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  • 24 Nov 2016 10:27 AM | Anonymous

    Be inspired and focused to make a difference in public health, and have the skills and courage to act...

    The Public Health Leadership Programme (PHLP) is designed for people working in public health. The programme is funded by the Ministry of Health and has been developed following extensive consultation with the sector. PHLP builds leadership competencies identified as important for leaders in public health. The programme has been developed by Catapult (leadership and organisational performance specialists) and Quigley and Watts (public health specialists).

    PHLP allows participants to discover their leadership potential and equips them with practical and tested leadership tools and resources. The programme generates immediate and lasting benefits for participants, those they lead, and for public health.

    Each programme has six days spread over several months. In 2017 one programme will be offered in Wellington and one in Auckland.

    Applications for the 2017 Public Health Leadership Programme (PHLP) are now open.

    The programme dates are:

    Programme 1 (Wellington):

    21 - 22 June, 23 - 24 August, 1 - 2 November 2017

    Programme 2 (Auckland):

    28 - 29 June, 30 - 31 August, 8 - 9 November 2017

    Anyone working in the public health sector may apply for a place on the programme. Applications close at 5pm Wednesday 1 February 2017. For more information, application criteria and online applications go to http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/health-workforce/public-health-leadership-programme. Places are limited to 36 in total. Applicants not previously accepted are encouraged to apply again.

    Here’s what participants said about the programme:

    The greatest gift this Programme has given me is the permission to speak to my values and the authority to stand on and lean into my values as my truth. I have many challenges in my daily life both professionally and personally but I stay mindful in my approach and learning as a result of the teaching through the Public Health Leadership Programme.

    Thank you for providing such a valuable programme. It is the best professional development I have been involved with and so pertinent to my role within public health.

    I have found this course to be enlightening, inspiring and upskilling. The confidence I have gained has enabled me to step up and take a much bigger leadership role in public health, and provided me with an endorsement and vision to take into the future. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be part of this.

  • 04 Nov 2016 4:28 PM | Anonymous

    Catherine Healy and Anna Reed are together the PHA’s 2016 Public Health Champion, in recognition of their decades of work in advocacy for the rights of sex workers, sexual health and HIV prevention.

    Each has been nominated from a different PHA branch, but they have worked so closely together – although each with a very different style – for such a long time, it seemed to be a good idea to acknowledge their work together.

    Anna Reed and Catherine Healy, PHA Champions 2016

    Anna and Catherine receive their PHA Champion Awards

    Catherine is the national coordinator and a founding member of the New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective (NZPC). The NZPC is an influential boutique NGO set up by sex workers in 1987 to promote better working conditions for themselves and their peers. Since 1988 it has had a contract to promote sexual health as part of the Ministry-funded response to HIV/AIDS. Catherine has led and built NZPC from an informal peer group to a credible public health service provider, providing confidential sexual health and testing services and health promotion for sex workers and their clients. 

    Anna has been the co-ordinator of the Christchurch branch of NZPC since soon after the collective was set up. In this way, their leadership has been pivotal in preventing the spread of HIV, advocating for healthy public policy and re-orientating the health services.

    Catherine and Anna were central figures in the long campaign for decriminalisation of sex work that was won with the passing of the Prostitution Reform Act 2003 on a conscience vote and a majority of one. The legislation included a requirement for a review after five years, to determine whether the fears of its opponents that the streets would be swarming with prostitutes, and a committee was established to conduct the review. In 2007 the review, conducted by Otago University’s Gillian Abel, Lisa Fitzgerald and Cheryl Brunton, concluded as Catherine and the NZPC had predicted, that violence against sex workers had been reduced, conditions of employment in brothels improved, trafficking was minimal and STIs reduced, and there has been no HIV diagnoses attributable to sex workers.

    Gillian Abel, Lisa Fitzgerald and Catherine Healy subsequently co-edited the book Taking the Crime Out of Sex Work: New Zealand Sex Workers' Fight for Decriminalisation. The book argues that decriminalisation has resulted in better working condition for prostitutes as well as a successful response to the HIV/AIDS and STI epidemics. Because New Zealand was the first country in the world to decriminalise all sectors of sex work, the NZ Prostitution Reform Act has become central to debates, not only in NZ, but also around the world about the legal status of sex workers, gender politics, public health and sexual morality.

    The NZPC model that Catherine and Anna worked to develop is held in high regard by sex workers globally and by a range of governments and health agencies. Catherine continues to act as a consultant for the World Health Organization in relation to HIV prevention throughout East Asia. This year she has recently returned from a return visit to Vietnam, following an initial consultancy in 1995, and a delegation of Vietnamese officials to NZ in January.

    Both receive frequent invitations to share their experiences, including the recent series on Radio New Zealand’s Insight programme: The Oldest Profession. A normal job? The programme does its best to take a neutral stance, but it’s very hard not to be persuaded that the NZPC and the NZ Prostitution Reform Act are outstanding achievements in promoting and protecting the health of New Zealanders. As Anna noted at the end of her interview: “in other times we were regarded highly as wise women”.

  • 04 Nov 2016 2:00 PM | Anonymous

    Opening the PHA’s day-long annual meeting, Emeritus Professor Robert Beaglehole addressed the question: “What does public health in this country – in fact in all countries – need now?”

    He delivered a fairly tough assessment of where public health is globally and nationally and what the PHA can contribute over the next few years. “There is a public health crisis,” he said. “And we are relevant.”

    He noted that there had been progress in that life expectancy is increasing by about three months each year, and yet the gap between Maori and others has not closed - a major, unrecognised scandal. He noted national progress on tobacco control, led by Dame Tariana Turia – and yet, again, unequal outcomes, including child poverty, poor housing, and childhood obesity.

    As a movement, he described the PHA as “voiceless, invisible” and dependent on the Ministry of Health, which drains our energy on organisational maintenance. And yet he sees the potential for the PHA to be a strong, independent organisation “driving radical collaboration, speaking with a strong public health voice, harnessing science to create social change”.

    He sees our diverse membership, connections and vision as strengths to build on.

    In summary, Professor Beaglehole, who, together with his life-partner Dr Ruth Bonita, was honoured as the PHA’s public health champion in 2010, challenged us to be the strong independent voice we want to be - more relevant, flexible and opportunistic. “We are more powerful than we imagine,” he said. “We can make a slower and kinder world.”

    Professor Beaglehole’s assessment was complemented by the next guest speaker, Helen Leahy, CEO of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, who spoke on the potential of Whānau Ora. Helen was previously Senior Ministerial Adviser for the former Minister for Whānau Ora, Dame Tariana Turia. More recently she had been a Specialist Advisor, Strategy and Influence at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, and author of Crossing the Floor: the Story of Tariana.

    Helen show-cased how Te Pūtahitanga is working to achieve its goal – Māu te ara, ki ora ai te whānau (your pathways empower whānau to thrive) and affirmed the positive mood that had emerged from the Māori caucus anniversary hui.

    In addition to anecdotes illustrating the change that the Whānau Ora approach brings, Helen brought with her some seed packets to share, which she said, represent some of the learnings gained from the exercise in transformation whānau throughout the South Island have championed.

    The seed packet is driven by three simple ideas:

    1. Whānau Ora – to be understood– must be simple enough to write in one sentence on the front of a seed packet.
    2. Whānau Ora is so transferrable and transportable than anyone can do it; we can all try to make a better life for ourselves; to plant the seeds of change; and nurture its potential to grow.
    3. And finally that Whānau Ora is at its very essence about the notion of growth – the blossoming of a whānau – to be self-determining; to plan a pathway forward and then to do it.

    Concluding, Helen said, “Our greatest opportunity and challenge lies in creating and fiercely protecting the optimum environment for whānau to

    • restore themselves to the essence of who they are;
    • to believe they are their own best strategists and design thinkers;
    • and to do everything possible to plant the seeds of change by investing in champions; promoting courage; and identifying the advocates and agents of change that will truly shape a future we can all be proud to be part of.”

    Download Helen's speech notes and presentation.

  • 04 Nov 2016 11:44 AM | Anonymous

    The 2016 recipient of the Tū Rangatira mō te Ora award is Metiria Turei.

    Metiria is from Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Ati hau nui a Paparangi, and Rangitāne me Raukawa.

    Metiria was chosen for her long-standing commitment to social justice, her work to reduce inequality and her advocacy for Māori development.

    Metiria Turei

    In particular, the PHA wanted to recognise the passion and energy Metiria has put into advocating for tamariki Māori and all New Zealand children, in her work to reduce child poverty.

    We also acknowledge her active commitment to making Te Tiriti o Waitangi live in political and community action.

    Metiria has been Green Party Co-leader since 2009. But you may not know that she has firsthand experience of the challenges Māori whānau face. As a young single Mum, Metiria used the training incentive allowance to put herself through law school. After graduating in 1999 she worked as a commercial lawyer before entering Parliament in 2002.

    Waatea News: Anti-poverty advocacy earns Turei public health tohu

    Green Party: Metiria Turei awarded for her work on Māori hauora

    The PHA established the Tū Rangatira mō te Ora award in 2010. The award is to:
    • Recognise a person, group, organisation, iwi, hapū or marae that has shown leadership in hauora development
    • Raise the profile of Māori public health
    • Raise the profile of the Public Health Association and show our commitment to hauora Māori.

  • 28 Sep 2016 5:01 PM | Anonymous

    Last week's Bulletin featured a story from the New Zealand Herald (Candidates could change voter apathy, 16 September). The story purports to be part of a campaign from Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) to increase the vote.

    It described three demographics: young people, ethnic minorities, poor and uneducated as "typically apathetic voters" for staying away from the polls.

    This infuriates me. LGNZ knows that, of the 58 percent of the population who did not vote last time, the largest proportion (31 percent) did not vote because they "want to vote but say it's too hard to find the information they need to make an informed decision." Just read this Radio NZ story from 12 September: Young voters feel locked out of local body politics

    Me too. I have every sympathy with the young, recent immigrants, and people too poor to have an address for the postal vote to be delivered to, or the uneducated (that's four demographics, as you don't have to be poor to be uneducated or uneducated to be poor). Actually there's a significant category of educated, interested and possibly even influential voters confronted with lists of people we've never heard of, and whose views on important issues we don't know. I've been involved at the fringes of politics at local and central government level, public service and community activities for more than 50 years, and selecting from these lists of random strangers does not encourage me to vote.

    In order to "lift voter numbers above 50 percent nationally for the first time since 1998" (LGNZ's campaign objective), instead of insulting us, it might be a good idea for the media and LGNZ to think about how we might become better informed.

    There's no point in haranguing us about our duty to vote in the two months after the candidates are announced. We need to know about the big issues facing our electorates well ahead of that.

    This would require our mainstream media to overcome its corporate apathy about local New Zealand, and work with LGNZ, the universities and activist groups such as Generation Zero, Grey Power and the PHA, to give us much more in-depth analysis of local issues. That would mean once the candidates are declared we can begin to interrogate where they stand.

    Some help need not be too challenging. Just start with a single site where voters can go to find what ward/electorate etc they're in, who the candidates are and a little about them – instead of having to trawl through multiple websites. I'm sure the Minister's changes (see below) are useful, but they won't address my concerns.

    Thankfully, Judith Aitken is onto a much more radical solution for the most unnecessarily complicated and ineffectual election of all – DHBs.

    Warren Lindberg
    Chief Executive
    Public Health Association

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