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Public Health Association Conference

Public Health Association Conference
5 to 7 July 2006
Palmerston North Convention Centre

Sustaining Public Health – Pupuritia Te Whare Tapa Wha.

The conference includes internationally-renowned speakers:

- Professor Mason Durie (Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Maori) and Professor of Maori Research and Development at Massey University). Professor Durie has extensive research in Maori development and methodological developments that take account of Maori world views and indigenous knowledge.

- Professor Tony McMichael (Director of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University). Professor McMichael leads research into the relationship between environmental health and sustainability, lifecourse epidemiology and the population health effects of diet, nutrition and energy balance.

- Dr Cindy Kiro (Children’s Commissioner.) Cindy Kiro has worked as a social worker, researcher and manager. She has also served on many boards including the Public Health Advisory Committee, the National Health Committee, the Casino Control Authority, the Maori Health Research Committee and the Child Policy Reference Group responsible for the Ministry of Social Development’s Agenda for Children.

- Dr Jane Freemantle (Vice President of the Public Health Association of Australia). Dr Freemantle is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of Western Australia and an Honorary Research Fellow, Faculty of Medicine, University of Melbourne.

- Dr Don Matheson (Deputy Director-General of the Public Health Directorate, Ministry of Health). Dr Matheson joined the Ministry of Health after a period as the Director of the Public Health Association of NZ. Prior to that he was a rural health service manager at Te Puia Springs Hospital on the North Island’s East Coast.

- Geoff Frougere (Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Canterbury). Geoff Frougere was a significant contributor to The Health of People and Communities, Public Policy and the Economic Determinants of Health, a major report to the Minister of Health which explores the causes of health inequalities in New Zealand and how health inequalities can be addressed.

- Associate Professor Dennis Gray (Deputy Director of the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University of Technology, Western Australia). Dennis Gray established and manages the Indigenous Australian Research Programme at Curtin University.

- Dr Lisa Jackson (Co-director of the Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales). Dr Jackson is an Aboriginal woman who resides in her homeland in Sydney. Her recent positions have included Epidemiologist, South Eastern Sydney Area Health Service, Public Health Officer, New South Wales Department of Health, and Consultant Epidemiologist, Department of Health and Aged Care.

- Dr Camara Jones (Research Director on Social Determinants of Health in the Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention). Dr Jones is a family physician and epidemiologist whose work focuses on the impacts of racism on the health and well-being of the nation.

- Dr Pat Ngata (PHA Public Health Champion 2000). Pat holds a special place in medicine and public health as a well-respected elder statesman. Practicing as a GP in Uawa (Tolega Bay, Te Tairawhiti), he has been a crucial activist in changing the public health landscape making the role of the Maori doctor one that is critical to the future health and well being of New Zealand.

- Dr Teuila Percival (Consultant Paediatrician at Kidz First Children’s Hospital, South Auckland). Dr Percival was a paediatrician at the Starship Hospital (1992 to 1999) specialising in child abuse, and is currently the Chairman of South Sea’s Healthcare, Director of the South Sea’s Kids Project and was the Vice president of the Pasifika Medical Association.

- Dr Ruth Richards (Principal Analyst with the Ministry of Social Development’s Strategic Social Policy Group). Dr Richards is a public health physician whose career has progressed from emergency medicine to hospital management and planning, corporate planning, independent consulting, health funding and until recently, health policy with the Ministry of Health. Ruth leads work to implement Opportunities for All New Zealanders, which is a summary statement of government social policy strategies.

- Dr George Salmond. Dr Salmond directed the health services research and planning activities of the Department of Health for more than a decade. In 1986 he was appointed as Director-General of Health, a position he held for five years. In 1993, he was appointed to head a Health Research Council of New Zealand-funded Health Services Research Centre. Dr Salmond is currently involved in workforce development.

The conference is a ‘must attend’ event on the public health calendar, and will include papers from Māori and Pacific public health practitioners, and from people working on public health issues that have emerged more recently, such as problem gambling.

The full programme can be viewed on the PHA website: Conference highlights include information on new initiatives such as the cancer control continuum, collaborative work in the area of population health, and the interaction of population health, primary healthcare and secondary healthcare.


Summary of presentations – PHA Conference, 5-7 July 2006

Following are summaries of some of the papers being presented at the PHA conference. This list is not exhaustive, but provides a good snapshot of the issues that will be covered.



Health promotion in primary health care, Ngaire Rae, Health Promotion Advisor Manaia Health PHO.

Looks at an eight-week health promotion training programme for practice nurses, developed collaboratively by health promoters from Manaia Health PHO and Kaipara Care PHO. The presentation tells the story of the development, implementation and outcomes of the programme.

The role of whanaungatanga in multi-agency working relationships. Marara Rogers and Hone Taimona.

A Kaupapa Maori model for wastewater treatment and disposal issues in the Hokianga.


Sustaining Public Health from PHA perspective. Debbie Petersen, Waikato Primary Health Organisation

Waikato Primary Health Organisation is the largest PHO in the country with 55% of its population being Maori. This workshop explores the progress of their health promotion plan which is now in its third year.


Pacific narratives: access to culture. Awhina Buchanan, Wellington Regional Public Health.

How story telling was used in Porirua to ensure Pacific communities have access to their cultural history.


You can touch that: healthy communities in Eastern Southland. Sue Price, Public Health South and Leanne Liggett, Southland District Health Board.

Aims to use a healthy communities approach to improve the wellbeing of families and community members through the work of all sectors of the community in Eastern Southland. Central to this will be working with other agencies and community groups that have health and social wellbeing as their common agenda. Several areas of particular need have been identified, including improving parenting skills and increasing family support and reducing alcohol-related harm.


Sustaining public health – a rural perspective. Marie Appleton, Rural Women New Zealand

Will look at the difficulties and differences which exist within a rural community health plan. Issues considered include an update of the 2000 survey – what’s changed, what’s improved; access to services – transport, distance; home healthcare – travel, pay equity; workforce issues, including retention; and equity – telecommunications, rural representation on DHBs and local bodies.

Public Health Nursing. Terri Webby, Bay of plenty District Health Board

Nursing services for Maori whanau in a rural area.


Sustaining healthy workplace environments. Dr Maggie Roe-Shaw. Principal Advisor, Research and Evaluation, Workplace Strategy and Capability, Department of Labour.

What determines a healthy workplace? What are the aspects of a healthy workplace that impact on the health of employees and the organisation? Looks at how we can change workplaces so they become healthier and more productive, and examines organisational statistics as indicators of whether or not we have a healthy workplace - such as absenteeism, employee turnover and accident rates.


Storm in a D-cup. Louise James, Breastfeeding Advocate, Women’s Health Action.

Looks at the reaction to the Women’s Health Action World Breastfeeding Week 2005 poster. The poster showed a mother breastfeeding an 18-month old child who is standing up. Reactions to the poster were mixed, and showed there were a set of “unspoken rules” and assumptions about breastfeeding that many people carry unconsciously in their heads. These include issues with breastfeeding older children, feeling that the act of breastfeeding needs to be discrete, and feeling that everyone should breastfeed in the same way. These assumptions form real barriers to mothers breastfeeding older children.

Key issues for child health advocacy. Mavis Duncanson, Office of the Children’s Commissioner

Despite gains in many areas, significant concerns persist about child health in Aotearoa. We rank poorly alongside other similar countries for infant mortality; and have high rates of potentially avoidable mortality and hospital admissions. This is an interactive workshop that will provide details of the health advocacy plan developed by the Children’s Commissioner, and an opportunity to hear the views of children and young people in NZ.

More than an apple a day: Children’s right to good health. Dr Cindy Kiro, Children’s Commissioner.

Launch of a new publication that reviews child and youth strategic documents with recommendations for future action.

Reconciling adolescence and motherhood: Discursive constructions of adolescent mothers used by health professionals. Mary Breheny, School of Psychology, Massey University.

Health professionals have an important role in the provision of healthcare services, and poor health outcomes for adolescent mothers and their children are often attributed to the inappropriate and judgmental care they receive from health professionals. However, the ways that health professionals talk about adolescent mothers do not reflect individual judgmental attitudes, but depend upon the shared ways of understanding appropriate adolescent development and the characteristics of the 'good' mother.

Children and youth health. Public Health Advisory Committee.

Aims to answer the question “What is needed to grow well, healthy children and create an environment in which they can meet their full potential?” Discusses the key factors influencing positive health outcomes for children and youth. Purpose of the project is to advise the Minister of Health on what those key factors are and prioritise actions that should be taken to improve children’s and youth health outcomes.

Whanau are best practice. Gabrielle Baker, Ministry of Health

Looks at three approaches to achieve well being for whanau.

Kaupapa Maori and SIDS. Marilyn Christie, Maori SIDS, University of Auckland

- SIDS and its impact on Maori whanau
- Planning to reduce Maori SIDS
- Inadequacies of current services
- The definition of Maori ethnicity and its impact on Maori SIDS data

Tamariki Maori Co-ordination. Tania Pompallier, Maori SIDS, University of Auckland

Fragmented service delivery and its impact on the health of Maori children.


Have a slice of sustainable well-being with your commuter coffee: health and the trip to work. Dr Alexandra Macmillan, School of Population Health, University of Auckland.

The links between transport and human health are complex, and include issues of environmental sustainability. This presentation looks at the health impacts of urban transport choices. A summary of the intermediary evidence for the health effects of changing how people travel to work will be presented. A research project will then be introduced that aims to bring community knowledge and epidemiological evidence together to influence transport policy for the benefit of community health.

Getting places: the patterning of travel times to services and amenities by deprivation and rurality. Karen Witten, SHORE Massey University.

Information will be presented on the relationship between the travel time access to services and amenities and deprivation across all New Zealand neighbourhoods. Urban/rural and regional differences in travel time will also be discussed. Focus group data will be used to illustrate how differing levels of access to community facilities impacts on households living in diverse locations with different access to public and private transport.


‘Going Wide’ – Opportunities and barriers to tackling the wider determinants of health. Sarah Bierre, Department of Public Health, University of Otago.

Looks at housing quality regulations in the private rental sector. Contends that opportunities exist for extending a public health perspective into housing, including trends in ‘whole of government’ approaches, the review of housing legislation, and current interest in the links between housing and health.

Issues in the formation of a healthy housing index. Michael Keall, Department of Public Health, Wellington Medical School, Otago University.

Describes the process of forming an index to measure the attributes of a house related to its occupants’ health. This Healthy Housing Index (HHI) is a number formed from quantified housing factors to measure the ‘healthiness’ of a house, and consequently the likelihood that occupants will suffer ill health or injury due to housing factors. Looks at a pilot study that gathered data on 102 houses in Lower Hutt regarding a number of building factors – such as structural soundness, warmth and dryness and safety.

Building a house for an extended Tokelauen family
Philippa Howden-Chapman

Partnering with the Tokelauen community to address housing and health issues.


Does watching television contribute to body weight and obesity in children? Report commissioned by Agencies for Nutrition Action.

The report considers whether there is a link between watching television and obesity in children.

Contact: Rob Quigley,, 04 472 0139, 021 150 8329.

Aotearoa Maori Netball. Devianne Griffiths, Aotearoa Maori Netball

Promoting nutrition and physical activity through netball.


Special measures to ensure equality. Warren Lindberg, Human Rights Commission.

“Measures to ensure equality” are permitted by section 73 of the Human Rights Act, yet the idea of special treatment is often badly received. Although most New Zealanders are supportive of a ‘fair go’ for everyone, there is often little understanding of the role that special measures – or affirmative action – can play in achieving equity. This presentation reviews New Zealand’s experience of special measures to achieve equality, especially in relation to inequalities in health.

Que(e)rying public health in NZ. Frank Pega

First statistically representative figures of sexual orientation show 12.4% of young adults identified as non-heterosexual. Queer populations have higher ill health. Why have queer populations missed out?

Research and engaging with men. David Mitchell, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology

Looks at how men are poorly engaged in research.


Preventing falls in older people – two fall risk assessment and intervention services. Diana Pedlow, Injury Prevention, ACC.

Looks at successes and challenges of two older adult fall prevention projects supported by ACC. These are the GP-led service delivered by Pegasus Health in Christchurch and the specialist nurse-led service delivered by the Hutt Valley DHB and Kowhai Health Trust in the Hutt Valley. The presentation compares the two service delivery models, outlines service benefits and discusses issues such as funding boundaries and levels, and motivating health providers to conduct (or refer to) the assessment for at risk older adults.

Theory into reality – delivering the Otago exercise programme. Jessica D’Brass, Injury Prevention, ACC.

The Otago Exercise Programme (OEP) is a home-based, individually prescribed muscle strengthening and balance retraining programme that successfully reduces falls and falls-related injuries in older adults by 35%. This presentation looks at the results from the national delivery of the OEP, challenges for ACC in implementing the national delivery OEP, and lessons learnt from working with contracted providers and developing partnerships.


A health profile of young Asian New Zealanders: findings from Youth 2000
Rasanathan Kumanan, Ministry of Health

Cultural diversity for rangatahi in New Zealand. Belinda Borrell, Whariki research Group

Diversity amongst young Maori.
Family relationships and wellbeing for Samoan young people. Victoria Jensen, Te Ropu Whariki, Massey University.


Te Ngira Workplan. Hapai Te Hauora, Auckland

The “Te Ngira” work-plan was developed to address problem gambling in 2001. This workshop will present progress on the plan and reflect on its successes and learnings.

East meets West. John Wong, Problem Gambling Foundation of NZ

This paper looks at different ways of addressing problem gambling amongst Asians who live in New Zealand.

The face of the community. Kataraina Tuhaka, Problem Gambling Foundation of NZ.

Forming a group for problem gamblers in Auckland.


Tobacco and tertiary institutions. Grace Wong, Auckland University of Technology

This paper looks at the smoke-free and tobacco control policies of tertiary institutions.


Maori workforce development in mental health

Maori are under-represented across the regulated health workforce. This paper looks at what attracts and discourages Maori from entering the health professions.


Young women and alcohol marketing in New Zealand. Mandi Gregory, Te Ropu Whariki/SHORE, Massey University

Marketing alcohol intoxication to young people. Tim McCreanor, Whariki Research Group

Win or lose we booze. Hector Kaiwai, Massey University, Auckland.

Contemporary alcohol marketing and male youth attitudes to alcohol.


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