The Whole and Inclusive University: a Critical Review of Health Promoting Universities From New Zealand
In Aotearoa New Zealand there are eight Western universities and three whare wānanga (indigenous universities), many of which teach curricula related to hauora (health). To date none of these institutions have formally engaged with the World Health Organization’s Health Promoting Universities (HPUs) programme. Written from a critical perspective by two activist scholars committed to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the founding document of the nation, and to the pursuit of social justice, this paper explores the lack of engagement of these neo-liberal tertiary institutions with health promotion. Informed by critical public health traditions, grounded in the values of New Zealand based health promotion, we express our concerns about what appears to be the silence of the literature on HPUs on issues of structural discrimination such as institutional racism and sexism within university settings. Finally, the authors offer a moemoeā (vision or dream) of what a Health Promoting University could look like, grounded in a post-colonial framework informed by Te Tiriti o Waitangi in which indigneous concerns and holistic conceptions of health are central to transformational change.