March 23, 2011
Arnell's take on promoting healthy lifestyles in Māori and Paciﬁc communities in New Zealand, at the Ministry of Paciﬁc Island Affairs.
By Arnell Hinkle
Excerpt from the 2010 Fullbright New Zealand Annual Report
My 2010 Ian Axford Fellowship in Public Policy was the perfect blend of professional and personal growth and renewal. I spent my time in Aotearoa examining how national healthy lifestyle programs were being implemented in Paciﬁc and Māori communities. This focus allowed me to work closely with both public sector ofﬁcials and community providers. It also enabled me to spend time in many amazing communities. The Ministry of Paciﬁc Island Affairs was the perfect host agency – opening doors, explaining context, and providing an ofﬁcial base of operations. I also took Māori language classes, and found the experience invaluable for gaining an insight into Māori culture. I was invited to present my ﬁndings and observations to district health boards, ethnic professional organizations, and community groups. This cross-fertilization of ideas continues as a Māori health provider recently visited my organization in the United States, and as I prepare to present my ﬁndings to a variety of public health audiences and to ofﬁcials from the Obama administration’s Let’s Move campaign to combat childhood obesity. Most importantly, I have returned from my fellowship re-energized about the importance of the role of culture in implementing community health programs, and with new cross-cultural tools and experiences for being effective in my work.
Arnell Hinkle was an Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellow in Public Policy promoting healthy lifestyles in Māori and Paciﬁc communities in New Zealand, at the Ministry of Paciﬁc Island Affairs in 2010.
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