Talanoa ile i'a : talking to Pacific Island young people in West Auckland about health : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Work at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
The present study explores the health issues surrounding Pacific Island youth health development. The present study conducted a literature review on youth health issues in New Zealand and found that most are cultural and social related. A second literature review of theoretical dispositions to account for the emergence of youth heath issues found that Pacific Island concepts, medical sociology theory and youth health theory were relevant explanations for the emergence of Pacific Island youth health issues. The present study conducted focus groups with Pacific Island young people about youth health issues to see if the information from the literature review corresponded with the participants’ responses and whether the theoretical explanations were consistent with the participants’ responses. The present study found that a correlation exists between the literature review and the participants’ responses. The present study maintains through the participants’ responses that the key to addressing Pacific Island young people health issues is to involve their families throughout the process of assessment and in the development of response plans. This means the perspectives of those in youth health policy arenas, the perspective of service managers and the perspective of professionals are required to recognise that the perspective of the young person is an essential domain for understanding the cause of and for resolving Pacific Island youth health issues.
‘Talanoa ile I’a’ is the story of Pacific Island young people living in West Auckland. It is based on responses to questions posed to participants of the study in relation to Pacific Island youth health development issues. The present study contends that in order to understand, identify and resolve Pacific Island youth health issues it is important to talk to Pacific Island young people themselves. The present study did not conduct any research with youth policymakers, youth health services or health professionals but preferred to explore youth health with Pacific Island young people themselves. The present study is built on the participants’ responses and provides both warning signs and building blocks for youth health policy, youth healthcare services and youth health professionals. The present study is a Pacific Island approach to Pacific Island youth health issues; it is ‘by Pacific for Pacific’.