Speakers add to diverse line-up
More speakers have been confirmed for the world conference on health promotion in Rotorua next year adding to the diverse line-up. They include respected indigenous leaders from around the world and New Zealand who will be sharing their knowledge and expertise at the 23rd International Union of Health Promotion and Education World Conference from April 7 to 11. Registrations for the conference which is co-hosted by the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand are now open and the call for abstracts has gone out. We take a look at: Dr Stanley Vollant, the first indigenous surgeon in Quebec, Canada; Sir Mason Durie, one of New Zealand’s most respected academics, knighted in 2010 for services to public and Māori health and Tamati Kruger, Māori advocate and social and political analyst. Dr Vollant who grew up in the Côte-Nord region of Quebec was exposed at a young age to the traditional teachings of his grandfather, which were marked by the importance of community values. He received his degree in medicine from the Université de Montréal in 1989 and his specialisation in general surgery in 1994. During the first annual “Stanley Vollant Challenge,” a six-kilometre walk to promote health and wellness he told CBC News that he wanted to inspire Indigenous youth across Quebec to follow their dreams, while also leading healthy lifestyles. He said it was important to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous walkers together in the spirit of reconciliation. “My vision is to bring people to celebrate wellness and also to celebrate [being] all together, Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.” Sir Mason who was born in 1938, of Rangitane, Ngāti Kauwhata and Ngāti Raukawa descent, grew up in Feilding, where his hard-working parents showed him the importance of a strong work ethic. Between 1986-1988 he served on the New Zealand Royal Commission on Social Policy and in 1988 accepted a position at Massey University as Professor and Head of Te Pūtahi a Toi, School of Māori Studies. Up until retirement in June 2012 he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Māori Research and Development. He has been at the forefront of a transformational approach to Māori health and has played major roles in building the Māori health workforce for more than 40 years. He has also championed higher education for Māori and has published widely on Māori health, Māori policy, the Treaty of Waitangi, Māori education and whānau development. In his book Nga Tini Whetu NAVIGATING MAORI FUTURES he says in the introduction that, “If there is a single message to this book, it is that Maori have the knowledge, skills and foresight to create a future where younger generations yet to come can prosper in the world, and at the same time live as Maori”. The model he created for healthcare, Te Whare Tapa Wha, successfully challenged the notion that health is the same for people of all cultures. He has also made significant strides with his work in mental health, and most recently, the prevention of suicide in Maori and Pasifika communities. During 2009 he chaired the Ministerial Taskforce on Whānau Centred Initiatives and from 2011 was chair of the Whānau Ora Governance Group. In 2018 he was also a panel member for the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addictions. Upon being awarded the Blake Medal at last year’s Sir Peter Blake Leadership Awards Sir Mason told the NZ Herald: “The most important thing has been the difference to health. That’s where my career started and it’s continued to be what I spent most of my time doing. “It’s really how to make people more aware that health is not just a question for doctors and nurses, but a question people have themselves.” Mr Kruger is a Māori advocate and social and political analyst who has dedicated his career to the development of his iwi. From the Ngāti Koura, Ngāti Rongo and Te Urewera hapū of Tūhoe, Mr Kruger was instrumental in securing the largest Treaty of Waitangi settlement to date ($450 million) for the Central North Island Iwi Collective. He is now a director of CNI Holdings, representing Tūhoe. More recently, Mr Kruger was chief negotiator of the Tūhoe-Te Urewera Treaty of Waitangi Settlement. The landmark settlement included a Crown apology for historical grievances, a social service management plan for the Tūhoe rohe and a financial and commercial redress package totalling $170 million. The settlement also included legislative changes to transfer Te Urewera National Park to its own separate legal entity, looked after by the Te Urewera Board, of which Mr Kruger is chair. Mr Kruger’s contribution is not limited to his tribe. He chaired the Second Ministerial Māori Taskforce on Whānau Violence and developed the Mauri Ora Framework and was awarded the Kahukura award in 2013 in recognition of this work. In an interview with Asia Pacific Report he said an important part of leadership involved navigating the difference between Māori and Pākehā politics. “Part of the blessing of Pākehā politics is you have this apparatus called law, where you can bend people to one’s will. But in Tūhoe politics you have to depend on your reputation and integrity for people to find that whatever you have to say has some wisdom and truth in it.” The official languages of the conference are English, Spanish, French and in a world-first for Māori and other indigenous cultures Te Reo Māori. Abstracts must be in by August 31 and submissions can be made in the official languages.