable Trust) said he was continuously impressed with how HPF had adapted to delivering their services online, ensuring safety of staff by adjusting quickly to work remotely from home ensuring business continuity, care, and safety of all involved.
Mr Simiona said as shown in the auditor’s report, HPF was in a very strong and healthy financial position and continued its true commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and building leadership and relationships both nationally and internationally.
Mr Simiona said the management team led by Sione enabled HPF to adapt well to working in the Covid environment.
“During the April 2020 lockdown HPF pivoted to deliver online workshops and training sessions and supported staff to work remotely from home. Since then, online sessions are now part of the new normal way of working. The Certificate of Achievement in Introductory Health Promotion is now being taught online as are their workshops. Participants are adapting well to online teaching and learning, and their numbers have doubled as a result.”
In his annual report to the meeting HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi shared about some major milestones attained by HPF.
“With the approval of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), HPF is now working on establishing itself as the national accreditation organisation (NAO) for health promotion in Aotearoa New Zealand,” said Mr Tu’itahi.
He said the new service would assess and formally acknowledge health promoters who registered – for their professional integrity and ongoing development, while the wellbeing and safety of the community was ensured.
“Meanwhile, under the same system, educational institutions that teach health promotion at degree level will be given a similar recognition by IUHPE itself, if they wish to join this accreditation process.
“Of extra significance, is that IUHPE has accepted Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the socio-political and cultural contexts of our country, as unique components for our own framework in New Zealand. In two to three years’ time, we should have this NAO in operation.”
Second said Mr Tu’itahi was through the Global Working Group (GWG) on Waiora PlanetaryHealth and Human Wellbeing that HPF co-established under IUHPE last year, we now have planetary health and indigenous knowledge, as one of the strategic focuses of IUHPE in its next five-year strategy.
“Incorporating planetary health, and indigenous knowledge, into the work of IUHPE, was one of the strategic goals of hosting the 2019 IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion in Rotorua,” he explained. “The GWG advances and implements the purpose of the two Legacy Statements from the conference, within IUHPE and outside IUHPE.”
And third, was that through the GWG, in April this year, HPF participated in a world conference of the Planetary Health Alliance, the biggest network for organisations and professionals who work in the space of planetary health and sustainable development, last April.
“The Sao Paulo Declaration was one of the outcomes of the conference. HPF, the GWG and IUHPE are signatories of the declaration which acknowledges science, indigenous knowledge and spirituality as bodies of knowledge for the world in its effort to address our current socio-economic and environmental crisis – including Covid-19,” added Mr Tu’itahi.
“These milestones are a solid foundation for HPF to continue to lead the ongoing development of health promotion at the national and international levels, and to consider a new phase of its evolving growth, for the wellbeing of the nation and the betterment of the world.”
On behalf of the HPF operational team, Mr Tu’itahi thanked HPF’s Chair Mark Simiona, and all other members of the Board, and our Kaumatua Richard Wallace, for their leadership, guidance, and support.
He also acknowledged with gratitude HPF’s primary funder, the Ministry of Health. “Our sincere appreciation also goes out to our partners and collaborators at national and international levels, including our valued members of HPF.
“Finally, without our operations team members, we would not have achieved what we have achieved. So, to each and every member of our small but agile and dedicated team, thank you so much. Through our working together, doing the right things for the right purpose and with the right spirit and motive, the right outcomes have manifested, and big milestones have been achieved for the health and wellbeing of our workforce, and our community.”
As HPF’s Deputy Executive Director – Corporate Service Leanne Eruera spearheads some of HPF’s major projects. In this interview, Leanne who also consults on various projects including Mātauranga Māori and Māori economic development in the Tai Tokerau region, discusses some of the projects she is working on and about some of the workforce challenges that need to be addressed as we shift into the Covid-recovery phase.
Leanne shares about her interest in new technologies, especially in the field of health promotion, and how technology coupled with indigenous knowledge on planetary health can contribute significantly to global climate challenges, as well as HPF principles and founding documents, the Ottawa Charter, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and how these will shape and navigate us through uncertain times.
Hauora: You’ve been with the Health Promotion Forum of NZ (HPF) for some seven years now. Can you tell us a bit about when you started with HPF, in what capacity and what your role now entails?
Leanne: I started with HPF in January 2014, as the Business Manager with core responsibilities mainly in the finance area. My formal qualifications are in business management and accountancy. In 2017, I became the Senior Business Development Manager, and in 2020, the Deputy Executive Director – Corporate Services. The purpose of the role is mainly to support and advise the Executive Director and to lead and manage the corporate services of HPF, especially in the areas of finance/business development, information technology, and human resources and management.
In separate but related work, I consult on various projects including Mātauranga Māori, and Māori economic development, in the Tai Tokerau region.
Hauora: What are some of the highlights of your time with HPF?
Leanne: There are many, but I think project-managing the 2019 IUHPE conference was a highlight – the benefits from the collaboration nationally and internationally, and the particular focus on indigenous health promotion, and the ongoing legacy statements that continue to influence and shape the global conversation on planetary health.
Hauora:What is a specific project that you are currently working on for HPF and how is it progressing?
Leanne: One of the core accountabilities of my role is looking at how information technology will shape the future of work. For some time now, HPF has successfully been operating in a hybrid work environment (even pre-Covid), so when the pandemic arrived, the team were prepared operationally to continue their work from home.
One of the impacts of the pandemic, and the shift that has occurred in regard to the future of work, is the increased focus on remote work. We are constantly assessing our flexibility, adaptability, and agility as an organisation, to respond to our workforce needs. Whilst we are in a good position now, we can improve further to ensure our ‘readiness’ for the future state.
Hauora: With Covid-19 having such a major impact on the way we work, what sort of direction will HPF likely be heading into the future?
Leanne: As we begin to shift into the Covid recovery phase, there will be a new set of workforce challenges to address. There are a multitude of scenarios that can occur in our recovery phase, but the important thing for us is to leverage our insights from the past 12 or so months, maintaining our health promotion priorities and principles, to steer the organisation through uncertainty, and emerge post recovery thriving in our ‘new normal’.
The significance of health promotion in our recovery is critically important. HPF was founded on two key documents. These documents represent our purpose, and will continue to provide our navigational compass in these uncertain times. Namely, they are the Ottawa Charter, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The Ministry of Health recently released its framework, to apply Te Tiriti principles in the health system. Our strength lies in serving these principles, for the wellbeing of our global family.
HPF’s priorities and principles (based on our foundational documents) will see us emerge from the current workforce challenges stronger, and with renewed perspective.
Hauora:You have been taking quite an interest in new technologies and the need to adapt to these changes in technology. How important is it for organisations, including HPF, to be learning more about these advances in technology?
Leanne: A personal interest area of mine, is looking at how Industry 4.0 will impact on the health promotion space, and in particular how new technologies can support addressing things like the sustainable development goals, which in turn, connect to addressing the social determinants of health. Technology, coupled with indigenous knowledge on planetary health, can contribute significantly to global climate challenges. The future digital landscape will impact how we live, work and play, so allowing time and space for critical thinking and conversations, knowledge-sharing etc now, is important to the future of workforce development across all industries and sectors.
Hauora:How encouraged are you to see Mātauranga Māori or Te Ao Māori being increasingly acknowledged in Aotearoa as a way to enhance and inform fields including science, conservation, business, government etc… How influential is HPF in this space?
Leanne: I think we are on a pathway to greater understanding of our obligations under Te Tiriti as a nation. This next phase, or transition, builds upon the work of many others, past and present, who have laid the foundations for us to now move forward into a shared future.
I acknowledge all of those leaders that have made this possible, and I look to the future with optimism and hope for all our mokopuna.
One particular Waitangi Tribunal report, Ko Aotearoa Tenei, is the first whole of government report that provides a series of recommendations in addressing the work of more than 20 government agencies. It covers multiple areas of reform, in relation to Te Ao Maori and Mātauranga Māori, and I’d encourage those who are not familiar with the report, to take a moment to read it HERE.
In the Indigenous legacy document, conference participants called on the health promotion community and the wider global community to make space for and privilege Indigenous peoples’ voices and Indigenous knowledges in promoting planetary health and sustainable development for the benefit of all. These documents are being widely promoted and disseminated, both nationally and internationally, to support a wide range of settings, from community, to governance, and policy.
The conference theme of ‘Waiora: Promoting Planetary Health and Sustainable Development for All’ also reflected the indigenous focus of the conference, which was attended by more than 1000 delegates from around the world and Aotearoa. Also notable was that it was the first time te reo was made an official language at a world conference.
HPF continues to highlight the vital role of indigenous knowledge in helping to combat the climate crisis, with our Executive Director, Sione Tu’itahi co-chairing the IUHPE Global Working Group on Waiora Planetary Health and Human Wellbeing, which originated from the world conference in Rotorua.
Hauora: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Leanne: If you’re interested in knowing more, or becoming a member of the Health Promotion Forum of NZ to stay up-to-date on any of the issues discussed, or to make the most of the benefits we have to offer, please do reach out to me via email at email@example.com or Emma Frost at firstname.lastname@example.org
Health promotion is a key part of Age Concern New Zealand’s work in helping older people live a great later life, make the choices that best suit them and to access the services and help they need.
As part of our commitment to sharing our valued members’ stories, in this issue we caught up with Chrisanne Tarry, Health Promotion Advisor with this wonderful organisation to get some insight into what her role entails and why she is so passionate about her job.
Chrisanne discusses some of the social determinants of health that affect older people in Aotearoa and what health promotion initiatives/strategies Age Concern offers to address these and improve their health and wellbeing?
Hauora also asked about how Age Concern New Zealand was dealing with the challenges posed by Covid-19 and what initiatives it is running to help alleviate the stress of older people during the pandemic?
Hauora:Can you tell us a bit about your background and how and why you became interested in health promotion?
Chrisanne: Growing up, I was always interested in the health field but being squeamish deterred me from becoming a GP like my dad. Instead, what started my journey was tagging along to a friend’s sister’s prosthetic appointment. Becoming a prosthetist appealed because it seemed creative, rewarding, far from any blood, and I liked the idea of supporting patients long-term.
Shortly into my Bachelor of Health Sciences degree, I was introduced to the term health promotion. Health promotion challenged my thinking from wanting to improve people’s lives with prosthetics, to building more inclusive environments and eliminating barriers to participate in society.
Health promotion and population health made complete sense because it is creative, rewarding, far from any blood, supports people’s health and wellbeing, but also benefits a greater number of lives.
Hauora:I read on the Age Concern New Zealand website that you are ‘passionate’ about your work supporting older adults’ physical and mental wellbeing. Where did this passion stem from and how do you reflect this in your work?
Chrisanne: My passion began with a University internship with the Selwyn Foundation where I researched falls prevention strategies for older adults. My research, the opportunity to join a Forever Young strength and balance class and holding a focus group with Selwyn Village residents steered me towards a summer job as a carer at Terrace View Retirement Village in Ashburton. The residents at Terrace View made me smile every day.
After moving to Wellington in 2019, I got the amazing job of Health Promotion Advisor at Age Concern New Zealand. I am passionate about what I do because every day is different, and the challenges faced by older adults are so broad. I’m continually learning about initiatives on housing, mental wellbeing, nutrition, physical health, digital use, social connection, transport, employment, income, the environment, elder abuse, addiction, falls and more. It’s inspiring and motivating to be sharing this information, offering support, and promoting ways to improve older people’s lives.
Hauora: How long have you been the Health Promotion Advisor with Age Concern New Zealand and what does your job entail? What do you love most about your job?
Chrisanne: I have been the Health Promotion Advisor at Age Concern New Zealand for almost three years.
Key parts of my job include: organising trainings and providing health promotion support to Age Concern New Zealand staff; inspiring and sharing innovative health promotion ideas; developing and updating resources that promote healthy ageing or make health promotion delivery easier and reporting to the Ministry of Health.
I love supporting local Age Concern health promotion staff with health promotion delivery and inspiring new health promotion ideas. My colleagues are incredibly friendly, motivated and intelligent and I enjoy getting to hear success stories like “I had a shower this morning standing up, for the first time in five years”.
I also enjoy the opportunities to expand, improve and inspire successful and best health promotion practice. Various conferences, trainings and conversations spark new ideas which I can share with our Age Concern whānau.
One example is when I attended the “Rock the Boat” National Elder Abuse Conference in Australia. A talk on Artists in Care highlighted the remarkable impact creativity can have on physical and mental wellbeing. Since then, I’ve learned about sensory rooms, the health benefits of poi and arts-based research methods. This is just one example and I’m grateful to be continually inspired with new health promotion ideas.
Hauora: What are some of the social determinants of health that affect older people in Aotearoa and what health promotion initiatives/strategies do Age Concerns offer to address these and improve their health and wellbeing?
Chrisanne: Older people are affected by housing, employment, income, ageism and many of the other social determinants of health. At a national level, we write submissions to ensure policies support the needs, dignity, rights and wellbeing of older adults.
At a national and local level, we attend and organise events and use social media, campaigns and newsletters to frequently speak out against ageism and issues affecting older people. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15 June and International Day of the Older Persons on 1 October are key dates where we promote ageing well, and with dignity and respect.
All Age Concerns share information and answer a wide range of queries relating to housing and residential care, income, employment and government support, accessing health services and navigating the health and social systems.
Other health promotion activities delivered by local Age Concerns vary depending on their community. Programmes range from digital technology to healthy eating, physical activity and driver education.
Hauora: What sort of feedback do you get from those who participate in Age Concern New Zealand’s health promotion initiatives?
Chrisanne: We receive overwhelmingly positive feedback on our health promotion activities.
Common quotes we receive mention noticeable changes to a person’s lifestyle like: “My agility has improved. I can now step up steps one at a time” or “I can mow the lawn now and put my socks on in a sitting position”.
Majority of our health promotion programmes have a social connection component which proves to be of significant benefit, and we receive many quotes like: “I like the companionship of the group and go home happier” or “This class is why I get out of bed on Mondays”.
We also receive a generous amount of appreciation for the health promotion activities we offer. For example:
“Absolutely feel nourished, pampered, wiser from words of wisdom and the journeys we go on during the mindfulness sessions. Very relaxing and feel I have been kind to myself”
“Reacquainted with Māori tikanga and te reo after years of being away from it”
“Learned a lot about nutrition that helps brain health”
“Not too structured- music, korero, whenever the spirit calls. Friendly atmosphere where just listening can be great”
“It was motivational to adopt better sleep/habits”
“Thinking about getting a mobility scooter now so I am ready if I stop driving”
“Great to know how to detect some of the many scams out there”
Hauora:How is Age Concern New Zealand dealing with the challenges posed by Covid-19 and do you have any particular initiatives aimed at alleviating the stress of older people during this crisis?
Chrisanne: Covid-19 has highlighted issues like digital use and loneliness. Many Age Concerns offer digital technology support to older adults. Several Age Concerns also coordinate an Accredited Visiting Service to connect people who feel lonely with a volunteer visitor.
In 2020, Age Concern New Zealand also launched the Coalition to End Loneliness. This has brought like-minded organisations together, to share ideas, resources, and collaboratively end loneliness. Covid-19 has increased conversations on loneliness and grown momentum to connect people and communities.
Age Concern is in 40 locations across Aotearoa and so to alleviate stress, we reminded people to ask for help and to contact Age Concern if they had any concerns. We promoted our free phone number (0800 65 2 105) which was able to connect people to their local Age Concern and was set up because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Local Age Concerns also offered a range of services like welfare checks, shopping and medication delivery services, phone-a-friend or pen pal services, care package deliveries, online activities, hardcopy and e-newsletter mailouts, along with answering hundreds or thousands of calls.
To support mental and physical wellbeing we helped develop the Healthy For Life tv programme and shared tips like ‘keeping a routine’. One example of how Age Concern New Zealand practiced this was at 3pm every weekday, we zoomed in to do the afternoon Stuff quiz. Sometimes we even set themes like ‘Come with a silly hat’ or a DIY face covering.
Hauora: What is your ultimate goal as Health Promotion Advisor with Age Concern?
Chrisanne: My main goal is to keep growing and inspiring new health promotion services offered by local Age Concerns so all older people can thrive physically, mentally, socially, financially, digitally and culturally.
My goal aligns with the Better Later Life – He Oranga Kaumātua 2019-2034 strategy which has five key areas for action:
Achieving financial security and economic participation
Promoting healthy ageing and improving access to services
Creating diverse housing choices and options
Enhancing opportunities for participation and social connection
Making environments accessible
I hope to help make a difference to these key action areas and ultimately improve the health and wellbeing of older people in Aotearoa.
In part one of a special series in the Hauora newsletter, as COP26 comes to a close in Glasgow, Scotland, we look at repeated warnings and recent calls to action to combat climate change, including the São Paulo Declaration.
“Planetary health science convincingly demonstrates that the ongoing degradation of our planet’s natural systems is a clear and present danger to the health of all people everywhere,” says Sam Myers, director of the Planetary Health Alliance.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is a turning point within each of our lifetimes and must serve as a moment of transition for humanity. To protect human health and all of life on Earth, we will need to, and can, effect urgent, deep, structural changes in how we live.”
The Principal Research Scientist in Environmental Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and lead author of The Lancet letter made the comment upon the launch in October of the latest call to action to save our planet — the São Paulo Declaration, which calls for a ‘fundamental shift in how we live on Earth’.
This shift which the Declaration calls the ‘Great Transition … will require rapid and deep structural changes across most dimensions of human activity’. The Declaration outlines what actions are necessary to achieve ‘a just transformation to a world that optimises the health and wellbeing of all people and the planet’.
Signed by more than 250 organisations around the world, including the Health Promotion Forum of NZ, the Declaration was launched in the build up to COP26 (Conference of the Parties) in Glasgow, Scotland from October 31 to November 14.
HPF’s Executive Director and Co-Chair of the IUHPE Global Working Group on Waiora Planetary Health and Human Wellbeing Sione Tu’itahi says the Declaration is a ‘global effort of the planetary health community, calling on all of humanity to collaborate and elevate its consciousness towards a more equitable and resilient post-pandemic world’.
With much of the world now being ravaged by extreme weather events caused by climate change; Floods, wildfires, heatwaves, drought, and cyclones leaving trails of disaster, killing hundreds, displacing millions, and causing damage worth billions, the world’s chances of survival are getting slimmer and slimmer! Poor and marginalised communities are often the worst affected by loss of lives and livelihoods.
‘Our planet is changing before our eyes from ocean depths to mountain tops,” warned UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres in his opening speech at COP26. “From melting glaciers to relentless, extreme weather events. Sea level rise is double the rate it was 30 years ago, oceans are hotter than ever, and getting warmer faster. Parts of the Amazon rainforest now emits more carbon than they absorb.”
In an unprecedented call to action in mid-September this year, 231 medical journals around the world came together to publish the same editorial, titled “Call for emergency action to limit global temperature increases, restore biodiversity, and protect health”.
Led by a group of chief editors from world-leading journals such as The Lancet, The BMJ and The New England Journal of Medicine, as well as the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the editorial stated: “The greatest threat to global public health is the continued failure of world leaders to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5℃ and to restore nature.”
The clarion call couldn’t be any clearer – ACT NOW, before it’s too late!
Year after year, the warning bells have been sounded! COPs have come and gone, conferences and summits have been held, commitments have been made and plans have been written. Yet as US President Joe Biden surmised at COP26, ‘… we’re still falling short. There’s no more time to hang back or sit on the fence or argue amongst ourselves’.
Scientists have been warning about the ‘clear link’ between natural disasters and climate change for years.
The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), established by the UN in 1989, has released numerous reports and warnings about the potential impacts of climate change and the response options.
Ominously its most recent report in August issued a “code red” for humanity.
The report predicts the average global temperature is likely to rise by more than 1.5°C within the next two decades, going over the limit settled in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
The documents call on the global community to urgently act to promote planetary health and sustainable development for all, now and for the sake of future generations. The vital role of indigenous knowledge in helping to combat this crisis was highlighted in the Indigenous legacy document in which the health promotion community and the wider global community are called on ‘to make space for and privilege Indigenous peoples’ voices in this arena’.
Mr Tu’itahi who co-chaired the conference said: ‘Unity of thought and action is key. We must work together as one human family at the local and global level … we will continue the dialogue at the IUHPE2022 Conference in Montreal, May 2022.”
It’s time to heed these warnings and calls to action! No more procrastinating!
As the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Climate Action, Selwin Hart said in a recent interview on the UN website: “We have a very narrow window of opportunity to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. Climate action is not something that can be delayed for 10, 20 or 30 years. We must take urgent and ambitious action now.”
The health sector has rallied behind the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan with 100 academic, health sector and community organisations signing an open letter urging the Government to implement the plan in full.
“The action plan is more than a game-changer, it’s a game-ender for tobacco harm in New Zealand,” Health Coalition Aotearoa Chair Boyd Swinburn said.
“Adding the collective support of the DHBs to the broad list of organisations and individuals calling for the action plan to be implemented shows the strength of the proposals put forward.
“It is unusual to have this level of unanimous support from across the community and health sector, health experts and professionals, and government.”
The DHB heads join more than 80 health professional, NGO and academic organisations already signed up in support of the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan.
HCA Smokefree panel chair Sally Liggins says Verrall’s action plan will protect and entire generation from the exploitation from the tobacco industry.
“The proposed Smokefree Action Plan will introduce new policy options while making smoking products less available and, importantly, less addictive,” Liggins said.
“Cigarette smoking kills 14 New Zealanders every day and two out of three smokers will die as a result of smoking. This action plan outlines a path for government and communities to work together to end the suffering caused by tobacco.”
The open letter is available for all to sign and is planned to be presented to the Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall ahead of the government response to the action plan.
Come and join us at our virtual AGM next month (Nov 11), where we’ll be sharing some exciting developments in the field of health promotion, including the establishment of the National Accreditation Organisation (NAO) for Aotearoa New Zealand.
The approval of HPF by the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) to become an NAO is a ‘significant milestone’ for health promotion in this country.
A special feature of this approval is we are the first country to have our Indigenous knowledge acknowledged and included under the IUHPE accreditation system – ‘a world-first!!’
While effective in addressing the determinants of health, and while present in most cultures, health promotion was a relatively recent development as an academic field and professional practice, said Sione Tu’itahi, HPF’s Executive Director.
“Therefore, it is not regulated nor formally recognised. The IUHPE accreditation framework gives formal recognition to health promoters through an assessment process to ensure their competencies are current and of consistent, quality standard. It also gives formal recognition to health promotion qualifications,” he pointed out.
“The system is voluntary at this stage, but it is a great step in the right direction. In future, it is envisaged that health promoters can travel and work in countries where the system is established.
“In a globalised society with a very mobile health promotion workforce, it is very timely for NZ health promoters to be part of a global framework that is the only system for the whole world.”
We’re inviting you our valued members to join us by simply clicking the ZOOM link that has been emailed to you along with the AGM notice and proxy form.
Find out first-hand how HPF will administer the accreditation process, the timeline in setting it up and more importantly the huge benefits it will have for health promoters and how they can register when it is in place.
We’ll also share with you about some of our other initiatives, and how HPF has turned the challenges imposed by Covid-19 into opportunities to explore new ways of training.
These include the move from face-face workshops to webishops, and the offer of an online Certificate of Achievement in Introducing Health Promotion (CoA) offered by HPF and Manukau Institute of Technology as an alternative to the face-face course, and when it’s scheduled to be delivered.
“The introduction of a virtual classroom means that distance is no longer a barrier,” says Mereana Te Pere, HPF’s Māori Health Promotion Strategist.
We look forward to seeing you there! Please email Emma Frost at email@example.com to confirm your attendance.
This week we’re celebrating Te vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau – Tokelau Language Week — the ninth and final language week to be celebrated this year.
The theme is Tokelau! Tapui tau gagana ma tau aganuku, i te manaola ma te lautupuola means Tokelau! Preserve your language and culture, to enhance spiritual and physical wellbeing.
The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said Covid-19 continued to be a powerful reminder of the importance of language and culture to the wellbeing of our Pacific communities.
“Our Tokelau community in Aotearoa has responded strongly to the challenges of the global pandemic by getting vaccinated and supporting others in our Pacific communities to get their vaccine,” said Mr Sio.
“The people of Tokelau also know only too well how the global currents of uncertainty wrought by climate change erode physical and spiritual wellbeing as they also damage the land and natural environment.
“So, it’s appropriate that for this year’s Tokelau Language Week, the Tokelau community has chosen ‘Tokelau! Tapui tau gagana ma tau aganuku, i te manaola ma te lautupuola’ which means ‘Tokelau! Preserve your language and culture, to enhance spiritual and physical wellbeing. ‘Tapui’ emphasises the need to care for and nurture the Tokelau Language and culture to ensure its growth and prosperity.
“They have also embraced, for the second year running, the opportunities presented by celebrating Te Gagana o Tokelau – the Tokelau language – online, in order to keep people safe from Covid 19.
“There’s a traditional saying in Tokelau culture, ‘ko na alofivae e hē mātutu’, that means in English ‘the soles of our feet are never dry’ – our work is never done, we must keep persevering.
“I know this spirit of resilience, embodied in the Kanava wood so beloved of Tokelau’s carvers, will ensure that the language and culture of Tokelau are preserved, raising the spiritual and physical wellbeing of our Tokelau people, be they here in Aotearoa or back on the beautiful atolls of Tokelau.”
“Take the time this year to join Tokelauans across the motu in celebrating Tokelau Language Week with a variety of online activities. Even learning a greeting or two can be the window into Tokelau’s cultural traditions, as well as a chance to meet new people, with fresh perspectives.”
Further information and language resources can be found HERE.
Help the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) in supporting mental health and wellbeing, especially during Covid-19, by participating in the ‘Feel Good With Flowers’ fundraising campaign which ends on November 14.
By supporting the campaign you’ll also be supporting Aotearoa’s struggling flower growers, whose products are classified ‘non-essential’ by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
After 18 months of living with the challenges of Covid-19, many Kiwis have battle fatigue as the pandemic rolls on. According to a recent Ipsos study commissioned by MHF, 25% of all New Zealanders currently have poor levels of mental and emotional wellbeing.
Covid-19 has been one of the biggest challenges to our collective mental health in several generations, according to Shaun Robinson, chief executive, MHF.
“The ongoing pandemic is tough on us all and demand for our resources remains high as Covid continues to increase anxiety levels and challenge mental wellbeing for many. We know the importance of keeping communities uplifted and the wellbeing of us all needs to be a major part of the Delta outbreak response across Aotearoa.
“The ongoing pandemic is tough on us all and demand for our resources remains high as Covid continues to increase anxiety levels and challenge mental wellbeing for many. We know the importance of keeping communities uplifted and the wellbeing of us all needs to be a major part of the Delta outbreak response across Aotearoa.”
Demand for MHF resources tailored for Covid-19 last year continues in 2021; resources such as Getting Through Together, We’re Awesome Tāmaki Makaurau and Make Me Time continue to resonate with many New Zealanders.
“Connecting with others, our whanau and friends are incredibly important tools to improve wellbeing,” says Mr Robinson. “Covid has challenged this, but we’re constantly amazed by people’s willingness to reach out to each other. Embracing technology to connect is one thing but getting to know your neighbours and support those people in your community who’re in need is vital too. If you’re already supporting others, we celebrate the good work you’re doing.”
Thai-Anh Cooper from Feel Good With Flowers spring time is perfect for spreading that ‘feel good factor’ through Peonies with a Purpose.
“We chose Peonies for this campaign because not only are NZ-grown Peonies among the best in the world the Peony season in NZ is short-lived and much celebrated by retailers and consumers alike. Year after year, these gorgeous blooms generate phenomenal interest and pleasure for so many.
“This campaign allows us to collaborate with NZ Paeony Society in a positive and effective way and give back to those who really need support. It’s also an honour to support MHF, a great charity that is making a big impact on so many lives and it’s our desire to help them achieve even more.”
A massive ‘shout-out’ to everyone who rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated on Super Saturday which smashed vaccination records!
Aotearoa set a new record for daily Covid-19 vaccinations, with 130,002 doses administered. Auckland had its biggest ever vaccination day, and it was also the biggest day so far for Māori vaccinations. The Pasifika community also turned out in great numbers.
“Super Saturday has been a shot in the arm for the final stage of our Covid-19 vaccination programme and we now need to finish the job to protect all New Zealanders from the virus,” said Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. “I want to give a huge thanks to every eligible New Zealander who stepped up … as well as to the hundreds of health providers, businesses, workplaces and community organisations who’ve pulled out all the stops as part of the nationwide push for vaccination.”
Auckland now has 89% of its eligible people vaccinated with at least 1 dose. For more info and stats click HERE.
Building on the massive success of Super Saturday the Tongan community is delighted to announce that a repeat of the successful Malu’i Ma’a Tonga – Get Protected for Tonga mass vaccination drive-thru will be held from Oct 21-23. (See poster)
Once again, this special pop-up is a collaborative effort involving Pacific health providers – The Fono and Tonga Health Society, the Tongan Inter-Faith Network of Aotearoa, community leaders, and NHRCC.
Nearly 4000 jabs were delivered at the September drive-thru, and more than 90% were first doses. With young people most affected in the current Delta outbreak, it was fantastic to see 59% of jabs go to under 35s. Participants in September’s event are now due their second doses. And that’s a key focus of this week’s pop-up. However, anyone who hasn’t had the time or opportunity to get their first jab is also encouraged to come along.
‘You can expect a Tongan village-style atmosphere,’ says Sione Tuitahi from the Tongan Inter-Faith Network and Executive Director of HPF. ‘So, come home, celebrate our Tongan culture, and keep everyone safe by getting vaccinated.’
According to Dr Glenn Doherty, CEO of the Tongan Health Society, Pacific vaccination rates have improved across the country and within specific communities.
Super Saturday was a vital shot in the arm for the Pacific Island vaccination drive. But there’s still plenty of work to be done, he says.
The Tongan community is currently lagging behind other Pacific Island groups in vaccine uptake.
Tevita Funaki, CEO of The Fono, agrees that sustained effort is needed.
‘The Tonganpeople-for-Tongan-people approach is a proven model for reaching our communities,’ says Mr Funaki. ‘We hope this repeat pop-up will be just as successful with even more jabs administered. We have to keep the momentum going.
Mr Funaki says the community partnership model behind the drive-thru is a great way to reach young Tongans who, for a variety of complex reasons, haven’t yet had their first dose.
He has a simple message for South Auckland’s Tongan and Pacific communities: ‘Get protected. Do it for you, your whānau and the wider community.’
This year’s theme, Kia tupuolaola e moui he Tagata Niue, reminds us of the importance of our Pacific languages and cultures and how they contribute to spiritual, emotional, physical and social wellness for prosperity and wealth in the home, community and nation.
“When we look at the challenges our people have faced due to the impact of the global pandemic it can be completely overwhelming,” said the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio while launching the week.”
“However, if we turn to what’s constant in our lives which for Pacific peoples is our spirituality and faith, our extended families and collective values, our language and culture the unknown doesn’t seem so daunting after all.”
Mr Sio said it was vital that families continue to develop and grow and embrace opportunities and set goals so they may move forward, despite the challenges and distractions of life.
He said this was made possible by using a cultural lens and holistic approach and solving complex challenges, and by seeking the wisdom and experiences captured in stories of proud and brave people with strong physical, emotional and physical and social connectiveness to their ancestors our families.
Niue Language Week is the second to last of the 2021 Pacific Language Weeks series and activities and events will be delivered online due to recent Covid-19 restrictions.
The number of people in New Zealand, who identify as Niuean is 30,867, according to the 2018 Census, with the population increasing steadily over the past two decades.
“We are inspired by Niue achieving 97% vaccination of its eligible population. Following the leadership of our families and friends in Niue, I encourage the Niueans of Aotearoa to take up your Covid-19 vaccination. Do it to keep yourselves, your families and communities safe,” added Mr Sio.
“While we should continue to focus on addressing Covid-19 in Aotearoa New Zealand, we need to also continue addressing the health of the planet, the underlying cause of pandemics such as Covid-19,” says Sione Tu’itahi, HPF’s Executive Director.
Mr Tu’itahi made the comment after participating at the launch of the São Paulo Declaration on Planetary Health today.
The Health Promotion Forum of NZ along with more than 250 organisations from 47 countries representing more than 19 sectors across society is a signatory to the Declaration.
Launched by the Planetary Health Alliance and the University of São Paulo the Declaration was developed by the global planetary health community with support from the United NationsDevelopment Programme.
The Declaration states that humans must make transformational shifts now in how we live in order to optimize the health and wellbeing of all people and the planet we depend on. It also guides people across society with suggested concrete actions that support a more just and regenerative post-pandemic world.
“The Sao Paulo Declaration on Planetary Health is a global effort of the planetary health community, calling on all of humanity to collaborate and elevate its consciousness towards a more equitable and resilient post-pandemic world,” says Mr Tu’itahi.
“We made a similar call at the 2019 IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion in Rotorua. Unity of thought and action is key. We must work together as one human family at the local and global level.(See the Legacy Documents from IUHPE2019)
“And we will continue the dialogue at the IUHPE2022 Conference in Montreal, May 2022,” adds Mr Tu’itahi.
“The urgency of this moment is hard to overstate,” says Sam Myers, director of the Planetary Health Alliance, principal research scientist in environmental health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and lead author of The Lancet letter.
“Planetary health science convincingly demonstrates that the ongoing degradation of our planet’s natural systems is a clear and present danger to the health of all people everywhere.”
According to the Lancet on our current trajectory, we can no longer safeguard human health and wellbeing. “The Covid-19 pandemic is a turning point within each of our lifetimes and must serve as a moment of transition for humanity. To protect human health and all of life on Earth, we will need to, and can, effect urgent, deep, structural changes in how we live. This great transition demands a rapid shift in how we produce and consume food, energy, and manufactured goods; requires rethinking the way we design and live in the world’s cities; and insists we heal our relationship with nature and to each other. Such a paradigm shift requires participation of every sector, every community, and every individual.”
What is planetary health?
Planetary health is a solutions-oriented, transdisciplinary field and social movement focused on analyzing and addressing the impacts of human disruptions to Earth’s natural systems on human health and all life on Earth. The field was initially launched with the release of the Rockefeller-Lancet Commission report “SafeguardingHuman Health in the Anthropocene.”
Subsequently, the Rockefeller Foundation, and then the Wellcome Trust, provided core support for the Planetary Health Alliance (PHA) to foster the field and community.
Click HERE for the full list of signatories and to add your voice.
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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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.
$29.00 incl GST Members. Check if you are a member HERE.
Bula Vinaka!! This week we’re celebrating Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti – Language Week – and reflect on the theme Noqu Vosa, Ai Vakadei ni Noqu Tiko Vinaka, my language provides stability to my wellbeing.
The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito Sio said while launching the week on Sunday October 3 that the theme embraced the central theme for the Pacific Language Week series this year which was wellbeing.
“This theme is a bold statement about how our mother tongue must provide the foundation for which our cultural, traditions and our faith can rest. Because when we have our language we have our story, when we have our story, we know where we have been and where we are going,” said Mr Sio.
Mr Sio said the theme also reminds us that as well as the importance of our physical health, the other aspects that make up our overall wellbeing are vital.
The recent Covid-19 outbreak, he added has made this holistic view of wellbeing even more important.
“We all love to take part in these events in person, unfortunately that’s not possible while we’re still doing everything, we can to keep our communities safe.
“The Ministry of Pacific Peoples is ensuring its online programmes provide plenty of opportunity for people from all walks of life to bask in the beauty of ni vosa vakaviti and Fijian culture and heritage.”
“To address the global challenges of Covid, environmental crisis, social and economic crisis, we health promoters need to always spare a space to strategise,” says Sione, who chaired the 23rd IUHPE World Health Promotion Conference in Rotorua in 2019.
The conference says Sione was a platform for launching indigenous knowledge and rights of indigenous peoples.
“A few weeks before our 2019 conference there was a ‘lone wolf’ terrorist attack. Our nation was in mourning with those most affected, but we knew our conference must go on. And so, we did successfully, focusing on planetary health and sustainable development for all. Among other achievements, we produced the two Legacy Statements on Planetary health and Indigenous Peoples.
“We need to follow up that process and maintain the momentum. We now have the approval from IUHPE for a National Accreditation Organisation. We now have a seat around the IUHPE global table and actively participate in decision-making. Let’s keep moving!”
HPF is encouraging health promoters from around Aotearoa to bring their knowledge, insights, work, and experiences concerning health promotion issues to the table and send an abstract in by the new extended deadline of October 4. You still have time!
“We now have Covid-19, but it it serves as another crucial and urgent reason why we must meet face-face and/or virtually to see how our world health promotion community can contribute lasting solutions to this convergence of these inter-connected social, political, commercial and environmental determinants of the health of our only home, planet Earth,” says Sione.
And it’s not business only for Sione and his wife, Tupou, who first visited Montreal to attend an IUHPE Global Board meeting in December 2018.
“Montreal is intellectually and spiritually significant to us. A leader of our Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, visited Montreal some 110 years ago, talking about social justice, the unity of races, the oneness of humanity, and the need for the world to collaborate for its own wellbeing, because the world is but one country and we humans are its citizens. His mind and heart were ahead of his time.
So visiting Montreal for the conference will enrich both our minds and hearts.
You can now learn about the principles, concepts, and practice of health promotion from wherever you are in Aotearoa.
For the first time the Certificate of Achievement in Introducing Health Promotion (CoA), jointly offered by HPF and Manukau Institute of Technology, will be brought to you ONLINE!!
The decision to develop an online version of the course was prompted by the restrictions of Covid lockdowns and the need for an alternative to the face-to-face course currently on offer.
Register HERE and secure your space for the course which is scheduled to commence on October 13.
HPF’s Māori Health Promotion Strategist Mereana Te Pere says offering an online learning option means that HPF can reach future health promotion leaders from all parts of Aotearoa.
“There are many people who want to get back into the swing of learning, update their knowledge and sharpen their health promotion skill set, but can’t get to a main centre to attend classes. The introduction of a virtual classroom means that distance is no longer a barrier. We are excited to be able to serve our community by providing an online learning platform. We look forward to meeting you soon.”
At the course you will:
Learn the most current and best treaty-based practices in your role as a health promoter
Build stronger knowledge of indigenous models and how to embed them into practice
Learn about the determinants of health, including education, housing, policy development and racism and how they influence the health sector
Discover how to create and develop effective health-prevention strategies
Establish more networks in the health industry
Gain new pathways into higher studies and register now!
This week we encourage you to join over 13,000 people, organisations, schools and kura who are taking part in wellbeing activities to mark Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) and its theme – ‘take time to kōrero’.
Now more than ever, as we adapt to changing alert levels, it’s important to connect with others and create space for conversations about mental health and wellbeing.
“All New Zealanders have had a tough couple of months going through lockdowns to fight the spread of Covid-19” says Shaun Robinson, chief executive of the MHF.
“Aucklanders in particular have borne the brunt of an extended lockdown period. It’s only inevitable that frustration is setting in as we move in and out of different levels of contact. It’s so helpful to connect with others, have a kōrero and a laugh … within your whānau bubble or via technology. It’s the little things that we do to support each other that can make a big difference in our lives!”
Health Minister Andrew Little thinks the theme of this week “is great. You never know when someone, who is feeling vulnerable, stops to talk, just how much of a difference that can make”.
It’s not too late to get involved in MHAW. The MHAW 2021 Guide provides day-by-day activities that can be done at school, work or home, inspired by Te Whare Tapa Whā and the Five Ways to Wellbeing, which are simple strategies proven to boost wellbeing.
There are plenty more resources available to download from the MHF website, aimed at both tamariki and adults, to help everyone get involved whatever alert level they’re in.
For the competitive among us, the social media-based MHAW Challenge kicks off on Monday 27 September – each week day there will be a daily challenge designed to get people having a kōrero in a different way, with awesome prizes up for grabs.
HPF’s Executive Director, Sione Tu’itahi co-led a community initiative that resulted in almost 4000 Tongans vaccinated over three days in Mangere, South Auckland last week.
“Our Tongan community tapped into its own wisdom and capacity and the results were amazing,” Sione said. “Reciprocity and collaborating with love and unity to serve our collective wellbeing were some of the crucial elements that enabled us to achieve the task.”
The Tongan Interfaith Leadership network, cooperated with two Tongan/Pacific health providers – Tongan Health and Society and The Fono – and other community groups, along with Tongan medical and health professionals, and mobilised the community to work together.
“Lots of great learning that can be replicated with some adaptations to other contexts and groups, said Sione who was the chair of the working committee for the Malu’I Ma’a Tonga (MMT) vaccination campaign.
A Tongan church site was converted into a “Tongan village” with the culturally appropriate environment with an all-Tongan professional and cultural workforce, welcoming and serving their community.
(Banner photo: Sione with the CEO of The Fono Tevita Funaki and the Rev Tevita Finau, Chair of Tongan Interfaith Leadership Network)
Kia Ora and Kia Kaha te Reo Māori! Today marks the beginning of Māori Language Week/Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2021, a week in which we embrace and celebrate the Māori language and culture!
The theme this year is Kia Kaha te Reo Māori – Let’s make the Māori language strong and tomorrow (Tuesday, 14 September), you can help to set the world record for people speaking and celebrating an Indigenous language at the same time.
At 12pm all of Aotearoa New Zealand is invited to stop and take a moment for te reo Māori and your moment can be as simple or as hard as you want it to be. You can do it on your own, or with your flatmates, workmates or whānau! Sing a song, get everyone together to learn their mihi, or even use Māori sign-offs in the office for the day. Whatever you do, it counts.
“While some New Zealanders remain bitterly opposed to change, the reality is they are a minority that is growing smaller by the day,” said Māori Language Commissioner, Professor Rawinia Higgins.
The recent approval of the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand (HPF) as a National Accreditation Organisation for Aotearoa New Zealand is a significant development for health promotion in this country.
A special feature of the approval from the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) is that we are the first country to have our Indigenous knowledge acknowledged and included under the IUHPE accreditation system.
Hauora asked HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi about the process involved in applying for approval, the significance of having our Indigenous knowledge included under the system and why the accreditation process is so important for health promoters in NZ.
Mr Tu’itahi also discusses how long it will take to put the proper structures and processes in place before a starting date can be confirmed for the assessment and registration of health promoters.
HAUORA: What does this mean for Aotearoa New Zealand?
SIONE: This approval is based on the 2012 New Zealand Health Promotion Competencies and Standards that includes Te Tiriti O Waitangi and the socio-economic and political context of New Zealand as integral components.
This is a world-first, and IUHPE is keen to learn from it for the sake of other Indigenous peoples. IUHPE is a global professional non-governmental organisation dedicated to health promotion around the world for 70 years. HPF has been a member for almost 20 years.
In 2016 IUHPE elevated its accreditation framework to be a one global system for all health promoters and educational providers across the world.
While effective in addressing the determinants of health, and while present in most cultures, health promotion is a relatively recent development as an academic field and professional practice.
Therefore, it is not regulated nor formally recognised. The IUHPE accreditation framework gives formal recognition to health promoters through an assessment process to ensure their competencies are current and of consistent, quality standard. It also gives formal recognition to health promotion qualifications.
The system is voluntary at this stage, but it is a great step in the right direction. In future, it is envisaged that health promoters can travel and work in countries where the system is established.
HAUORA: Can you please explain how the NAOs operate?
SIONE: National accreditation organisations (NAOs) administer the accreditation process in countries where they are established.
With IUHPE’s approval, HPF as an NAO will do this for New Zealand health promoters. In a globalised society with a very mobile health promotion workforce, it is very timely for NZ health promoters to be part of a global framework that is the only system for the whole world.
Under the same system, and as mentioned earlier, tertiary educational providers that teach health promotion can also have their qualifications formally recognised through a process managed by the IUHPE Global Accreditation Organisation (GAO).
GAO is the international body established by IUHPE to administer the whole accreditation framework, including approving, and guiding the establishment and operation of NAOs.
HAUORA: Why is this accreditation important for New Zealand health promoters?
SIONE: Currently in New Zealand, anyone can enter and practise health promotion. While this practice enhances the wide range of expertise required in health promotion – from policy and leadership to programme planning and community development, we need to ensure that health promoters are properly equipped with the right competencies – their knowledge, skills, and attributes, hence a formal system like the accreditation framework.
Also, we need to ensure that health promoters are systematically supported in their continuing professional development. This is not only for their ongoing advancement, but more importantly, for the wellbeing and safety of the people and communities they work with.
Of greater significance for New Zealand, IUHPE has accepted that components that are unique to our context and needs, such as Te Tiriti o Waitangi, our socio-political and cultural context, are a part of our accreditation framework.
We are the first country to have our Indigenous knowledge acknowledged and included under the IUHPE accreditation system. This reflects not only the hard work that HPF and its partners have been doing over the years, but it also affirms the effective contribution of Indigenous knowledge towards health promotion, planetary health, and human wellbeing.
IUHPE is very interested in our work on the accreditation because it can offer lessons on how to incorporate other knowledge systems into the framework, which is based on the Ottawa Charter and the European perspectives of wellbeing and health promotion.
HAUORA: So, when and how can health promoters be assessed and become part of the framework?
SIONE: In the next 12 months, HPF will develop an implementation plan with the proper structures and processes in place for the assessment and registration of health promoters. During the same time, we will promote greater awareness of the accreditation framework before we decide on the starting date of accrediting health promoters. The aim is to prepare health promoters and the health sector for this significant development.
Becoming an NAO is the latest milestone in our systematic and collaborative effort to broaden the dimensions of health promotion and advance its ongoing development for our country and the world.
(Banner picture, from left, Sione Tu’itahi with fellow newly elected members of IUHPE’s Executive Board at the global world health promotion conference in Rotorua, 2019)
Jenn Lawless brings a wealth of experience, including a strong background in Parliament, union advocacy, communications and campaigns, and public health to her new role as the first Chief Executive of the Health Coalition of Aotearoa.
Hauora recently caught up with Jenn, who joined the Coalition in May 2021, to see how she is settling into the role and about some of the main activities that the Coalition is currently involved in.
We also gained an insight into Jenn’s earlier years – what life was like growing up in a rural setting at Te Uku on Raglan Harbour and how this instilled in her a healthy respect for the environment.
Jenn also shares about how she ‘fell’ into politics and what she learned from her time in parliament, as well as how her ‘passion for public health’ developed.
HAUORA: We’d love to know a bit more about you. You live in Wellington but you’re originally from the Waikato Region where you grew up in a rural setting at Te Uku on Raglan Harbour. Can you tell us a bit about what life was like growing up in rural Aotearoa and what values were instilled in you as a result of your upbringing?
JENN: The natural environment I grew up in was very idyllic, and I had no idea at the time how lucky we were – there was a beautiful tidal estuary, and I learnt to ride, kayak, fish, care for animals and helped my father restore a small patch of native bush. We saw the changes in the biodiversity of that awa as local dairy conversions happened, with the river silting up and whitebait stocks and other fish declining. It was much later I realised this was an ongoing process of colonisation which disrespected the environment and original kaitiaki of that land. At an early age I had a sense that increasingly intensive extractive agriculture was putting profit over the health and sustainable systems of the natural world.
HAUORA: You’ve had a fair bit of involvement in politics, including working in parliament. What drove your interest in politics? what did you take away from that?
JENN: At the time, I felt like I fell into politics. My friend enrolled me in a political science course, and one of the assignments was to sit in the gallery. I was appalled at the quality of most of the behaviour and debate! And it made me angry that the people making the decisions didn’t seem to be the people affected by those decisions, or to understand the implications of them. Or even worse, perhaps not to care.
I ended up working in four parliamentary roles, including the Select Committee Office, an internship in the Government Whip’s office, and Parliamentary Service for the MPs Martin Gallagher, Labour MP for Hamilton West and then Kevin Hague, Health Spokesperson for the Greens. The latter was for nearly seven years.
On reflection, everyone’s view of society is driven by their lived experience. I was at the pointy end of the State as a young person with few resources. I saw the gap between my experiences and those of my peers, and a lack of understanding of different lives. My time in parliament showed me the many invisible, deliberate filters which reinforce existing privileges – those that get to make the decisions versus those that decisions are ‘done’ to. The lesson I learned is that community organising, empowerment and collective action are the only real ways to make lasting structural change.
HAUORA:: You also have a background in communications and campaigns. Can you please tell us a bit more about this, and how and when you became so passionate about health equity, health policy, and public health in particular?
JENN: At university I did media studies, which I saw as an essential adjunct to political science in a mediated democracy. Most people don’t directly know those making decisions on their behalf, so rely on the media to decide whether leadership is ‘good’, and which issues are important. My most recent work was as a campaign adviser in the union movement – focusing on empowering working people to speak up and tell their own stories.
As a health consumer, in particular a young woman, I saw there was a power imbalance between my health literacy and decisions made on my behalf by clinicians. I was being put through processes and systems I didn’t understand how to navigate. My boss at the time encouraged me to study public health to better understand the policy work we were undertaking. This is when I realised health inequities are systemic and preventable – not just about individual knowledge or behaviour.
My passion for public health is that it fundamentally measures whether society fairly values all people. Does everyone have equal access to a long and healthy life? And if not, why, and how can we fix that?
HAUORA: It just seems like yesterday that we were congratulating you on your appointment to the Coalition, but you’ve now been there for more than three months. How have you settled in, and what were some of your main responsibilities/tasks as the ‘first’ Executive Director of the Coalition?
JENN: There’s a lot of work to be done! In the first few months I’ve spent time meeting some of our organisational members, expert panels, and Board members of course, and focusing on the internal policies and systems of the Coalition. We are quite a large organisation for our relatively small resources, so there are still many organisational and individual members I’m looking forward to meeting. I’m having many discussions with subject-matter experts around our core policy work and priority objectives for tackling preventable health loss.
HAUORA: Can you give us an update on the progress being made on of some of the activities the Coalition has recently been involved in, including the development of positive coordinated responses to the proposed new tobacco control measures and health sector reform, as well as coordinating efforts to respond to the new revamp of food regulations.
JENN: The Coalition’s Smokefree Expert Panel put in a consensus submission fully endorsing the Government’s recent Smokefree 2025 proposals, which you can read more about here. We are looking forward to these proposals being enacted in the near future, and to provide expert input into the health evidence. We stand ready to support the proposals with domestic and international expertise throughout the policy development and implementation process.
Our Food Policy Expert Panel undertook a lot of work recently to put in a response to the update of the food regulations which are jointly held between Australia and New Zealand. This is quite a complicated process and system, which has big implications for public health. That’s why we issued a joint statement of health promoting organisations here and across the ditch, outlining concerns.
For those interested in the Food Policy Expert Panel’s full (42 page!) response from a New Zealand perspective, you can read more here.
HAUORA: What are some other main activities the Coalition will be focusing on in the near future and can we expect any new developments?
JENN: The Coalition has a formal working relationship with the Helen Clark Foundation and the MAS Foundation, funding Helen Clark Foundation Health Equity Fellow Matt Shand. Matt has been investigating the cost of alcohol harm in the community, using novel data from ACC. We are supportive of the Minister of Justice’s recent comments that the Sale and Supply of Liquor Act will be up for review, and our Roopuu Waipiro (Alcohol Expert Panel) looks forward to contributing their expertise to that process.
On Friday the 1st of October, the Coalition is holding its AGM from 10.30am – 12pm online. It’s open to all HCA members and is free.
You may also choose to donate after joining – as an independent voice on the commercial determinants of health, we are able to undertake our work through private donations.
HAUORA: Would you like to add anything?
JENN: The global Covid-19 pandemic has been a terrible experience for the mental and physical health of populations globally. But our government’s evidence-based response has given us great hope that this approach can be equally applied to other deadly risks to public health. New Zealand has shown it can lead the world in stamping out infectious disease. Now, let’s do the same to preventable harm from alcohol, tobacco, unhealthy food, and inequities in health outcomes. There’s never been a better time to join us.
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.
Plans for the 24th International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) World Health Promotion Conference in Montreal, Canada from May 15 – 19, 2022 are shaping up with the first in a stellar line-up of speakers announced.
They are Professor Cindy Blackstock, a member of Gitxsan First Nation, and Colectivo Las Tesis ′′ (Collective Les Theses), four women who form an artistic, interdisciplinary, and feminist collective in Valparaiso, Chile.
Prof Blackstock who is the Executive Director of the First Nations Childhood and Family Support Society of Canada First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada believes that cultural equity is essential to genuine reconciliation.
Listed at No. 27 on the 2021 Maclean’s Power List, a ranking of 50 influential Canadians, in January this year Prof Blackstock has over 30 years of experience working in child welfare and Indigenous children’s rights and has published on topics relating to reconciliation, Indigenous theory, First Nations child welfare and human rights.
Collective Les Theses is dedicated to the diffusion of feminist theory through performance, especially through interdisciplinary language that combines performing arts, sound, graphic and textile design, history, and social sciences.
The collective is dedicated to disseminating feminist theory through performance; specifically, through an interdisciplinary language that combines the performing arts, sound, graphic and textile design, history, and social sciences. They are also the creators of the performance un violador en tu camino, replicated in more than 50 countries.
HPF Executive Director and member of the conference global organising committee, Sione Tu’itahi says it is challenging but rewarding and significant to plan a hybrid conference in this period of global health and environmental challenges.
“That is why we are making it a hybrid event- so people can attend in person or participate online.”
Registration is available for both in-person and remote participants to benefit fully from the hybrid conference, featuring a dynamic programme in English, French, and Spanish under the conference theme “Promoting policies for health, wellbeing and equity”.
The deadline for abstracts is September 17, with abstract acceptances to be sent out in November.
Secure your place and register before December to get in before the early bird registrations close.
Mālō e lelei. Let’s all stand together as we celebrate @nztongalanguageweek Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e lea faka-Tonga online this week. That was the message from the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito Sio who, while launching the week, emphasised the need for unity in times of crisis such as Covid-19.
“We need everyone to stand together, so that we’re not only protecting our families but making sure we’re playing our part to protect the rest of Aotearoa …”
Mr Sio said the theme “Fakakoloa ‘o Aotearoa ‘aki ‘a e Ako Lelei”, which means “Enriching Aotearoa with holistic education” was important in times of crisis like this.
Education was not just about learning in our educational institutions, but equally important at this time, was learning how to keep our families and communities safe, he said.
“I also want to say its important for our young people to learn and be comfortable about learning culture and our language, our customs and traditions, and more importantly genealogy, and the experiences of the past. Often about learning about our own history, we’re able to make sure we can learn about the mistakes of the past and make sure that’s not repeated ever again.”
Mr Sio took the opportunity to acknowledge the Tongan leadership and the amazing work they have being doing to keep the community safe through the current outbreak.
“When Papatūānuku thrives, we all thrive.” Join us this Conservation Week which runs from Sep 4 – 12 to ponder on this important message. Take a moment for nature, give your mind a break from all the pressures of lockdowns and Covid-19 and boost your health and wellbeing by feeling connected to the world and all its beauty!
It can be as simple as doing some gardening in your backyard, going for a walk, feeding the birds or just listening to their birdsong, which is even more pronounced now that there is less noise and traffic!
We encourage you to enjoy a fresh perspective on nature and also take the time this week to think about ways we can work together to protect our beautiful wildlife and environment, for the sake of future generations.
And remember let’s all ‘stay safe’ while we celebrate Conservation Week!
Conservation Week has been held annually since 1969 when the New Zealand Scout Association started it.
No events will be held at Covid-19 Alert Levels 4 or 3. If parts of New Zealand are in Alert Level 2 for Conservation Week, local events will only be run if they can meet all government requirements. Check the events page or with the event host for updates.
How can we as health promoters help to heal the hinengaro and address the mental health challenges of Māori, and promote and protect their wellbeing?
What are some of the strategies we can utilise to be effective in tackling these challenges, which during these uncertain and for many, extremely stressful times is even more crucial!
At our next webishop on Sep 23, in support of Mental Health Awareness Week from Sep 27 – Oct 3, our panel of speakers will address these challenges and discuss approaches and strategies we can adopt to promote the mental health and wellbeing of Māori communities.
The panel, who have extensive experience in this field, will look at: What cultural and systemic shifts are necessary for positive meaningful outcomes?; What will Māori mental health look like with the implementation of the Māori Health Authority and what are the urgent issues and how should we tackle them as health promoters?
Register now for the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions and get some answers to your questions. Registration costs start from $29. Enquire about memberships.
Adrian has worked for government departments, crown agencies, community organisation, iwi groups and health providers including DHBs for many decades. He has served as the vice-president of the Public Health Association of New Zealand. He currently represents NZ and the Asia-Pacific region on the governing council of the World Federation of Public Health Associations. Adrian has also served on various boards, including the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand.
Ngāti Porou, Ngā Puhi
Alisha is a health improvement practitioner specialising as a mental health nurse and is part of the Aronui Wellness Team. She has worked within DHBs, PHOs and other organisations. She is now at Turuki Health Care in Mangere, Auckland.
Ngāti Porou, Whānau ā Apanui
Lesley is a Wairua practitioner and has spent over 25 years working with health providers and Māori to improve the wairua and wellbeing of whānau. She is the facilitator of an online wellbeing and trauma-informed framework/model called Huringa te Hinengaro.
Adjusting to life back in lockdown and staying in our bubbles, can be a stressful, anxious and difficult time for many, so looking after your health and wellbeing is crucial!
The combination of stress and uncertainty can have significant and wide-reaching impacts on our mental wellbeing.
If you or those around you are concerned about how you’re feeling, or your wellbeing, there is a wealth of information and tools available to help you feel mentally well and get through these uncertain times.
A Health Promotion tool for empowering whanau and families against Covid-19 developed by HPF to help build your whanau and family capacity, and maintain your wellbeing, is available on our website.
HPF Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi said the challenges that are confronting our global community, whether pandemics, floods or fire, are the same challenges at the family level.
“Collaboration, loving compassion and kindness are crucial to our individual and collective wellbeing,” he said.
The Mental Health Foundation also has some great wellbeing tips, based on the Five Ways to Wellbeing and Te Whare Tapa Wha.
Other online mental wellbeing tools and resources can be downloaded HERE.
In the meantime the HPF team is continuing to work from home and we’re just a phone call and email away.
Find the latest Covid-19 updates and info on the Ministry of Health website.
Supported by HPF the course, starting Sep 9, is taught by leading Pacific health practitioner and researcher, HPF’s Pacific Health Promotion Strategist and Research Fellow at the School of Public Health, Otago University, Dr Viliami Puloka.
Guest lecturers from a range of areas will also feature.
The paper will enable you to:
– Learn about the factors determining and impacting the health of Pacific peoples, including current topics such as: the Pacific response to Covid-19, the link between infectious and non-communicable diseases, links with climate change and Pacific health.
– Apply Pacific health values and practices to improve, promote and protect the health of Pacific peoples.
– Understand the epidemiology and sociology of Pacific peoples, their models of health and frameworks for intervention.
– Critically reflect on what it means to be Pacific.
What can we as health promoters do to help address the global challenges facing the world today?
How can we elevate our consciousness of health promotion to include the health of our common home – planet Earth?
These are some of the questions our panel of experts and participants will discuss at our next webishop – ‘Global challenges and the future of health promotion: What are the implications for Aotearoa New Zealand?’ on August 25 from 11am.
The environmental crisis, the economic crisis, pandemics such as Covid-19 are three global challenges that impact on human wellbeing, and our understanding of health promotion.
Our panel will explore the implications of these challenges to our current understanding and application of health promotion in Aotearoa. We will also explore some pathways into the future.
Other questions to be discussed include: How can we broaden our understanding of health promotion to include Indigenous approaches to global environmental crises and what practical solutions can health promoters adopt as they work within institutions and engage with families and communities to address the environmental crises at a local level?
The webishop will feature Health Promotion Forum of NZ’s Executive Director, Sione Tu’itahi and Middlemore physician Dr Viliami Tutone. (See below) More panelists will be announced shortly on our Facebook page.
Don’t miss out on your chance to join in the discussions and have your say in this important kaupapa and register now HERE.
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 is the Executive Director of HPF and member of the Global Board of IUHPE. He is also the Co-Chair of the IUHPE Global Working Group on Waiora Planetary Health and Human Wellbeing
Join HPF in marking the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and help to raise awareness and protect the rights of indigenous peoples around the world!
On this day we also recognise the achievements and contributions of indigenous peoples to improving global challenges such as environmental protection.
This year’s theme is ‘Leaving No One Behind: Indigenous peoples and the call for a new social contract’. According to the UN this means “we must combat the legacy of exclusion and marginalization affecting indigenous peoples — through their meaningful and effective participation and the obtainment of their free, prior and informed consent.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated many existing inequalities, disproportionately affecting populations all over the world … From the perspective of indigenous peoples, the contrast is even starker. In many of our societies, the social contract, at the very least, needs some revision.
“We must demand indigenous peoples’ inclusion, participation and approval in the constitution of a system with social and economic benefits for all.”
HPF welcomes the launch by the Human Rights Commission this week of guidelines on the right to decent housing in New Zealand.
‘The Framework Guidelines on the Right to have a decent home in Aotearoa’ will be used in a national inquiry into housing, a key determinant of health, by the Commission. An announcement on the inquiry structure, composition, terms of reference and timescale will be made public later this year.
Developed in partnership with the National Iwi Chairs Forum with the support of Community Housing Aotearoa the guidelines are built on values such as fairness and manaakitanga (respect), the United Nations ‘decency’ housing principles, successive governments’ international promises, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
The Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt said for many people, especially young people, the goal of an affordable, healthy, accessible home, has actually become more remote.
“The housing crisis in Aotearoa is also a human rights crisis encompassing homeownership, market renting, state housing and homelessness. It is having a punishing impact especially on the most marginalised in our communities,” said Mr Hunt.
“The right to a decent home, although binding on New Zealand in international law, is almost invisible and unknown in Aotearoa.
“The purpose of the guidelines is to clarify for central and local government, and individuals, communities and iwi, what the right to a decent home means in New Zealand.”
Rahui Papa and Dame Naida Glavish of the National Iwi Chairs Forum said the National Iwi Chairs Forum had a “specific responsibility to ensure the wellbeing and prosperity of whānau, hapū and indeed communities”.
“With this responsibility sits Te Tiriti o Waitangi, which forms the underlying foundations of the relationship we have with the Crown,” they pointed out.
Mr Hunt said the guidelines signalled the different ways the right to a decent home can constructively contribute to a fair and dynamic housing system in Aotearoa New Zealand.
“We must recognise that everyone has the human right to a decent home grounded on Te Tiriti. The guidelines highlight the unique context of Aotearoa, the importance of active and informed citizen participation, and the need for accountability.”
Kia Orana! This week we invite you to join us in celebrating Cook Island Language Week (Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani).
This year’s theme is ‘Ātuitui’ia au ki te Oneone o tōku ‘Ui Tupuna which means, connect me to the soil of my ancestors.
The theme reflects on the journey of Cook Islands peoples in New Zealand, as well as the longing of young Cook Islanders to connect with their language, culture, and identity. Acknowledging that while community elders are fundamental to the teaching and sharing of Cook Islands language, the leadership of young people as the next wave of cultural and language experts is also critical in keeping the connection to their homelands alive.
The theme also reflects on the overarching 2021 Pacific Language Week theme of Wellbeing, by linking the importance of language to overall wellbeing.
The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Hon Aupito William Sio said while launching the week that this theme was especially important as it was chosen by our young people in the Cook Islands community “I’ve always said that young people are the gatekeepers of our collective futures, and investment in them is a step towards a world we want to continue after we’re gone …
“We must proactively nurture the language so our NZ-born Cook Islanders have a sense of their linguistic and cultural heritage all year round. Pacific Weeks are more than about each ethnic group celebrating their language, they’re an opportunity for the rest of the country to appreciate and learn more about their Pacific neighbours.”
Mr Sio said his hope for this week is that NZ joins with the Cook Island community as they take up the young peoples’ call for action to strengthen their connection to their heritage.
Click HERE to see some of the activities and key events for the week.
Ko na mauri! With Kiribati at the frontline of the climate crisis in the South Pacific it is even more vital than ever that we celebrate Kiribati Language Week – Wikin te Taetae ni Kiribati!
The small low-lying Island nation, which is home to around 116,300 people is under threat from rising sea levels, and says the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio language is crucial to keeping its people rooted to their land and tradition in the coming crisis.
“Despite the enormous challenges Kiribati faces as a nation, their language and cultural identity will keep them grounded, and proud of their heritage,” said Mr Sio who launched the week on Sunday.
“This is truly evident in the vibrant Kiribati community living here in Aotearoa, and how they celebrate Kiribati Language Week.”
This year’s theme is Maubonian te teei i nanon te mwenga bon karekean te maiuraoi, te ongotaeka ao te tangira, which means the home is where we nurture our children towards a healthy, responsible, loving, and prosperous future.
The theme acknowledges the important role of the Kiribati mothers, both within their families and the wider community. It also reflects the overarching 2021 Pacific Language Week theme of Wellbeing, by linking the importance of language to overall wellbeing.
In 2020, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) launched the first official Kiribati Language Week, as part of the Pacific Language Weeks’ series.
This year, MPP worked alongside the Kiribati Language Week Steering Committee Membership to plan the 2021 Kiribati Language Week and implement the changes to support the Pacific Language Weeks Refresh in 2022.
“This Ministry has been working alongside the Kiribati Language Week Steering Committee Membership to organise events and activities throughout the week, which is based on the theme,” said Mr Sio.
Some activities and key events for Kiribati Language Week will also be available on the official NZ Kiribati Language Week Facebook page so more people can learn, embrace and celebrate Wikin te Taetae ni Kiribati.
HPF is encouraging you to join millions of people around the world by taking the Plastic Free July challenge and helping to rid our planet of plastic waste.
The reality of this crisis is confronting! According to the United Nations Environment Programme our planet is ‘drowning in plastic pollution … with 300 million tonnes of plastic waste a year, nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population … Plastic waste is now so ubiquitous in the natural environment that scientists have even suggested it could serve as a geological indicator of the Anthropocene era.”
Here in Aotearoa New Zealanders are tossing out an estimated 159 grams of plastic waste per person, said Environment Minister David Parker, making us some of the highest waste generators in the world.
Mr Parker recently announced that the NZ Government is committed to going plastic-free and will be phasing out problem-plastics and some single-use plastics by July 2025.
“We estimate this new policy will remove more than two billion single-use plastic items from our landfills or environment each year … We’re encouraging businesses and people to find reusable options.”
A recently published UN report has also highlighted that vulnerable communities disproportionately bear the brunt of environmental degradation caused by plastics pollution, and action is urgently needed to address the issue and restore access to human rights, health and wellbeing.
The report, entitled, Neglected: Environmental Justice Impacts of Plastic Pollution, showcases how environmental injustices are linked to plastic production, in areas such as deforestation for road building, the displacement of indigenous peoples to conduct oil drilling, as well as contamination of potable water by fracking operations to extract natural gas, in countries such as the United States and Sudan.
SO WHY WAIT! ACT NOW! Using this month as your plastic-free target will give you the impetus to begin your plastic-free journey, rather than putting it off for another time that may keep being postponed.
Secure your space at the 24th IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion – IUHPE 2022 in Montréal (Québec) Canada from 15 to 19 May, 2022 and take advantage of the Early Bird deal which ends in December.
You don’t want to miss out on this hybrid conference which will feature keynote speakers, organisations and events from an enormous range of global and local fields. A dynamic programme under the conference theme Promoting policies for health, well-being and equity is being framed and scoped by the Scientific Committees (Canadian and Global).
The conference will provide a unique opportunity to take stock of strategies and actions that can be taken to align policies with health, wellbeing and equity objectives say its co-chairs Carl-Ardy Dubois and Margaret Barry.
It will also help to “reinvigorate all sectors of society and all regions of the world concerned with supporting health and well-being”.
As a hybrid conference the event will allow activists and practical health promoters from around the world to participate, engage, and shape policy agendas while respecting their carbon footprint.
“This will be an opportunity for researchers, health practitioners and decision-makers, and other sectors critical to population health to exchange knowledge and share experiences on progress and challenges in better aligning policies for the promotion of population health equity and wellbeing,” say the co-chairs.
Registration on the website is available for both in-person and remote participants.
Matariki: Te Tau Hou Māori is one of our favourite times of the year and a chance for whanau and friends to reflect on the past, celebrate the present and plan for the future.
HPF’s Maori Health Promotion Strategist Mereana Te Pere said it was great to see how Matariki, which is being celebrated nationwide until July 11, had gained recognition over the past few years.
“More people now recognise the mana and significance of the Māori calendar and how we can better harmonise our lives with the rhythm of nature.
“Increasingly we’re learning that Matariki not only acts as a time marker, but also as an icon for Māori pūrakau, atua, and a tool that connects our physical bodies with the spiritual realm and the changing of seasons and elements,” said Mereana.
Mereana said it was thanks to Māori leaders such as Sir Mason Durie and Prof Rangi Mātāmua, that the move to living a life guided by Māori models and the maramataka had grown traction and were now recognised in many fields as beneficial for health and education in Aotearoa.
Sir Mason introduced Matariki as a guide for health promotion at the World Conference on Health Promotion in Rotorua in 2019. (PICTURED)
“Matariki provides a health promotion agenda for Māori and Indigenous peoples that endorse Indigenous rights, keep our skies clean and fresh, protect our lands, preserve our native forests, enable whānau and families to flourish, support community initiatives, safeguard our rivers and ocean, and restore nature’s balance,” he said.
“The indigenisation of our thinking and systems is shifting and widening the scope of how we can live and tackle challenges,” said Mereana.
Do you want to be empowered with new tools for your kete as a health promoter? Do you want to broaden your knowledge of the determinants of health, the Ottawa Charter, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its relationship to health promotion, and much more!?
Then don’t miss out on our next short course commencing in August and register before the end of July to secure your spot. (See poster for dates and contact details.)
Students who completed the course last month said they now have a better understanding of health promotion and the relationship of Te Tiriti to health promotion practice.
“This course is a foundational tool kit for health promotion practice in Aotearoa,” said Chanelle Hill from the Toi Te Ora Public health Unit for the Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Health Boards.
Sharon Malietoa, a health promoter at ScreenSouth Ltd, in Christchurch said prior to the course, she had no idea what health promotion was, let alone how it worked for individuals and communities. “Being able to relate Te Tiriti to health promotion was also ‘rewarding’.
“Highly recommended,” said Mahinaarangi Skipper, Iwi Health Promoter at Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki.
A webishop that will help you and your team build your Te Tiriti o Waitangi competencies is now ready to view on our YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/IRy7lkbKqa0
‘The Next Steps’ features Trevor Simpson, Chief Maori Advisor, PHARMAC, Dr Heather Came-Friar, Head of Department, Public Health, AUT and Dr Alison Blaiklock former Executive Director of HPF.
Facilitated by HPF’s Executive Director, Sione Tu’itahi this webishop will give you some invaluable advice as to how you can enhance the capacity of your organisation and health promoters on applying Te Tiriti to address the determinants of health for all.
Mr Simpson presents some ideas for people when engaging in this kaupapa, and discusses how important it is to prioritise and demonstrate an authentic commitment to Te Tiriti regardless of what organisation you’re working in.
“Wherever you look now there is a growing expectation that Te Tiriti is something of critical importance …” and each and of us working in the Government sector needs to be not just cognisant of that but build something into the work we’re doing that reflects that.”
For instance he said PHARMAC had an expectation from the Minister of Health that it would not only uphold Te Tiriti but commit a lot of our work to it. “This is a significant change for PHARMAC … it’s a new thing and for me I think it’s an opportunity to leverage off that.”
Dr Came-Friar stresses the importance of actively making and nurturing relationships in working around Te Tiriti.
“For me as a Treaty partner, I try to be reliable, credible, accountable and engage in reciprocal relationships so there’s give and take rather than take, take, take.”
Dr Blaiklock gives interesting insight into how HPF was able to in the revision of its constitution ensuring that Te Tiriti was embedded throughout it.
“Having Māori leadership and advice actively part of decision-making and what we did with resources and in supporting Māori organisations in terms of prioritising activities attempting to do what would increase equity.”
TALOFA LAVA! We’re celebrating Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa – Samoa Language Week this week and reflect on how vital language is to the wellbeing of Pacific peoples.
The theme is, Poupou le lotoifale, Ola manuia le anofale, or, in English, Strengthen the posts of your house, for all to thrive.
Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio who launched the week at Papatoetoe High School in South Auckland on Sunday said the theme talks about the Samoan fale or house, which can only stand strong when the pillars are sturdy.
“Like a fale, our individual and collective resilience can be measured by our building posts that keep us grounded through the inevitable ups and downs of everyday life,” said Mr Sio.
“Those posts are our languages, cultures and traditions which are reinforced by our families, schools, and churches.”
The 2018 Census shows over 60 per cent of Pacific people are born in New Zealand, and Gagana Samoa is the third most-spoken language in New Zealand behind English and te reo Māori.
Mr Sio said while it’s great many people speak Gagana Samoa, we must actively nurture the language so NZ-born Samoans grow up with a firm understanding of the unique culture and traditions which provide the foundation of who they are.
“I encourage all New Zealanders to celebrate Samoa Language Week this year by taking the time to support their Samoan neighbours, colleagues and friends to strengthen the posts of their house, or inner-selves, through the celebration of Samoan language and culture.”
As part of Samoa Language Week 2021 celebrations, Samoan Independence Day commemorations will take place on June 1, at Fale Samoa, Māngere.
The nominated 2021 Tautai o le Gagana Language Champion Honours event will take place June 5 at 3pm, held at Fale Pasifika, University of Auckland.
It’s @WorldSmokefreeDay today, and we urge you if you’re a smoker to stub out the habit and if you’re not, do all you can to encourage, help and support friends and whānau on their quit journey!
The theme is “commit to quit”! It’s all about drawing a line in the sand and committing to yourself, to your hauora, to your whakapapa, to our whenua or to anyone/anything that can and will claim your birthright to fresh air!
We can also play our part by committing to helping achieve the objectives of World Smokefree Day in Aotearoa NZ to:
HPF congratulates Dame Cindy Kiro on her appointment as Governor-General of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Dame Cindy is the first wahine Māori to hold this role. She was born in Whangārei, Northland, in 1958, and is of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu and British descent. She also has connections to Te Arawa in the Rotorua region.
At the weekly post-Cabinet media briefing (Banner picture) where Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement Dame Cindy said she was “proudly Māori and I’m also part British”.
“So, I bring, with this unique marriage, an understanding of the foundational basis of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its place in our history.”
She said she accepted the position with a “huge sense of gratitude and humility” and as an opportunity to serve her country.
“It’s a great honour,” she said.
Sione Tu’itahi, HPF’s Executive Director welcomed the appointment saying it was overdue but very confirming that we finally have as Governor General, a Maori woman leader and educator who is also a “champion for social justice, equity, public health and health promotion”.
Mereana Te Pere, Māori Health Promotion Strategist for HPF said this was another positive step forward for the elevation of wāhine Māori as custodians of the people of Aotearoa. “Her immense wisdom will help advance the wellness of Māori and all New Zealanders.”
Ms Ardern said she was delighted Dame Cindy had accepted the role.
“She has a highly distinguished and lengthy career in academic and leadership positions and has made significant contributions across a number of fields and organisations.
“Over many decades, Dame Cindy has demonstrated her passion for the wellbeing of children and young people, as well as education and learning. I know she will bring that same commitment to all New Zealanders as Governor-General,” said Ms Ardern.
“We are privileged to have someone of Dame Cindy’s mana and standing for the role …”
Dame Cindy who was previously the Children’s Commissioner, is currently Chief Executive of the Royal Society – Te Apārangi. Her appointment for a five-year term has been approved by the Queen and she will take up the role in October.
If you’d like to have your say on proposed actions to achieve the Smokefree 2025 goal, and help inform the development of the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan, then now’s the time!
Get your submissions in by 5pm on May 31 – ‘World SmokeFree Day’ – and do your part in helping to achieve the goal of making Aotearoa NZ smoke-free by 2025!!
It’s a decade since New Zealand adopted the goal to reduce smoking prevalence and tobacco availability to minimal levels, essentially making NZ smoke-free by 2025. Over this time, according to the Ministry of Health, although smoking rates have continued to decline much work still needs to be done, particularly to reduce smoking rates among Māori, Pacific peoples and those living in our most disadvantaged communities.
According to Health Coalition Aotearoa tobacco use continues to take a catastrophic toll on New Zealanders, resulting in considerable suffering, debilitating diseases, and premature death.
“Smoking remains a leading preventable cause of health inequity, especially for Māori, Pacific and low-income people.”
Students who wrapped up the short course in health promotion in May this year described the course as stimulating, empowering, eye-opening and enlightening!!
The students, who came from around the country to complete Block Two of the Certificate of Achievement in Introducing Health Promotion (CoA), said they couldn’t wait to take back what they had learned to the field.
“I left Auckland empowered with new tools for my Kete as a health promoter,” said Sharon Malietoa, a health promoter at Screen South Ltd in Christchurch.
“The course has helped me shape the way I now see my role as a health promoter and not just a person who hands out information and provides education.”
Sharon said it also taught her how to advocate more for “women, aiga and a community in different ways in my line of work, as well as practical ways on how to use the Ottawa Charter when aligned with Te Tiriti o Waitangi which I believe, is important for the future and knowledge of health promoters after me”.
“I left with a foundation of how to alleviate health issues in our Pasifika communities and to find ways to purposely serve our people, to see them make changes to lifestyles in which they have become accustomed to in this Western world,” said Sharon.
Rachael Duncan, Health and Safety Administrator at Korowai Hauora o Hauraki said the course helped her understand you need to look past the individual and more at their environment to fully grasp what is going on for them.
“Using the Ottawa Charters strategies and action strands to help these individuals navigate their way to better health not just for them, but their whanau and communities, has been a real eye-opener. I look forward to working alongside our team to not only educate but to promote and prevent poor health within our community.
“My favourite part was learning and understanding the Ottawa Charter and how it is used as a health promoter. Te Tiriti o Waitangi was also another highlight,” said Rachael.
Jayda Beazley from Te Ahurei A Rangatahi in Hamilton said it was so interesting to learn about the different aspects of the Ottawa Charter and the huge impact that Te Tiriti has had on health promotion.
Isaac Whare Phillips from Korowai Hauora o Hauraki said he was excited upon completing the course and although there was a lot to take in, he would be going away and digesting all he had learned. “There is so much more to health promotion then I realised!”
Students agreed that they were more determined than ever to go back out into the field to enable, mediate and advocate for their communities.
“Being able to advocate, enable and mediate for my Pasifika people as I work alongside them, longevity and long life will be the new normal for my Pasifika people …”
The Certificate of Achievement in Health Promotion short course, is jointly offered by Manukau Institute of Technology and HPF.
HPF is thrilled that Sir Mason Durie has been appointed by the Government to lead a group that will ensure the new Māori gives Māori a voice and influence on how NZ’s health system needs to improve.
Sir Mason will lead a Steering Group to provide advice to the Transition Unit on governance arrangements and initial appointments to an interim board to oversee the establishment of the Māori Health Authority.
This group will ensure that Māori shape a vital element of our future health system, Minister of Health Andrew Little and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare announced yesterday (May 7).
“Tā Mason is a pillar of the New Zealand health system and brings tremendous experience and mana to this crucial role. The place of the Māori Health Authority in the future health system is important not only for Māori, but for all New Zealanders,” Mr Little said.
Mr Henare said he couldn’t think of anyone who was better qualified or had greater mana in this area than Tā Mason.
“He has spent his life working at the forefront of hauora Māori innovation – and so it is right that he helps us ensure that the Māori Health Authority continues to be transformative.”
Sir Mason will head a Steering Group working to the Transition Unit in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. It will focus on:
involving Māori in identifying candidates for the interim Māori Health Authority board, and supporting Ministers in appointing that board with a mandate from Māori
providing advice on appropriate options for governance and accountability arrangements for the Māori Health Authority.
Mr Henare hopes to confirm appointments to the interim Authority board by 1 September, subject to Cabinet’s agreement once candidates are identified.
HPF congratulates Jenn Lawless on her appointment as the new Executive Director for Health Coalition Aotearoa.
Ms Lawless, who was the Strategic Campaigns Coordinator at NZ Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU) was welcomed into her new role with a moving mihi whakatau hosted by the Cancer Society National Office in Wellington on Tuesday.
A large contingent of her workmates from the NZCTU came to support Ms Lawless’s transition from them to the Health Coalition.
Professor Boyd Swinburn, Chair of the Health Coalition said they very excited to have Ms Lawless on board. “Jenn comes with a very strong background in Parliament, union advocacy, and public health.”
Ms Lawless told HPF she was pleased to take up this leadership role because she had a long-running interest in health equity, health policy, and public health in particular.
“Health is the most fundamental measure of whether a society is fair – does everyone have the ability to lead a good and healthy life, and are we sharing resources in a way that enables that? The answer currently is clearly no!
Ms Lawless said life expectancy, disease burdens and almost any other measure of health shows “we are failing tangata whenua, Pasifika, migrants, those with less wealth and income and the disabled community in particular”.
“Much of this is down to the drivers of health, like healthy food environments, incomes, housing, and prevalence of harmful substances like alcohol and tobacco,” she pointed out.
“While I have an academic background in public health and politics, the first thing I will be doing is meeting with health promoters, academics and NGOs in the public health sector to get a good picture of the big issues facing us collectively. Our greatest resource in the health sector is the knowledge, experience and passion of the people working in it, and I’ll be drawing on this for Health Coalition Aotearoa as we advocate for greater health equity in New Zealand.”
Join us for a webishop on June 17 to examine how Māori should focus on their wellbeing first, while they can also contribute to the wellbeing of humanity, because they are citizens of an interdependent, globalised world.
The webishop will also explore and discuss the impact of planetary health on Māori, and what indigenous and local knowledge and practices that Māori health promoters and other health workers can apply to resolve these challenges at the local and global levels.
Speakers are Indigenous Economic Consultant, Huti Watson and HPF’s Executive Director, Sione Tu’itahi.
Huti believes that Māori principles, values and epistemologies are as relevant and important today for Māori as they were in pre-colonial times.
“During six years in a modern take of a traditional learning environment that is known as ‘Te Whare Wananga’, and through immersion in our creation stories using language, songs and dance I learnt about our traditional Māori belief systems and identity, and how they continue to shape and govern who we are as Māori today,” says Huti.
HPF webishops have three phases of learning activities:
Pre-event study and preparation, using resources sent three days prior
Participation in the actual webinar with questions and answers as well as discussion
After the webishop, participants receive a copy of the powerpoint presentation and other resources used, as well as exclusive and private viewing of the webinar for two weeks on our YouTube channel, before the video is made public. And, ask follow-up questions to the presenter and/or facilitator during the two weeks after the webishop
HPF has welcomed Government’s plans to revamp and strengthen the healthcare system to provide more equitable and better health care for all New Zealanders.
NZ’s Health Minister Andrew Little who unveiled the major changes yesterday (May 21) said ensuring fairer access for all New Zealanders and putting a greater emphasis on primary healthcare were two of the main drivers of the reforms.
“The reforms will mean that for the first time, we will have a truly national health system, and the kind of treatment people get will no longer be determined by where they live.
“By making these changes we can start giving true effect to Tiro Rangatiranga and our obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi,” said Mr Little.
The main changes include the setting up of a new and truly independent Māori Health Authority, aimed at overcoming the huge health disparities for Māori as a whole, and the replacement of the 20 DHBs by one new body Health NZ. A new Public Health agency will also be created within the Ministry of Health.
HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi said HPF was pleased to see the creation of a Māori Health Authority (MHA) which would help not only to address the inequities, but also to acknowledging the rights of Tangata Whenua as the other partner in Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the founding document of our nation, and one of the two founding documents of health promotion in our country.
Mr Tu’itahi said however that by not including environmental determinants in the reframing was a missed opportunity.
“Let’s hope that the new Public Health Agency, and the MHA will pick this up. The health sector and all other sectors should seriously note that the planet is broken, as mentioned by the UN Secretary-General recently. We cannot achieve human health without a healthy planet.
“Overall, the reform is a move in the right direction, but let’s wait for the details, especially the distribution of power and the allocation of resources.”
Associate Health Minister (Māori Health) Peeni Henare said while New Zealand’s health system performs well overall against most international comparisons, it has significant issues delivering for Māori who continue to lag behind in key health status indicators.
“Māori health has suffered under the current system for too long,” Mr Henare said.
“We will legislate for a new independent voice – the Māori Health Authority – to drive hauora Māori and lead the system to make real change.
“It will have joint decision-making rights to agree national strategies, policies and plans that affect Māori at all levels of the system and it will work in partnership with Health New Zealand to ensure that service plans and the commissioning of health services drives improvement,” Mr Henare added.
Today on Earth Day (April 22) we urge you to take action to protect our precious planet and demonstrate our support for environmental protection.
With the global climate crisis worsening each year, today’s theme ‘Restore Our Earth’ is even more significant and it’s imperative that we act NOW!!!
As the Secretary General of the UN António Guterres recently warned: “Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal. Nature always strikes back – and it is already doing so with growing force and fury.”
However, added Dr Guterres human action can help to solve it.
Human action is what Earth Day is all about – bringing millions of people from around the world together and giving an opportunity for all stakeholders to create awareness and work together on critical issues like global warming, pollution and the vanishing forest cover among others. Earth Day is one of the oldest and largest global movements when it comes to positive environmental change and is supported by 75,000 partners in over 190 countries.
HPF’s Executive Director, Sione Tu’itahi says health promoters have an integral role in this collaborative effort to fight the climate crisis.
“With evidence, ethics and social justice, health promoters – whether educators and policy analysts or Whanau Ora and community workers – they are making effective contributions to the wellbeing of the planet and humanity at all levels, from the local to the global,” says Mr Tu’itahi.
This year, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a host of environmental issues are being prioritized. Click HERE to view some of the digital events that will take centre stage.
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.
The response from participants to the first three webishops in a series of webishops HPF is offering throughout the year to discuss topical issues in health promotion has been encouraging!
The webishops, ‘Every day is Waitangi day’, ‘No Health without Planetary Health’ and ‘Diabetes: Social Malady with Social Responsibility’ were topical, eye-opening and thought-provoking.
Questions came thick and fast and the feedback from participants, many of whom said they loved the inclusion and style of the workshops, was that they couldn’t wait for the next webishop.
Comments ranged from “thank you for your kōrero. Lots of great learnings …” to “really fascinating and important discussion.”
Sasha Stevenson, Health Promoter – Toitū Te Whenua said the diabetes webishop exceeded her expectations. “It was heartbreaking to hear the extent of Type 2 Diabetes and renal complications in the Tongan and Pacific Island people. It was an eye-opener to me …
“I think that we could really benefit by some key community leaders from the Māori and Pasifika groups/church leaders, iwi leaders etc who can come and guide us health promoters on how to engage their specific communities so that we can work together to achieve better outcomes. As the doctors said in their webishop, whatever we have been doing has not been effective so we have to try new ways of working.”
Of the Māori webishop, Geneva Adams, a student at Te Wananga o Aotearoa, said many Māori and non- Māori will find the decolonising way of thinking challenging — looking through a Maori worldview lens or another lens.
Dr Grace Wong, a part-time senior lecturer at AUT said the mainstream webishop was wonderful and Trevor (Guest speaker, Dr Trevor Hancock) was an excellent speaker. “You can ask him anything! Thank you HPF!).
The themes for the webishop series 2021 are: Planetary Health – the health of human civilisation and the crisis state of the natural systems on which it depends; Inequities, Colonisation, Racism and Te Tiriti and the Determinants of Health.
Information about the Pacific webishop on May 5 will be coming out shortly. Don’t miss out!
Meanwhile, check out our YouTube channel for No Health without Planetary Health’ and ‘Diabetes: Social Malady with Social Responsibility’ which are now available for viewing. DON’T FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE!
The four winning posters of the Aotearoa Poster Competition, which was launched last year in response to anti-Chinese sentiments that arose out of Covid-19, have been added to The Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa’s collection.
More than 50 submissions were made to the competition which was born in the midst of the April 2020 Covid-19 Level Four lockdown. More than 1000 Kiwis voted for their favourite poster.
Dr Grace Gassin, curator of Asian New Zealand Histories at Te Papa, said they were thrilled to give support to a much-needed conversation.
“As a national institution, we are delighted to be able to signal our support for the competition’s anti-racist Kaupapa. Asian New Zealanders’ experiences of, and courageous responses to, the targeted racism they have endured during the Covid-19 pandemic are an important part of the national conversation.
“Collecting the winning posters from the inaugural Aotearoa Poster Competition will allow Te Papa to record not only the wonderful creative efforts of the artists, but also the perspectives and motivations of the organisers who set it up.”
Wellbeing researcher and one of the competition organisers Bev Hong described the decision by Te Papa as “momentous”.
“It’s an acknowledgement of the lived experience of many Asian, including Chinese-New Zealanders, and validation of the messages that these posters convey,” said Ms Hong.
“It’s been such a privilege to be part of the team working in collaboration with Chinese community groups and others in this shared kaupapa.”
Ms Hong said the competition was successful in achieving its aims to add to the conversation through a strength-based approach that gave artists a voice, was supportive of Chinese and Asian communities, and provided resources to spotlight the diversity of Chinese communities and ways to respond as an upstander to racist behaviour.
“For all New Zealanders, Covid-19 has been, and is, a challenging time — however add to this the impact of heightened anti-racism activities that directly cause harm and also indirectly undermine your sense of safety and societal belonging or acceptance.
“Asian Family Services who offer free and confidential face-to-face and phone support services reported in April 2020 – a significant increase in number and duration of calls which included more diverse family distress, mental health and issues around race-related bullying and discrimination in schools and workplaces,” added Ms Hong.
She also acknowledged the racism experienced by Māori since tauiwi arrived through colonisation and says that should also be recognised as a primary issue for our nation and other marginalised groups.
In addition to being acquired by Te Papa, the four winning artworks will also be used in a nationwide street poster campaign sponsored by Phantom Billstickers, with an aim to further conversations about race, diversity, and inclusion throughout Aotearoa.
INTERVIEW WITH BEV HONG:
HAUORA: How thrilled were you and the other competition organisers about the posters being added to the Te Papa collection?
MS HONG: We were absolutely thrilled and extremely pleased that the collaborative efforts of all involved, the kaupapa of the project and the wonderful posters would be acknowledged and preserved. The Te Papa collection of the posters helped to amplify the inclusive and anti-racism message of our national project as a response to the heightened anti-Chinese sentiment sparked by Covid-19. I think it also recognises the competition as a marker along Aotearoa New Zealand’s ongoing journey as a diverse society and the importance and growing urgency for Anti-Asian behaviour to be recognised, acknowledged, and actively addressed as evidenced by the Anti-Asian racism march in Auckland last Saturday.
HAUORA: Was the competition successful in terms of stirring up conversations around the topic of racism against Chinese people in Aotearoa?
MS HONG: Yes, the competition was successful in achieving its aims to add to the conversation through a strength-based approach that gave artists a voice, was supportive of Chinese and Asian communities, and provided resources to spotlight the diversity of Chinese communities and ways to respond as an upstander to racist behaviour. It is hard to judge specifically how successful the competition was in terms of stirring up conversation because of the other events and activities that were occurring at the time – such as the Human Right’s Commission “Racism Is No Joke” initiative and media reporting about the increase in anti-Chinese behaviour. At an anecdotal level – unprompted feedback to public street display of the promotional competition posters with an anti-racism theme as well as the winning posters later in the year were extremely positive. Other indications of its success include: over 15,000 website page views over the life of the competition; art entrants from all over New Zealand including Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, Gisborne, Hamilton, Lower Hutt, Feilding, Invercargill, Karamea, Lawrence, New Plymouth, Pirongia, Queenstown, and Upper Moutere; over 1000 public votes cast to decide the winning entry for the Popular Vote Category and social media and media reporting about the competition.
HAUORA: It was interesting to note that the poster competition also aimed to highlight the diversity of the country’s Chinese communities, which is so important?
MS HONG: key aim of the project was to reflect Aotearoa New Zealand’s diverse Chinese communities and inform people about our national history. We created two new resources for the website: a profile of the broader mainstream historical narrative of Aotearoa New Zealand. The audience for these resources was so that the diverse population of Chinese living here could see themselves reflected as Chinese Kiwis in the project, and to help the public recognise the diversity and long history of Chinese living and settling here (since 1842). For example: in 2018, 26% of Chinese Kiwis are born in New Zealand, 51% were born in the People’s Republic of China and 21% were born in one of 115 other countries. We also provide links to creative, film and other resources about Chinese in Aotearoa. These aspects are so important for our understanding of who we are as a diverse society and helps address the “othering” that occurs – as also reflected in the choice of phrasing as part of the competition theme: He waka eke noa – We’re all in this together.
HAUORA: As a wellbeing researcher you must have gotten to see first-hand how much of an impact the increased incidents of racism has had on the wellbeing of the Chinese community/individuals?
MS HONG: We, as a project team, worked collaboratively with the New Zealand Chinese Association, Asian Family Services, and The Asian Network Incorporated (TANI). As part of that I got to appreciate the need to see the impact of increased incidents as part of a broader spectrum of concerns that Asian and Chinese communities are facing in the context of Covid-19 in terms of their wellbeing. For all New Zealanders, Covid-19 has been, and is, a challenging time – however add to this the impact of heightened anti-racism activities that directly cause harm and also indirectly undermine your sense of safety and societal belonging or acceptance. Asian Family Services who offer free and confidential face-to-face and phone support services reported in April 2020 – a significant increase in number and duration of calls which included more diverse family distress, mental health and issues around race-related bullying and discrimination in schools and workplaces.
HAUORA: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
MS HONG: Thank you for the opportunity to share about the competition and its kaupapa in your newsletter. It has been a real privilege to be involved in this initiative and to work with the project team. The positive energy and support for the competition and its kaupapa from a diverse range of groups and people has been an essential part of its success. We positioned 2020 as the inaugural competition and we’re reflecting on the experience and lessons learnt with the potential for a future one in 2022 which continues a strength-based focus and has a related diversity theme.
It is now just over two years since the 15 March Christchurch Mosque attacks, and I think it is important to acknowledge that the 2020 competition spotlight on Chinese communities is within a broader conversation and context regarding racism in this country.
This includes the continuing and urgent need for institutional and systemic change to address the racism suffered by Māori, tangata whenua, since settlement of tauiwi through colonisation.
A project led by the Whangārei South healthcare locality, one of six localities being set up by HPF member Mahitahi Hauora across Te Tai Tokerau, is getting out in the community to help young people develop and be mentally well.
Whakapiki ake Taitamariki’s first community event for this year was held at the Onerahi Community Gardens on 10 February to help strengthen services and support for local young people. Around 30 Onerahi locals joined in the event, including whānau, young people, community group representatives, teachers, and nannies with their mokopuna.
Whakapiki ake Taitamariki Coordinator Sapi Iuliano said the project team wanted to connect with the community in their own space, especially whānau and young people, to build and strengthen relationships.
“We chilled over kai together and talked about our services and opportunities to collaborate with other stakeholders working to support local young people. We also got some of the local taitamariki involved in a youth group to mentor others and help organise events and activities by and for young people.”
Mahitahi Hauora Portfolio and Locality Lead Bernie Hetaraka said the Whakapiki ake Taitamariki project emerged from hui held in 2019 with communities in Raumanga, Onerahi, Bream Bay and Dargaville.
“Our communities told us our first priority should be to support the development of our taitamariki. They wanted more youth workers, support for young people to set goals and achieve milestones such as getting a driver’s licence, improved access to healthcare services for young people, and more recreational events and activities for young people,” she said.
“The collaborative way of working in a healthcare locality made Whakapiki ake Taitamariki possible. Localities bring healthcare practices and providers, community and social services, and local community and whānau together to deliver health and social care in partnership. Our projects are guided by the priorities of the community.”
Following on from agreement about what Whakapiki ake Taitamariki needed to focus on, Mahitahi Hauora worked with stakeholders to build a plan to start introducing some of those things, pulling the team together to make it happen and securing funding. The project then went to the Mahitahi Hauora Board for approval, which it received in March 2020.
In the Whangārei South locality, primary health entity Mahitahi Hauora is working in partnership with Whangārei Youth Space, healthcare providers, community groups and whānau on the Whakapiki ake Taitamariki project.
Whakapiki ake Taitamariki is introducing youth workers to mentor young people and organise activities and events.
Banner photo from left: Allan Tipene, Senior Youth Worker at Whangārei Youth Space; Chaston Kay, member of the WAT (Whakapiki ake Taitamariki) youth group; Stormy Kay, Youth Development Worker at Whangārei Youth Space.
Dr Kate Morgaine has worked professionally in health promotion for about 15 or so years and is an academic (teaching and research) in Te Tari Hauora Tūmatanui at the University of Otago.
In this interview with Hauora Dr Morgaine gives some insight into why health promotion was so appealing to her as a ‘young feminist’ and the progression of her career from a high school teacher of physical education and health to her current role.
Wanting to share her experience with the next generation of health promoters prompted her move into academia and she gained a PHD focused on evaluating an occupational safety programme that had been rolled out nationwide.
She also discusses the advantages for health promotion that the National Accreditation Standards will have in Aotearoa and has some great advice for up-and-coming health promoters.
Hauora: You launched your career in health promotion in the mid-1980s? Can you tell us a bit about your early days in health promotion and what attracted you to this field?
Dr Morgaine: What attracted me to health promotion, and public health more generally, was the call to social justice and to equity. I was already a young feminist and health promotion gave me a framework for thinking about and addressing social justice and equity issues. It was love at first sight, and a “long obedience in the same direction [that results in] something which has made life worth living” as Nietzsche put it, although in a somewhat different context.
I started my professional career as a high school teacher of physical education and health. At that stage, schools were only allowed to teach about menstruation and the basics of biology. Teaching about sexuality was restricted to Public Health Nurses and Family Planning educators. In my first year of teaching at a rural girls’ high school the Family Planning education team came to school for a week. I thought “that is what I want to do”, so I knocked on the FPA education door in Christchurch. Thankfully, they employed me to work in sexuality education with young people. As a 24-year-old, I was practically a peer. As we know, NGOs don’t have a lot of money, so that job was time limited. The training I received in developing teaching sessions and group work leadership was excellent and has stood me in good stead for my entire career. Two years on, and a job was advertised for a Health Education Officer (HEO) at a pilot Area Health Board (AHB). I was lucky enough to secure that job. In the 1980s most HEOs were employed in the district offices of the Department of Health. All newly employed HEOs were formally trained through a one-year certificate at the Department of Health. Each region usually only had one person employed by the DoH or area health board. This was the case in my AHB; however, I was fortunate enough to have an NGO colleague to work alongside with. Although called an HEO, the work was what we now call health promotion. The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion was published during this time for me. It was an exciting and heady time for all of us involved. My professional health promotion practice has been primarily in the areas of sexuality, and alcohol harm reduction; with a couple of years working in the UK in a sexual health clinic that included counselling and support for people with HIV in the time before treatment was available. On my return home, I worked in health promotion for a few years in Otago. Just before entering academia, I returned to the UK and did a short term (6 month) stint in Oxfordshire developing, writing and workshopping with the community, a rural health promotion plan for them. Rurality in southern England is a whole lot different than it is here.
Hauora: What prompted you to enter the ‘world of academia’ in the early 2000s and what universities did you start teaching in before you commenced your role as health promotion academic at the University of Otago?
Dr Morgaine: After working professionally in health promotion for about 15 or so years, I decided that what I wanted to do was share my experience with the next generation of health promoters. The only way to really do that in New Zealand (and get paid enough to support myself) was to move into academia; and the only way to get a job in academia in the current climate is to have a PhD. So that is the path I followed. My PhD focused on evaluating an occupational safety programme that had been rolled out nationwide. Although occupational safety wasn’t something I had done previously, evaluating the development, implementation and impact of a health promotion/education programme was definitely in my wheelhouse.
During that time, an academic position in public health opened up in the Faculty of Dentistry in Dunedin. There are precious few academic health promotion jobs across the country, so I jumped at the chance. Teaching public health and health promotion in a clinical setting was challenging and interesting. It certainly made for interesting days. After 8 years I spread my wings and moved to the UK to be the Subject Co-ordinator for the public health Master’s programme at Oxford Brookes University. I taught and supervised across the breadth of public health, while also teaching the health promotion courses. Probably half the students were international students with really broad experience in the world of public health. I think they taught me as much as I taught them.
I moved back to an academic position at the University of Otago almost five years ago. It is a joy to be home.
Hauora: How would you describe your current role, and have you seen an increased interest in health promotion from young people since you started?
Dr Morgaine: My current role is as an academic (teaching and research) in Te Tari Hauora Tūmatanui or the Preventive and Social Medicine Dept (an old name for Public Health). Although it was a generic position, I am lucky enough to be teaching almost exclusively in my specialty of health promotion for the first time. I teach the undergraduate introduction to health promotion. In the time I have been back the class size has increased from about 70 to about 90 on average each year. The Bachelor of Oral Health students make up a good portion of the class. The numbers have increased since Otago has offered a Bachelor of Health Sciences majoring in either Public Health, Māori Health, Global and Pacific Health, or Community Health. It is exciting to work with young people who are also interested in social justice and equity. I also teach postgraduate papers – one focused on the broader determinants of health, and one focused on the practicality of planning and evaluating health promotion projects/programmes. Our class sizes have grown in this area too. Young people in both the undergrad and postgrad courses are strongly driven by what they can contribute to addressing social justice. I particularly enjoy the reciprocity in these classes.
My research is focused on evaluation of programmes and projects, how best to improve what we do. I do this work with people employed in Public Health Services as well as people who work in their communities. I like to work alongside people, and I like to be useful to them. This is what drives my approach to research.
Hauora: You have said that you are really interested in best practice in health promotion and bringing evaluation into everyday practice. Can you please elaborate on this?
Dr Morgaine: I love my profession. I want us all to be the best we can be. I think knowing about the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of what we do is really important. It means we can serve our communities and contribute to wellbeing in a way that is both helpful to them and justifiable to those who fund programmes. Without even realising it, we all undertake planning and evaluation every day. We make plans for our families, our friends, our selves, to address our own needs; and we evaluate them too, to decide if it was worth doing, worth doing again, or something we are going to steer clear of. Planning and evaluation in health promotion is taking those everyday things and getting formal about it. In my teaching, I try to make the various theories and approaches to planning and evaluation as practical as possible, so the skills can be used in real-life practice.
Hauora: As you know HPF is working on the development of an accreditation framework for health promoters and providers in New Zealand with the goal to establish a national accreditation organisation (NAO), under the global accreditation framework of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE). How do you see this benefitting health promoters and health promotion in Aotearoa?
Dr Morgaine: Health promotion is still a fledgling profession, even though the Ottawa Charter is 35 years old. Many people across all sorts of health professions say they do health promotion. And of course, they do to some extent. However, to be a Health Promotion practitioner you need to understand the depths and strengths of health promotion; its underlying principles and values; and the skills that are needed to practice well.
Having a formal process for recognition of experience, training, skills and knowledge, allows us as a profession to have a place to stand, and stand tall. It is an important part of being acknowledged as having speciality skills and values. It signals to the other health professions as well as to the community that we value ourselves and our communities. The NAO within Aotearoa New Zealand will specifically recognise our communities and approaches, as well as ensuring we meet international standards.
Having an internationally recognised accreditation signals our professionalism to other countries and makes it easier for our practitioners to travel to other countries to work if they want (once we are allowed to travel)
Hauora: Do you plan to stay in the academic world and if so why?
Dr Morgaine: Well, I am an old lady now. Changing jobs when you are my age is difficult. And I truly love my job – I love teaching especially, working with young people, seeing them make their way in the world – where else would I be?
Unless someone offers me some random other spectacular job that allows me to do all the things I love, this is where you will find me.
Hauora: What would your advice be for up-and-coming health promoters?
Dr Morgaine: Get some training under your belt so you have frameworks to help you approach new and different topics, projects, and so forth. Grab as much continuing professional development as you can. This will help you in your personal practice AND help you justify your plans and practices to those in the hierarchy.
Be open to working across different areas, so you gain as much experience as you can.
Find a way to challenge the status quo (in a way that means you can keep your job, if possible)
Find yourself a peer group who you can talk through the challenges and celebrate the good things with.
Find yourself a more experienced health promoter who can be a mentor.
And finally, in the words of my mentor many years ago, if you are not in trouble you are not doing your job properly. If our plan is to achieve social justice, we are bound to upset those who have power. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself in trouble, but be safe as well (hence the peer group, good training, etc)
Dr Grace Wong has been an avid health promoter for many years and is a leading advocate for tobacco control in Aotearoa.
A part-time senior lecturer in Nursing, Associate of the Centre for Migrant and Refugee Research at AUT, Dr Wong is the founder and co-director of Smokefree Nurses Aotearoa.
The protection of the health of Asian New Zealanders plays a key role in her research. Haoura recently caught up with Dr Wong to discuss what it was like growing up as ‘fourth-generation Aotearoa-born Chinese’ in Christchurch, which at the time had a population of just 400 Chinese, her love for health promotion and what motivated her to get involved in the fight against smoking.
Dr Wong also shares about her work with migrant, refugee and asylum-seeker communities, as well as her involvement with an art-based initiative that aims to reduce racism, which was intensified around the globe and in NZ by Covid-19, against Chinese people.
HAUORA: Can you tell us a bit about what it was like growing up as a ‘fourth-generation Aotearoa-born Chinese’ and what it’s like to belong to a large extended family? DR WONG: When I was little there were only 400 Chinese people living in Christchurch and not one was an extended family member. My Mum’s family came from Wellington, so we visited every Christmas. I remember roller skating up and down my Popo’s big old hallway. My Uncle Ray converted those skates into skateboards for me and my sister. And then we whizzed down the drive and turned sharply on to the footpath, so we didn’t get hit by a car. My Popo made the best yum char long before there were lots of Chinese restaurants.
HAUORA: What were your early career aspirations? DR WONG: Being in a long line of oldest daughters I guess I was always bossy. And I wanted to help people. I also wanted to know what to do if someone keeled over in front of me. So, I became a nurse (and I try not to be bossy!).
HAUORA: You’ve been associated with HPF since the 1990s and we were delighted to welcome you to the HPF Board recently. What drew you to HPF and health promotion? DR WONG: I love health promotion because it is the most optimistic of health professions. It draws out the best in individuals, families, communities and populations. It celebrates diversity. Everybody is welcome here. That’s what drew me to health promotion and the HPF.
HAUORA: You have been dedicated to tobacco control over the years and have done a lot of research on smoking. What motivated you to enter this field?
DR WONG: In my culture, like others, we never forget a good turn. I will always be grateful to Emeritus Professor Ruth Bonita, Dr Marewa Glover and Trish Fraser who set me on the tobacco control path. I love our country and its people. Tobacco control is about equity. Everyone deserves a fair go.
HAUORA: Protecting the health of Asian New Zealanders has played a major part in your research. How big a problem is smoking among Asians here and is the smoke-free message getting through to them?
DR WONG: I really appreciate this question because the illusion that Asian smoking rates are low falls away as soon as the data is disaggregated by gender. Asian men smoke at nearly the same rate as the general population. Women’s rates are low. In Auckland we are lucky to have Smokefree Asian Communities to help Asian smokers quit.
HAUORA: You were also the founder and co-director of Smokefree Nurses Aotearoa and use research to promote nurse action to achieve the Government’s Better Help for Smokers to Quit health target and the Smokefree 2025 goal. Do you see NZ as being on target to be smoke-free by 2025 and is enough being done to hit that target? How can we as health promoters help to achieve this goal?
DR WONG: Aotearoa is at risk of missing the Smokefree 2025 goal. I believe that we can serve people best by listening to them rather than buying into intense debates about what is right and what is wrong. Quitting smoking is incredibly hard. Our role is to advocate for and offer evidence-based options, practical support, and encouragement appropriate to peoples’ culture, circumstances and preferences.
HAUORA: Can you tell us about your work with migrant, refugee and asylum-seeker communities in this country and what sort of initiatives are in place to ensure their health and wellbeing, especially during Covid-19?
DR WONG: I was relieved to hear about the government meeting with leaders of ethnic communities recently. Many migrant, former refugee and asylum-seeker communities are fearful of Covid-19. They rely on sources they trust for information and direction. Direct service delivery organisations like the Asian Network Incorporated, Asian Family Services and Shanthi Niwas Charitable Trust, listen to their communities, advocate for services for them, and support them mentally, physically, socially and culturally.
HAUORA: Unfortunately, Covid-19 has exacerbated racism against Chinese people around the world. You are currently a project team member on the Aotearoa Poster Competition, an art-based initiative which aims to reduce racism against Chinese people, which has also been heightened in Aotearoa, by Covid. When did this initiative start, how does it plan to achieve its goal and how is it is progressing?
DR WONG: The Aotearoa Poster Competition 2000 is a positive pushback against an ugly reaction to a frightening pandemic. It is a response to a marked increase in racism against Chinese people. The campaign aims to redirect hearts and minds away from blame and anger, and to encourage everyone to stand up to racism safely. The Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa, just added the four winning posters to their collection. They are expressive, meaningful and beautiful.
Today we celebrate World Water Day and what water means to us, its true value and how we can better protect this vital resource.
Water is under threat in Aotearoa and around the world from a growing population, increasing demands of agriculture and industry, and the worsening impacts of climate change. Today is also about raising awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water.
With the Auckland region suffering from a water shortage and currently in level one water restrictions it’s a timely opportunity to stop and think of just how much we take this valuable resource for granted!!!!
By recording – and celebrating – all the different ways water enhances our health and wellbeing, we can value this precious taonga properly and safeguard it effectively for everyone!
Also today, the UN World Water Development Report on ‘valuing water’ will be launched. Click here for more details.
For more info and for some fun facts about water click here.
HPF commends Government’s efforts in helping to reverse the decline in the use of Pacific languages.
According to comparisons from Census 2013 to Census 2018, the proportion of speakers of Pacific languages has declined across the board.
This year, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) will continue to support nine Pacific Language Weeks driven by Pacific communities.
In 2020, Pacific communities displayed their resilience to the Covid-19 environment by moving Language Week activities online. This year will build on the digital successes, with the option to continue online delivery.
The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says this loss of language means the loss of history and a wealth of cultural knowledge and intelligence.
“It disconnects our past from our present and will disadvantage future Pacific generations … Language is the key to the definition of our overall Pacific wellbeing.
“The 2019 Wellbeing Budget recognised this and provided $20 million over four years toward the support of Pacific languages and cultures – this will fund initiatives critical to reversing the decline in the use of Pacific languages,” says Mr Sio.
“Language is fundamental to providing Pacific peoples with an anchor to their identity, confidence, and safety as we navigate our way through the economic and social challenges ahead-post the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Meanwhile, MPP recently carried out the Pacific Language Weeks Tivaivai Review, which highlighted the changes community groups want to see in the annual celebrations of our Pacific languages.
This year signals a year of transition for the Language Weeks series, and MPP will be assessing a themed approach, increase in funding and announcing Language Champion Honours.
Boost your skills in health promotion and apply now to snap up one of the few remaining spots for HPF’s short course in health promotion, in Auckland, next month.
Block One of the course is from April 13 – 16 and Block Two from May 11 – 14, 2021.
Jointly offered by Manukau Institute of Technology and HPF the Certificate of Achievement (CoA) will help you better understand the role and importance of health promotion and the broader concept of health within a community and national setting.
As the world faces global challenges such as Covid-19 and the climate crisis the role of health promoters is becoming even more crucial!
As Fran Baum, Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Public Health at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia pointed out in an interview with HPF’s Hauora newsletter: “Health promoters can look to the underlying causes of Covid-19 and point to the importance of taking an ecological view of health.”
“They (health promoters) can ensure that the debate about Covid-19 goes beyond the need for a vaccine to considering how the inequities that have been laid bare by Covid-19 can be reduced.”
Today is World Wildlife Day and HPF urges you to join global efforts to raise awareness of the need to step up the fight to establish a safe and sustainable relationship with one of our planet’s most valuable resources – forests!
This year’s theme which is “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet” encourages you to not only acknowledge the vital role forests play but also the indigenous knowledge that can keep them safe. This aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goals 1, 12, 13 and 15, and their wide-ranging commitments to alleviating poverty, ensuring sustainable use of resources, and on conserving life land.
Forests, forest species and the livelihoods that depend on them are finding themselves at the crossroads of the multiple planetary crises we face — from climate change, to biodiversity loss and the health, social and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
With between 200 and 350 million people living within or adjacent to forested areas around the world, relying on the various ecosystem services provided by forest and forest species for their livelihoods WE NEED TO ACT NOW!
The planet is broken because humanity is waging war on the planet, a suicidal act, according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guteres., who points out that Indigenous knowledge can contribute solutions.
HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi who is chair of the IUHPE Global Working Group on Waiora Planetary Health and Human Wellbeing says with the impact of the planetary crisis intensifying daily, and more species edging toward extinction it’s vital that we act now if we are to ensure our own survival.”
“That is why we called on the world community at the World Conference on Health Promotion, 2019 in Rotorua, “to urgently act to promote planetary health and sustainable development for all, now and for the sake of future generations.’”
World Wildlife Day will also seek to promote forest and forest wildlife management models and practices that accommodate both human wellbeing and the long-term conservation of forests, forest-dwelling species of wild fauna and flora and the ecosystems they sustain.
A webishop that will put the spotlight on the magnitude and impact of diabetes and obesity among Pacific peoples in Aotearoa will be held by HPF on March 10.
You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to hear from guest speaker, Dr Viliami Tutone, who as a consultant nephrologist at Middlemore Hospital has dealt with the devastating effects of this disease on a daily basis.
According to the Ministry of Health 250,000 people in NZ, mainly Pacific and Māori ( people, have been diagnosed with this disease (mostly type 2). Most troubling is that the number of people with both types of diabetes – especially lifestyle-related type 2 diabetes, is on the rise!
NZ Aotearoa is a Pacific island with a growing, young and vibrant Pacific population, says the webishop facilitator HPF’s Dr Viliami Puloka who has been leading the fight against non-communicable diseases, including diabetes for many years now.
“Pacific peoples are shaping tomorrow for all of us. We must therefore address both life and livelihood disparities for all of us,” says Dr Puloka.
At the webishop you will learn how to scan the key socio-economic and political determinants of health and wellbeing for Pacific peoples, check our individual and collective roles and responsibilities for health and wellbeing of our communities and explore culturally appropriate solutions with Health Promotion approaches. framing both Societal and Individual actions.
TO WIN ONE OF 3 SCHOLARSHIPS TO ATTEND THE WEBISHOP ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ANSWER A SIMPLE QN!
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS: Dr Viliami Tutone is a nephrologist trained in New Zealand and Scotland. He has been a consultant nephrologist at Counties Manukau Health – Middlemore since 2005. He is currently the Pacific People representative for the Organ Donation New Zealand and heavily involved and with Pacific and Maori Health .
Dr Viliami Puloka is a Public health physician working in New Zealand as Senior Health Promotion Strategist specialising in Pacific Health with the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand. He is also a research fellow with Otago University working with the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit, University of Otago.
Dr Puloka has a special interest in diabetes and obesity, and believes “Diabetes is the face of non-communicable diseases (NCD) in the Pacific”.
He led the fight against NCD with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) for almost a decade before moving to New Zealand. He was NCD Team leader supporting the 22 Pacific Island countries and Territories.
Dr Trevor Hancock has been a mover and shaker in public health for more than 30 years.
The guest speaker at HPF’s webishop ‘No health without a healthy planet’ on February 17, helped pioneer the (now global) Healthy Cities and Communities movement and initiated early work on the concept of ‘healthy public policy’ in the 1980s.
He has worked as a consultant for local communities, municipal, provincial and national governments, health care organisations, NGOs and the World Health Organisation (WHO), and as a speaker around the world.
Dr Hancock and HPF’s Executive Director, Sione Tu’itahi who will facilitate the webishop are also 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.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg of what Dr Hancock has achieved and it’s hard to believe he didn’t even have public health on his radar when he entered a very specialty-oriented London teaching hospital in 1967.
Graduating six years later wanting to be a family physician and with an active engagement in ecological politics he almost immediately moved to Canada, where he did family practice in rural New Brunswick and then in a community health centre in Toronto.
It was at this community health centre, where he says they served a ‘somewhat underprivileged community’ that his interest in public health bloomed.
“It was clear to me that many of the health problems my patients experienced were economic, social and environmental problems, not really medical problems, which cemented my interest in public health,” he recalls.
After retiring in 2018 from his role as Professor and Senior Scholar at the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria, British Columbia Dr Hancock turned his attention to new ventures.
His recent focus has been the combination of the relationship between human health and the natural environment and the healthy community approach.
He established a new NGO in Victoria – Conversations for a One Planet Region. The initiative works to engage the people and governments of the Greater Victoria Region in conversations about what is involved in becoming a region with an ecological footprint of One Planet while maintaining a good quality of life and good health for all.
“We realised early on that we needed to do work with the community to explore what should be the response to the Anthropocene at the local level. We suggested the concept of a One Planet Region as a way to address this locally (an idea we later learned had been pioneered by Bioregional in the UK, a group we now work with). We defined a One Planet Region as one that achieves social and ecological sustainability, with a high quality of life and a long life in good health for all its citizens, while reducing its ecological footprint to be equivalent to one planet’s worth of biocapacity.”
So, what of health promotion’s role in all this?
Health promotion says Dr Hancock has only in the past few years started to pay serious attention to the ecological determinants of health and the concept of planetary health. This is despite the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion recognising stable ecosystems and sustainable resources as prerequisites for health as long ago as 1986.
“Health promoters must first however learn about the global challenges of the Anthropocene – the new age of humanity as a dominant global force and what new approaches and solutions we need,” says Dr Hancock who will provide a brief update on the Anthropocene at the webishop.
“We must recognise that this calls for an eco-social approach in all our work and all our communities.
“We are not simply health promoters, more importantly we are citizens. So, if we can make it part of the work we do, that is definitely a bonus.”
While there is a need for global and national action, Dr Hancock points out that we also need to recall the sage advice to “Think globally, act locally”. He will address this in the webishop 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.
Meanwhile, on the best way for countries to move forward post-Covid Dr Hancock says there is a need to push our elected leaders to pay heed to advice from health authorities such as the director general of the WHO, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus.
“Ensuring that the recovery from the recession induced by our response to COVID-19 is a healthy, green and just recovery,” he writes in his weekly column on population and public health for Victoria’s Times Colonist.
“That there will be some sort of economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is not in doubt. But the fight that is shaping up is between those who want to go roaring back to the past by promoting fossil fuels and ditching environmental protections and those who want to use this opportunity to bounce forward instead to a green, just and healthy recovery.”
Dr Hancock’s work has not gone unrecognised and in 2015 he was awarded Honorary Fellowship in the UK’s Faculty of Public Health for his contributions to public health. 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.
The Anthropocene is a new geologic epoch, identified in geological terms as a layer of new materials (e.g. glass, plastic, concrete, radioactive elements and their decay products, elevated CO2 levels) and a change in future fossil deposits (e.g. wild animals now make up only 4% of the mass of land vertebrates, with humans (anthropos in Ancient Greek) and their domesticated species making up the rest) that will be clearly seen as anthropogenic – caused by humans – by future geologists.
HPF joins the rest of the nation today (Sat FEb 6) to commemorate Waitangi Day and reflect on our nationhood and national identity.
It’s also an opportunity to reflect on the relationship between Te Tiriti O Waitangi, which was signed 181 years ago, and its impact on hauora, health and wellbeing.
Today, in the context of health and wellbeing, the link to Te Tiriti remains as relevant as ever. It is in matters of social justice, health equity and the need to address the wider determinants of health. It draws on the importance of Tino Rangatiratanga, Maori self-determination and mana motuhake.
“In Aotearoa New Zealand, health promotion is based on Te Tiriti and the Ottawa Charter,” says HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi.
“While it is important to mark Waitangi Day to remind us all of Te Tiriti, ensuring that the articles of our nation’s founding document are translated into action and concrete outcomes for the betterment of all is of the utmost importance.”
HPF’s Māori Health Promotion Strategist Mereana Te Pere says now is also a pivotal time for Māoridom to strengthen ties and create strategies to protect Papatuanuku, and the environment.
“The planet has already reached crisis level and cannot be sustained if we continue to abuse it. Propelled by Te Tiriti o Waitangi and other social movements such as BLM and change of legislation around Māori wards at council level, Māori are in a strong position to take steps to legally and strategically protect natural resources, thereby safeguarding the hauora, mauri and wairuatanga of future generations.”
Meanwhile, community events from Northland to Southland and from the West Coast to the Chatham Islands will be held to commemorate the day.
“Thirty-four grants totalling $288,000 have gone to organisations throughout Aotearoa to support events commemorating the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and celebrate its importance to who we are as a nation,” said Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Carmel Sepuloni.
“From workshops on Te Tiriti and whānau-oriented marae days to performance and children’s activities these nationwide events will deepen our understanding of Te Tiriti.”
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.
ABOUT THE GUEST SPEAKER:
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.
ABOUT THE FACILITATOR:
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.
HPF is running a competition to give you the chance to win one of three scholarships for our first webishop of the year. And with Waitangi Day just around the corner you don’t want to miss out on the webishop ‘Every day is Waitangi Day’ which will explore what it looks like to be a Treaty based organisation.
The webishop will also examine some Māori-based approaches to health determinants, and how organisations must change how they operate in order to serve Māori communities and honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi in the appropriate manner.
All you have to do to go in the draw to win a scholarship is answer this simple question: “What does Whakamaua translate to in English?” Enter your answer in our comments section on our Facebook page or email it to email@example.com by Jan 31.
The webishop features Te Te Kaha o te Whānau – a mainstream organisation working in the heart of South Auckland.
The guest speaker is Wati Waru (Te Rarawa) who recently joined the team at Te Kaha o te Whānau as a facilitator and co-developer of ‘Awhina’ – a whanau resilience model that empowers families to develop their own health outcomes and the plan that achieves them.
Faciliating the webishop is HPF’s Maori Health Promotion Strategist Mereana Te Pere.
Apply now for HPF’s short course in health promotion and go into the New Year with a better understanding of the role and importance of health promotion. An exciting and interactive course which relates theory to students’ own experiences, knowledge and skills this course will also help you to understand the broader concept of health within a community and national setting.
The course will introduce you to the principles, concepts and practice of health promotion and will be facilitated by HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi and Maori Health Promotion Strategist Mereana Te Pere. View their profiles.
To enrol complete the registration form here or download the application form from our website.
As a result of attending this workshop, participants will:
Demonstrate the skills necessary for effective learning and beginning health promotion practice.
Define health promotion and discuss the values and ethics that underpin health promotion practice.
Identify and explain the significance of key documents relevant to health promotion practice in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Provide examples of a range of key health promotion strategies and tools.
It’s time to start filling your kete at our first webishop for the year, which will explore what it looks like to be a Treaty-based organisation.
‘Every day is Waitangi Day’ features Te Kaha o te Whānau – a mainstream organisation working in the heart of South Auckland.
The webishop will be held on Thursday, February 14 from 11am to 12.30pm
Guest speaker Wati Waru (Te Rarawa) recently joined the team at Te Kaha o te Whānau as a facilitator and co-developer of ‘Awhina’ – a whanau-resilience model that empowers families to develop their own health outcomes and the plan that achieves them.
The webishop will explore what it looks like to be a Treaty-based organisation. It will also examine some Māori-based approaches to health determinants, and how organisations must change how they operate in order to serve Māori communities and honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi in the appropriate manner.
As a result of attending this workshop, participants will:
Learn how Te Tiriti o Waitangi affects the way organisations should/can operate in Aotearoa
Learn about Māori approaches and models to health determinants, and how their own organisations can create the same environment for their staff and clients
Learn how Māori concepts of the environment supports and contributes planetary health
Mereana Te Pere (Waitaha, Tapuika, Ngāti Ranginui) – Mereana has recently joined the team as a Māori Health Promotion Strategist. She comes to our organisation having worked predominantly in the education sector with Māori and rangatahi. Her future goals are in elevating the skills and knowledge of the work force to better meet the health needs and rights of Māori communities and whānau.
Wati Waru (Te Rarawa) – Wati has recently joined the team at Te Kaha o te Whānau as a facilitator and co-developer of ‘Awhina’ – a whanau resilience model that empowers families to develop their own health outcomes and the plan that achieves them. Te Kaha o te Whānau also work with other organisations to support this new approach, and how to overcome the trials associated with challenging how mainstream NZ view Māori and their health.
HPF webinars have three phases of learning activities:
Pre-event study and preparation, using resources sent three days prior. Participants are encouraged to participate in the exercises and material that will be disseminated before the webishop
Participation in the actual webinar with questions and answers as well as discussion
After the webinar, participants receive a copy of the powerpoint presentation and other resources used, as well as exclusive viewing of the webishop (with your co-workers) for two weeks in our private YouTube channel, before the video is put into our public HPF channel. You can also ask follow-up questions to the presenter and/or facilitator during the two weeks after the webishop.
Professor Fran Baum, one of Australia’s leading researchers on the social and economic determinants of health has been quite vocal recently about the importance of a ‘social vaccine’ to rebuild a fairer and more sustainable world post Covid-19.
Hauora asked Prof Baum who is the Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Public Health at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia to explain about what the vaccine is and how it would work.
Hauora: I read in an article you wrote recently about when the Covid-19 pandemic eventually ends the inequities it has highlighted will remain, unless a ‘social vaccine’ is developed and applied. Can you please explain what a ‘social vaccine’ is and how this will help to shape the world post-Covid?
Prof Baum: A social vaccine comprises government and other institutional policies which aim to keep people well and mitigate the structural drivers of inequities in daily living conditions, which make people and communities vulnerable to disease and trauma. It also includes the importance of civil society groups who advocate for such policies. The target of the social vaccine is the conditions that underpin four basic requirements for global health and equity to flourish. These are: 1) A life with security; 2) Opportunities that are fair; 3) A planet that is habitable and supports biodiversity, and 4) Governance that is just.
Hauora: You also explain that ‘the delivery of public policies at the heart of a social vaccine require considerable civil society advocacy to ensure their development and effective implementation’. Can you please elaborate on this?
Prof Baum: I have always believed (supported by evidence) that civil society advocacy is vital in bringing about healthy public policy in all sectors. I have used the metaphor of a nutcracker (see illustration) to show that improving health and health equity requires both top-down policy action and bottom-up advocacy. Historical examples make this very clear. For example, in the cases of the abolition of slavery and franchise for women, civil society was vital in arguing for these changes and ensuring politicians listened to them. For an examples from Covid-19 I would give the People’s Health Movement which has launched a campaign to ensure equal access to Covid-19 Essential Health Technologies (EACT) including vaccines (see here).
Hauora: What contributions do you think health promoters can make in helping to shape a better future?
Prof Baum: I think they can ensure that the debate about Covid-19 goes beyond the need for a vaccine to considering how the inequities that have been laid bare by Covid-19 can be reduced. For example, the pandemic has shown the weaknesses that casualised employment introduces. In India, many migrant workers did not have secure work and had to walk to their home villages often hundreds of miles away. On the way many become sick, had little food, were subjected to police brutality and some even died. In Australia workers in the gig economy have no sick leave or secure employment and have been shown to be a weak link in our defences against a pandemic.
On a broader scale, health promoters can look to the underlying causes of Covid-19 and point to the importance of taking an ecological view of health. There are an increasing number of emerging infectious disease and the evidence suggests that deforestation is a key way in which infectious agents jump from animals to humans.
Hauora: If there is one thing this pandemic has highlighted it is how crucial good governance and leadership is? What is your view on this?
Prof Baum: Yes, the politics of the pandemic are vital. Political will to accept public health advice is crucial. We have seen in the US how a leader who rejects this advice creates catastrophic consequences with Covid-19 deaths in the US topping a quarter of a million. By contrast other countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand have had very low rates.
Hauora: Women leaders, especially, have been lauded for effectively guiding their countries through the Covid-19 pandemic. What common threads do you think have contributed to their success in responding to this crisis?
Prof Baum: In New Zealand you have, of course, the wonderful example of your Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who has led with empathy, compassion, clear communication and also taken the hard public health advice. I think those characteristics of a political leader are the key to dealing with a pandemic.
Hauora: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Prof Baum: The most central thing for health promoters to keep emphasising is that we need to ensure that our political leaders govern for health not profit in each sector of society. I argue this point in my book Governing for Health: Advancing Health and Equity through Policy and Advocacy.
Grant Berghan brings a wealth of experience to his new role as CEO of the Public Health Association of NZ.
Mr Berghan who was in public health for 25 years is from the Tai Tokerau region with whakapapa links to Ngapuhi, Ngati Wai and Te Rarawa iwi. He has extensive experience in the health and labour market sectors, and more recently has been involved in regional economic development activity in Northland.
Hauora asked Mr Berghan who joined PHANZ in October about his decision to return to the public health field, what some of his priorities and goals for the organisation.
Mr Berghan who was a past member of the Maori Advisory Board (Public Health) with the Ministry of Health also discusses the leading role NZ has taken in responding to Covid-19 and how this can be extended to resolving other major issues such as poverty and racism.
Hauora: After 25 years working in public health, you have said this is a bit of a return to your roots. What prompted you to return to this field, and how much influence on your decision to apply, did Covid-19 play?
Grant: It’s interesting how these things play out. I had spent the last five years working in regional economic development, based in Northland. The role of the CEO for the PHA came up just as I was looking for a change, so I jumped at the opportunity. Covid-19 did factor into my decision to apply. Our “go hard go early” response has proven to be an effective strategy, and New Zealand is seen as a world leader in responding to Covid-19. I think we can easily leverage this success into other areas of public health.
Hauora: What are some of your first priorities in this role?
Grant: There are a number of priorities, but they will revolve around the two big ones of climate change and addressing poverty. Everything else will fall out of those two. For us as an organisation, we’re going through a bit of a reset after a challenging year. I’m keen to build our capacity and capability at national office (so we can execute the work programme in front of us) and to grow our membership throughout the country. I’m waiting on Government’s response to the Simpson Review of the Health and Disability sector – that response will inform some of our tactics over the next three years. I’m keen also to work with others to provide a joined-up public health leadership response to the Review of the Health and Disability Sector.
Hauora: What goals do you have for the PHA and how confident are you in achieving those?
Grant:The three big goals relate to growing our organisation, strengthening relationships with others, and executing a plan of action that address our priorities over the next three years. I’m confident we can achieve those goals but do not underestimate the challenges that we will face in doing so.
Hauora: You said upon your appointment, that NZ has shown itself to be a world leader in responding to Covid-19, and that opportunity extends that leadership to include poverty, homelessness, racism, and other social and economic determinants of health. Can you elaborate on this please?
Grant: We have done really well managing Covid-19. There is absolutely no reason why we cannot be a world leader in resolving poverty, racism and the other big issues that confront us. What is required is the political will, ambition and courage to do so and the means to enable that. The Government has been given the mandate by this country to govern on its own. If ever there has been a chance to make a difference, now is that time.
“Otara Health (OH) walks its talk and strives to encourage the organisations in the systems across all the sectors to lower their barriers to work better together.”
OH’s Operations Manager Mark Simiona made the comment in an interview with HPF’s Hauora newsletter to discuss the impact the Covid-19 crisis has had on the organisation’s services and what are some of its current major collaborative projects.
Hauora: Can you please tell us about one or two current ‘health promotion’ initiatives/collaborative efforts that Otara Health (OH) is engaging in to build a healthier community and how they are progressing? Mark: Te Ora Puāwai Collective – This is funded by Counties Manukau Health led by Otara Health. This is a collective of eight organisations to design with patients a model of care for people with long-term conditions. This collective is made up of Otara Health Charitable Trust (lead organisation), Health Promotion Forum, Manukau Urban Māori Authority (MUMA), The Heart Foundation, Disability Connect, Pro Care, ZOOM Pharmacy, Otara Family Christian Health Centre.
Once the design is completed and submitted it may become a model of care to deliver for the next five years.
Project NEMO – This is a collaborative initiative birthed as a Covid-recovery plan with the Thriving Otara movement for the Otara community by those who live, learn, work, play and pray in Otara. This will be a community hub made up of a collective of organisations serving to meet the needs of community impacted by Covid-19 by providing coordinated referrals to key agencies based on the need of people including a foodbank and wrap-around services including support with business, education, employment and getting connected.
Hauora: How did Otara Health respond to the Covid-19 crisis and has this had much of an impact on how you now deliver your services? Mark: Throughout lockdown Otara Health adapted quickly to work remotely from home and continued to provide its services virtually. Staff attended daily online check-ins via ZOOM and utilised phone, Facebook and any other means to connect with participants. Now in level 1 OH is applying much of the learning to deliver services better providing a mixture of face-to-face and online delivery.
Hauora: Otara Health places a strong emphasis on building community leadership and advocacy skills to empower people to lead change within the community. Can you please elaborate on this?
Mark: Otara Health uses Twyford’s Power of Co and Results Base Accountability (RBA) for the delivery of its services, systemic influence and collaborative engagement. Our challenge to organisations is to look at what they can do differently to get a different and hopefully better result. OH continues its work through Thriving Otara to lead a change of thinking about how to improve delivery and who you need to work with to do it. This is also based on the principles of the Ottawa Charter.
In our frontline delivery OH uses strength-based, whanau-led approaches like, Fono Fale, Te Whare Tapa Wha and appreciative Inquiry to look at what is important to whānau when making contact and doing in-home assessments.
In short OH walks its talk and strives to encourage the organisations in the systems across all the sectors to lower their barriers to work better together.
A webishop that will focus on obesity and diabetes putting them on par with suicide, mental health, teenage pregnancy and drug and alcohol abuse will be held at on the 26th of this month.
‘Diabetes, Societal malady with individual responsibility’ follows on from Diabetes Action Month last month and will specifically discuss the magnitude and impact of diabetes and obesity among Pacific peoples in Aotearoa.
HPF applauds the move by the Government this week to declare a climate change emergency.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who made the declaration yesterday (Dec 3) committed the Government and the public sector to going carbon-neutral by 2025.
Ms Ardern said the declaration ‘bases on science” and the country “must act with urgency”.
“This declaration is an acknowledgement of the next generation. An acknowledgement of the burden that they will carry if we do not get this right and do not take action now,” she said.
This was a declaration grounded in a deep sense of responsibility – a responsibility that people in the Pacific know all too well, said Ardern.
She said the Pacific Island forum has called climate change “our biggest threat”.
Ardern’s comments support the call for urgent action at last year’s 23rd IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion, co-hosted by HPF in Rotorua.
In the Rotorua Legacy Statement released at the conference, participants called on the global community to urgently act to promote planetary health and sustainable development for all, now and for the sake of future generations”.
The Indigenous Peoples’ Statement for Planetary Health and Sustainable Development called on health promoters and the world to make space for and privilege Indigenous peoples’ voices and Indigenous knowledges in taking action.
Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said the motion was well overdue and that ‘tangata whenua have known long that our environment is totally out of balance and for decades have understood the urgency of dealing with climate change”.
“We have an obligation to our rangatahi to unite and to do everything as kaitiaki to protect our taiao and our whanau from the climate crisis in the short time we have left.
“We must restore balance with the natural world and regenerate our whenua, our wai, our moana and our precious indigenous taonga species.”
Public health leaders will connect and share expertise and experience at Te Ara Pounamu: a population health virtual hui organised by The Health Promotion Agency (Te Hiringa Hauora) tomorrow. (Nov 26)
The hui, which starts at 8.30am, centres on resetting the focus and building a stronger narrative for public and population health. The themes are Population health and sustainability, Hauora Māori and Te Tiriti and Communities and Equity.
Te Hiringa Hauora’s CEO, Tane Cassidy says they are privileged to have an inspiring line-up of speakers and presentations for the hui.
Mr Cassidy hopes participants will take the chance to connect and share expertise and experience to ensure better public health outcomes for all in Aotearoa.
“It’s an opportunity to reflect on the proposed health system changes and look for opportunities for greater alignment and collective impact.”
For more details, to register and to see the list of speakers click here.
On November 20 we’re celebrating #WorldChildren’sDay by listening to the voices of children and young people.
Our youth will be living with the impacts of Covid-19 and the climate crisis for years to come, but they are sounding the alarm, as they also have solutions.
It’s time for generations to come together to reimagine the type of world we want to create, a better world for the health and wellbeing of our children.
“2020 has been challenging, so this World Children’s Day it’s more important than ever for young people to speak out on the issues that affect them,” said UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Millie Bobby Brown.
“All around the world, children and young people are coming up with creative solutions to today’s problems, including climate change and remote learning during the pandemic. I’m excited to join other UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors to use our voices to help lift up theirs.”
It’s time for generations to come together to reimagine the type of world we want to create, a better world for the health and wellbeing of our children.
Check out the UNICEF website to see how you can get involved, watch Voice of Youth interviews and see children take over high-visibility roles in media, politics, business, sport and entertainment to highlight issues that are important to them.
Landmark buildings around the world will light up blue on the day to show support for child rights. So wear something blue, change your profile picture online and help raise awareness.
UNICEF and partners are calling on governments to adopt a Six-Point Plan to protect our children:
Ensure all children learn, including by closing the digital divide.
Guarantee access to health and nutrition services and make vaccines affordable and available to every child.
Support and protect the mental health of children and young people and bring an end to abuse, gender-based violence, and neglect in childhood.
Increase access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene and address environmental degradation and climate change.
Reverse the rise in child poverty and ensure an inclusive recovery for all.
Redouble efforts to protect and support children and their families living through conflict, disaster and displacement.
World Children’s Day was first established in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day and is celebrated on 20 November each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare.
November 20th is an important date as it is the date in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
HPF’s resilience and hard work during what has been a challenging year was acknowledged at our first online Annual General Meeting today.
Board Chairperson, Mark Simiona (Otara Health Charitable Trust) said HPF had continued to demonstrate how to create an organisation with strong values of inclusiveness, compassion, support, and a high work standard.
“Our management team led by Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi adapted well to working with the Covid environment…the Board was able to work side by side with management and staff towards achieving its plans and goals,” said Mr Simiona.
“We also work together for the sustainability of HPF, adapting to the new environment of more opportunities to lead health promotion for the wellbeing of our country, and contribute to the regional and international level.”
HPF farewelled outgoing Board members Vishal Rishi (The Asian Network Inc.) who leaves after three terms and Paula Snowden (CEO, Problem Gambling Foundation, PGF) who has stepped down due to workload commitments.
As a result of the nominations received, five Board members were appointed: Mr Simiona, Selah Hart (Hapai Te Hauora) and Fay Selby-Law (Hapai Te Hauora Tapui) who return for another term.
New members are Grace Wong (The Asian Network Inc.) and Te Rukutia Tongaawhikau (PGF). Making up the rest of the Board line-up are incumbents Sharon Kennedy-Muru (Toi Te Ora Public Health Service) and Te Aroha Hunt (Tuai Kopu Programme Coordinator).
Mr Tu’itahi said it was a challenging year, but many lessons were learnt. “Covid-19 prompted HPF to strengthen its application of hauora within the organisation, its activities, and relationships, ensuring the balance between planetary health, human wellbeing, and people and communities’ socio-economic, spiritual and cultural wellbeing.”
He added that HPF would continue to “maintain its three major areas of focus – leadership and partnership, workforce development, communication – while developing new initiatives such as the accreditation for health promotion, and expanding into community development with community service providers”.
He also revealed HPF had officially adopted the logo from last year’s World Health Promotion Conference in Rotorua. “Our decision to rebrand with this logo represents a new era of focusing on the national level while making significant contributions to health promotion at the international level”.
This month is Diabetes Action Month and HPF is encouraging Aotearoa to take action to understand and support Kiwis living with diabetes and to learn more about the disease in their whanau and community.
Diabetes NZ has sounded the challenge to ‘love not judge’ and ‘wear your hearts on your sleeve for diabetes’ as the disease is more than just a physical condition, it can affect mental and emotional wellbeing too.
This was revealed in an Emotional Health Survey last month, in which over 1000 New Zealanders with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes participated. This was the first time the emotional burden of diabetes had been surveyed in New Zealand.
HPF’s Dr Viliami Puloka, who has a special interest in Diabetes and obesity, says diabetes is preventable and can even be reversed or cured with medication and other medical treatments.
Dr Puloka stresses however that healing the whole person is not possible unless we stop judging and start loving.
“Diabetes, obesity, suicide drug addictions and others are symptoms of a sick society,” he points out. “The root causes are socio-economic, political and cultural with the individuals feeling powerless and unable to make healthy choices.
“Let us love not judge. We can begin in the way we look at and speak about and to people with diabetes- that is wearing our hearts at our sleeves.
Diabetes NZ CEO Heather Verry says the distress related to Covid-19 has been even more acute for the quarter of a million people living with diabetes in New Zealand.
“With one global pandemic in full swing, it’s important not to lose sight of the other pandemic facing New Zealanders – diabetes. Our survey shows that 45 per cent of Kiwis with diabetes experienced more diabetes distress as a result of Covid-19. Fourteen per cent experienced increased discrimination or stigma, and 24 per cent were diagnosed with a new health disorder,” she says.
World Diabetes Day, which is on November 14, has the theme ‘Nurses Make the Difference for Diabetes’.
A webishop that aims to give a basic introduction of the contrasting philosophies of te ao Māori and te ao Pākeha in relation to health and wellbeing will be held on November 26.
“Through the Māori Looking Glass – becoming part of the ‘other’ world” will be facilitated by HPF’s Māori Health Promotion Strategist, Mereana Te Pere.
The guest speaker will be newly appointed CEO of the Public Health Association of NZ (PHANZ), Grant Berghan.
At the webishop participants will gain tools, knowledge and understanding of the dual worlds. They will learn how, as health promotion practitioners, they are able to safely navigate and connect both worlds, hence becoming more effective as leaders, influencers and participants of/with Māori in the Health Promotion field.
You also have the chance to win one of three scholarships up for grabs for this webinar by just answering a simple question: “What is the difference between a webinar and a webishop”.
As a result of attending this workshop, participants will:
Have a practical guide to developing and improving Māori Health Promotion practice
Gain knowledge that will enhance the effectiveness of Health Promoters and Public Health Practitioners who wish to contribute to Māori health outcomes
Discounts are offered for HPF members and anyone who registers will receive a PowerPoint presentation and exclusive access for a limited time to the workshop (with your co-workers) on our YouTube channel.
The webinar has three phases of learning activities – before, during and after the webinar. These include:
pre-event study and preparation, using resources sent three days prior
participation in the actual webinar with questions and answers as well as discussion
after the webinar, participants receive a copy of the powerpoint presentation and other resources used, as well as exclusive viewing of the webinar (with your co-workers) for two weeks in our private YouTube channel, before the video is put into our public HPF channel
ask follow-up questions to the presenter and/or facilitator during the two weeks after the webinar
COST: $29 for members of HPF, and $49 for non-members.
About the Facilitator:Mereana Te Pere (Waitaha, Tapuika, Ngati Ranginui) – Mereana has recently joined the team as a Māori Health Promotion Strategist. She comes to our organisation having worked predominantly in the education sector with Māori and rangatahi. Her future goals are in elevating the skills and knowledge of the work force to better meet the health needs and rights of Māori communities and whānau.
Guest Speaker:Grant Berghan (Nga Puhi, Ngati Wai, Te Rarawa) – CEO of the Public Health Association of NZ (PHANZ). Grant has extensive experience in the health and labour market sectors. More recently he was involved in regional economic development activity in Northland. Grant was also a government appointed member to the Youth Suicide Advisory Panel and a past member of the Maori Advisory Board (Public Health) with the Ministry of Health. In 2017, in conjunction with Dame Margaret Sparrow, he was the recipient of the PHA Public Health Champions Award.
HPF congratulates Grant Berghan on his appointment as the new CEO of the Public Health Association of NZ (PHANZ).
Mr Berghan who is from the Tai Tokerau region with whakapapa links to Ngapuhi, Ngati Wai and Te Rarawa Iwi has extensive experience in the health and labour market sectors. More recently he was involved in regional economic development activity in Northland.
Mr Berghan said the importance of public health to our communities and nation’s wellbeing has never been more evident in our lifetime.
“New Zealand has shown itself to be a world leader in responding to COVID-19, and the opportunity exists to extend that leadership to include poverty, homelessness, racism and other social and economic determinants of health,” he said. “As a country we are small enough and close enough to make a big difference. We can and should lead the world by our example.”
Fran Kewene, Māori Co-Chair says: “With Grant’s experience, expertise and local, national and international relationships, we feel he will bring new energy to our organisation, be able to connect quickly with our diverse membership, and develop new collaborations in order to drive public health locally and internationally.”
Mr Berghan was a government appointed member to the Youth Suicide Advisory Panel and a past member of the Maori Advisory Board (Public Health) with the Ministry of Health. In 2017, Grant, in conjunction with Dame Margaret Sparrow, was the recipient of the PHA Public Health Champions Award.
On September 16, 170 health professionals from across New Zealand attended the Health Coalition Aotearoa Political e-Forum to hear six of the political parties’ spokespeople discuss their positions on their party’s prevention policies. At that stage several parties had yet to release their health manifestosBelow is a summary of the main questions and concerns raised at the Political e-Forum by participants. These are the key issues and key asks of the political parties ahead of the New Zealand General Election tomorrow (October 17).General
Will your party act on reducing the supply of tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy food outlets in low social-economic communities?
How will your party meet their Treaty obligations to protect Maori from harmful products like tobacco, alcohol and junk food that is causing unacceptable health inequities?
What will your party do to reduce the affordability, accessibility and availability of the three key harmful products impacting New Zealander’s health – tobacco, alcohol and junk food?
Given how much the Government depended on public health evidence to successfully manage Covid in NZ, how will your party continue this approach to evidence in relation to other pandemics such as childhood obesity?
When will the Smokefree Action Plan of achieving the 2025 goal be finalized, announced and implemented?
Will you commit to its implementation in the first 100 days?
How does your party plan to meet its Treaty Obligations to prevent alcohol harm to Maori, which has slowly got worse, and the inequity gap has grown over the last 180 years.
When will we see much needed alcohol legislative reform such as taxes and restrictions on trading hours and alcohol marketing and promotion?
The affordability of alcohol has now reached an all-time high. What will your party do to turn down the tap on affordability?
How do you plan to address the challenges faced at local government level where local alcohol policies have been thwarted by industry interference?
Given the staggering evidence base in support, including modelling showing the cost savings, and the overwhelming public support – will your party introduce a sugary drinks levy?
How will you protect our children, and uphold the Government’s commitment under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child by reducing the amount of junk food marketing they are exposed to?
Will your party look at ensuring all schools and ECEs are healthy settings for children, with healthy food policies rolled out nation-wide?
How are you going to prevent lobby groups in influencing the policymaking processes towards solutions in terms of reducing obesity and tobacco/alcohol related harms?
Do you anticipate that the Food Industry Taskforce will continue to be a key approach to addressing obesity even though many of the accepted recommendations are not key evidence-based interventions?
In the build-up to the election and with obesity in the spotlight over the past week, Professor Boyd Swinburn, one of the world’s leading obesity and food policy experts, has had heaps of airtime.The Professor of Population Nutrition and Global Health in the School of Population Health at Auckland University who chairs the Health Coalition Aotearoa also found time in his busy schedule to answer some questions from Hauora.Hauora was keen to find out from Prof Swinburn about the progress made by the Coalition since it was launched nearly two years ago, the aims of its 2020 Prevention Brief, and how vital it is that the silent voices in the communities be heard to influence change.HAUORA: It has been nearly two years now since the Health Coalition of Aotearoa was launched with the vision of greater health and equity for all New Zealanders through reduced consumption of harmful products (tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy foods & beverages) and improved determinants of health. How has the progress been and what are some of your achievements?
PROF SWINBURN: I think the Health Coalition has made great progress as an organisation, especially in getting ourselves into a strong position to focus on achieving action over the next term of government. We now have all our structures in place in terms of becoming an incorporated society with charitable status, getting more than 50 health organisations on board as members, working with government on several issues related to our kaupapa, and getting all members to define the priority actions needed for action on unhealthy products. Our four Expert Panels on tobacco, alcohol, food policy and public health infrastructure bring huge knowledge and experience to the Coalition’s work. Unfortunately, the Labour-led government over its first three years has achieved disappointingly little in the way of prevention policies, especially for alcohol and childhood obesity. We will really work hard over the next three years to see if greater progress can be made.
HAUORA: The Coalition has released its Prevention Brief for 2020. Can you please explain what the main purpose of this is and what it is hoped will come out of it?
PROF SWINBURN: This brief was the culmination of considerable work across the membership to pull together the international evidence and experience to create a consensus of what is needed to reduce the burden of preventable diseases. Very few people realise that tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy foods collectively contribute about one third of the preventable health loss – that’s more than 370,000 healthy life-years lost annually. This is massive, and one of our first jobs is to communicate the magnitude of this damage and the trivial public health effort that goes into preventing this harm – less than half a percent of the health budget. I doubt if there would be a single member of the public who thinks that half a percent is a good prevention investment for dealing with products that cause one third of the health damage.
HAUORA: You mentioned in an article recently about ‘policy inertia’ and how the unheard voices from the people and communities who are suffering the consequences of harmful products contribute to this. How vital is it to get stories from real people in the community, and what suggestions do you have for how we as health promoters can help get these stories out?
PROF SWINBURN: Policy Inertia is the term we use for the situation where there is a stack of evidence-based, effective policies to reduce the harm from unhealthy products but very few of them are implemented. The three reasons for policy inertia are; firstly, the strong opposition from the industries who are profiting from these products; secondly, governments who are reluctant to regulate these industries because of the political effort needed to counter the industry lobby, and; thirdly, the lack of public demand for action. The public and communities tend to be very supportive of strong policies to control this harm, but it is a quiet support. The reality is that unless the stories from people who are suffering from this harm come out loud and clear, along with a demand for action, governments can just continue to ignore the problem. We really need to hear the voices of those people who are demanding change.
HAUORA: Do you think Covid-19, which for those with underlying medical conditions can be fatal, will have any/or has had any influence on the need to make healthier choices and the need for more regulation on food, tobacco and alcohol companies?
PROF SWINBURN: Yes it is true that Covid-19 can be especially deadly for people with obesity and various chronic conditions, but I think, more importantly, we have seen the very real benefits of implementing policy based on the evidence and expert opinion and clearly communicating that to the public. It was a rocky road to start with building up the public health capacity and response systems to Covid-19. Public health was at a very low ebb after many years of neglect and underfunding, but eventually we have come to the point where the politics is responsive and adaptive, the public health systems are operating well, and the public is largely on board with the Government’s course of action. Wow, if only we could translate those approaches to prevention of our really big killers – heart disease, cancers, diabetes and so on. Listening to the evidence, being bold and clear in the policy action, and making sure that the whole of the country is aware of what the Government is doing and what communities and individuals can do to contribute.
HAUORA: Is there anything else you would like to add?
PROF SWINBURN: I think there is an enormous readiness for action among communities who are sick and tired of living in neighbourhoods where every second shop is selling cigarettes, discount booze and cheap takeaways. They want the Government to match their own leadership and vision for healthier environments for their children and families. If politicians would only stand up to the lobby forces of the vested commercial interests who sell harmful products, they will be fully backed by the communities who want to build back better after Covid.
HPF caught up with leading global advocate for action on the social determinants of health and health inequalities, Sir Michael Marmot recently to get his views on issues including lessons learned from Covid-19, how it has amplified underlying health inequalities and the need for governments to follow NZ’s lead and put a wellbeing approach at the heart of policy.The Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London and the Director of The UCL Institute of Health Equity (pictured speaking at the world health promotion conference in Rotorua last year) also touches on the climate crisis and the role of health promoters in helping to tackle these global challenges.
HAUORA:What are some of the lessons we have learned from Covid-19?
SIR MICHAEL: Two keys lessons from the UK, that I think are more widely applicable, came with the onset of the pandemic. First, was respect for science and evidence. In the UK there had been overt disregard for the opinions of experts. For example, the assessments from economists that Brexit would harm the economy – probably making inequality worse – were dismissed as fear-mongering. In the US, the dismissal of science was worse, imperilling the planet, when the US President labelled climate change “a hoax”. Come the pandemic, suddenly our politicians were openly expressing their appreciation for the science in countries across Europe but, catastrophically, not in the US or Brazil. A second lesson relates to public expenditure. After the financial crisis of 2007/8 many governments adopted austerity as their creed. With the economic shock that followed lockdown, suddenly austerity and concern about government debt was put on hold. “Whatever it takes”, said the British Prime Minister. Countries at high levels of human development spent a great deal, and increased national debt, to reduce the economic burden of the pandemic and societal response to it. I would like to think there is third lesson: the importance of government in delivering the public good. That lesson has only partly been learned.
HAUORA: When the pandemic first hit, many commented that it had been the “great leveller” or “equaliser” but you have pointed out that it has actually exposed “underlying health inequalities” and amplified them. Can you please elaborate on this?
SIR MICHAEL: There are two aspects to these inequalities, at least: the toll that Covid-19 is taking on the population health; and the effect of the societal response, lockdown, on inequalities. In the UK, our Office of National Statistics (ONS) has been impressive in the regular and timely output of publications on the pandemic. Related to my theme, there are three observations that both reveal and amplify the underlying inequalities in society. First, is the high mortality from Covid-19 in those in front-line occupations: workers in social care, drivers, shop assistants, and chefs. These occupations were already at the lower end of the social hierarchy, and lowly paid. Second, mortality rates from Covid-19 follow the social gradient: the more deprived the area the greater the mortality rate. This Covid-19 gradient looks very similar to the gradient from all causes. This suggests that the causes of inequalities in health more generally are likely to be the causes of inequalities in Covid-19 mortality. Third, there is high mortality among Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Groups. Much of this excess can be accounted for statistically by deprivation. We can no longer ignore structural racism that gives rise to the systematic disadvantage of some ethnic groups, not just in Britain, but more generally. Lockdown itself has exaggerated inequalities. People in higher status occupations were far more likely than those in lower status to be able to work from home. Higher income people could spend less on entertainments and dining out, thus increasing their income and savings. It was precisely these occupations where workers lost their jobs or were exposed to the virus. We have seen exaggerations of food poverty during the pandemic.
HAUORA: You have said you would like to see a ‘wellbeing economy’ emerge from this crisis and in fact it was just last year at the global health promotion conference in Rotorua, NZ that you commended the ‘wellbeing approach’ taken by NZ. Recently you were quoted as saying: “The New Zealand Treasury shows what is possible. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it put a wellbeing approach… at the heart of its policies.” Would you like to see governments following a similar direction post-Covid?
SIR MICHAEL: In Britain, my colleagues and I published a report, Health Equity in England: the Marmot Review 10 Years On, on the eve of lockdown, February 2020. I had published the Marmot Review in 2010 on what we could do to address health inequalities, in the light of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health. My 10 Years On Review, Marmot 2020, presented a grim picture: marked slowing of the improvement of life expectancy; increased health inequalities; and falling life expectancy for women in the most deprived areas outside London. Therefore, as we emerge from the pandemic, the status quo ante is hardly something we want to reproduce. Ideally, we need to use this dramatic shock to create a better society, to deliver sustainable health equity. And, to do that, we need to put wellbeing at the heart of what we are seeking to achieve.
HAUORA: The NZ Government, and our PM, have been lauded world-wide for their handling of the Covid crisis. What is your view?
SIR MICHAEL: From the outside, it appeared that Prime Minister Ardern displayed several characteristics that were key to controlling the pandemic: she was decisive in initiating control measures in quick and timely fashion; she was clear in her communication about the threat faced and what was needed from the population to combat the threat; her actions were evidenced-based; she was empathetic. Honesty, clarity, decisiveness, consistency and human warmth were not characteristics that were in abundant display elsewhere.
HAUORA: While Covid-19 has been the overriding issue for the world over the past few months, the call to fight climate change is ramping up again – particularly as experts have linked Covid-19 to planetary health. What is your advice to countries/governments on how to tackle this? Do you feel that indigenous knowledge needs to play a more major role?
SIR MICHAEL: Sustainable health equity has to be the watchword as the global community recovers from the biological, social and economic shocks attendant on the pandemic. The twin challenges of dramatic inequalities and the climate crisis have to be tackled together.
HAUORA: How can health promotion contribute more effectively towards addressing these global challenges?
SIR MICHAEL: I see health promotion as tackling the social determinants of health. Health, and health inequalities are good measures of how we are doing as societies. Therefore, those of us committed to improving health and reducing health inequalities need to be active participants in what constitutes the good society. @MichaelMarmot
The significant contribution that Trevor Simpson has made over the past decade to HPF, Maori health promotion and the world was reflected on at a farewell morning tea on Friday, October 9.
Mr Simpson who is Co-Executive Deputy Director and Senior Māori Health Promotion Strategist at HPF will take up the inaugural role of Chief Advisor, Māori, at PHARMAC at the end of this month.
HPF’s Board Chairman Mark Simiona thanked Mr Simpson on behalf of himself and the Board for his service and wished him well in his new role.
HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi said he had really enjoyed working with Mr Simpson and thanked him for his wisdom, fantastic leadership, humility and fearless resolve and adherence to the values of the Forum.
“You built valuable relationships over the years with leaders and networks and generously shared your knowledge with everyone.”
Mr Tu’itahi said he was confident Mr Simpson would be more than capable of taking on the challenge of his new role at PHARMAC. “We are glad that Trevor’s new role is testimony to our HPF culture of building capacity to deliver outcomes, and enhancing service-leadership.”
Mr Simpson looked back on the many people he had worked with at HPF and some of the highlights of his time with the organisation.
“Over the years I have had the deep satisfaction of being part of an organisation that both demonstrates and entrenches its constitutional values and overarching principles in all that it does,” he said. “I leave here a different person.”
Mr Simpson (Tuhoe, Ngāti Awa) also acknowledged his ‘tipuna’, adding that the legacy they had left was a “blueprint of leadership’.
“Our elders back home are big on humility and humble servitude. If you don’t have that, then you can’t be a good leader.” Meanwhile in a press release PHARMAC said: “Trevor, as our Chief Advisor Māori, will ensure we receive robust Māori advice at a senior leadership level to inform and shape how we give effect to our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, including equity for Māori, into all of our work.”
After leading Māori health promotion for more than 10 years, the Health Promotion Forum’s Co-Deputy Executive Director Trevor Simpson will be the inaugural Chief Maori Advisor at PHARMAC, as from next month.
HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi says Mr Simpson will be more than capable of taking on the challenge of his new role at PHARMAC.
“We are glad that Trevor’s new role is testimony to our HPF culture of building capacity to deliver outcomes, and enhancing service-leadership,” says Executive Director, Sione Tu’itahi.
“Trevor was outstanding in his commitment to building the Maori health promotion workforce, and taking Indigenous health promotion to the international level.
“After playing a leading role in the successful outcomes of our World Conference on Health Promotion in Rotorua last year, we agreed that our team members were ready to take on new and greater challenges, for the wellbeing of Maori, and all. Trevor leaves us with our full support and best wishes,” Mr Tu’itahi adds.
Among other major roles, Trevor was in charge of HPF’s workforce development, President of the International Network for Indigenous Health Promotion Professionals (INIHPP) of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), and Regional Vice-President for the South West Pacific Region of IUHPE.
Mr Simpson says it has been an honour and a privilege to have worked for HPF for more than a decade.
“Sione, the board and staff, both past and present, leave an indelible mark on me. Over the years I have had the deep satisfaction of being part of an organisation that both demonstrates and entrenches its constitutional values and overarching principles in all that it does,” he says.
Mr Simpson says this can be seen not only in HPF’s adherence to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, health as a human right, social justice and the pursuit of health equity but in the way it puts its people first- whether it be staff, organisational members or the public.
“HPF positions wellbeing, inclusiveness and aroha at the forefront. It is these attributes that I will miss the most. The element of human relationships and an authentic world-leading group that has much to share with Aotearoa New Zealand and the global community.”
Meanwhile, to ensure stability and continuity, Dr Viliami Puloka, our Senior Pacific Health Promotion Strategist, will take over as co-Deputy Executive Director – Health Promotion, with Ms Leanne Eruera, Co-Deputy Executive Director – Corporate Services.
PHARMAC is the New Zealand government agency that decides which medicines and related products are funded in New Zealand.
View PHARMAC’s press release on Mr Simpson’s appointment here.
Are you willing and able to steer the direction of Health Promotion in Aotearoa? If so, HPF has got governance roles for you!
There will be four vacancies on the HPF board at the Annual General Meeting on November 12, for two Māori, one Pacific and one Asian member.
And this year, voting for these key governance roles will be made all that much easier as for the first time HPF will be holding the AGM online. Nominations must be sent out and signed by 12 midday, October 22 so get those forms, which have been sent out along with the AGM notice and proxy form, sent in!
So be sure to pen in the date for the AGM which will be held from 2 to 3pm, and click on the Zoom links, which have been sent out to HPF members.
HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi says holding the meeting online will boost participation in the AGM and make it more accessible to members around the country.
Mr Tu’itahi says it has been a challenging year with COVID-19 but this has offered many opportunities for HPF to look at new ways to engage with members and the community and to deliver services and training for your continued professional development.
These included online forums launched during the lockdown and a series of interactive webinars, which are now continuing on a monthly basis.
Keep an eye out for dates and registration details for upcoming webinars on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/hauoraaotearoa and on our website at hauora.co.nz/
Webinars can also be viewed on our YouTube channel.
Also be sure to check out our facebook page.
The possibility of a new type of health promotion centred on community, will be discussed at a webinar from 11am – 12.30pm on the 14th of next month.
This approach aims to enhance health and wellbeing for everyone in today’s challenging environment of Covid-19, climate change, globalisation, social and political stress, increasing inequality, racism and growing tyranny and division around the world. The webinar will in particular present the view that modern health promotion should draw strongly on Maori and Pacific-cooperative approaches to community.
‘Global village, global villages: Reinventing health promotion for the current era’ will be facilitated by John Raeburn, (pictured) Adjunct Professor at AUT, and HPF Executive Director, Sione Tu’itahi.
Prof Raeburn who helped set up HPF has been a pioneer and innovator in health promotion, mental health promotion and public health for almost 50 years. He participated in the Ottawa and Bangkok Charter processes, teaching people-centred approaches to health promotion, and engaging in multiple empowering community projects, which have been his passion.
Register now and don’t miss out on the chance to participate in this informative and interactive webinar.
Presentation by John for 40 minutes (This will be a talk with a power-point presentation)
Master Class session for 30 minutes. (Four participants will be selected before the webinar, to each ask a question of their own and Prof Raeburn will respond and discuss each question while participants watch and listen in.
Plenary discussion for 30 mins. (Prof Raeburn will answer and discuss questions from participants.
Closing by webinar facilitator – HPF Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi.
up to 5 for $99 members (Approx 30% discount for 5 people), and
$199 for non members (Approx 20% discount for 5 people).
There are three phases of learning activities – before, during and after the webinar. These include:
pre-event study and preparation, using resources sent three days prior
participation in the actual webinar with questions and answers as well as discussion
after the webinar, participants receive a copy of the powerpoint presentation and other resources used, as well as exclusive viewing of the webinar (with your co-workers) for two weeks in our private YouTube channel, before the video is put into our public HPF channel
ask follow-up questions to the presenter and/or facilitator during the two weeks after the webinar
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.
“Ko taku reo tāku ohooho, ko taku reo tāku māpihi mauria.” Koinei tētahi o ngā whakataukī ka pēnei mai te Māori. E ai ki ngā korero, ki nga whakaaro hoki, he tino taonga kē tō tātou reo rangatira. He tāhuhu ki te wharepuni, he toka ki te moana, he pounamu mai rānō . I tuku iho te kōrerorero nei mai ngā mātua , mai ngā tīpuna kia kore ai tō tātou reo, e rite ki te moa, ka ngaro.
There are profound reasons as to why we should uphold and maintain Te Reo Māori, the first and indigenous language of our beloved country.
During Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori/Māori Language Week HPF encourages you to reflect on just how essential language is to one’s culture and its pivotal role in the sustenance of one’s identity and wellbeing/hauora – culturally, spiritually, mentally, and physically.
The theme for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori which launched yesterday to mark the day in 1972 when the petition for te reo Māori was presented to parliament remains: ‘Kia Kaha te Reo Māori!’. Go to https://www.tewikiotereomaori.co.nz/ for more information.
In 1972, 30,000 signatures were delivered to the NZ Parliament calling for te reo Māori to be taught in schools. It was a defining moment in the journey to revitalise the language. The aim is to grow one million speakers by 2040.
Of 7000-plus languages in the world today, at least 2000 are being threatened by extinction. The loss of a language is a loss to all of our human family. In our new reality of one global community, cultural diversity is as important as biodiversity.
One simple way HPF suggests we can do to sustain all languages is to adopt an auxiliary language, in addition to each culture’s native language. Everyone can learn that same auxiliary language, alongside their mother tongue.
Knowledge and communications can be facilitated effectively across cultural boundaries, while each culture retains and advances its distinct identity, wellbeing and contributions to its own wellbeing and our collective wellbeing.
The re-emergence of Covid-19 in the community in Auckland has put the Pacific community in the spotlight, uncovering the inequities of several decades, caused by underlying determinants such as housing, education, and structural racism.
Pacific health promoters must respond and be part of the solutions to addressing these inequities.
The Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand (HPF) is hosting a webinar next week which will offer a range of tools and approaches to help Pacific health promoters and others who work with Pacific families and communities be more effective in their response to this crisis.
The webinar will specifically:
scan the political, economic, and cultural context
outline, refresh, and explore approaches and tools that are most appropriate and effective
and closely examine our Pacific competencies and leadership on how to transform the health and wellbeing of Pacific communities, as part of our NZ society
To be held on Friday, September 18 from 11.30am to 12.30pm the webinar will be presented by HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi and Senior Health Promotion Strategist Dr Viliami Puloka.
Covid-19 forcing a rethink in the approach to Pacific health and health promotion, the webinar will help participants to add a number of tools, such as Pacific health models, in their Pasifika basket of knowledge,” says Mr Tu’itahi.
“As we know, some of these tools, skills and knowledge are unique to Pacific world views, values and beliefs. So, what are some of the things we need to know from the outset that will leverage our work and improve Pacific health outcomes?”.
The webinar has three phases of learning activities – before, during and after the webinar. These include:
pre-event study and preparation, using resources sent three days prior
participation in the actual webinar with questions and answers as well as discussion
after the webinar, participants receive a copy of the powerpoint presentation and other resources used, as well as exclusive viewing of the webinar (with your co-workers) for two weeks in our private YouTube channel, before the video is put into our public HPF channel
ask follow-up questions to the presenter and/or facilitator during the two weeks after the webinar
COST: $29 for members of HPF, and $49 for non-members.
This week is The global Week for Action on NCDs (Non-communicable diseases) and HPF is calling on individuals and communities to join the movement to #ActOnNCDs and help boost health and equity around the world.
This year’s theme of ‘Accountability – a crucial force for political and programmatic change’ involves monitoring of commitments made by governments, and aims to put pressure on decision-makers to ensure that promises become actions.
The global campaign, which runs from Sep 7 – 13 is also particularly significant this year as NCDs, which are the #1 cause of death and disability in the world, are also amplifying the impacts of Covid-19.
As WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pointed out at a COVID-19 press conference on the eve of the campaign, the pandemic has underscored the urgency of addressing NCDs and their risk factors.
“COVID-19 has preyed on people with non-communicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and respiratory disease,” said Dr Tedros.
HPF’s Dr Viliami Puloka who has a special interest in NCDs, says “accountability must begin with us, where we live, work and play 24/7 from womb to tomb”.
“NCDs come about as a result of choices some of them made for us but many are ours to make. The Government must be prepared to provide supportive environments making healthy choices easy choices,” says Dr Puloka.
No voice is insignificant and there are many ways you can get involved and be an agent for change such as retweeting a message, writing a letter to your Minister of Health or hosting an event.
Click to read more about the campaign.
HPF is encouraging Kiwis to mark World Literacy Day today, which is more relevant than ever, as it focuses on the role of educators and changing teaching practices in the Covid-19 crisis and beyond.
The theme for today, which also aims to boost the total literacy rate around the world because it is essential to a person’s social and personal development and wellbeing, highlights literacy learning in a lifelong-learning perspective.
According to UNESCO which designated the day in 1967 the Covid-19 crisis has been a stark reminder of the existing gap between policy discourse and reality.
This gap states UNESCO “already existed in the pre-Covid-19 era and is negatively affecting the learning of youth and adults who have no or low literacy skills and therefore tend to face multiple disadvantages”.
HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi says the Ottawa Charter recognises that education is a fundamental condition and resource for good health.
“Importantly also, acquiring knowledge and developing personal skills is crucial in promoting peoples’ and community’s wellbeing,” he says.
For more on the day click here.
Mental Health Awareness Week this month is an opportunity to reflect on, and redefine and rediscover what wellbeing looks like, during COVID-19 and beyond.
HPF is urging Kiwis to start spreading the word now and to get involved in the annual event, which is timelier than ever with rising uncertainties and stresses caused by the re-emergence of Covid-19 in the community.
The theme for the week which is run by The Mental Health Foundation from September 21 – 27 is ‘Reimagine Wellbeing Together: He Tirohanga Anamata’.
“Given the challenges of Covid-19, it is timely to pay attention to, and to promote mental wellbeing, an equally important dimension of our holistic wellbeing,” says HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi.
“Unemployment and increased financial needs can really test our resilience, especially at the individual and family level. It is therefore important to create and maintain a ‘supportive environment’ for all, as the Ottawa Charter suggests, and to take a whanau-collective approach, as articulated by Te Whare Tapa Wha.”
Each day of the week is inspired by one of the five aspects of Māori health model, Te Whare Tapa Wha. You can watch a video on ‘Te Whare Tapa Wha, Covid-19 and Maori Health Promotion’ at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7EQqCn6-m8 (And don’t forget to subscribe!)
Get the word out and get involved by registering at https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/
A webinar to help you be more effective in your work with Pacific communities, especially during Covid-19, will be hosted by HPF on Friday, September 18 from 11.30 – 12.30pm.
Join HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi and Dr Viliami Puloka in this interactive webinar to look at and discuss how you can improve your approach to Pacific health, using a range of Pacific health promotion tools.
“With Covid-19 forcing a rethink in the approach to Pacific health and health promotion, the webinar will help you to add a number of tools, such as Pacific health models, in your Pasifika basket of knowledge,” says Mr Tu’itahi.
“As we know, some of these tools, skills and knowledge are unique to Pacific world views, values and beliefs. So, what are some of the things we need to know from the outset that will leverage our work and improve Pacific health outcomes?”
Participants in the webinar will be provided with a pdf copy of the presentation, along with the link to the video recording, which will provide exclusive access, to the webinar on HPF’s YouTube channel. The video can be used as a learning tool within your organisations for a limited time. (And don’t forget to subscribe!)
Secure your spot and register now.
About the Facilitators: Sione Tu’itahi
Educator, author and health promoter, Sione is the Executive Director of the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand, and the Global Vice-President (Communications) of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE). His leadership was instrumental in bringing the IUHPE World Conference 2019 to Rotorua, Aotearoa New Zealand for the first time. He was named Public Health Association NZ, Public Health Champion for 2019.
Dr Viliami Puloka
Viliami is HPF’s Senior Health Promotion Strategist specialising in Pacific Health Promotion.
A Public health physician with a special interest in diabetes and obesity, Viliami brings with him a wealth of Pacific experience; combining his clinical skills and his Public health knowledge. He has gained a broad social and cultural appreciation from working with the diverse and unique islands of the Pacific. He has a strong multi-sectoral experience and programmatic approach in capacity building, project management and community development.
He is also a Research Fellow at the School of Public Health, Otago University.
HPF congratulates Keriana Brooking on her appointment as the first Māori wahine Chief Executive of the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board.
Ms Brooking, who is currently the Ministry of Health’s Deputy Director General Health System Improvement and Innovation, is of Ngāti Pāhauwera and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoadescent
Hawke’s Bay DHB’s Board Chair Shayne Walker says Ms Brooking brings with her a strong focus on ensuring there is ongoing improvement in equity throughout the health and disability system. “This focus will help ensure we continue to improve the equity focus on health services we provide to our community.”
Ms Brooking who has strong links to Hawke’s Bay, as her father was born and raised in Wairoa before he moved to Oamaru, says Hawke’s Bay has always played a role in her life. “There is something about this special part of New Zealand, the people and the way they live …”
Ms Brooking who was actively involved in supporting the Ministry of Health with the Covid-19 pandemic started her new role on August 10.
New Zealanders are being encouraged this week, which is Conservation Week/ Te Wiki Tiaki Ao Tūroa, to boost their health and wellbeing by looking at and connecting with nature through new eyes.
“As we work together to defeat Covid-19, many of us are looking at life and our world with different perspective,” says Lou Sanson, the Director General of The Department of Conservation (DoC), which leads the annual event from August 15 – 23.
“Papatūānuku’s wellbeing is our wellbeing. Take a little time in nature for your wellbeing, and if you can, give a little back to nature for its wellbeing.”
Many Kiwis, says Mr Sanson find solace in their daily exercise, engaging with nature through visits to their local parks, beaches and waterways.
“Although we have to limit contact with each other during periods of lockdown, for many of us, nature is helping us through a pretty unusual time.”
HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi says conserving our environment is central to our holistic health – social, economic, physical, cultural and spiritual wellbeing. “While very challenging, Covid-19 is a portal of learning through which we should advance to a new paradigm of humanity being inextricably one with the environment.
“In this new reality, all human activities –economic and commercial included, and our relationship to each other as fellow world citizens, should be harmoniously achieved within the sustainability capacity of Papatūānuku -Mother Nature. This is the only choice, if we are to survive, thrive and flourish as a national and global community,” adds Mr Tu’itahi.
“With Tāmaki Makaurau going through the stresses of a renewed outbreak of Covid-19 cases, Conservation Week is a fantastic opportunity for us to get out in to nature and keep ourselves, our whānau and aiga (family) both physically and mentally healthy,” says Cllr Alf Filipaina, chair of Auckland Council’s Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee.
All activities must be done safely and sensibly, and in line with Covid-19 Alert Level rules. People enjoying time in nature should stay within their bubbles and ensure they maintain social distance from others.
If you can’t get out, DoC is also inviting you to immerse yourself virtually or in local spaces if you can. Click here for some great nature experiences on its digital channels.
The crucial role of indigenous people’s knowledge, voice and wisdom during and after Covid-19 is being recognised on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, today. (Aug 9)
HPF joins the rest of the world in commemorating today which this year has the theme ‘COVID-19 and indigenous peoples’ resilience’.
Since the outbreak, indigenous peoples have been seeking their own solutions and implementing preventive and protective measures, such as voluntary isolation, and sealing off their territories. The day promotes these good practices throughout the world.
“Around the world, indigenous people have been at the forefront in demanding environmental and climate action,” says the UN Secretary General António Guterres in his message to mark the day.
“Realising the rights of indigenous peoples means ensuring their inclusion and participation in Covid-19 response and recovery strategies … indigenous peoples must be consulted in all efforts to build back after the pandemic stronger and recover better.”
HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi says while we still have a few roads to walk, New Zealand is a world leader in all Indigenous matters. “In light of the current social, ecological and health crisis the world is facing, the day is an ideal time, on a national level, for New Zealanders to reflect on Te Tiriti o Waitangi and our pre and post-Treaty history, and work together.”
He says this would be key to helping us recover and advance, rather than recover and slide back. “Ultimately, on a world level, we have to reorganise our heart and mind around our new reality of a one planet, one people with all the collective beauty of unity in diversity. This should be our new paradigm if we are to survive, thrive and flourish in a post-Covid 19 reality. The pre-Covid-19 status quo worked for some, but certainly not for all.
“Our common destiny is entangled and entwined. Covid-19 is showing us this new reality. Either we live together, or we die together. Our common destiny is entangled and entwined. Covid-19 is showing us this new reality. Either we live together, or we die together.”
In Aoteroa NZ many Māori mobilised to respond to Covid-19 in their communities in various ways including helping to coordinate their own checkpoints.
HPF’s Maori Health Promotion Strategist Mereana Te Pere volunteered at a Waitaha Iwi checkpoint in Te Puke, Bay of Plenty. The iwi had support from the local police, who provided guidelines of what iwi could and could not do. This checkpoint was made in an effort to protect the high number of kaumatua and kuia with underlying health conditions. who are susceptible to illnesses, and the rest of the whanau.
A new action plan that will help to achieve better health outcomes for Māori has been welcomed by HPF.
Whakamaua: Māori Health Action Plan 2020-2025 is the implementation plan for He Korowai Oranga, New Zealand’s Māori Health Strategy and will set the Government’s direction for Māori health advancement over the next five years.
Whakamaua is underpinned by the Ministry’s new Te Tiriti o Waitangi Framework. The plan presents new opportunities for the Ministry, the health and disability system, and the wider government to make considerable progress in achieving Māori health equity — a direction supported by the final report of the Health and Disability System Review.
HPF’s Deputy Executive Director and Senior Strategist in Maori Health Promotion Trevor Simpson says a pleasing aspect of Whakamaua is that it reasserts the relevance and value of He Korowai Oranga which was promulgated in 2002.
“Importantly, this operationalises He Korowai Oranga and provides a plan of action for work that will improve Maori health outcomes over time,” says Mr Simpson.
“One aspect that will need to be part and parcel of Whakamaua is the development of an effective and efficient, well-trained workforce. In this regard, health promotion and the health promotion workforce must be supported to fulfil this role.”
In his foreword to the plan Associate Minister for Health Peeni Henare says Pae ora is the overarching aim of He Korowai Oranga and is underpinned by the three key elements of whānau ora, mauri ora, and wai ora.
Mr Henare says ensuring the voices of Māori are captured in the plan has been an integral part of its development.
“The priorities and actions outlined are born out of the myriad conversations the Ministry and wider government had with key stakeholders including whānau, hapū, and iwi,” he said. “I am excited and hopeful for the opportunity this action plan presents.”
The Ministry’s Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says in his foreword that the Ministry will progressively update Whakamaua to respond to the outcomes of the Health and Disability System Review, and ensure we are well positioned for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our commitment to the Ministry’s obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi has fully informed the development of Whakamaua and will continue to inform its implementation over the coming years.”
Whakamaua outlines a suite of actions that will help to achieve four high-level outcomes. These are:
– Iwi, hapū, whānau and Māori communities exercising their authority to improve their health and wellbeing.
– Ensuring the health and disability system is fair and sustainable and delivers more equitable outcomes for Māori.
– Addressing racism and discrimination in all its forms.
– Protecting mātauranga Māori throughout the health and disability system.
The launch by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) of its Mātauranga Framework is a positive step towards recognising the role of indigenous knowledge in promoting planetary health, says HPF’s Deputy Executive Director Trevor Simpson.
The Mātauranga Framework aims to help the EPA, which is the Government agency responsible for regulating activities that affect New Zealand’s environment, incorporate Māori perspectives and mātauranga evidence into its decision-making.
Mr Simpson who is HPFs Senior Strategist in Maori Health Promotion welcomed the initiative and said “the acknowledgement of Maori world views in relation to Te Taiao, the natural environment and its connection to human wellbeing is a positive step.
“It is recognition that indigenous knowledge can inform our approach to nature, the ecosystem and our kaitiakitanga relationship to life and the planet.”
The Principal Advisor in Kaupapa Kura Taiao, the EPA’s Maori Advisory team, Erica Gregory, said there was no one definition for mātauranga, but it could be described as a unique knowledge and understanding of Te Taiao – the natural environment.
“It has its own unique characteristics that are as valid as, but different from, other knowledge systems including science. A simple example of mātauranga would be the Māori consideration that when a pōhutukawa tree is in blossom it is also a good time to harvest kina.”
EPA’s Chief Executive Dr Allan Freeth said the Mātauranga Framework was the first of its kind to be developed for a New Zealand regulator.
The EPA plans to implement mātauranga into its decision-making, policies, and processes by June 2021.
The primary goals of the mātauranga programme are to:
Enable well-informed decision-making.
Ensure the EPA understands the issues and implications of mātauranga for its decision-making processes.
Increase the understanding of mātauranga across the EPA.
HPF’s workshops for the professional development of your staff will commence next month in the form of webinars.
The first webinar “Key aspects of effective Māori Health Promotion – tools to help us improve Maori health outcomes” will be held on Monday, 24th August from 11am-12.30pm.
HPF’s Executive Director, Trevor Simpson who will present the webinar will discuss some of the important elements of Māori Health Promotion planning and practice.
“To be effective in our work in Māori communities we will need a number of tools in the kete, as we know, some of these tools, skills and knowledge are unique to Maori world views, values and beliefs,” says Mr Simpson. “So, what are some of the things we need to know from the outset that will leverage our work and improve Māori health outcomes?”
Register here for the webinar.
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Costs for the webinars, which will focus on Maori, Pacific and international topics as well as health promotion tools and resources, are:
$29 incl GST HPF members
$49 incl GST non-HPF members
Participants in the webinars will be provided with a pdf copy of the presentation, along with the video, as well as new networking opportunities.
Topics and dates and and further details for the webinars will soon be made available.
About the presenter:Trevor Simpson: Deputy Executive Director, Senior Health Promotion Strategist, 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. He is also an elected member of the Global Board for the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) and White Ribbon Ambassador.
(Banner picture: Webinar on Te Whare Tapa Wha, Covid19 and Māori Health Promotion’ (May 12) presented by Trevor Simpson.)
A 20-year battle has finally ended after Australian and New Zealand Ministers voted to make it mandatory for alcohol producers to include the world’s strongest pregnancy health warning label on their products and packaging.
Dr Nicki Jackson, Executive Director of Alcohol Healthwatch thanked the 58 organisations, including HPF, and 600-plus individuals who signed an open letter urging the Ministers to vote for the best practice label.
“In the last 20 years, we have walked alongside families and practitioners calling for change,” said Dr Nicki Jackson, Executive Director of Alcohol Healthwatch.
“The world watched, and our Ministers have responded, showing leadership in doing the right thing. To our knowledge, this is the only pregnancy health warning label in the world that includes both a pictogram and specific text, with the warning heading required to be in red so that it attracts attention.”
NZ’s Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor who voted in favour of the labels said hundreds of babies a year are born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder because of exposure to alcohol in the womb.
Hāpai te Hauora also welcomed the vote with Interim CEO, Jason Alexander saying the decision showed strong public health leadership “In a time where the world is watching New Zealand and where we’re seen as leaders in health protection as a result of our COVID-19 response, it is critically important that we continue to model best practice, and in this instance we have.
“It’s great to see our own Minister for Food Safety come out strongly in support of these warning labels. It sends a strong message that the wellbeing of New Zealanders is being taken seriously, and shows what the Living Standards Framework looks like in action ant the policy level,” said Mr Alexander.
“We need to take every action to reduce this harm,” said Mr O’Connor.
Alcohol producers have been given three years to include the labels on their products.
A new paper being introduced in September by the University of Otago for those working with Pacific peoples and communities will be taught by HPF’s Senior Health Promotion Strategist specialising in Pacific health promotion, Dr Viliami Puloka.
The distance-taught postgraduate paper, ‘Introduction to Pacific Public Health’ will commence in September and will also feature guest lecturers from a range of areas.
Dr Puloka who is a Research Fellow with Otago University said the paper would benefit participants by helping them to gain a good understanding and good working relationship with Pacific people as well as a public health qualification with a career opportunity.
It would also give them a pathway for further studies and professional development he said.
As it was a new paper, he added that it would also provide the most up-to date knowledge.
The paper will enable participants to: learn about the factors determining and impacting the health of Pacific peoples; apply Pacific health values and practices to improve, promote and protect the health of Pacific peoples and understand the epidemiology and sociology of Pacific peoples, their models of health and frameworks for intervention.
While it is taught as part of the university’s postgraduate Public Health programme it can also be taken as a single paper.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
A new Pacific health action plan’s cross-governmental approach to addressing not only diseases, but the underlying determinants of health such as education, housing and systems is encouraging, says HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi.
The Ministry of Health developed ‘Ola Manuia: Pacific Health and Wellbeing Action Plan 2020–2025’ with input from Pacific communities, the health sector, and relevant government agencies.
The plan builds on the successes of ‘Ala Mo’ui: Pathways to Pacific Health and Wellbeing 2014–2018’ (Ministry of Health 2014) and sets out priority outcomes and accompanying actions for the next five years to improve the health and wellbeing of the Pacific population living in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Mr Tu’itahi says having ‘Thriving Pacific families…’ as a sub-theme of the plan can also open doors into closer collaboration with Pacific communities, tapping into one of the core strengths of Pacific communities – the family.
“As seen in the Covid-19 situation, the adverse health and economic impact of the pandemic on Pacific peoples was largely cushioned by the collective and reciprocal dynamics of families and other Pacific institutions such as the Church and Pacific providers.
“But the new plan’s outcomes of ‘Pacific people lead independent and resilient lives, longer good health and equitable health outcome’ can be realised if there is adequate resources allocated, a competent workforce, and close collaboration between Pacific communities, all providers, and public institutions.
HPF’s Pacific Strategist Dr Viliami Puloka says the plan acknowledges the population dynamics with increasing number of Pacific migrants arriving in labour wards rather than airports or seaports.
“The future generation of Pacific people will be New Zealand citizens by birth, and we must renew our minds and look at them with new eyes. We appreciate the provision of resources, funding, trainings, and many Pacific targeted services in the name of equity and human rights.”
The Associate Minister for Health Jenny Salesa says the plan was about driving more effective and equitable health outcomes for thousands of Pacific New Zealanders who call this country home.
“The strength and resilience of New Zealand’s Pacific communities was strongly highlighted in the country’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak … Ola Manuia matches that with an equal level of commitment from our health and disability system. Developed with strong input from Pacific communities across New Zealand it builds on the momentum of what’s working well and provides clarity about where and how we can improve Pacific health outcomes,” says Ms Salesa.
The plan can be used as a tool for planning, prioritising actions, and developing new and innovative methods of delivering results to improve Pacific health.
A Tūhoe astronomer, well-known for his work in helping to elevate the understanding of Matariki as a significant occasion for New Zealanders, is the first Māori to win one of the country’s top science awards.
University of Waikato Professor Rangi Matamua who was awarded the Prime Minister’s Science Communications Prize, worth $100,000, from the Royal Society of New Zealand was congratulated by HPF on the prestigious award.
HPF’s Deputy Executive Director Trevor Simpson said Prof Matamua was an important repository for Maori lore and the indigenous scientific knowledge.
“In Indigenous Maori health promotion, we recognise the importance of Maori universal views, the interconnectedness and interdependence of all things whether seen or unseen,” said Mr Simpson.
“On this basis his work literally illuminates for us all the wisdom of our ancestors – a way to see the cosmos as our forebears did with a deeper understanding.”
Prof Matamua who is the author of the best-selling book Matariki: The Star of the Year, written in both English and te reo Māori said he was a scientific practitioner from a Māori point of view.
“I believe I practise that every day, and every evening when I am out looking at the night sky. I am looking for certain scientific elements, but I’m also looking at deity, genealogy, and traditional cultural narratives that are woven into the tapestry that is the night sky.”
He hopes one day Matariki, given it is unique to New Zealand, will become the most significant event in Aotearoa.
One of the world’s best-known general medical journals The Lancet is producing a series of academic papers to centre the complex challenges of racism and xenophobia, which it says has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 outbreak, in the health discourse.
The journal, one of the oldest in the world, is working with a diverse team of academics and activists globally to highlight injustices, identify solutions, and enact change.
Alongside this, the journal is also launching the Race & Health Movement at https://raceandhealth.org/ a multi-disciplinary community of practice that will continue beyond the social media.
According to a recent Lancet article entitled ‘Racism, the public health crisis we cannot ignore’ the COVID-19 outbreak has uncovered an uncomfortable propensity towards racism, xenophobia, and intolerance exacerbated by transnational health challenges and national politics. “Our vision is to provide a catalyst in tackling the adverse health effects of racism, xenophobia, and discrimination. Academic outputs on their own are irrelevant. We must use the evidence to advocate for change and improvements in health. In this spirit, we are launching a global consultation, asking: what should we do, and how should we do it?”
HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi says this is an important contribution by Lancet to address racism, which is “a very destructive determinant of health and wellbeing to millions of Indigenous and ethnic minorities around the world, including New Zealand, Australia and other parts of the Pacific”.
“Translating research-based evidence on racism into action is greatly needed now, given what we know of the inequities and deprivation that many population groups have experienced due to racism and it’s many forms,” says Mr Tu’itahi.
The Lancet points out that internationally, we have witnessed the vilification of particular nationalities, with overt forms of sinophobia. (anti-Chinese sentiment)
The article states that politically, xenophobia has been weaponised to enforce border controls against particular nationalities and undermine migrant rights. In the UK, minoritised ethnic groups are more likely to contract a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and, subsequently, face a higher risk of a severe form of illness.
“Society is unwell. The symptoms—racialised violence, and excess morbidity and mortality in minority ethnic populations—reflect the cause: an unjust and unequal society … As a health community, we must do more than simply describing inequities in silos, we must act to dismantle systems that perpetuate the multiple intersecting and compounding systems of oppression that give rise to such inequities and injustices.”
Click here to read more.
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.
What we can do as a group/community to better support our whanau in health and economic situations such as the Covid-19 pandemic will be discussed at a webinar next week on Tuesday (June 30) from 11am – 12.30pm.
‘Appropriate Covid-19 Response with a Pacific lens moving to the future’ is the last of HPF’s special series of webinars aimed at advising and guiding organisations and communities through the Covid-19 crisis
The speakers are 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. (Pictured)
As part of her work with Moana research Dr Taufa will provide a quick response review of some of the services carried out for and by Pacific groups/providers.
Dr Tukuitonga who is the former Director-General of The Secretariat of the Pacific Community, has been a voice for the Pacific on many issues and will provide some thoughts on where we should focus and invest moving to the future.
He will look at what equity of opportunities are there for the Pacific and how well they may be supported by the new Health and Disability Review plan as well as the new Pacific Health and Wellbeing Action plan 2020 – 2025, Ola Manuia.
HPF’s Senior Health Promotion Strategist specialising in Pacific Health Promotion, Dr Viliami Puloka will chair and moderate the one-hour webinar, which will be followed by Q & A and general discussion.
Click here to register.
About the speakers:
Dr Seini Taufa is the Research and Evaluation Lead for Moana Research, a consultancy group of passionate researchers and clinicians committed to making the early years the best start in life for all children. Dr Taufa was previously based at the University of Auckland where she taught for more than 10 years within the departments of Social and Community Health and Pacific Health, School of Population Health. Dr Taufa serves in various advisory groups which include The Village Collective and the Pacific Police Advisory Group.
Dr Colin Tukuitonga is the former Director-General of The Secretariat of the Pacific Community, New Caledonia. In March he took up the inaugural position of Associate Dean Pacific, at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. His previous roles have included CEO of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs in New Zealand, Director of Public Health at Ministry of Health in New Zealand, and Head of Surveillance and Prevention of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases at the World Health Organisation in Switzerland.
Dr Viliami Puloka is HPF’s Senior Health Promotion Strategist specialising in Pacific Health Promotion. A Public health physician with a special interest in diabetes and obesity, Dr Puloka brings with him a wealth of Pacific experience; combining his clinical skills and his public health knowledge. He has gained a broad social and cultural appreciation from working with the diverse and unique islands of the Pacific. He has a strong multi-sectoral experience and programmatic approach in capacity building, project management and community development.
The pivotal role of health promotion and public health in helping to fight Covid-19, the renewed focus on the importance of planetary health and the chance now for a ‘big reset’ were some of the topics discussed at a webinar run by HPF yesterday.
Key speakers were HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi, Professor Louise Signal Director of the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit at Otago University and Dr Michael Baker Professor of Public Health at the University of Otago and one of New Zealand’s leading epidemiologists.
‘Covid-19 level 1: Navigating the Future of Health Promotion’ was the second to last in a series of webinars, for which the fees were waived, organised by HPF to inform and provide guidance to organisations and the community through the challenges of Covid-19.
The webinar will be posted to HPF’s YouTube channel shortly. WATCH THIS SPACE!
Prof Signal said the nation could be very proud of what had been achieved in the field of public health and health promotion during Covid-19 and that there was a huge opportunity to build on that.
It was also she pointed out a big opportunity to have a ‘reset’.
“We could see Mt Everest and the Himalayas for the first time in decades because there was no smog. We heard birds singing as never before … We’ve seen what a new world can look like, we’ve seen how we can stop the world and it makes us think we can stop climate change.”
Prof Signal reflected on last year’s World Health Promotion Conference in Rotorua and its timely focus on ‘planetary health’ and quoted from the two legacy documents, that came out of the conference.
She urged people to treat the ‘Waiora – Indigenous People’s Statement for Planetary Health and Sustainable Development’ as a ‘living document.’
Prof Signal also looked at what she described as the ‘second pandemic’ — the economic shock that would occur and how equity would be one of the biggest challenges.
Prof Baker praised the remarkable and active response of NZ and the Pacific to the pandemic and how health promotion techniques, such as giving people the responsibility to protect themselves, had come to the fore during the crisis.
He said a lot could be learned from that response about public and population health in general.
Prof Baker also pointed to the great ‘reset potential’ and the chance to tackle the climate crisis, which although slower than the pandemic, would have long-term effects.
Mr Tu’itahi discussed how Covid-19 had made us do things differently and how the community had become more conscious about public health and the health of the planet as the underlying cause of the pandemic.
He also explained the accreditation framework that HPF is working on with the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) and how it would help formally recognise the efficacy of health promotion in New Zealand.
“While we will be part of a global accreditation system, we also added to the same framework our unique socio-economic and political context, and Te Tiriti to ensure that our workforce is fit for purpose.”
Pictured from left: Dr Michael Baker, Dr Viliami Puloka (HPF), Sione Tu’itahi and Prof Louise Signal.
A webinar that will explore what health promotion might look like after the Covid-19 pandemic will be held next week on Tuesday, June 23 from 11.00am to 12.30pm.
‘Covid-19 Level 1: Navigating the future of health promotion in Aotearoa NZ’ will be presented by HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi and will feature Professor Louise Signal, a Director of the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit at the University of Otago, Wellington.
To register for this webinar, for which the fee has been waived, CLICK HERE.
The webinar will also examine Covid-19 and planetary health in light of the Legacy Statements of the 2019 World Health Conference on Health that was held in Rotorua a year ago.
The statements call on the global community to urgently act to promote planetary health and sustainable development for all, now and for the sake of future generations. They also call to make space for and privilege Indigenous peoples’ voices and Indigenous knowledges in taking action with us to promote the health of Mother Earth and sustainable development for the benefit of all.
A third speaker will soon be confirmed.
About the SpeakersProfessor Louise Signal
Professor Signal is a Director of the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit at the University of Otago, Wellington. She has worked and done research in the field of health promotion for over 30 years in a range of roles, including Senior Advisor (Health Promotion) for the New Zealand Ministry of Health. Louise is a social scientist with a PhD in Community Health from the University of Toronto. She was the Regional Director of the South West Pacific Region of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), 2013-2019.
Educator, author and health promoter, Sione is the Executive Director of the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand, and the Global Vice-President (Communications) of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), 2019-2022. His leadership was instrumental in bringing the IUHPE World Conference 2019 to Rotorua, Aotearoa New Zealand for the first time. He was named Public Health Association NZ, Public Health Champion for 2019.
The publication of a report this week recommending some of the most wide-sweeping reforms to New Zealand’s healthcare in a generation has been welcomed by the Health Promotion Forum of NZ. (HPF)
The Health and Disability System Review led by former Prime Minister Helen Clark’s chief-of-staff Helen Simpson was charged with recommending system-level changes that would be sustainable, lead to better and more equitable outcomes for all New Zealanders and shift the balance from treatment of illness towards health and wellbeing.
In her introduction to the review Simpson says she firmly believes the changes proposed by the review ‘have the potential to deliver a system which is a truly New Zealand system … which embeds Te Tiriti principles throughout, where Māori have real authority to develop and implement policies which address their needs in ways which respect te Ao Māori, and a system where all New Zealanders, Māori, Pacific, European, Asian, disabled, rural or urban, understand how to access a system which is as much about keeping them well, as it is about treating them when they become sick’.
Among the recommendations proposed by the review, which has been two years in the making, are the creation of a new agency called Health NZ, for leadership of health service delivery both clinical and financial, as well as the establishment of a Māori Health Authority.
The review suggests that the Māori Health Authority would need to partner with Health NZ to develop commissioning models that would work for Māori, whether for general, taha Māori or kaupapa Māori services. It would also lead the development of a strengthened Māori workforce.
HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi says shifting the balance from treatment of illness towards health and wellbeing, addressing equity and the rights of Tangata Whenua as one of the Te Tiriti partners are all moves in the right direction.
‘However, it should be noted that the health of the planet, our one common home, is the most urgent and determining factor. So, it’s the fact that health is a societal effort and all sectors are equally important. The public health system is a part of the bigger whole,” says Mr Tu’itahi.
The review also calls for the country’s 20 District Health Boards (DHBs) to be reduced to between eight and 12 within the next five years and move to fully appointed boards who will be recruited against competencies including tikanga Māori.
Regarding the disability sector the review acknowledges that disabled people have not been well served by the existing health and disability system and that change is needed to ensure that disability is no longer treated as an exception or managed separately. ‘The increasing number of disabled people have the right to expect equitable outcomes from the system.’
It is recommended that home-based support, in particular, should be assessed by need rather than having eligibility determined by diagnosis and that needs-assessment processes need to be more streamlined and less repetitive.
Other major recommendations include: Greater focus on population health and prevention; Funding for health and disability to be indexed to inflation and greater integration between primary and community care and hospital/specialist services.
The decision on whether or not the recommendations will be implemented now falls on the Government and Health minister David Clark has indicated that: “Cabinet has accepted the case for reform, and the direction of travel outlined in the review.”
The review acknowledges that the proposed changes cannot happen all at once and to realise the benefits of a new system would require a determined change programme over a number of years.
Read the full review here.
A webinar exploring how the Pacific model Fonua Ola can be adapted as a tool for building Pacific family strengths and resilience, to help address planetary health challenges, such as Covid-19 is now available for viewing on our YouTube channel.
Presented by HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi, ‘Fonua Ola and Covid-19: A health promotion way of building the capacity of Pacific Families’ reminds us of the central role of family in all aspects of life, and how Covid-19 has forced us back to this small but most important unit in society.
“In Pacific communities in their homeland and overseas you see the family as still the centre and beginning of everything. The first circle of wellbeing, and the first circle of advocacy and strong agency of taking ownership of your future and the future you want to walk into,” Mr Tu’itahi points out.
Mr Tu’itahi looks at why it is just as important to have, alongside Western models like the Ottawa Charter and the Bangkok Charter, Pasifika models such as Fonua Ola as a health model and a tool to assist Pasifika families through challenges such as Covid-19 and beyond.
“Different cultural and ethnic groups view the world differently … their context especially at the regional and national level are different and therefore the experience, the challenges are slightly different and we need to capture the learning from that and inform our thinking and practice, and the way we do our work as we move on,” says Mr Tu’itahi. “Hence the Pasifika models that have evolved over the years.”
A template that can be used as a Fonua Ola action plan is available at the end of the webinar.
Fees for HPF’s webinars will be waived until the end of the month.
The feedback from members of HPF who participated in our second online forum recently provided some valuable information on the key factors that kept organisations working effectively and some of the challenges they faced during Covid-19.
Members who joined the online discussion on May 20 said a collaborative approach, good teamwork and effective communication had been crucial in their work with communities during the crisis.
Covid-19, said one member, showed how ‘preventative’ was the way to go and it was encouraging to see more resources being pushed out to the DHBs and other community organisations to get on top of where we are now
Also vital during the lockdown was ensuring that workers’ welfare was paramount, as many were still working onsite and others going out into the communities, dairies, supermarkets, airports etc… Creating a healthy workspace and environment was vital for their health and wellbeing.
“We’re looking after the community, but someone has to look after us,” said one member.
Good leadership was acknowledged as crucial, as well as the need for communication from the top to be filtered right down to the grassroots level.
Some of the challenges that were faced included the need for better information and data sharing. Also becoming more evident a couple of weeks into lockdown said one member was the need for better leadership in some communities, a clear, coordinated strategy and better cohesiveness and trust among the many players.
The role of social media, in particular Facebook, was highlighted by one organisation working with youth as particularly useful in getting Covid-19 information and messages through to young people, and building a rapport with them.
Members added that they were thankful for the series of webinars HPF had been running over the past few weeks.
The next forum will be held on June 20th. To register please email email@example.com
The fourth in a series of webinars being run by HPF will focus on the positive outcomes and lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The webinar to be presented by HPF’s Senior Health Promotion Strategist specialising in Pacific Health Promotion, Dr Viliami Puloka is entitled ‘Collateral Benefits: Lessons learned from COVID-19’.
Participants are encouraged to answer the following questions and share their thoughts as part of the discussions during the webinar.
From your personal experience, list three activities you were able to carry out because level 4 & 3 restrictions gave you that opportunity?
Can you list three environmental benefits that were directly related to COVID-19 restrictions?
What are the Public health measures that flattened the curve even as we are still waiting for vaccine and drug for treatment?
If you are to adopt or adapt one lifestyle change for lifetime health, what would that be?
To register for this webinar, for which the fees have been waived as HPF’s contribution to the health promotion workforce and other health workers, HPF members, and our communities, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The webinar link will be forwarded upon registration.
Meanwhile go to our YouTube channel to view our latest webinars and other videos, and don’t forget to hit the subscribe button.
HPF has posted the latest in a series of webinars, to inform and provide guidance for your organisations and the community during these challenging times, to our YouTube channel.
The first in the series of popular webinars was HPF’s Deputy Executive Director and Maori Strategist Trevor Simpson’s presentation on ‘Te WhareTapa Wha, Covid19 and Māori Health Promotion’.
Mr Simpson who provided a contemporary and historical perspective on the current situation looked at Te Whare Tapa Wha as a model and explored how health promotion can take a lead, offer solutions and look to the future in a changed world beyond Covid19.
Covid-19 also reminds us that the family should be the first fortress of wellbeing and best line of defence against any life challenge, including health challenges such as Covid-19.
HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi’s webinar shows how the Ottawa Charter can be adapted as a tool for building whanau and family strengths and resilience to address challenges, internal and external.
Entitled ‘Health promoting ways of building family and whanau capacity against Covid-19, and beyond’ the webinar is for health promoters, Whanau Ora navigators, community workers, and other health workers.
Also available for viewing are two great home-made videos produced by HPF’s Dr Viliami Puloka during the first two weeks of lockdown to focus on safety and wellbeing. Entitled ‘Lessons from the Garden’ and ‘Food for Thought’ these insightful and reflective videos give a unique and positive perspective on the benefits of the restrictions imposed during alert level 4.
Go to our YouTube channel and please don’t forget to press the subscribe button.
HPF has another useful resource for health promoters and communities that can help with managing the Covid-19 challenge.
The resource is just as relevant and applicable today, as when it was published a while back in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake, with the aim of boosting wellbeing, resiliency and reducing vulnerability.
The tool outlines valuable strategies which in the current climate of Covid-19 are essential such as strengthening community action, building healthy public policy and developing personal skills.
To download or view the resource entitled ‘Disaster Management through a health promotion lens’ click here.
The article is authored by Dr Tara Kessaram and Professor Louise Signal.
HPF caught up withpublic health physician and leading authority on planetary health and health promotion, Professor Anthony Capon to get his views on a wide range of issues including the link between environmental health and COVID-19Q: First of all we’d like to congratulate you on your appointment as Director of the Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI). You were Professor of Planetary Health in the School of Public Health at Sydney University for a number of years. What motivated you to take up this new role and can you tell us a bit about what it entails?
A: I was attracted to MSDI because it’s a leading academic institute focused on sustainable development, with more than 100 staff from a wide range of disciplines and a lively cohort of graduate research students. MSDI was established more than 10 years ago and hosts the Australia, New Zealand and Pacific hub for the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). MSDI is different to conventional academic institutes because it is focused on impact. We don’t just describe problems. We work with partners on solutions. It’s worth mentioning that as well as directing MSDI, I also hold a chair of planetary health in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash.
Q: You were one of the plenary speakers at the global health promotion conference in Rotorua last April where you spoke on Planetary Health: Promoting health in the Anthropocene. What were some of the highlights of the conference for you?
A: The IUHPE world conference is always a terrific event. It’s a marvellous opportunity to connect with health promotion colleagues from around the world, to share experiences and learn together. For me, the highlight of Waiora—the 23rd of these conferences—was the focus on indigenous knowledge in health promotion. Planetary health may be a new concept in health promotion policy and research, however it is not a new concept for indigenous people. For indigenous people the connections between human health and the health of country are central spiritual foundations and deeply embedded in cultural practices. More generally, it was terrific that the conference organisers chose the theme of Promoting Planetary Health and Sustainable Development for All. The nexus between health promotion and sustainable development warrants much greater attention in our health promotion programs.
Q: You spoke at the conference about how you hoped many would want to learn more about Maori understanding of health and wellbeing and broad indigenous understandings. Does your Ngāi Tahu (South Island) heritage give you more appreciation of this? Do you think enough is being done around the world to promote indigenous knowledge?
A: Certainly, it was a great privilege to grow up as a member of a Ngāi Tahu family in the Catlins. I fondly recall my childhood on a sheep farm outside Owaka in south Otago. My great grandmother, Mary Brown, imbued me with an enduring respect for Mother Nature which continues to guide my work and everyday practices. New Zealand provides a really positive example for the world in valuing indigenous ways of knowing. However, we definitely need to do more in this space, particularly in countries like Australia where I was raised and subsequently trained in health promotion.
Q: We all know countries like the UK, US and Japan are historically responsible for most of the greenhouse emissions in the world, but closer to home, Australia’s per capita carbon dioxide footprint is now one of the highest in the world. NZ’s greenhouse gas emissions rose by 2.2% in 2017 from the previous year. Do you think these countries are doing enough to reduce their CO2 emissions and if not what more can be done?
A: Indeed, all high income countries need to do more. My current home country, Australia, in particular, must do more. If all people in the world lived as Australians do, we would need five planets—not one, but five. It is clearly not sustainable, nor fair. As a wealthy country, Australia should also urgently transition from its reliance on coal for a large part of its export income. In addition to health impacts of climate change, globally more than 400,000 premature deaths each year are attributable to the toxic pollution from coal burning. As well as reducing our own carbon footprint, Australia, and other high income countries, should be supporting urgent transitions to healthy and sustainable development pathways in low and middle income countries.
Q: Looking at the way the world has been heading since the industrial revolutions one could be forgiven for thinking it’s all doom and gloom. But there is a rising consciousness and determination, evidenced by worldwide protests recently, to set the planet back on the right track. Does this wave of action, especially from younger generations, give you optimism for our future generations?
A: It is terrific to see young people speaking out about these important global environmental challenges. Young people learn about these issues at school because it is now a core part of the curriculum. Notably, many of our elected officials—often from an older generation—did not have the opportunity to learn about these issues at school and this may help to explain why sometimes they deny their importance. Of course, vested interests in business as usual is also part of the problem. While the urgency for action is clear, I do remain hopeful that we can come together and act in the interest of the wellbeing of future generations. This is the core ambition of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Q: You are one of the few public health physicians in Australia who trained in health promotion. Your message for health promoters is that there is a need to bring planetary consciousness to health promotion education, research, policy and practice. Please can you elaborate more on this, and give some examples of how health promoters can achieve this?
A: In health promotion, we know the importance of behavioural risk factors. We also know the importance of health literacy and of social determinants of health. However, we’ve seemingly forgotten that human health entirely depends on the health of natural systems. Indigenous ways of knowing about health are relevant again here. In health promotion, we need a paradigm shift to eco-social understandings of health—an integrative approach to health promotion that acknowledges ecological, economic and social foundations of health. In essence, we need to be ‘conscious’ of the planetary in all of our work.
Q: Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic is currently sweeping across the world. Should planetary health understanding feature in our responses to this pandemic?
A: The bottom line is that the COVID-19 pandemic is a planetary health issue. There is mounting research evidence that the emergence of infectious diseases (e.g. SARS, Ebola and Zika) is being enabled by environmental change, including changing climatic conditions, loss of biodiversity, urbanisation and ecosystem degradation. These environmental changes are providing new opportunities for contact between animals and people with potential for transmission of infectious agents.
In this context, while it is entirely appropriately that health systems are currently focused on provision of health care to patients and interventions to prevent human to human transmission (including social distancing and vaccine development), it’s also important we look upstream and invest in tackling the underlying causes of the problem through biodiversity conservation and stabilising the climate. This will help avoid transmission of diseases from animals to humans in the first place.
When HPF’s Executive Director, Trevor Simpson and his wife Vanessa decided to make a radical change to their career-based lifestyle, sell up and take to the road for a new adventure little did they realise they would soon find themselves in ‘lockdown’ up North. Stuck in a beautiful and relatively empty holiday park has given them plenty of time for reflection, writes Trevor.
By Trevor Simpson
In the weeks preceding the Covid19 level 4 “lockdown” (I do loathe the use of this word) my wife Vanessa and I had made the decision to completely change the career-based lifestyles we were living. Our plan was to sell our small apartment in Auckland, buy a nice caravan and traverse this beautiful country unencumbered and free to delight in the natural environment. The first two parts to the plan went remarkably well – within three days of listing, our apartment had sold and a week later we had acquired the caravan. Vanessa had resigned from her role as a registered nurse and I was fortunate enough to negotiate a reduced role with HPF that would allow me to continue to contribute in a small way to the important work that HPF does, while roaming the countryside.
Barely a week into our excursion, which comprised small stays in Orewa and then Kororareka, Russell, we found ourselves in Matakohe in the northern Kaipara. Here sits a beautiful holiday park set on a rise overlooking the harbor and the mangrove estuaries that spread out across the expansive water catchment that is the Kaipara. On the day we arrived the Covid19 alert level moved from 3 to 4, our travel plans came to an abrupt halt and here we were to be held for the duration of a 4-week lockdown.
A strange but fortunate outcome was the relative emptiness of the park (left). The off-season had just begun and other than the owner and her family there were only three other groups in the park. We later found out that two of these groups were visitors from the United States and Rarotonga, Cook Islands waiting out the mandatory stand-down period and hoping to receive clearance to return home. Unlike ours, theirs is a tenuous and stressful situation. They remain, like us, in isolation in Matakohe, although with enviable social distancing (50 metres or so) and the comfort of perfectly arranged bubbles. Amongst the groups, the general mood of conversation is one of hope, a sense of gratitude and good fortune, and I sense, a level of fortitude and belief that the crisis will soon end.
In the days since arriving I have found an unexpected sense of calm and contemplation. The restrictions imposed by Covid-19 have provided an unanticipated opportunity to take in those things that I might ordinarily have overlooked on any busy working day. This is a quiet and peaceful place but when you sit and listen, it resonates with the sound of the wind, the rustling of leaves, of birdsong and the melodic trills of insects. We witness Papatuanuku clothed in vibrant autumn hues. Here you see the sun rise and set every day. You watch the tides come and go. There is a pulse and rhythm to nature that I had forgotten somehow.
In April of 2019, the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) together with HPF held the 23rd World Conference on Health Promotion in Rotorua. At this conference we saw the drafting and ratification of the Waiora – An Indigenous People’s Statement for Planetary Health and Sustainable Development. For the first time we witnessed the inclusion of indigenous knowledge, world views and indigenous health promotion in a high-level legacy document. In doing so, the health promotion global community agrees that Indigenous knowledge should be part and parcel of the work we do in addressing the global challenges that confront humanity.
The Waiora Statement explains:
Core features of indigenous worldviews are the interactive relationship between spiritual and material realms, that our planet has its own life force, the special nature of our relationships with ancestral lands and the interconnectedness and interdependence between all that exists, which locates humanity as part of the planet’s ecosystems.
In reflecting on the Waiora Statement, this Matakohe experience has reminded me of two important aspects in terms of my role as an indigenous health promoter. The first is that in expressing my indigeneity I am asserting my intimate connection to the natural world, to nature, to Papatuanuku. I am not separate from, I am not above, but part of nature. My role and responsibility then, is to protect and sustain her for future generations – an overriding obligation to be embraced.
The second point and probably the most important, is that the glue holding all of this together is spiritual. It is Wairua.
Matakohe has uplifted me in unexpected ways. It has helped to me to “re-see” and reconnect. It has helped me to understand again what is important and what I’m called to. Covid-19 in all its global devastation and frightening impact will soon end but my indigenous spirit and the way I see the world as a health promoter will remain for the rest of my life.
Last November (2019) former board chair Zoe Hawke was farewelled by HPF after completing her three terms. Upon her departure Hauora Newsletter asked Ms Hawke, who is the Community Engagement, Policy & Advocacy Manager at the Mental Health Foundation to reflect on what some of her highlights were while serving on the Board, her work at MHF and what has become somewhat of a passion of hers, building the Like Mind Like Mine (LMLM) work into a movement
Q: When you look back at your time on HPF’s board, as a member and then chair from 2017, what are some of the highlights for you?
A: Working with clever and thoughtful board members, watching Sione and his ethical leadership, World Health Promotion Conference in Rotorua last year, seeing the amount of work the small HPA team pump out – great things can come from a small team.
Q: What were some of the most memorable parts of the conference for you?
A: Keynote speakers were amazing, the focus on indigenous speakers – fabulous. Great to meet so many people from around the world with health promotion passion Favourite keynote speaker quote: “Tuhoe thousands of years old, Governments have three-year terms. So really we are working with 3-year-old.”
Q: Can you tell us a bit about what your role as Community Engagement, Policy & Advocacy Manager at the Mental Health Foundation entails and what is the most rewarding parts about your job?
A: I manage two teams at MHF, the Community Engagement/Health Promotion team and the Policy and Advocacy team. Both roles keep very busy, both teams also consist of amazingly clever and passionate people who work in a real collective way to increase mental wellbeing for our communities. Both teams work together to making submissions to central and local government, connecting with communities, iwi, hapū whānau, gathering real-life insights from our networks, providing policy advice from these insights and by informing the public about opportunities to get involved though our community engagement work, resource development, training, media work, newsletters and social channels. Together we focus on systemic advocacy rather than providing individual advocacy support. Our vision is to move away from developing policy and resources in isolation, to a place where we are working closely with communities, hapū, iwi, lived experienced, and where we work with other organisations as a united front to create the change that is needed.
Q: Te Tiriti o Waitangi and The Ottawa Charter are the core documents from which the Foundation’s principles and values are based. How is this reflected in its work?
A: We have a Māori development strategy aligned to the broader Mental Health Foundation (MHF) Strategy. The purpose of this strategy is to support the MHF in becoming more responsive to Māori and developing into an organisation where we are the best Treaty Partners that we can possibly be. Specifically, the strategy enables the MHF to develop internal capability in Tikanga and Te Ao Māori and external capability in building relationships and engagement with Māori. The Māori Development Strategy highlights the MHF ongoing commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi through guiding and prioritising our work to support the flourishing of Māori. The strategy strongly recognises: The partnership foundation for Aotearoa/NZ underpinned by the Tiriti o Waitangi; The aspiration of Whānau, Hapū and Iwi for self-determination;The history of colonisation and the inter-generational trauma and inequitable social outcomes it created and the significant inequities o f mental health and wellbeing outcomes for Māori.
MHF is also a staunch supporter of the The Ottawa Charter, and its underlying message that to improve the health of populations and individuals there is a need to look wider than just providing public health services.
Q: Anything new on the horizon?
A: We are really looking forward to revamping our Like Mind Like Mine (LMLM) work to create more of a social movement that ends discrimination and prejudice against those in mental distress. The LMLM work is a bit of a passion of mine, and I really look forward to creating the movement. It is unacceptable how many people are discriminated against because of their mental distress, It’s time to stand up against this discrimination and prejudice. We are starting to build the movement on many levels, including our community grants.
The grants are looking for projects designed to encourage people to be ‘Upstanders/Tūmāia” in your whānau/ hapū/iwi/community. Standing up against the discrimination and prejudice of people experiencing mental distress.
(Banner photo: HPF Kaumatua Richard Wallace, Zoe Hawke, Sharon Kennedy-Muru (Board member) and HPF CE Sione Tu’itahi)
Health promotion is sorely needed in a world full of challenges, particularly in the COVID-19 context, says Dr Richard Egan in an interview with Hauora Newsletter.Dr Egan spoke with HPF after recently completing two years as a Board member. The lecturer at the University of Otago acknowledged the critical role of HPF as an umbrella group for health promoters in New Zealand and the development of an accreditation framework by HPF for health promoters and providers in the nation.Q: What are some of the highlights of your time as a board member with HPF?
A: The HPF governance model exemplified our Treaty commitment, this was a highlight for me and unique when compared to other Boards I’ve been on. Regular tikanga is followed and our kaumatua helps make it all safe. Also, the relationship a Board has with the CEO is central to whether it works or not, and I’d like to thank Sione for his leadership and conscious (and not always easy) approach to working constructively with the Board. Also, it was a pleasure to work with so many HP leaders from around the country. Lastly, it’s not always easy to keep a small NGO afloat and it’s critical that we have the HPF as an umbrella group for health promoters in NZ. So particularly in the last 10 years it’s been a credit to governance and management that we’re still here and working for a better world.
Q: What did you take away from the World Health Promotion Conference in Rotorua?
A: Health promotion is sorely needed in a world full of challenges. The climate crisis was front and centre at the conference; and it was indigenous solutions that offered some hope. But this was tempered by the reality that indigenous approaches are only slowly being acknowledged, not least by mainstream giving way to indigenous leaders. It seems to me there are two issues here: one, giving way (and we’re hardly begun that); and secondly, highlighting indigenous ontologies/world views and epistemologies/knowledge as equally valid.
Q: As you know HPF is leading the development of an accreditation framework for health promoters and providers in New Zealand. How big an impact on health promotion do you think it will have on health promotion in the country?
A: Huge! We teach under and postgrad health promotion here at Otago Uni, and we’re looking forward to accreditation. It’s been a long time coming and my impression is that we’re doing it in a uniquely NZ way that is internationally recognised.
Q: What do you view as the challenges for health promotion in NZ moving forward?
A: Accreditation will still be a challenge with assessment etc. but is definitely worthwhile. But we still have the old chestnuts – doing our work well and telling the stories of that work. We’ve been doing some research on health promoters’ work across the country and it is often the system that inhibits good practice – I think we need to work harder on ‘reorienting the health system’ (and maybe even public health). We also need evidence informed challenges to those systems that undermine people’s wellbeing (determinants of health and so on); I think we’re only just touching the surface of this work, with too much of our focus downstream on lifestyle issues. And most currently, we need to add a HP approach to the COVID-19 context. We need to work with our wider public health colleagues helping to make healthy choices the easy choices in affected communities.
Q: In your own sphere of work do you have any new developments/projects lined up for the future?
A: I’m doing lots of teaching this year and loving it – great students asking smart and hard questions. I’m working with colleagues to get publications out on the NZ HP planning and evaluation context (led by Sarah Wood); and the state of mental health promotion in NZ (led by Brooke Craik). And I continue to work on spirituality in health promotion and public health, cancer issues and euthanasia.
While we all stay at home in a bid to halt the spread of Covid-19 and to save lives, our primary focus during these challenging and for many, stressful and anxious times, is our family and whanau wellbeing.
To help build your whanau and family capacity, maintain your wellbeing, and to keep you safe, healthy and happy, HPF has developed a health promotion tool, which gives you the freedom to be creative and make a plan that suits your needs and situation.
Entitled ‘A Health Promotion tool for empowering whanau and families against Covid-19’ the tool can also help your family survive, thrive, and flourish after the Covid-19 pandemic.
It also includes a ready-made plan, based on Fonua Ola, a Pacific health promotion tool, that you can quickly adapt.
The tool encourages whanau and family to consult regularly to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate guidelines and activities for the wellbeing of the whole family.
Following the advice and instructions from the Government, Ministry of Health and other public authorities is encouraged. See details of Government advice on Covid-19: https://covid19.govt.nz/
If families and health promoters would like to learn more we can offer online sessions. Contact email@example.com for details.
Stay home, and save lives. Saving your whanau and family is saving the world. Health begins where we live, love, learn, play and pray together.
Click here to view the tool.
To our HPF members, other partners, and our health promotion workforce and community at the national and international level
In this fast-changing environment of Covid-19, and with the nation now lifted to alert level 3 and alert level 4 in 48 hours, prioritising serving you and your organisation as a valuable HPF member, and other co-workers in the country and abroad, is the reason for this message.
While our HPF operations team started working from home last Thursday, we are still able to support members with our online courses, and one-one advice, if needed. We are as close as your email, mobile phone and social media tools.
Our online course in health promotion are here: We are now converting our face-face workshops into online webinars, to be available in the near future. We want to ensure that our health promotion workforce and sector continue to be fit for purpose in this fast-changing environment.
Please let us know how else we can support you.
We are all in this together. Our collective, consistent and calm leadership, our empowering and purposeful communication to our sector, and greater community, can contribute to our ability as a nation and a world community to weather this Covid-19 challenge, and come out as better and wiser partners within a more meaningfully connected, healthier, prosperous and peaceful society.
In the meantime, be kind, be alert, but not alarmed. Let’s all be united against Covid-19. Stay socially connected, but keep your healthy, physical distance, and be active physically, mentally and spiritually.
For advice and the latest updates go to the Ministry of Health website and
For the health and wellbeing of existing and potential participants we have decided to cancel until further notice our Certificate of Achievement course offered by Manukau Institute of Technology and HPF (CoA). We can manage this well, as we have done in past situations.
We arrived at this decision after much consultation and feedback from our members and partners, and with the full support of the HPF Board, following our assessment of the increasing impact of the Covid-19 on many spheres of life in the country, a reflection to a lesser degree, of the same but more serious challenge that other countries are facing.
Meanwhile, HPF works to support the public health structure response to Covid-19. For example, HPF’s Dr Viliami Puloka is supporting the public health team led by Prof Michael Baker at Otago University, and he has been on several Pacific public radio programmes to disseminate accurate and timely information to the Pacific communities. He is also on a call list of Pacific medical and public health team to respond when needed.
HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi is also involved in that area of work from a community leadership angle, in consultation with the Ministry of Pacific Peoples.
In the meantime, for your study of health promotion you can access our online courses from the comfort of your home or workplace. Click here to access these courses.
We fully support all measures that the Ministry of Health has taken in order to safeguard our country from Covid-19.
For the same purpose, we have decided to cancel our health promotion workshops until further notice. We are exploring an alternative offering of a webinar. We will keep you posted on this development.
Meanwhile, we have our online courses for your study of health promotion in the comfort of your home or workplace. Click hauora.co.nz/workshops/ to access our online courses.
On another matter, HPF has established a plan for our team to all work from home should the Covid-19 get more serious than it is now. But be assured that, whether we work from home or in our office, we will still respond promptly to your query.
Health promotion acumen, good governance, indigenous knowledge and leadership are some of the collective competencies that our new Board members have brought to lead the HPF for the next two years.
HPF’s board held its first meeting for the year in Auckland last Thursday at which three new members were welcomed and a new chair elected.
Mark Simiona (Otara Health) was elected to replace Zoe Hawke (Mental Health Foundation), who served three terms on the board and the last year as chair.
The new members are Paula Snowden (CEO, Gambling Foundation), Te Aroha Hunt (Tuai Kopu Programme Coordinator) and Dr Kate Morgaine (health promotion academic, Otago University).
Ms Hunt was elected to the role of treasurer and Dr Morgaine as secretary of the Board.
Pictured from left: Zoe Hawke, Richard Wallace (Kaumatua), Te Aroha Hunt, Paula Snowden, Fay Selby-Law (Hāpai Te Hauora), Mark Simiona and Dr Kate Morgaine.
Not pictured: Sharon Kennedy-Muru (Health Improvement Manager, Toi Te Ora Public health Unit for the Bay of Plenty and Lakes DHBs), Vishal Rishi (Director, TANI) and Selah Hart (CEO, Hāpai Te Hauora).
A wide-ranging UN climate report released yesterday (March 10) shows that climate change is having a major effect on all aspects of the environment as well as on the health and wellbeing of the global population.
The report, The WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2019, which is led by the UN weather agency (World Meteorological Organization), contains data from an extensive network of partners.
It documents physical signs of climate change – such as increasing land and ocean heat, accelerating sea level rise and melting ice – and the knock-on effects on socio-economic development, human health, migration and displacement, food security, and land and marine ecosystems.
Writing in the foreword to the report, UN chief António Guterres warned that the world is currently “way off track meeting either the 1.5°C or 2°C targets that the Paris Agreement calls for”, referring to the commitment made by the international community in 2015, to keep global average temperatures well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
Australian wildfires spark global CO2 increase
Several heat records have been broken in recent years and decades: the report confirms that 2019 was the second warmest year on record, and 2010-2019 was the warmest decade on record. Since the 1980s, each successive decade has been warmer than any preceding decade since 1850.
Ongoing warming in Antarctica saw large-scale ice melt and the fracturing of a glacier, with repercussions for sea level rise, and carbon dioxide emissions spiked following the devastating Australian bushfires, which spread smoke and pollutants around the world.
The warmest year so far was 2016, but that could be topped soon, said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. “Given that greenhouse gas levels continue to increase, the warming will continue. A recent decadal forecast indicates that a new annual global temperature record is likely in the next five years. It is a matter of time.”
The widespread impacts of ocean warming
Greenhouse gas emissions continued to grow in 2019, leading to increased ocean heat, and such phenomena as rising sea levels, the altering of ocean currents, melting floating ice shelves, and dramatic changes in marine ecosystems.
The ocean has seen increased acidification and deoxygenation, with negative impacts on marine life, and the wellbeing of people who depend on ocean ecosystems. At the poles, sea ice continues to decline, and glaciers shrunk yet again, for the 32nd consecutive year.
Unprecedented floods and droughts
In 2019, extreme weather events, some of which were unprecedented in scale, took place in many parts of the world. The monsoon season saw rainfall above the long-term average in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar, and flooding led to the loss of some 2200 lives in the region.
Parts of South America were hit by floods in January, whilst Iran was badly affected in late March and early April. In the US, total economic losses from flooding were estimated at around $20 billion. Other regions suffered a severe lack of water. Australia has its driest year on record, and Southern Africa, Central America and parts of South America received abnormally low rains.
Last year also saw an above-average number of tropical cyclones, with 72 in the northern hemisphere, and 27 in the southern hemisphere.
The human cost
The changing climate is exerting a toll on the health of the global population: the reports shows that in 2019, record high temperatures led to more than 100 deaths in Japan, and 1462 deaths in France. Dengue virus increased in 2019, due to higher temperatures, which have been making it easier for mosquitos to transmit the disease over several decades.
Following years of steady decline, hunger is again on the rise, driven by a changing climate and extreme weather events.
Worldwide, some 6.7 million people were displaced from their homes due to natural hazards – in particular storms and floods, such as the many devastating cyclones, and flooding in Iran, the Philippines and Ethiopia. The report forecasts an internal displacement figure of around 22 million people throughout the whole of 2019, up from 17.2 million in 2018.
COP26: time to aim high
In an interview with UN News, Mr Taalas said there is a growing understanding across society, from the finance sector to young people, that climate change is the number one problem mankind is facing today, “so there are plenty of good signs that we have started moving in the right direction”.
“Last year emissions dropped in developed countries, despite the growing economy, so we have been to show that you can detach economic growth from emission growth. The bad news is that, in the rest of the world, emissions grew last year. So, if we want to solve this problem, we have to have all the countries on board”.
Speaking at the launch of the report on Tuesday at UN Headquarters in New York Mr Guterreson said “we have to aim high” at the 2020 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), which will be held in the Scottish City in November.
The UN chief called on all countries to demonstrate that emission cuts of 45 per cent from 2010 levels are possible this decade, and that net-zero emissions will be achieved by the middle of the century.
Four priorities for COP26 were outlined by Mr Guterres: more ambitious national climate plans that will keep global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels; strategies to reach net zero emissions by 2050; a comprehensive programme of support for climate adaptation and resilience; and financing for a sustainable, green economy.
An inaugural anti-racism, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and decolonisation online and offline open-access event to be held this month was inspired by a tweet from Kiwi singer, songwriter and documentary-maker Moana Maniapoto, says Dr Heather Came-Friar.
Dr Came-Friar who is one of the coordinators of Te Tiriti based Futures: Anti-racism 2020 (TBF2020) from March 21 – 30 said the tweet was about the need for more decolonisation training.
“The event is about building anti-racism capacity, deepening understanding about Te Tiriti, decolonisation, mobilising people, inspiring people, building awareness, knowledge and hopefully some action,” she said.
Dr Came-Friar who is a founding member and co-chair of STIR: Stop Institutional Racism said the response to the event was phenomenal with over 4500 registrations to date, 49 partners and “’lashings’ of watch-parties and associated face-to-face events.”
HPF’s Executive Director Trevor Simpson who is on the STIR team said the response to the event after months of ‘mahi’ was encouraging.
Webinar topics include institutional racism and anti-racism, decolonisation, building Tiriti-based futures and transforming our constitution. Overseas presenters will also discuss lessons for Aotearoa from their experiences with these issues.
The open-access webinars will be posted online, where they will become permanent resources for anti-racist activism and Tiriti education.
TBF2020 also includes face-to-face events in multiple locations, these will include Tiriti workshops, train-the-Tiriti-trainer hui, public talks, webinar viewing and discussions and community pot luck dinners. New anti-racism and Tiriti resources, both printed and online, will gradually be added to the site.
TBF2020 will start with a one-day hui on March 21, Race Relations Day, hosted by Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua in Tāmaki Makaurau.
Check out the diverse programme at https://our.actionstation.org.nz/calendars/tiriti-based-futures-2020-events#
The importance of health promotion for Pacific communities will be the focus of HPF’s Pasifika Health Promotion workshop in Rotorua on April 3.
You can register for this workshop, described by past participants as “vital for those working with Pacific communities,” and “thought-provoking” here.
As an HPF member you will qualify for a substantial discount, so if you’re not a member yet join now.
HPF’s Pacific Strategist and workshop facilitator, Dr Viliami Puloka said ways to help empower Pasifika peoples to achieve wellbeing and health and to move from knowledge to action will be examined at the workshop.
He said the aim is to have participants emerge from the workshop not only more knowledgeable about the magnitude and impact of NCDs (Non-Communicable Diseases), but better equipped and more competent to convey the information and help their communities in a culturally appropriate way.
“Health promotion is all about empowering and enabling people to put all their knowledge and skills into action.”
The workshop is primarily designed for health workers working with Pacific communities. Pacific community leaders and non-Pacific health workers who are working with Pacific communities are encouraged to join the workshop.
Contact Emma Frost for further information on firstname.lastname@example.org or 09 300 3734
A venue has yet to be confirmed.
Human rights, social justice, rights of ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples, the health of our planet, and advancing a form of development that will bring about material and spiritual prosperity are just some of the principles that can help associations remain relevant and sustainable in the future, says HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi.
Mr Tu’itahi made the comment as part of a number of key ideas he shared during a panel discussion at the 14th annual CEO and Chair Symposium held at the Adelaide Convention Centre in Australia from February 20th to 21st. The panel discussed how associations can move from focusing mainly on economic outcomes to include social outcomes.
Mr Tu’itahi was invited as one of the speakers for the symposium as part of HPF’s ongoing collaboration with Tourism New Zealand, one of the sponsors of the symposium.
He offered as an example and case study, the 23rd IUHPE world conference on health promotion co-hosted by HPF in Rotorua last year, adding that the conference was a vehicle and part of a strategic process.
“The aim of the process is to enable HPF and the world health promotion community to contribute to the health of the planet and its peoples, in partnership with global, regional and national partners. We’re happy to say we achieved our goals and the outcomes are keeping us busier than ever,” he told the panel. “Our story was well received with many positive feedback from participants.”
For associations to remain relevant and therefore justify their existence, they should address not only the in-house needs of their members but also address the needs of the wider societal context in which they are nested,” said Mr Tu’itahi.
All human constructs and formations, including associations he added must also adopt a “’global consciousness’ because we live in a global village now; and we need to think global and act local, if not, act on all levels. This is because what happens at the global impacts on the local, and vice-versa.”
As to the future of associations in 30 years, Mr Tu’itahi said we had at least two options.
“The first one is to walk into the future and take what it might bring. The second option is to create the future we want to walk into. I choose the second one, and I am therefore a ‘Future Maker’, not a ‘Future Taker’. So, for associations, they need to envisage the future they want, and create that future.”
After the conference Mr Tu’itahi said it was “a great bounty” to share his experience with Australian CEOs, and to learn from them.
From left, Andrew Makrogianni, from IT company, Higher Logic, Sione Tu’itahi, and Samantha Kent, host from Tourism New Zealand, based in Sydney.
To further enhance the efficacy of health promotion, HPF is
leading the development of an accreditation framework for health promoters and providers
in New Zealand.
An important part of this process is the establishment of a
national accreditation organisation (NAO), under the global accreditation
framework of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education
IUHPE is a global professional non-governmental organisation
dedicated to health promotion around the world. For almost 70 years, IUHPE has
been operating as an independent, global, professional network of people and
institutions committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the people
through education, community action and the development of healthy public
At present, anyone can enter the field of health promotion
and practise. This is because health promotion is a very broad field with many
specialised activities such as leadership, research, policymaking, health
education, community development and social marketing. Health promotion is a
relatively new professional practice, still developing, and is not regulated.
While there are benefits in having a diverse workforce with
a range of competencies, there are challenges. Some of these challenges are the
vulnerability and lack of recognition of the workforce, maintaining the
professional standards of training, and the safety and wellbeing of peoples and
communities that health promoters work with.
To counter these challenges, and building on the 2012 Health
Promotion Competencies for New Zealand, HPF is coordinating the establishment
of the national accreditation organisation (NAO), under the global accreditation
framework of IUHPE.
Some of the benefits for New
Zealand health promoters are: 1) a formal recognition of their qualification
and professional experience 2) enhancing the integrity of their profession
while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the peoples and communities they
work with 3) national and international recognition of their unique, New
Zealand-based cultural competencies 4) recognition of their competencies across
national borders that can lead to finding health promotion roles in countries
that are under this global system.
Some of the benefits for providers of health promotion
courses are: 1) an international recognition of their health promotion courses
2) enhancing the efficacy of health promotion and the quality of their courses
while ensuring the wellbeing and safety of the workforce, and
In light of the benefits outlined above, and being an
umbrella organisation for health promotion, and after much consultation with
the health promotion sector and workforce over the years, HPF has decided to
join the IUHPE accreditation system.
20 participants who attended a Pacific health course in Wellington on Monday,
February 10 now have a better understanding of health issues facing Pacific people
and how to help improve Pacific health outcomes.
Introduction to Pacific health: Approaches for action course which is
part of Otago University’s Summer School line-up of courses from February 10 –
28 was also
held in Auckland at the University of Otago House in the Auckland CBD last
Friday (February 14).
The course was coordinated by HPF’s
Dr Viliami Puloka, who presented “What does it mean to be ‘Pacific?’”, and
Otago University’s Dr Moira Smith.
executive director, Sione Tu’itahi who also held a session at the course told
participants the future for Pacific people was bright, despite their wellbeing
still being the poorest in many areas.
Tu’itahi who spoke on “Preparing the Workforce” said many lessons had been
learned from at least “200 years of resilience, patience and high sense of
justice of Tangata Whenua”.
out that a new cultural evolution was emerging; our nation was more mature as
evidential in a more caring and compassionate leadership, more people were not
accepting inequities as the norm and we were one with our environment.
peoples are increasingly realising their own collective strengths and capacities
as seen in their leadership in many fields such as politics, arts, culture,
sports and education,” he said.
collaborative effort and transformational leadership across all sectors, and at
levels, must be translated into action, if we are to improve the wellbeing of
Pacific and all peoples. Let’s train the Pacific professional workforce,
as well as the voluntary, community workforce to become social change agents,
the owners and leaders of their wellbeing and future.”
the course last monday from left, Dr Viliami Puloka, Research Fellow with Otago University; Margaret
Southwick, Primary Health Care Organisations and Practitioners; Brad Watson,
Otago University; Dr Moira Smith; Laupepa Va’a, Ministry of Health; Dr Aivi
Puloka, Waitemata DHB and HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi.
Waitangi Day on Thursday, February 6 marks 180 years since the signing of Te Tiriti O Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) and is a time to reflect on our nationhood and national identity.
is also an opportunity to reflect on the relationship between the Treaty and hauora,
health and wellbeing.
is widely understood that in part, Te Tiriti o Waitangi was drafted based on a concern
for the declining health of Maori at the time,” says HPF’s Deputy Director
in the context of health and wellbeing, the link to Te Tiriti o Waitangi remains
as relevant as ever. It is in matters of social justice, health equity and the need
to address the wider determinants of health. It draws on the importance of Tino
Rangatiratanga, Maori self-determination and mana motuhake.”
Executive Director Sione Tu’itahui said because it is about the wellbeing of
all peoples, and their environment, “Te Tiriti inspired us to organise the
world conference on health promotion last April. Additionally it influenced our
drafting of the conference’s two legacy statements. Further it has driven us to
consolidate Indigenous knowledge, especially health promotion, and planetary
health, at the international level, working with our partner, the International
Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE).
Tu’itahi said viewed from that global vantage point, it is undoubtedly clear
that the wellbeing of one is the wellbeing of all, whether it is at the local,
national or global level.
increase in natural and human-made challenges, such as the coronavirus, fires
and cyclones, within the context of climate and other earth systems’ crises, Te
Tiriti provides a pathway to collaborative effort for the benefit of all.”
you can’t make it to the official celebrations in
Waitangi, there are numerous events to mark the day around the
The annual summer Fizz Free Whānau challenge has been laid down by Māori
Public Health organisation and HPF member Hāpai Te Hauora.
The challenge issued on February 1, is a
community-driven kaupapa now in its fourth year and is all about supporting whānau to live healthy, happy lifestyles.
Whānau commit to ditching sugary drinks for a month
and Hāpai provides resources and a support network, alongside prizes for whānau
who stay sugary-drink free.
Fizz Free Whānau champion Graham Tipene says he’s
been addicted to coke for most of his life, but he’s determined to cut down for
the sake of his whānau.
HPF’s Pacific Strategist Dr Viliami Puloka welcomed
the challenge saying that any initiative, especially aimed at young people, to
encourage change for healthy living is welcome.
Take the one-month challenge to ditch the fizz this February,
and join hundreds of other kiwis doing their bit for their own hauora, as well
as supporting a good cause!
Register to the
challenge by visiting www.fizzfree.org.nz
registered you’ll be in the draw to win some awesome prizes! Make sure you like
and follow @Fizzfreewhanau to learn how you can #WinWithWater
A historic ruling based on a complaint
filed by a Pacific Islander in New Zealand has opened the door to
climate-change asylum claims.
The UN Human Rights Committee made the
landmark ruling based on the case of Ioane Teitota from the island of
Kiribati, which is threatened by rising sea levels.
The committee ruled that countries cannot
deport people who have sought asylum due to climate-related threats.
Teitota who lodged the complaint in 2015 after
being deported from New Zealand when his asylum application was
denied argued his right to life had been
violated, as rising sea levels and
other destructive effects of climate change had made his
He said he was forced to migrate from the island of Tarawa, to New Zealand, due to impacts such as a lack of freshwater due to saltwater intrusion, erosion of arable land, and associated violent land disputes which had resulted in numerous fatalities.
Health Promotion Forum of NZ’s Pacific Strategist,
Dr Viliami Puloka said HPF supported the ruling by the UN as a ‘human rights
Dr Puloka said most Pacific Islanders didn’t want to
leave their homes or countries, but if “it had to go down to the wire,” and
they were forced to leave because of the impacts of climate change, then the ruling
would provide support to their claims for relocation.
Dr Colin Tukuitonga, former
Director General of the Pacific Community agreed that for Pacific Islanders, or
anyone else, relocating or moving within their own country or to other
countries was a last resort
In his presentation at the 23rd IUHPE
World Health Promotion Conference, co-hosted by the Health Promotion Forum of
NZ in Rotorua, he said
climate change was now the most important threat to Pacific lives and
livelihoods and there was potential for an ‘ecological disaster”.
SPC, he said, had
first-hand experience with the stress involved in relocating and in the last
few years had been assisting the Fiji government to relocate villages up to
higher ground as a result of the climate crisis.
“Relocating communities might sound simple, but relocating
your village, leaving behind what you know is a big deal to the families …”
While the UN Committee determined
that Teitota’s right to life had not been violated
as sufficient protection measures had been implemented in Kiribati, UN
member Yuval Shany said: “Nevertheless, this ruling sets
forth new standards that could facilitate the success of future climate
change-related asylum claims”.
The Committee further clarified that people seeking
asylum are not required to prove that they would face immediate harm, if
deported back to their home countries.
Their rationale was that because climate-related
events can occur both suddenly – such as intense storms or
flooding – or over time through slow-onset processes such as sea
level rise and land degradation, either situation could spur people to seek
Additionally, Committee members underlined that the
international community must assist countries adversely affected by
judgment is not binding, it does emphasise that countries have a legal responsibility
to protect people whose lives are threatened by the climate crisis.
Constant media reports of raging bushfires,
flash floods, super-charged storms, heatwaves and prolonged droughts are
evidences of the catastrophic impact climate crisis is having on our planet.
The UN has intensified its call for
countries to ramp up their efforts to curb greenhouse emissions and individuals
are being urged to also play their part in the fight against climate change.
In a timely editorial for a leading global health promotion publication, leading Maori researcher, Mihi Ratima writes that it would be easy to be overwhelmed by such growing environmental challenges but the good news is the health promotion community has the knowledge and agility to take immediate action for planetary health.
The editorial entitled ‘Leadership for planetary health and sustainable development – health promotion community capacities for working with Indigenous peoples in the application of Indigenous knowledge’ is in the latest issue of the International Union of Health Promotion’s (IUHPE) Global Health Promotion (GHP) publication and is now available online.
Ratima of Taumata Associates, New Zealand, and a member of GHP’s Editorial Board reflects on the legacy of the 23rd IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion, co-hosted by HPF in Rotorua, NZ in April, 2019. She also reflects on the conference’s two Legacy Statements adding that together they urge the health promotion community to “provide leadership for planetary health and sustainable development and advocate for privileging Indigenous voices and Indigenous knowledge systems in taking action”.
“… increasingly, the voices of Indigenous peoples and other groups who
will be most impacted by the degradation of the earth’s systems, most
prominently youth, are beginning to be heard … as a health promotion community,
we must take heed of the hope and vigour of global youth demands for concrete
action on climate change and intergenerational equity and draw inspiration from
the wisdom of past generations captured in Indigenous worldviews to find a
transformative way forward for planetary health.”
“It is time for the global health promotion community to respond to the
call from the social movement members, researchers, practitioners and
policymakers who participated in the 23rd IUHPE World Conference on Health
Promotion and step up to provide leadership in planetary health and sustainable
publication also includes a brief report on
IUHPE2019, further highlighting the role of its
legacy documents as a call for action by the health promotion community.
A team from HPF took a trip to the Auckland City Mission’s distribution centre last Friday (Dec 13) to drop off food items collected by the staff to help alleviate the stress on families this Christmas.
Dr Viliami Puloka who with Trevor Simpson and Emma Frost delivered
the food parcels said: “HPF is humbled to spread the joy of Christmas by
sharing their blessings with those less fortunate…”
“Such a great feeling to share our abundance to bring cheer for those less fortunate,” said Ms Frost.
If you have non-perishable food items or gifts, you’d like
to donate to help families have a joyous Christmas, the Mission’s distribution
centre is at 15 Auburn Street, Grafton.
This Christmas, across four sites, the Mission will distribute
over 8000 Christmas food parcels and 40,000 children’s gifts to families in
desperate need. At each site up to 200 people a day will queue from the early
hours of the morning for food and gifts.
International health promotion leader Dr Trevor Hancock has helped put health on the agenda of thousands of cities and towns around the world.
Dr Hancock was a plenary speaker at the 23rd International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) World Health Promotion Conference in Rotorua from April 7 – 11, 2019. Although recently retired from his position as a Professor and Senior Scholar at the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria he’s as busy as ever as he shares with us from his home in Canada about keeping the Healthy Cities Movement “moving”, plans for broadening, deepening and connecting the “Conversations for a One Planet Region” and about some spin-off projects in the works.
Hauora:Trevor you are one of the founders of the (now global) Healthy Cities and Communities movement? Can you please tell us what prompted you to launch this movement, what its aims are and what has been achieved so far?
TH: Well, I didn’t exactly launch the movement, but I did help pioneer it. I trained in medicine in the late 1960s/early 1970s in London and then spent four years in family practice in Canada. The last two years were in a community health centre in Toronto, where we served a somewhat under-privileged community. It was clear to me that many of the health problems my patients experienced were economic, social and environmental problems, not really medical problems, which cemented my interest in public health, so I did a Masters at the U of Toronto, graduating in 1980.
You can’t do public health without
becoming keenly aware of the roots of modern-day public health in the struggle
to address the terrible living and working conditions in the towns of the
industrialising world in the 19th century, and to the stories of
John Snow, Edwin Chadwick and other leaders. One of those leaders I found
particularly inspiring was Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson, a self-professed
‘disciple’ of Chadwick. In 1875 he gave an inspirational address to the Social
Science Association on “Hygeia: A City of Health”, which is still well worth
So when I started work as the
Health Planner for the City of Toronto in the Department of Public Health’s new
Health Advocacy Unit in 1980 , I had this work in mind. One of my tasks was to
create a mission statement for the Department, and we adopted the following:
Our mission is to help to make the City of Toronto the healthiest city in North
America”. Note we said ‘help to’ – health is not created by a public health
department any more than it is created by
the health care system; we recognised that many other City departments –
and many other players outside City government – contibuted a great deal to the
health of the city’s people, starting with clean water, sanitation, safe and
healthy buildings and so on.
So we started to ask
ourselves’what exactly is a healthy city, how would we get one, and how would
we know we were one?’. As you can imagine, that led to a great deal of
discussion and innovation. Luckily, as it happened – and never discount luck as
a factor, but when you have it, exploit it! – 1984 was a banner year – the
sesqui-centennial of the City, the centenary of the Board of Health, the 75th
anniversary of the Canadian Public Health Association and the tenth anniversary
of the Lalonde Report. This made it possible for me – working with a great conference committee –
to put on ‘Beyond Health Care’, an international working conference on healthy
public policy, a term, but not a concept, I had created in about 1980, inspired
by the work of people like Nancy Milio and Peter Draper.
As part of the conference, we had
a theme on healthy cities, but also – because it was after all a Toronto-based
conference – we had a day we called ‘Healthy Toronto 2000’, looking at what it
would take to make Toronto a healthy city by then. One of the keynote speakers
was Len Duhl, a professor of public health and urban planning at Berkely, and
one of the attendees was Ilona Kickbusch, then the Health Promotion Officer for
WHO Europe and already working closely with Ron Draper at Health Canada -who
had invited her – on what was to become two years later the Ottawa Charter for
Ilona brilliantly saw in the idea
of a healthy city a way to take the concepts of health promotion out into the
city and make them real, and thus was born the WHO Europe Healthy Cities
initiative, which had its first planning meeting in Copenhagen (WHO Europe’s HQ)
in early 1986. Len Duhl and I were part of the planning committee, and together
wrote the original background paper – and the rest is history!
As to the aims and achievements,
they are quite simple: To put health on the agenda of city governments and governance
processes, and to help cities plan with health in mind as a key objective. In
that, I think we have been highly successful, the idea has been taken up – with
varying degrees of success – in cities, towns and villages around the world –
inevitably, with varying degrees of success.
But I think the key word here is
‘movement’. There is, inevitably, a wish to evaluate the work, but its rather
like evaluating the women’s movement, the labour movement, the peace movement
or the environment movement. They are always working, always pushing, and they
have their succeses and failures, but they just keep going; that is what a
healthy cities movement must do too.
Hauora:One of the challenges you point out for the 21st century is that we’re going to have to look at dramatically different ways of organising our cities, our countries, our neighbourhoods, our own personal ways of life etc…What progress are we making on this and how big a role can health promoters play?
TH: There are many parts to this question – or questions. For me, the central question for cities – and for governments at all levels – is ‘what business are we in?’. If you ask that of national governments the answer you get – if not in their words, at least in their deeds – is ‘grow the economy/the GDP’. (New Zealand has recently proved itself the exception, with a budget focused on wellbeing.)But this focus on economic growth and the GDP has been a tragic mistake, especially for high-income countries. First, that growth has resulted in the massive and rapid extraction and depletion of the Earth’s natural resources, in particular forests, fisheries, wildlife, freshwater, topsoils, minerals and fossil fuels. That extraction has been accompanied by massive and rapid pollution of the air, water, soils and food chains, with perhaps the most worrying – at least right now – being CO2 pollution from fossil fuel combustion, leading to the global climate emergency.
“… this focus on economic growth and the GDP has been a tragic mistake, especially for high-income countries.”
perhaps much of that growth is what Herman Daly, a leading ecological economist,
has called ‘Uneconomic growth’; economic activity that harms people, communities
or the planet – or all three. Yet all this uneconomic growth is included in the
GDP, which does not distingish between good and bad economic activity. In the
health field, the most obvious example is tobacco production and use (although
we could also include production of unhealthy food, alcohol, etc.) which kills
millions and maims millions more. Even worse, all the money spent on health
care for people with tobacco-caused or diet-caused disease also adds to GDP;
how stupid is that?
What’s more, this
economic growth does not improve our lives, even if it gets us more ‘stuff’. We
know that above about $20,000 GDP per capita, further increases in GDP do not
correlate well, if at all, with life expectancy and other health and social
outcomes. In The Spirit Level, Kate
Pickett and Richard Wilkinson show that in high-income countries, it is the
degree of equity, not the level of wealth, that correlates with these outcomes,
while the World Happiness Report and other studies show that GDP is not well
correlated with happiness.
As a result,
further aggregate growth is impossible, we already exceed the Earth’s
biocapacity and need to reduce our use of these ecosystem goods and services –
quite drastically in the high-income countries, whose ecological footprints are
well above our fair share, in the range of 3 to 5 planet’s’ worth of biocapacity.
Meanwhile, low income countries have the opposite problem; they do not have the
wealth it takes to achieve high levels of human and social development.
We need to take
less so that others in need can have more, which means a redistribtion of
power, wealth and resources both between and within countries and communities,
as called for by the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health.
All of this leads
to the conclusion of Kate Raworth in her book Doughnut Economics: we need an economy that is ecologically
restorative and socially just, that is focused on meeting the social needs of
everyone while living within planetary limits. And that means a very different
set of values to live by, very different communities and societies to those we
have today. I have an abiding faith that this can only happen from the local
level up, it will not come down from the top, where elites have too much money
and power at stake. Progress on this is slow, but it is happening, as I will
But what can
health promoters do?
about the global challenges of the Anthropocene – the new age of humanity as a
dominant global force that I discuss below – and what new approaches and
solutions we need. Recognise that this calls for an eco-social approach in all
our work and all our communities.
it with your colleagues, your families and friends, your clients and
Third, work to
create it, identifying allies and partners who are working to create this new
world – especially young people (think of the climate strikers),
environmentalists and the new social/green entrepreneurs who are working to
create the new economy we need.
Fourth, apply the
two fundamental principles of public health that I identified 40 years ago:
Ecological sanity and social justice (today we would say sustainability and
equity), ideas that directly relate to Kate Raworth’s call for an economy thast
is both restorative and distributive.
lose sight of Margaret Mead’s wise words: “Never believe a small group of
people cannot change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has
changed the world”.
One final point: We are not simply health promoters, more importantly we are citizens. So if we can make it part of the work we do, that is definitely a bonus. But if not, we did not surrender our citizenship when we took on our professional roles. So take it on as a family, a citizen activist, a school parent, a club member or a faith community member or whatever other social role makes sense. Find your allies and work with them. Or simply change the way you live, in big or small ways. It all matters, it all makes a difference.
Hauora:You have said one thing that is important to understand about the Anthropocene is that it’s just not about climate change and we need to look at the bigger picture? Can you please elaborate on this?
TH: The Anthropocene is a new geologic epoch, identified in geological terms as a layer of new materials (e.g. glass, plastic, concrete, radioactive elements and their decay products, elevated CO2 levels) and a change in future fossil deposits (e.g. wild animals now make up only 4% of the mass of land vertebrates, with humans (anthropos in Ancient Greek) and their domesticated species making up the rest) that will be clearly seen as anthropogenic – caused by humans – by future geologists.
In May 2019 the
Anthropocene Working Group of the International Commission on Stratigraphy voted
strongly to recommend it be recognised, with a start date in the mid-20th
century. This corresponds to what has been called ‘The Great Acceleration’; a sharp acceleration, especially since 1950, in
changes in a wide variety of natural systems (e.g. climate, nitrogen and
phosphorus flows, species extinctions etc. ), in turn driven by a similar sharp
increase in socio-economic forces (e.g. population – especially urban
population, global GDP, fertiliser-use, fish catch etc.).
Anthropocene needs to be understood not only as a geological phenomenon, but
one that reflects and indeed records global ecological changes that in turn are
driven by economic and social development.
In the 2015
report I led for the Canadian Public Health Association on the ecological
determinants of health, we made two key points:
First, the world’s
natural systems are our life support systems, the most fundamental determinants
of our health; we do not last long without air, water or food. Nor can
societies exist without the materials and fuels we take from nature, the
recycling of nutrients and wastes is the protection from UV radiation that all
come from nature. Moreover, for the past 11,000 years we have benefited from a
generally benign, warm and stable climate during which agriculture and cities –
what we think of as civilisation – have developed.
Second, all of
these ecosystem goods and services are being massively and rapidly disrupted,
and all at the same time. It is not just climate change, but ocean
acidification, pollution and ecotoxicity, resource depletion and the start of a
sixth Great Extinction. Moreover, they often interact and reinforce each other,
usually in negative ways.
Faced with these widespread, rapid
and massive changes, we need widespread, rapid and massive responses; again, my
belief is that these are much more likely to come up from the bottom than down
from the top. Tobacco control is but one of many examples where it has been
persistent grassroots activism and local leadership that has ultimately led to
signifant national and international change; the same can be said of gay
But I am also very conscious of
the fact that when it comes to creating social and cultural transformation and
large value shifts, this is not done simply by applying science, evidence and
logic. We need to reach people emotionally and spiritually as human beings,
what I call ‘heart, gut and spirit stuff’, and for that we need to work with
faith communities, the arts community and other ‘unusual suspects’.
Hauora:In Victoria British Colombia where you live you started what is called “Conversations for a one planet region”. What is the aim of this initiative and how many countries has it spread to? Can you give us some tips on how to get it started in NZ?
TH: The Conversations came out of an initiative I started at the University of Victoria (UVic) before I retired. UVic in the Anthropocene is an attempt to bring together faculty and students from all disciplines across the university to address the challenge of the Anthropocene. In my opinion, this is the greatest threat facing us in the 21st century, but it also contains many opportunities. So how will universities respond (so far, no better than governments or other instituons, which is to say hardly at all!)
We realised early
on that we needed to do work with the community, in this region of 350,00
people and 13 local municipalities, to explore what should be the response to
the Anthropocene at the local level. We suggested the concept of a One Planet
Region as a way to address this locally (an idea we later learned had been
pioneered by Bioregional in the UK, a group we now work with). We defined a One Planet
Region as one that achieves
social and ecological sustainability, with
a high quality of life and a long life in good health for all its citizens,
while reducing its ecological footprint to be equivalent to one planet’s worth
We started the Conversations in early 2017 because we were concerned that people were not even talking about this issue; climate change, yes, but not the entire complex of global ecological changes that constitute the Anthropocene, and not about how we need to respond locally. So our mission isto establish and maintain community-wide conversations on One Planet living and a One Planet Region. We adopted as our slogan “Learn – Discuss – Imagine – Design – Create”, because if we are not learning about the situation we face and discussing it, we can’t begin to fully imagine both the future we face and the alternative future we want. And if we can’t imagine it, we can’t design and create it.
meet monthly in the Community Room at the Central Branch of the Public Library.
Our meetings are free and open to anyone, and we have no budget; use only local
volunteer speakers – since we know we have the knowledge and expertise here to
address these issues successfully. We cover a wide range of issues, from energy
and food to housing and transportation, economics, the role of the arts and of
faith communities – and much else.
while we have been doing this for three years, have a group of 30 – 70 people
each month, get good discussions and have a good reputation and some influence
and local political impact, we recognise that this is of limited utility. Our
participants are generally the ‘usual suspects’ – older, whiter, wealthier, better
educated, and living near the downtown. An important and potentially
influential group, to be sure, often with good connections to important people
and groups, but far from enough.
we have plans for broadening, deepening and connecting the Conversation. We
want to expand the Conversation to engage a much wider range of participants,
both geographically and demographically; deepen the Conversation by creating
safe spaces where people can explore the mental, social and spiritual
dimensions of the change we seek; and connect the Conversation to others doing
similar work across the region. To that end, we have recently incorporated as a
non-profit society so we can pursue funding, because while having no budegt is
in many ways commendable, it is also limiting. Some of the new activities we
want to pursue are:
and livestream the current Conversations programme, enabling people in other
sites in the Greater Victoria Region to join in from where they live.
Establish a Kitchen Table Conversations programme
to facilitate and support families, neighbors, workmates and others to have
smaller, more personal Conversations.
Undertake One Planet Neighborhood Co-design Charettes
that bring community members and design professionals together to imagine and
design such a place.
Establish People for a One Planet Region, a group
of citizens in every municipality who are able to speak at Council meetings to
support the One Planet approach and to oppose proposals that take us in the
[Perhaps] create One Planet Region Awards to recognise
people, organisations, businesses and governments that are working to create a One Planet region.
We also have
several spin-off projects that we are pursuing, in collaboration with others:
We are working with the Community Social Planning Council to look at the social justice and employment implications of a One Planet Region.
We are starting a discussion about an initiative around art, nature and place as a way of engaging people through the arts in considering the global ecological challenges, and possible actions.
An ecological economics group is forming, linked to the Green New Deal, looking at what an ecological economy would look like locally.
We are planning sessions based on Joanna Macy’s “The work that re-connects”, to help people come to terms with the climate anxiety and eco-grief they may be experiencing.
I hope this has
given you some ideas, but remember, it takes very little to make things happen.
You don’t need a budget, an organisation or staff, just some willing and
like-minded people, a bit of energy and good will. Remember Margaret Mead’s
wise words and just do it!
Hauora: You were in NZ for the 23rd IUHPE World Health Promotion Conference, co-hosted by HPF in Rotorua last April? What were some of the highlights of the conference for you?
TH: The first highlight was the fact that the greetings from the Maori Elders were all in Maori! Oh sorry, you don’t understand Maori? Too bad, this is Aotearoa and here we speak Maori – it was assertive and yet was done in a respectful way. I loved the self-confidence of that, and indeed the strong participation of Maori people throughout was an inspiration.
course, the fact that ecological change and the need for an ecological awaresss
was finally getting the attention it deserves in health promotion.
Not only do I love seeing my friends from all over the world (and yes, I am aware
of the irony, if not ineed the incompatability, of the carbon footprint
involved), but those personal contacts facilitate the sharing of ideas, work
and commitments for years to come. There is a lot you can do apart, via Skype
and webinars and teleconferences, but there is an energy that comes from being
together in the same place, sharing food and drink and relaxation, that boosts
your energy and enthusiasm when you return home.
course, New Zealand itself, a beautiful country I have now visited twice, with
friendly and welcoming people, certain challenges notwithstanding. Certainly
the New Zealand government is proving inspirational, both in its response to
the Christchurch mosque shootings and in its commitment to a wellbeing budget.
Hauora:You retired in July 2018 from your position as a Professor and Senior Scholar at the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria. What have you been doing since then and what are your plans for the future?
Well, I only retired from a job, not
from life or work – or dancing for that matter! I have been busy organising the
Conversations – as noted above, writing, speaking at all levels from global
events such as IUHPE to local community groups about these ideas and generally
being an activist. I am very excited by the growing activism of young people
and looking for ways I can help and support them – without taking over or
getting in the way!
In particular, I hope to write
several books for the general public about the work of public health. I have
been writing a weekly column on population and public health issues for five
years (see https://trevorhancock.org/) and I have come to recognise that we do a lousy job of
communicating what we do, and the importance of our work – and then we wonder
why nobody knows about us or loves us or funds us! So, I have committed to do
no more writing for academic or professional journls or books, other than the
commitments I already have.
And of course I am dancing. I have
been a Morris dancer for 40 years – traditional English folk dance, think
non-violent rugby involving dancing, singing and drinking! It brings me great
pleasure, even joy, and is an antidote to the serious nature of so much of my
life – although that too is fun, it has to be if you are to keep doing it.
I dance twice a week, walk our dog
in the woods, parks and coastlands every day with Franny, my wife and companion
for almost 50 years (her retirement project is a Masters in Medieval Studies,
we are well matched) and generally stay active. In one of the two Morris sides
I dance with I am, at 71, the second youngest dancer; our oldest dancer is
almost 95, and comes to practice every week and then to the pub. I intend to be
Fred when I grow up!
“People don’t care what you know until they
know how much you care. It is about building relationships, seeing where people
are at and not pushing your values and ideas on them.” (Ngakiri Antonovich, Pasifika Health
Promotion workshop participant)
Comments from students and participants at HPF’s short course and
workshops this year ranged from “eye-opening, motivational and
thought-provoking to well-presented”.
They agreed that they had also come away with a better understanding of
Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the key determinants of health and the Ottawa Charter.
Students who completed HPF/MIT’s Certificate of Achievement in Introducing Health Promotion short courses in Auckland and Kaitaia said the course had also given them a new-found enthusiasm for their work in the community.
“The information was super-interesting, relevant, empowering and quite
confronting,” said Kim Esau from the Diabetes Foundation Aotearoa.
Mihiwira Henare of Te Runanga o Te Rarawa said for
someone who had not studied for more than 10 years the course had given her a
sense of motivation to relearn things.
Chanel Roberts of Te Hiku Hauora said most
of her colleagues had already been on the course and had raved on about how
amazing it was going to be.
former hairdresser admitted she wasn’t too keen on studying, but the course was
Participants at the Pasifika Health Promotion workshops in Whakatane, Dunedin and Auckland said they came away from the workshops armed with new information and knowledge that would help them better serve their communities.
Trish Fleming from Hospice West Auckland who attended the last workshop for the year at the Waitakere Resource Centre said she gained a better understanding of how to “meet Pasifika families where they are at”.
Iti of the Royal District Nursing Service NZ said the workshop refreshed her
ideas and beliefs and provided impetus to develop a workshop for staff.
Hauora sits withExecutive Director Sione Tu’itahi to reflect on some of the highlights for the year including the outcomes of the 23rd International Union for Health Promotion and Education World Conference on Health Promotion co-hosted by HPF. Mr Tu’itahi also looks ahead to 2020 and some of the major initiatives HPF is working on including the accreditation framework, training the workforce, healthy city scheme and collaborative leadership
Hauora: 2019 has been a big year for the HPF. Co-hosting the World Conference on Health Promotion must be one of the highlights. But what stands out for you?
ST: Successfully hosting the world conference was certainly a major highlight. As the biggest public health conference to date in the country, it was a million-dollar budget event, and we were able to deliver with lots of learning for future. It was also part of a strategic process. So, following up on post-conference activities, advancing the development of the accreditation framework for health promotion, training the health promotion workforce, and co-leading collaboratively with other public health and health promotion organisations are equally important achievements. And we did all of these with prudent management of our small resources, while ensuring that HPF remains strong and sustainable.
Hauora: Can you elaborate on the conference outcomes and post activities, and what is there for health promotion in New Zealand?
ST: Clearly the knowledge shared by over 1000 delegates at the conference was a great outcome. This is especially true in the major areas of planetary health, indigenous health promotion, social, economic, political, and ecological determinants of health, as reflected in the conference evaluation. Health promotion networks at national, regional and international levels were certainly enhanced. At the global level, for example, working groups on planetary health, and indigenous health promotion are being formed to work closely with, and under our conference partner, the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE). This means that the knowledge shared, and the momentum created at the conference will continue for the benefit of health promotion, and society, across the world, including New Zealand and the Pacific region.
It was made very clear at the conference that the health of
the planet is the most significant issue for the world today. It is affecting
almost every aspect of human life. It was also clear that indigenous knowledge,
and indigenous health promotion can contribute solutions. New Zealand is
a leader in indigenous health promotion, and we are already contributing at the
global level. The two legacy statements on these important themes that were
approved at the conference reflect that, and the statements are now informing
training, policy, practice and strategic planning on a number of levels.
A third major outcome that we are advancing is the ‘healthy
city initiative’. The idea is to have at least one city in the country to
become a healthy city under the WHO scheme within the next three years. This
city can be a pilot and an example for the rest. While the healthy city
initiative has been around for a few decades now, it is timely to reinvigorate
it, as WHO did at the Shanghai Global Congress in 2016. In light of the
environmental crisis, more people, communities and families live in cities than
rural areas, it makes common sense to collaborate with city authorities, and
all other sectors and communities for their collective wellbeing. With
the right combination of settings-based and systems approaches, the health city
initiative can complement other community development and empowerment
approaches that are informed by either geography or ethnicity, or both.
Hauora: You mentioned the accreditation framework for health promotion as one of the highlights for the year. What is the update?
ST: Let me give you a brief background, first. Health promotion is still an unregulated profession. This poses a challenge to trainers and health promotion practitioners and it also makes the profession vulnerable. The accreditation framework we are establishing will provide a formal recognition, and therefore will be helpful to all. Importantly also, our framework is formally aligned with the global framework already established by IUHPE. One system across the world. In future, this can give recognition across national borders and make it easier for practitioners when they move to work across countries. After being advised earlier in the year by IUHPE that we are on the right track, we put out the latest draft of the ‘standards’ for consultation. We have received very positive feedback and constructive advice. Our aim is that by mid-2020, IUHPE would have approved our standards, then we can focus on establishing a national accreditation organisation to coordinate the training and assessment of health promoters. So, watch this space.
Hauora: And on your training of the workforce?
ST: An important development this year is adding new online courses on health promotion. We want to make sure that anyone around the country can access health promotion learning, at their own time and pace. Meanwhile we continue to offer the introductory course on health promotion, a joint venture with MIT. While the course is open to all, we can also make arrangements to deliver it within organisations to meet the needs of their workers.
Hauora: You were awarded the 2019 Public Health Champion by the PHA. What does that mean to you?
ST: The award reflects the teamwork and collaborative leadership approach that we have here at HPF. It is a clear outcome of our collective effort as shown by our success with the world conference. It also reflects how HPF has been working closely with its partners at national, regional and global level, to achieve common goals for the wellbeing and betterment of society. Furthermore, it demonstrates the effectiveness of having a constitution that is grounded on Te Tiriti with values and goals that are for the wellbeing of all. It informs our leadership and the way we work, from within, to makes sure we are a culturally, socially and professionally competent and healthy organisation. If we are not healthy from within first, HPF won’t make a difference out there within the sector and its workforce. Walking our talk, starts within us first. That will make our work with others authentic and productive with lasting outcomes that can make a difference.
Hauora: Looking forward, what does 2020 hold for HPF?
ST: The future will continue to be challenging but it is brighter than before, provided that we continue to work on the right priorities and in the right way. What we achieved this year are the fruits of our strategic commitment over the last five to 10 years. I mentioned major initiatives that we are working on such as the accreditation framework, training the workforce, the healthy city scheme, collaborative leadership. Some will come to fruition in the near future, others are ongoing. With adequate resources, we will continue to respond effectively in co-leading and building the health promotion sector and its workforce to contribute to the health and wellbeing of our country, and the rest of the world.
Up to 12,000 people will be trained
in mental health and addictions issues over the next four years
boosting health and wellbeing for more New Zealanders says the Minister for
Health, David Clark.
Mr Clark made the announcement at Le Va, a
Pasifika health service in Manukau – one of the first organisations
to receive additional funding under Government’s plan to roll out
frontline services nationwide to support people with mild to moderate mental
health and addiction needs.
“As a country we’ve neglected
mental health and wellbeing for too long. We know we need to do more to support
people in distress, and we are,” Mr Clark said.
HPF’s Deputy Executive Director, Trevor Simpson commended
the minister and the Government for taking the lead on mental health and
“We have known for some time now that over recent years this
sector has been neglected by decision-makers so it is timely, refreshing and a
courageous step to address the issues head on. It will be very interesting to
see how the health promotion and preventative health sectors will be engaged in
this important work too.”
Mr Simpson also offered to assist where and when needed.
“We have a strong existing health promotion workforce ready
to work with Government on mental health and addiction. We also have well
researched ideas, solutions and frameworks that will help us to find ways to
stem the flow in t