Monday, February 11, 2013

Leanne's "Pacific People and their Health workshop notes"

Pacific People and their Health workshop
Presenters; Maureen Moala, Kathy Culfshaw and Feulata Fui, all based in Christchurch. Workshop organised by Ireen Manual who works in the health sector.

Topics for discussion;
Health promotion and health issues for Pacific people and effective engagement for Pacific people in our health system

Kia Oraana (Cook Island)
Malo e leilei (Tongan)
Ni sa bula vinaka (Fijian)
Talofa lava (Samoan)
Fakalofa lahi atu (Nuian)

·         Pacific population is growing rapidly due to constant migration and high fertility rates. Currently 1 in 9 is a pacific child and by 2051 this will have risen to 1 in 5.
·         Mental illness is seen as shameful and people worry about their community knowing. Some think mental illness is a curse
·         Take your time when working amongst these communities and work with the whole whanau
·         Laughing out loud is a Pacific trait and helps to solve problems
·         It’s all about attitude when meeting and spending time with a Pacific community- a smile goes a long way and dress in a lava lava with lei, this will help
·         Do your homework and meet and greet appropriately- Talofa lava , what village do you come from
·         Take time to build a relationship- could take 2-3 sessions before you discuss the main issue
·         In Tongan communities- the Fahu (eldest sister) is in charge/boss
·         In Samoan communities, Brothers are responsible for their sisters. Brother protects his sisters honour-a sister brings peace to the family
·         Sensitive issues are sacred
·         Show a willingness to learn and adapt. First engagement is important and body language important
·         Don’t use bureaucratic terminology- keep it simple
·         Don’t greet someone in the supermarket with” what a terrible day”

What are our organisational values?
Partnership, collaborative problem solving, empathy, non-judgemental
Pacific values are tapu, respect, humility and love

Tofa (Samoan

“I am not an individual
I am an integral part of the cosmos
I share divinity with my ancestors, the land, the seas and the skies.
I am not an individual because
I share tofi with my family, my village, my nation
I belong to my family and my family belongs to me
I belong to my village and my village belongs to me
I belong to my nation and my nation belongs to me
This is the essence of my sense of belonging”
Tui Atua Tapua Tamaeses Efi, 1997
Ole Ao ole Malon (Head of State, Samoa)


  1. Great thank you. Love the quote. The formatting on the body of post on my laptop is a bit skuewiff! ANy ideas how I can make it easier to read? :)

    1. Is it maybe because I don't have a google + account?

  2. Enjoyed reading your notes summary Leanne, awesome quote.

  3. Oops Just had to change my contributor comment to my own name not Salisbury. Aroha mai


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