24 August 2016: 20 Years of Successful Navigation

The Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) tonight launches its 20 year history book, “The Pasifika Medical Association Journey – 20 Years of Successful Navigation 1996–2016”, as part of the 20th anniversary conference.

The book describes PMA’s evolution from a small organisation with a handful of volunteers to becoming the largest Pacific health organisation in New Zealand, providing a strong voice on issues that impact on Pacific health and wellbeing.

“In the book are amazing stories of those who have started this worthy organisation and the contribution they have made to improving the health of Pacific people in the Pacific region,” says PMA chief executive Mrs Debbie Sorensen.

“There’s a real sense of passion, drive, and determination running through these stories and the journey to get this far after 20 years of hard work wasn’t easy.”

“Those who are pioneers of this organisation deserve special mention and this book is an opportunity for them to tell their stories and celebrate the great achievements stemming from their vision to make a positive difference to the health of Pacific communities in NZ and the Pacific region.”

Mrs Sorensen says the book captures the real life experiences of the development of PMA and their quest for excellent Pacific health policy, service delivery and practice in the Pacific region. The stories demonstrate the vast array of contribution to the Pacific health discourse.

“It’s extremely important to recognise these contributions in the health sector and to recognise the unique contribution that Pacific health practitioners made.”

The book features 15 reflections from key PMA members, as well as the former principal of Otahuhu College Gil Laurenson and Hon. Bill English Deputy Prime Minister.

“The PMA started with just half dozen people at the end of 1995. By 2008 it had 500 members, and now the membership numbers in the 1,000s.”

“We hope the story of development in this book will inspire the next generation of doctors, nurses and health leaders in the Pacific to make a difference by being a member of PMA to get closer, work together and make a difference for the lives of our Pacific communities,” says Mrs Sorensen

The book will be officially launched by the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Hon Peseta Sam Lotu- Iiga in a ceremony to welcome all participants of the conference at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

The book will be available for purchase on the PMA website www.pacifichealth.org.nz

For more information contact Angie Enoka, Communications Manager on 021 809 137 or angie@pacifichealth.org.nz