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Keynote speaker at the Otago Global Health Institute Annual Conference

Dr Colin Tukuitonga

McAuley oration thumbnailWe are delighted to confirm that Dr Colin Tukuitonga will present our keynote address, the 2019 McAuley Oration, at this year's conference.

Details for this public talk are:
Wednesday 6 November 2019
University of Otago, 23a Mein Street, Newtown, Wellington

This talk is also available by Zoom link for those unable to join us in person.

Title: Responding to the Dual Crises Threatening Health in the Pacific Islands


Dr Tukuitonga will outline the two greatest threats to good health in the Pacific region – the huge burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and its risk factors, and the negative health impacts of the climate crisis. He will explain how the Pacific region is overwhelmed by the economic and commercial determinants of health, and how the epidemic of NCDs and the existential threat of climate change are closely inter-related. He will conclude by discussing key research opportunities and priorities and examples of best practice from the Pacific addressing these vital health issues.


Dr Colin Tukuitonga is Director-General of The Secretariat of the Pacific Community based at the organisation’s headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia.

His previous roles include: Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand Government’s Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs; Associate Professor of Public Health and Head of Pacific and International Health at the University of Auckland; Director of Public Health, New Zealand Ministry of Health; and Head of Surveillance and Prevention of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases at the World Health Organization, Switzerland.

Dr Tukuitonga has also served in various leadership and management roles, including at the Fiji School of Medicine, the Auckland District Health Board, Northern Regional Health Authority (Auckland), University of Auckland and the Health Research Council of New Zealand. He is a former Board member of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation.

Additionally, Dr Tukuitonga was a commissioner for the World Health Organization (WHO) global Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity from 2014 until its work concluded in early 2016.

Dr Tukuitonga is a Founding Member of the Niue Arts and Culture Festival, Pacific Language Weeks in New Zealand, and of the Leadership Development Programme for Pacific civil servants in New Zealand. He is a member of the Pacific Research panel for the Performance-Based Research Fund 2018 Quality Evaluation.

Past keynote speakers

The Conference archive page has information about previous McAuley and McKinlay Orations.