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    Introduction to Pacific Peoples' health. Explores socio-economic determinants of Pacific Health, culture, and well-being and the context and journey of Pacific peoples in NZ, including major determinants of health.

    This paper provides an introduction to the historical context and contemporary social, economic and political contexts influencing Pacific peoples' health and discusses migration, immigration and colonial influences with regards to Pacific societies in New Zealand and within Pacific island nations across the region. Students will learn about socio-economic determinants of Pacific peoples' health, the impact of poverty, Pacific and mainstream solutions to improve health, as well as the public policies and approaches in place to improve health.

    This paper will present Pacific models of health, belief systems, values, principles and ethical approaches, outline the Pacific research protocols and provide foundational cultural competency training in the three largest ethnic groups in New Zealand (Samoa, Cook Islands and Tonga).

    This paper also provides knowledge and skills for effective engagement with Pacific peoples, families and communities and examines how their cultural backgrounds and contexts influence the way they perceive health and well-being. Finally, students will gain an understanding of the effects on health of the Pacific elderly, children and youth, as well as how these impact on mental health and disability in the Pacific region.

    About this paper

    Paper title Pacific Health: New Zealand and the Pacific Region
    Subject Pacific and Global Health
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    108 Points
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music

    This paper is suitable for undergraduate and graduate students of all disciplines interested in taking a paper on working with PacifIc communities in New Zealand and internationally.


    Teaching staff
    Dr Rosalina Richards
    Talai Mapusua
    Paper Structure

    The paper covers:

    • Introduction to Pacific peoples and Pacific health
    • Socio-economic determinants of Pacific health
    • Pacific culture and health
    • Pacific peoples' health and well-being across the lifespan

    Assessment is based on:

    • Oral presentation, in-class assessment: 10%
    • Written assignment (individual): 20%
    • Group report/presentation: 20%
    • Final exam 50%
    Teaching Arrangements

    This paper is taught via 26 lecture presentations and 13 tutorials.

    Textbooks are not required for this paper; a course book is provided, and key reading are placed on Blackboard.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Cultural understanding, global perspective, critical thinking, ethics, scholarship, research, information literacy, lifelong learning, communication, teamwork, self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to:

    • Demonstrate knowledge of the historical context of Pacific peoples, migration journeys and the current context for Pacific people in New Zealand
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between New Zealand and Pacific nations and its influence on the health and well-being of Pacific peoples
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the health status of Pacific peoples, determinants of health and factors that contribute to current health inequities of Pacific peoples in New Zealand
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the Fonofale Model of Health and its relevance in supporting the health and well-being of Pacific patients, families and their communities
    • Demonstrate an understanding of different Pacific belief systems and heterogeneity amongst different Pacific ethnic groups
    • Demonstrate an understanding of culture and how to navigate culturally safe spaces related to three specific ethnics groups: Samoa, Tongan, Cook Islands
    • Engage in learning opportunities that intervene to promote understanding of Pacific health and well-being of Pacific peoples in New Zealand and/or the Pacific region


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 29-35, 37-42
    Wednesday 11:00-11:50 29-35, 37-42


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Tuesday 13:00-14:50 29-35, 37-41
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