2016 Le Tautua Matua Mana Moana: results
Last week I joined my Le Va colleagues Esther Faitala and Ben Tameifuna in the Hutt Valley to deliver back-to-back Engaging Pasifika programmes.
The first day was an open session hosted at The Laura Ferguson Trust. A number of clinicians from the Trust attended, as well as others from across the addictions, mental health, disability and public health sectors. The Health Promotion Agency’s (HPA) senior advisor Pacific Falenaoti Mokalagi Tamapeau also attended along with a number of other HPA staff.
We were blessed to have Tagaloa Taima Fagaloa, Pacific Health Director at the Capital & Coast District Health Board, with us to provide a local Pasifika perspective. Taima gave an overview of connected Pasifika work going on in the region, as well as the gaps in Pasifika community health, and those Pasifika services operating throughout the region.
The following day’s workshop was held at Lower Hutt Hospital for DHB staff. It continued in the same vein with the audience engaging the facilitators. Doctors and mental health and addiction nurses from the DHB joined clinicians and practitioners from local Pasifika services.
We were also joined by Tu’ipulotu Ned Cook, from Mapu Maia, Problem Gambling organisation. Ned’s experience is in the alcohol and drug sector and in mental health. Ned reinforced the importance of many Pasifika protocols and principles to adhere to when working with Pasifika families and communities.
On both days, Esther and I were able to share our experiences with the Samoan tradition of the tatau. Esther completed her malu last year while mine was completed just two weeks ago. We explained its meaning, origins, what the patterns represent, the process for receiving tatau, and what it means – particularly in the Samoan community.
The response and feedback from both days has been positive with many “aha” moments. All participants agreed that cultural competency is essential, and that Engaging Pasifika had better prepared them for engaging with Pasifika clients, families and communities.
Look out for the next Engaging Pasifika workshop in Auckland on 27 November at Higher Ground services.