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Training to improve Pacific health

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Health and disability professionals will soon be able to gain a better cultural understanding of Pacific peoples via New Zealand's first ever online cultural training programme.

The cultural competency training, to be launched by Associate Health Minister and Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia in early April, will help anyone working in the health or disability sectors to effectively engage with Pacific people.

The online module has been developed by Le Va, Pasifika within Te Pou. Te Pou is the national centre for mental health, addiction and disability workforce development.

The module is the only Pacific cultural training available online. It complements face-to-face workshops which have been delivered by Le Va for the last two years. This particular module was developed in partnership with the disability sector and Pacific people with disabilities.

National manager of Le Va, Dr Monique Faleafa, said research showed there was no consistent approach by agencies regarding Pacific training and also identified a significant lack of training in the disability sector.

"This training builds on health professionals' skills and shows them how to effectively engage with Pacific people. It's essential to ensure Pacific people in New Zealand receive the best possible care and support," she said.

"We believe the training has the potential to have a significant impact on how well and how early Pacific people engage with health and disability services. "

The online module takes less than 60 minutes to complete and provides information on how to engage with Pacific people, as well as a sound introduction to Pacific cultures.

The training will be launched at the GPS 2012 - Growing Pacific Solutions for our families conference in Auckland on April 3 and 4. The conference, organised by Le Va, is the first ever conference aimed specifically at addressing mental health, addiction and disability issues within New Zealand's Pacific community.

Minister of Pacific Island Affairs and Minister of Education Hekia Parata will also attend the conference.

Registrations for the conference close on April 2 2012. For more information and to register online, go to

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