On 12 February 2020, Healthier Lives held a fono (meeting) at Massey University to have a ‘talanoa’ or conversation about Pacific health research.
The fono was an opportunity for Pacific health researchers and communities to meet, have an open exchange of ideas, find gaps and opportunities, and inform funding decisions for Pacific-led research within Healthier Lives’ Theme 2: culturally centred health interventions for Māori and Pacific peoples.
Held two weeks before New Zealand reported its first case of COVID-19, the focus of the fono was squarely on research to reduce the impact of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – Healthier Lives’ core mission.
Culturally-centred health interventions for Pacific peoples
Healthier Lives has a multi-pronged strategy to achieve its aims. Theme 2 focuses on culturally-centred health interventions at a community or fanau level.
In order to tackle serious health inequities in New Zealand, a first step in the research process is to listen to the voices of communities which have poorer health outcomes, and allow them to guide research directions.
The fono follows on from last year’s hui to gain guidance on research directions for Māori-led research within Theme 2.
Vibrant, warm, constructive and fun!
The mood of the day was collegial, collaborative and constructive. Participants enjoyed a lively, interactive talanoa with wide-ranging discussion and many constructive ideas.
The fono was structured to promote a dialogue between Pacific communities and researchers and was very ably facilitated by one of Healthier Lives’ Principal Investigators Dr Lisa Te Morenga (Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington).
Thanks to all participants and organisers, particularly Dr Riz Firestone (Massey University), Healthier Lives Principal Investigator of the Pasifika Prediabetes Youth Empowerment Programme, who led the fono planning, along with her fantastic group of PhD students who provided great support.
For a full report on the day, please go to: Culturally-centred health interventions for Pacific peoples fono report [PDF 1MB]