Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

POPLPRAC 711 - Health Promotion in Pacific Community Development

15 Points 

Semester 2



Allows supervised experience for students in a Pacific-specific service. A course of study relevant to the area of placement will be prescribed.

Programme and course advice

A course of study relevant for those who are intending to work with Pacific communities. Students would be exposed to how Pacific communities are empowered to take control over the determinants of their health and wellbeing through health promotion and community development.

The course is a recommended course for the Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma of Public Health in Pacific Health and Masters of Public Health. It may also be taken towards a Health Sciences programme.

Learning and teaching

There will be some guest lecturers invited and the expected class size is between 12 and 15 students. Lectures and interactive discussion will be used in the teaching.

Goals of the course

The impetus for developing this course arose from the need to improve the health and well-being of Pacific peoples living in Aotearoa through health promotion and community development. Too often information on evidence-based health promotion programmes of, and for, Pacific peoples in Aotearoa or in the Pacific proper are often ignored or considered as being of lesser scientific credibility. Hence, Pacific peoples tend to refrain from necessary actions because of compelling ideologies and strategies.

However, the effectiveness of health promotion programmes depends on numerous factors. It does not only rely on exciting and stimulating health information, but largely depends on the degree of community empowerment, appropriate socio-cultural strategies, healthy public policies, capacity building, orientation of services, political and economic consideration as well as people's commitments.

In view of the above, this unit aims to examine the overall concept of health promotion and community development and how best to apply them in a Pacific setting both in New Zealand, and the Pacific proper.

Learning outcomes 

At the end of the course, students are expected to be able to:

  • Critically examine the application of community development and health promotion in Auckland and its implication on improving health outcome among Pacific people.
  • Critically examine the evolution of public health, health promotion, and community development to understand their significance in Pacific health promotion.
  • Examine Pacific health promotion practices and its implication on the health and well-being of Pacific people.
  • Discuss some Pacific and contemporary health promotion models and their application in different programs and projects in New Zealand.
  • Discuss public policy as a health promotion tool to improve health and wellbeing in Pacific communities.
  • Discuss social marketing: A tool to promote health and well-being in Pacific communities in Pacific communities.
  • Critically examine behavioural theories and their application of community development approaches to improve the health and well-being of Pacific Peoples.
  • Discuss ways of measuring impacts and effectiveness of health promotion activities and;
  • Discuss ways of managing health promotion activities in a Pacific setting.

Content outline

The course runs over the second semester and the formal teaching is in four by one day blocks as follows:

Day 1: The first day will involve an orientation to the course at the beginning. This follows by an introduction session on the question of "Why Pacific health is a concern?" This session would provide students with the basic information required to start discussing health promotion. This progresses to some discussion on the evolution of health promotion and its challenges both in the Pacific and worldwide.

Day 2 This session would explore Pacific health promotion and community development models, and examine their uses, applicability and appropriateness in a Pacific context. A community development case study will be presented, followed with some in depth discussion on communication and its barriers to their uses in different Pacific settings. 

Day 3 Three major topics will be discussed. This involves Public policy, role of the media in public health advocacy, re-orientation of services for Pacific peoples in health promotion and community development. 

Day 4 The final day is dedicated to some discussions on health promotion planning, management and evaluation. This will progress to some discussion on the present and future setting of Pacific health promotion activities.

Campus teaching dates 

This course is held at Tāmaki Campus. Please see your timetable on SSO or Building 730 Reception noticeboard on the day for the room details.


The assessment will comprise 2 essays (worth 25% each) and a 2-hour final examination (worth 50%).

The exam will involve three long answer questions (10% each) and 4 short answer questions (5% each). 

Note that the examination timetables are not finalised and available to students until 6-8 weeks into the semester. 

Learning resources

Students are provided access to online course pages in CANVAS which is the University’s online Learning Management System. These pages give the course outline, objectives for each session and recommended reading. All PowerPoint presentations and additional course materials are available through CANVAS.

Course Coordinator

Course Administrator