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Pacific workforce drives movement for healthier Pacific communities

The vision for Te Mana Ola: Pacific Health Strategy for Aotearoa and Ola Manuia: Pacific Health and Wellbeing Action Plan is focused on ensuring all Pacific peoples can enjoy the best possible health and wellbeing in all environments.


In addition to driving locally-led change, whilst being responsive to the local context of our Pacific communities, Healthy Families NZ is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of Aotearoa’s Pacific peoples, with the establishment of a Pacific Community of Practice (CoP).


The Community of Practice is made up of the Pacific workforce from across several Healthy Families NZ locations and includes Managers, Systems Innovators, Communications specialists, Practice Leads and Systems Strategists. The Community of Practice aims to bring our Pacific workforce together as a sign of intentional collaboration to amplify Pacific-community approaches. As a Pacific workforce it is acknowledged that the most effective and sustainable solutions to health and wellbeing are best driven by our Pacific people and communities.


Last month, the Pacific Community of Practice met for the first time kanohi ki te kanohi to connect, discuss the purpose of the group, share learnings and plan how they can collectively drive the Healthy Families NZ movement from a Pacific lens.


Reflecting on the Pacific Community of Practice fono, Healthy Families Hutt Valley Pacific Systems Innovator, Mele Tonga-Grant saw how deepening connections was strengthening the talanoa and the group’s systems way of thinking to future proof the Healthy Families movement with moana indigenous approaches.


“We have a strong Pacific workforce and meeting with our Pacific Community of Practice grows our spheres of influence to improve the wellbeing of our Pacific communities. It goes way beyond our localities now, we have the national backbone supporting us to work as a collective as Healthy Families NZ, but we also that Pacific backbone as we work collectively from different Pacific nations.”


Healthy Families NZ Practice and Capability Lead, Toni Akana, spoke about the power in bringing together the diverse community perspectives and expertise across our Healthy Families NZ workforce and how it fostered collaboration and inspired action towards achieving health equity for our Pacific communities.


“Our Pacific workforce came together to fully realise the incredibly rich perspectives and expertise that they are harnessing within our kaupapa. We want this Community of Practice to be a welcoming place for our Pasifika researchers, innovators, communications experts, managers and leadership across Healthy Families NZ. A priority is to engage with our local Pasifika communities and hold empowering conversations with our Pacific people.”


The Community of Practice is now in the stages of exploring and actioning:

· Elevating and amplifying existing pasifika frameworks

· Amplifying the stories of our Pacific community

· Te Tiriti and the partnership with Māori

· Guiding our partnering organisations to understand the relationship they have with the CoP and their local pacific communities


Our commitment to aligning our mahi Te Mana Ola and Ola Manuia ensures that our efforts are guided by Pacific values for a healthier, more equitable future.





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