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At the PHANZ, we regularly publish blogs or think pieces on relevant public health issues. The published blogs are authored by our staff, membership, friends of the Association, or are invited publications that meet our strategic priorities. 

Below are our most recent blogs and PolicySpot articles.

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  • 15 Mar 2022 2:57 PM | Anonymous

    Te Kōkī Hauora 

    Te Kōkī refers to the bird song chorus when manu of all kinds gather at dawn to sing and kōrero together.  When they stop singing there is an immediate silence and they flit back to their various places of mahi and habitation until the next kōkī.    

    Te Kōkī Hauora is the name given to the gathering of manu hauora to kōrero and meet (online and kānohi ki te kānohi – face to face).  In this context, the network refers specifically to Māori working within mainstream Public Health Units (PHU’s) throughout Aotearoa. 


    During the Level 4 COVID-19 response the PHU’s came under unprecedented pressure. Along with others, many Maori staff struggled with the additional work and whanau pressuresCOVID-19 exacerbated existing inequites and institutional failures that already existed in the public health sector. A group of Maori within the PHU’s came together to:  

    • have a safeplace to kōrero withother Māori experiencing the same issues 

    • provide collegial and cultural support 

    • find out what is happening outside of their rohe and how hapori Māori were coping with COVID-19 

    • share insights with eachother 

    • support those that needed it (addressing isolation) 

    • create working groups, and share plans and ideas 

    • discuss issues affecting whanau Maori i.e. thethreewaterreforms 

    • host guest speakers that could inform the group on what is happening upstream (service managers, MOH, etc) and discuss ways that we can better address the inequities 

    In the begining, the group went from two to ten to 60 Māori on the weekly zoom.  This eventually led to the national Māori COVID-19 hui hostedby Waikato in 2020.  The network continues to meet regularly. 

    Last year, after a series of discussions with Te Kōkī Hauora members, the national office of the PHA, and the Ministry of Health, it was agreed that the PHA would provide administrative and pastoral care support services to the members of Te Kōkī Hauora. We are pleased to be able to support our colleagues in the PHU’s and to strengthen the relationship between ourselves. At this stage, the roopu have agreed to meet at least monthly, and are working with the PHA to develop a workplan that meets the group’s needs. We will keep our members updated with our progress.  


    Grant Berghan 

    Chief Executive Officer. 


  • 07 Mar 2022 3:31 PM | Anonymous

    Come and join us for a welcoming and relaxed series for Māori and non-Māori in public health to share and learn.

    A featured theme and guest speaker each month supported by all the 'tangas'.

    Let us know you're interested HERE.

  • 21 Feb 2022 3:38 PM | Anonymous

    A warm welcome to Chris Webber who has joined the PHA  as a senior policy analyst (Māori) and Dr Alana McCambridge as a policy analyst. Both Chris and Alana will work part time. Read more about them on our staff page.

  • 21 Feb 2022 3:17 PM | Anonymous

    The Public Health Association is calling members and affiliates past and present to engage their expertise and experience for the next phase of COVID-19.

    You can access the form here - it will remain open for feedback until 23rd of February.

    The form is split into 6 sections and will take approximately 10 mins;

    • Checking in
    • Confidence in your sector
    • Status report
    • Action steps
    • Issues to flag
    • Advice - short term, long term, and in regards to Māori/Pasifika/Asian communities. 

    We sincerely thank you for your contribution. This information will inform the PHA's strategic direction towards the COVID-19 response in 2022. 

  • 21 Feb 2022 3:13 PM | Anonymous


    MARCH 19 - 28 2022


    PHA is proud to be a partner of Te Tiriti-based futures + Anti-racism 2022. 

    There is once again an incredible line-up of speakers and leaders who over 10 days will discuss topics including institutional racism and anti-racism, decolonisation, building Te Tiriti-based futures and transforming our constitution. Overseas presenters will also discuss their experiences with these issues from their contexts.

    The final day will be different this year. It will be a platform for emerging voices called: Kei mura i te ahi - 24 hour marathon for racial justice powered by PechaKucha. This will be an epic 24-hour marathon of short interactive talks from students and recent graduates pushing the boundaries in anti-racism in Aotearoa and internationally. 

    After the event, most of the open-access webinars will be posted online, where they will become permanent resources for anti-racist activism and Te Tiriti education. 

    The organisers are a group of Māori and Tauiwi with experience in activism, research and community development. 


  • 21 Feb 2022 1:01 PM | Anonymous

    Comments from our new Senior Policy Advisor - Māori, Chris Webber

    Waitangi Day 2022 is the first one our organisation can celebrate having embraced Te Tiriti with a constitutional 50 percent Māori partnership on our executive council. With Nari Faiers Co-President (Māori) and a good muster of Māori talent we've achieved both a milestone in capacity and options for progressing the next phase of our journey. This includes myself, taking a leave of absence from executive council to fulfil a pressing need for Māori policy work on contract - backfilled by other Caucus representation. 

    This leads me to our Kapiti Island hapu slogan in the title - Haere He Awatea, it really does feel like a 'new day dawning' and I wish to acknowledge our members for taking us there. My great great grandfather and Māori MP Wiremu Parata, took the 1877 'Treaty Nullity' case to court after his grandfather Te Rangihiroa had signed Te Tiriti at Kapiti 4 June 1840. With the colonial system fixed on The Treaty being 'a nullity', generations of loss persisted through to today - with large parts of our available capacity still absorbed into putting things right. Like public health, it is going to take the collective efforts of all to achieve the vision and possibilities provided by Te Tiriti.

    Nō reira e hoa mā, we are in times of transition within and without - and with change comes opportunity to keep navigating to the chosen destination. Ko te tūmanako ko te pae ora mō tataou katoa - let's fix the vision of equitable wellbeing for all in our minds and imagine us all happily there together and what path and set of 'tangas' (wairuatanga, whanaungatanga, ūkaipōtanga my top three) were required for it to work for Māori, leaving no-one behind. To me, this is Te Tiriti in action. Mauri ora!

  • 10 Feb 2022 12:31 PM | Anonymous

    When Doors Open

    by Dr Alana McCambridge

    By now you have probably heard of the name Charlotte Bellis. The pregnant Kiwi reporter that was unable to secure a spot in MIQ and so willingly contacted the Taliban and travelled to Afghanistan for “safe haven”. Charlotte then penned an open letter to the New Zealand government and got in contact with her PR friend to make some noise. She wielded the power of the media both in New Zealand and abroad to make her point heard, gaining sympathy and calls for change to New Zealand’s tight border control. She appeared on television, radio, and used her social media platforms to tell her story. With many re-using it as a political dagger to criticise the governments pandemic response. Her story was so widespread that her application was promptly reassessed and she was offered a coveted spot in MIQ.

    Lucky for some.

    The ‘some’ being those with an exuberant amount of privilege. The kind of privilege that makes doors open - nothing is ever out of reach. The kind of privilege that Afghani people, particularly women, do not have under the Taliban regime. Charlotte was a reporter in Afghanistan – she knows of the atrocities the Taliban have committed and will likely continue to commit. She would know that there are currently huge concerns for missing Afghani women activists. Women in far worse off situations to her, situations where Afghani women, particularly pregnant ones, can only dream of calling their country a ‘safe-haven’. Situations that are mostly unimaginable to the New Zealand people.

    But alas, Charlotte with all her knowledge of Afghanistan expertly centred herself – a white woman needing help – sidelining the serious and devastating humanitarian issues being inflicted on Afghanistan by the Taliban. She let the media machine eat up her story as she knew it would, providing soundbites and news headlines humanising the Taliban, and personally sharing posts to her instagram of people in support of her plight that were “impressed” by the Taliban’s kind gesture. A calculated gesture that most of us can see for what it really is.

    Nevertheless what’s done is done and there are always lessons to be learned. So with the clarity of hindsight, opposing viewpoints being published in the media (albiet to a much lesser extent – please see open letter from Muzhgan Samarqandi for instance), and her MIQ room now secured. Charlotte would be free to see the error in her ways and try to make amends. To clear up some of the hurt that her fiasco has caused Afghan communities.

    However it has been over a week since the door flung open and she got what she wanted but Charlotte has not mentioned Afghanistan at all. She posted a statement online and made a few twitter posts, mainly still laying blame to the horrid MIQ lottery system. You know, the one she bypassed, while the rest of us waited for our number to come up (myself and my newborn baby included). The system that although is not perfect - as no system ever is - has undoubtedly saved hundreds of Kiwi lives.

    So perhaps her silence is because she is still living in Kabul supported by the Taliban (despite the power of the New Zealand passport that could take her to safer places). Or perhaps critical self-reflection isn’t her thing? Or maybe she is just another foreigner in Afghanistan, pitching themselves as a champion, but only when it suits.

    Someone recently said to me that ‘privilege is invisible', invisible to those who have it. I was really hoping it wasn’t true.

    Got an idea for a Think Piece? Let’s discuss!

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