Unlawful Uruwera raids as a health promotion issue
Why are the raids of Ruātoki in Uruwera a health promotion issue? What can our profession do to help all those involved, as well as prevent such traumatic effects in the future? Hauora editor Jo Lawrence-King investigates. In October of this year, the unlawful Uruwera raids of the small community of Ruātoki were once again brought into the public eye. An episode of TV One’s Marae Investigates, marked the sixth anniversary of the event and the feature was followed a few days later by a speech in Parliament by Te Ururoa Flavell MP. Why is this distressing chapter in our recent history a health promotion issue? And how might we, as health promoters help address it? Answering the first question is relatively straightforward: we need only go back to the determinants of health and the four essential ingredients to Māori of hauora (wellbeing). The second is perhaps a more complex conundrum, but Deputy Executive Director of HPF Trevor Simpson has some ideas.
Operation Eight as a health promotion issueLet’s look at why Operation Eight is an issue for health promoters. Firstly we need to look at the Māori concept of hauora. Professor Sir Mason Durie describes the four crucial factors of hauora as the four walls of a whare:
- taha tinana; physical wellbeing
- taha hinengaro; mental and emotional wellbeing
- taha whanau; social wellbeing
- taha wairua; spiritual wellbeing.
- a stable eco-system
- sustainable resources
- social justice and equity.
The role of health promotionAccording to HPF’s Deputy Executive Director Trevor Simpson (himself Tūhoe) there is a lot health promoters can do; both to help address the raids’ effects on the community, and to prevent such effects in the future. The work falls into three categories;
- to speak out about the impact of such injustices on the health of a people;
- to support those who are working to address them and
- to help build a society that has no tolerance for such abuses upon any community.
- Employ Māori health promoters to work in the community to regain self-determination, hauora and a revitalised sense of community.
- Use the health promoting schools framework in the local schools to empower students and their whānau to seek the conditions they need for hauora.
- Have health promoters help with health providers and other services to engage with the residents of the community in a culturally appropriate way to address their trauma.