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.
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).
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 policy.
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 communities.
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.
A report into hazardous drinking in New Zealand reveals that Māori who drink alcohol and live in deprived circumstances are less likely to have a harmful relationship with alcohol if they speak te reo Māori.
Figures on hazardous drinking among Māori which were crunched by the Health Promotion Agency, using three years of data from the New Zealand Health Survey showed the lower the socio-economic area a non-reo-speaking Māori person lived in, the more likely they were to drink dangerously.
HPF’s Deputy Executive Director and Maori Strategist Trevor says these findings are important as they give efficacy to the assertion that the Maori language is an important protective factor for the health of Maori.
“Once learned, Te Reo Maori effectively opens the learner to traditional notions of health and wellbeing- deeper understandings embedded in the language itself. In other words, Te Reo Maori can be viewed as a determinant of health for Maori.”
Hāpai Te Hauora GM Māori Public Health, Janell Dymus-Kurei says the report adds to the evidence that te reo Māori me ōna tikanga (Māori language, knowledge and traditions) are vehicles for wellbeing for Māori.
“Hopefully these findings will precipitate a new approach to health promotion which positions matauranga Māori at the centre. This is how we work in Māori public health and it’s time that the rest of the system caught up.”
Key findings from the report also show: Māori with higher levels of education are less likely to be hazardous drinkers and inequities among Māori and non-Māori persist across all age groups.
Leaders and organisations in the public health sector are being invited to use and support two legacy statements that were approved at the recent world conference on health promotion in Rotorua last April.
The Waiora Indigenous Statement, and the Rotorua Statement were endorsed by acclamation at the 23rd International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) World Health Promotion Conference, co-hosted by HPF.
“The conference was significant for health promotion and public health,” according to HPF Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi. “The conference focused not only on the health of the planet and its people, its two statements also call for global actions on all levels, and to privilege Indigenous knowledge.”
They can be reference points for research, policy, learning, public health, health promotion and sustainable development practice, he added.
The documents have been sent to VIPs who were invited to the conference, heads of schools of public health and health promotion, professional health organisations, and HPF’s member organisations.
The statements can be viewed at:
If you haven’t already registered for HPF’s short course in health promotion then now’s the time as you’ve only got a few weeks until the second-to-last course for the year launches in Kaitaia next month.
Block one of the Certificate of Achievement in Introducing Health Promotion short course will be held at Te Hiku Hauora from September 3 to 6 and block two from October 1 to 4.
You can register at https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/certificate-of-achievement-in-introducing-health-promotion-kaitaia-registration-64571248342
Or if you’d like more details pop an email to Emma@hauora.co.nz.
Past students have described the course which provides an introduction to the principles, concepts and practice of health promotion as a great learning experience, an eye-opener and invaluable in their day-to-day work.
Comments range from: “I have done some courses whereby Te Tiriti has been included and explained but not to this depth…” to “I now feel more confident to demonstrate my ability to solve expected day-to-day challenges in my community with parents and caregivers to improve health equity…”
“One student said: “Through connecting with other participants from different areas, I was able to see the breadth of public health and how it can be practised in Aotearoa.”
The course covers the meaning of health promotion, determinants of health, the application of Te Tiriti o Waitangi to health promotion, the Ottawa Charter, an overview of key health promotion strategies and skills, values and ethics and learning and study skills.
A limited number of scholarships may be available.
A symposium to highlight the seriousness of scabies and boost treatment of the disease will be held at the School of Population Health in Auckland on September 13.
Improving Scabies Treatment: A Path to Health Equity in New Zealand will look at how common the disease is and why it should be taken more seriously.
The symposium will also examine ways that diagnosis of scabies can be improved; how treatment can be improved; what is known about the biology of the disease and whether scabies should be considered as a disease of public health importance?
The keynote speaker will be Dr Daniel Engelman from the Centre for International Child Health. Dr Engelman has studied the disease extensively in the Pacific.
Dr Simon Thornley of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Auckland University who will speak at the symposium told HPF that scabies had been left off the public health and research radar in New Zealand for so long, because it had been assumed to be a nuisance rather than a serious disease.
Dr Thornley said it was only until recently that evidence had emerged that scabies was strongly linked to diseases such as bacterial skin infection, post-streptococcal kidney disease and acute rheumatic fever.
“Strep throat is the traditional explanation about why Maori and Pacific children get acute rheumatic fever,” he said.
“We believe that improving treatment for scabies can reduce ethnic health inequality in this country.”
Dr Simon Thornley, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Auckland University
On why diagnosis of scabies was often missed Dr Thornley explained that scabies could be difficult to diagnose as it mimicked other skin diseases.
“If doctors don’t think about it, they may make an incorrect diagnosis,” he said.
“However, accumulating evidence suggests that this is not the case. A large government school campaign aimed at preventing rheumatic fever using this approach has yielded disappointing results. Acute rheumatic fever rates in Auckland remain high. Because of this apparent failure, we strongly believe that different approaches, such as aggressively diagnosing and treating scabies should be considered.
“Young children are most likely to be treated,” he said. “Scabies is known to be endemic in many Pacific Island nations, so this is likely to be part of the reason that there are high rates of prescribing for the disease in South Auckland.”
Dr Thornley said although it was not known exactly, drug dispensing data suggested that Maori and Pacific people in socioeconomically deprived regions of Auckland were most affected by the scabies.
Dr Thornley said it is hoped that the symposium will raise awareness of the need to improve scabies treatment in this country, given the strong link between scabies infestation and serious childhood diseases, including rheumatic fever.
“We believe that improving treatment for scabies can reduce ethnic health inequality in this country. The current model of relying on GPs to treat the disease does not seem to be working, so more public health attention and resource to adequately diagnosing and treating the disease, we think, should be considered.”
The meeting will be relevant to nurses, GPs, Paediatricians, public health professionals, public health researchers, scientists and anyone who is interested in the disease.
HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi talks to Hauora about the outcomes, goals and lasting impact of the global Health Promotion Forum conference in Rotorua from April 7-11, 2019
Last April the Health Promotion Forum co-hosted the 23rd International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) World Conference on Health Promotion in Rotorua. With a timely theme of ‘Hauora: Promoting Planetary Health and Sustainable Development for All’, more than a 1000 delegates and organisations from 73 countries participated.
H: There has been very positive feedback about the conference. Are you happy with the results, and did you achieve the outcomes you set?
ST: Yes, I am happy to say we achieved our three major outcomes, and more. The knowledge that was exchanged was very relevant, crucial and very timely for the needs of health promotion, and the world today. Health promoters and other health workers, as well as those who work in sustainable development enhanced existing networks and formed new ones. And the legacy initiatives of two legacy statements, and initiating the process for a healthy city, were also achieved.
H: Let’s talk more about those outcomes in details. What is some of the relevant knowledge shared?
ST: Among other important features, at least three major areas emerged and moved closer together, offering comprehensive knowledge and practical tools for the delegates to take home and implement on addressing the health of the planet and its peoples. These were the social determinants of health with an equity and social justice approach, planetary health and ecological determinants with an eco-social approach and an inter-generational understanding and goal for health and wellbeing, and indigenous knowledge and health promotion with a clear philosophy and practice that humans are inseparable from the ecology. On another level, the spiritual dimension of wellbeing, and spiritual health promotion also came to the fore during the conference. It was great to see these major areas of health knowledge coming together, offering a profound understanding on planetary health, and relevant, practical tools.
What was significant was that the presenters in all these areas of knowledge were complementary in their addresses, presenting a balanced, and comprehensive big picture of where the health of the planet and its peoples are at, and the comprehensive set of strategies to address those challenges at all levels.
H: What else was significant about the knowledge shared at the conference?
ST: Two other significant contents of the conference were the leading contributions of Maori research, policy, practice and leadership to Indigenous health promotion, and how pronounced climate change and ecological challenges are in our Pacific region. In fact, we decided to host the conference here in order for our New Zealand knowledge and experience to be shared with the world, and for the world to understand our greater Pacific region and its challenges, as well as our collective effort to address those challenges. For example, 20 years after introducing Te Pae Mahutonga as a health promotion model for New Zealand, Sir Mason Durie presented a new model, Matariki, at the conference for Indigenous peoples. Tuhoe Nation Leader Tamati Kruger shared the challenging but progressive and resilient journey of his tribe from the ravages of colonisation to mana motu hake/autonomy today. Delegates were in awe at such profound knowledge and courageous, moral leadership.
H: You mentioned some legacy initiatives. What are they?
ST: There were three legacy initiatives: two legacy statements, and Rotorua to become a healthy city under the WHO (World Health Organization) scheme of the same name. Led by two editorial teams, the conference delegates drafted and approved by acclamation the two statements on the final day. The first statement is the Rotorua Statement which summarises the important themes and knowledge that emerged from the conference, calling for action on those crucial areas for the health and wellbeing of the planet and its peoples. The second statement is the Waiora Indigenous Peoples Statement. It outlines the loss of Indigenous peoples under colonisation around the world, and calls for privileging indigenous knowledge as a right, and articulates how Indigenous health promotion can contribute to addressing the challenges on planetary health. On the healthy initiative, Rotorua’s mayor Steve Chadwick agreed to explore with us how Rotorua can become a ‘healthy city’ under the WHO’s scheme of the same name. Rotorua can be the model for other cities. All social, economic, cultural and ecological challenges, health included, are related, and cities are a manageable setting where these challenges can be addressed in a well-coordinated and effective way. The vision is for our cities to become healthy, liveable and sustainable.
H: So, it was not just a talkfest?
ST: No, certainly not. You can watch the videos of those keynote speakers on the IUHPE and HPF YouTube channels. Maori equity and social justice were articulated by the likes of Sir Michael Marmot and Fran Baum, indigenous health promotion was clearly embedded by the addresses by Sir Mason Durie, Tamati Kruger of Tuhoe Nation, Dame Anne Salmond, and Professor Anthony Capon. Professor Capon and Professor Trevor Hancock also highlighted planetary health, ecological determinants and the eco-social approach.
H: What lessons have you learned as a result of hosting the conference?
ST: Quite a few. One is that our nation’s founding document, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, was very effective as a framework for negotiating the terms of the conference and for co-hosting it with the International Union for Health Promotion and Education. Using Te Tiriti enables us to work as equal partners, sharing our knowledge and experience, and achieving outcomes agreed on, such as the theme of the conference where we highlight Indigenous knowledge, having Te Reo Maori as one of the four languages of the conference.