Manawataki Fatu Fatu team fono: resiliency and thriving
We were very fortunate to have our January fono together to kickstart the year before the change in Covid alert level settings. This gave us an opportunity to reflect on our progress, what we have learned and how we navigate new challenges. Having a set of programme values established from the start has been immensely helpful in guiding our research and engagement practices. Our regular meetings, and opportunities (when we can) to catch up for kōrero and kai, have allowed us to foster a reflexive and caring team culture (Rā). A highlight of the programme has been the recruitment of exemplary Māori and Pacific postgraduate students; supporting their research journeys, drawing from their knowledge (Kāinga), and building on our agenda of workforce development (Ngā Rangi). For example, we’re proud of this recent publication led by PhD candidate, Julie Winter-Smith (Tonga) which is to the best of our knowledge, the first systematic review that has explored the epidemiology and management of CVD by Pacific-specific ethnicity or place of birth. A significant piece of our mahi has been our interviews with patients and whānau. Enabled often by zoom during lockdown, we have been able to gather and construct rich information on their health care experiences and aspirations (Ngā Reo).
Following on from our successful stakeholder hui in July 2021, a big focus for us this year will be regular engagements with our soon-to-be established advisory panels (Ngā Rangi). This will add another layer of robustness as we start to pull together the qualitative and quantitative outputs of the project (Haka) and weave together our equity roadmap. We are reminded that this programme is not just about us; it is about making a contribution to Māori and Pasifika communities thriving and flourishing (Ngoi) in Aotearoa. Some of the extraordinary stories of courage, resilience, faith, dignity and humanity that have emerged following the Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami provide inspiration as we collectively continue to navigate rough seas in the pandemic. ‘Ikai ha to’a ‘e tu’u tokotaha – no warrior stands alone. Our fono ended on a light note as we shared sources of resiliency (running, riding bikes, informal chats, distracting tamariki with Netflix…). As ever, we’re keen to bring in others to our rōpū for heart health equity; please get in touch for any collaborations you’d like to explore.