Pacific Health and Wellbeing Collective signing ceremony
Hon Tariana Turia
Associate Minister Health
31 October 2013
Pacific Health and Wellbeing Collective
Formal signing ceremony, Porirua Congregational Christian Church
When I received the invitation from your Project Director, A’asa Sanerivi to attend this event, I was pleased to accept.
Wherever I am with Pasefika communities, it feels as if we are riding the crest of a wave. It is as if the pride, the passion and the potential of being Pasefika is at an all-time high.
I am talking about the coming together of like minds – the spirit of co-operation and collaboration that I am witnessing in so many Pasefika communities, as they determine the best pathways forward, for your people.
We must be passionate and not limit our dream to health services because we know the many things that impact on our health and wellbeing.
This evening is an absolute example of such collaboration. This ceremony testifies to the development of a collective which has grown from strength to strength since you were first established on the 23 January 2013.
And so today, I come to celebrate and recognise you all for caring for your people.
This evening represents the formal partnering of key Pacific social, health, early education and faith-based services. Today we introduce to you the Pacific Health and Wellbeing Collective comprising of the:
• Taeaomanino Trust
• Pacific Health Service Porirua
• Pacific Health Service Hutt Valley
• Atamu EFKS Porirua
• Folau Alofa Trust
• Etu Ao on behalf of Wellington Kindergarten Association
• Fono Samoa PIPC Wellington Region
There is a saying I am particularly fond of:
So'o le fau i le fau
Join hibiscus fibre to hibiscus fibre - Unity is strength
It is a message that resonates throughout Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa and one which as tangata whenua we also share.
It is that concept that like our traditional weaving of harakeke, the whenu intersecting with the aho; the warp and the weft; our strength can be enhanced when we bring our unique strands together.
Each strand must retain its own unique character – but great gains can be achieved from working together to achieve better outcomes for all peoples of Pasefika.
The interdependent relationships that are so important in this approach are well-known throughout our history – we call it ‘fonua’ in Tongan, ‘vanua’ in Fijian and ‘whenua’ in Maori.
It is encompassed in the understanding that no-one exists purely as an individual.
We are also intimately linked to our extended families; our villages; our communities; our marae; the environment in which we live, and that may include both spiritual, mental and physical dimensions of wellbeing; past and present; those who have passed on still having an enduring impact in our lives.
In many ways, this approach to working – whether we call it Whanau Ora – or whether we call holistic worldviews –is all about the quality of the relationships that bind us together.
One of the most exciting initiatives I have ever been part of is the evolution of Nga Vaka o Kaiga Tapu – a philosophy of ethnic-specific family violence frameworks developed in 2011 by a vast range of players across the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Fiji, Tuvalu, Tonga and Tokelau.
A basic image throughout the framework and the supporting resources is that of a Pacific canoe sail, representing of course the vaka which is important in traditional Pacific navigation.
As we all know Pacific people have travelled the Pacific Ocean for centuries. Each of the nation’s possess their own oral traditions about how their ancestors travelled throughout the Pacific to trade, visit relatives, establish or consolidate political alliances, or to discover new lands. Te Moana Nui a Kiwa - the Pacific Ocean - was perceived to be a highway to everywhere.
Today in launching the Pacific Health and Wellbeing Collective you continue to build on that fine tradition of navigating a future which embraces the opportunity to explore new horizons.
In your case, you have identified the Triple Aim Model of Success: improved service delivery; maximising resources and developing the evidence base through research and innovation.
But what I particularly
love about this Triple Aim Model is the emphasis you have
given to supporting cultural frameworks –
• the Fonofale Model of care;
• the Seitapu Model of knowledge, skills and attributes of a culturally competent workforce;
• and the SIAPO Framework to evaluate success.
The detail of your approach demonstrates to me that you believe success will be experienced when the services are close to the homes of Pasefika peoples; and when everyone’s focus is on outcomes.
Outcomes that represent health, wellbeing; vitality of life- the strength and power of the people.
I am always concerned when we focus so closely on the detail of activities – how many phone calls have we made – how many pamphlets have we dropped – and we seem to forget why we are doing what we do in the first place.
Whanau Ora is based on the premise that we look beyond outputs to focus on outcomes; our gaze – like our tupuna before – should always be on the wider horizons – the future stretching out in front of our tamariki/mokopuna – and what will bring about the greatest change for all our families.
Finally, - if we think back in time to our voyaging traditions – there were always champions in the waka who helped to navigate a direction forward. I want to end by naming those who are going to help lead the Pacific Health and Wellbeing waka forward:
• Dr Margaret Southwicke, (Chair of
• Fuimaono Karl Pulotu-Endemenn, (Board Member of Taeaomanino Trust)
• Dr Kathy Stone, (Chair of Pacific Health Service Porirua)
• Emily Maea, (Chair of Pacific Health Service Porirua)
• Shane La’ulu, (Chair of Wellington Kindergarten Assoc.)
• Rev. Tauinaola Tofilau,(Chair of Fono Samoa PIPC Wellington)
• Reverend Nove Vaila’au (Atamu)
• Reverend Elama Maea (Folau Alofa).
Of course, I could have – and should have – named everyone in this room as part of this vaka moving forward. For if the horizon of improved health and wellbeing for Pasefika peoples is really to take effect, we must all take personal and collective responsibility to ensure success. Culture is the basis of all that we do because it is the essence of who we are. Tonight is a night to focus on the potential of the people. It is a night of Pasefika pride.
I wish you all every success in the journey of discovery launched today for the Wellington Pacific Health and Wellbeing Collective.