Asian health week

Asian Health week What is the Asian health week?

Asian Health Week was an event which showcased the latest research and innovation to improve the health of Asian populations in New Zealand and develop a culturally competent workforce nationwide.

The event was also an opportunity to celebrate 15 years of achievements for Waitemata DHB’s Asian Health Services, and the official launch of the national eCALDTM (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) training and support programme.

Why focus on Asian health?

  • Auckland population profile (Census 2013)Asian peoples now make up 24 percent of the Auckland population
  • Asian groups are collectively the second largest ethnic group in Auckland and Waitemata DHBs, and the third largest group in Counties Manukau DHB
  • Our ‘Asian’ population is mostly made up of, Chinese, followed by Indian and Korean people
  • 13 percent of the Asian population in Auckland do not speak English
  • One third of all Asian migrants have been in New Zealand less than 5 years
  • The number of Asian people over 65 is rapidly increasing, meaning that many more Asian people are requiring our health services for older people

The ever changing profile of our population means that our workforce has to get better at communicating across culturally diverse teams and providing culturally competent care for the diverse range of people we serve.

Breakdown of population groups by ethnicity with no English ability (Census 2013)
Breakdown of population groups by ethnicity with no English ability (Census 2013)

What are we trying to achieve?

The aim of the week was to provide:

  • an overview of research that has been conducted to improve Asian health in New Zealand by leading academics, researchers and clinical leaders
  • evidence-based models of care for working with Asian people in a range of settings including hospital inpatients, mental health, child health, disability and health of older people
  • a key focus on workforce development including supporting managers, teams and individual practitioners who work in diverse teams and with diverse populations

What did we find?

Asian Health week opening ceremonyWe hosted a week of seminars focusing on Asian health from 17th to 22nd August 2015. The opening ceremony also included the national roll-out of the eCALD™ cultural competency courses and resources [view more about eCALD™]. The eCALD™ system was made available to all DHBs from 28th August 2015 and will be expanded to all primary health organisations and to health and disability NGOs (non-government organisations) in 2016.

Topics covered during the seminar included the latest research and development in the areas of:

  • Asian Health Research - trends over the last decade
  • Asian Health week presentationCardiovascular disease and diabetes in Asian populations
  • Lifestyles and Asian populations, including smoking cessation, nutrition and physical activity
  • Asian mental health
  • Health of older Asian people
  • Disability in Asian populations
  • Health of Asian refugees

The final session on Friday afternoon included a presentation and panel discussion which focused on the changing migration trends; our multi-cultural nursing workforce; views of overseas and New Zealand trained nurses; and implications for health care services in Auckland as well as Waitematā DHB population and workforce demographics.

[View available presentations from Asian Health Week]

Asian Health week opening ceremony
Photos from the Asian Health week [view more photos]


The Asian Health Week was the first of its kind in New Zealand and the feedback we received from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. Throughout the Asian Health Week we had an average of 80 attendees to the seminars, with the highest attendance rate for our day of Mental Health focused topics at 135 people.


Asian Health Week Overview of Presentations and Evaluation Report95 percent of those who responded to the evaluation survey agreed or strongly agreed that the seminars:

  • met their expectations with helpful content
  • enhanced and improved their knowledge
  • met their expectations overall

In addition to written feedback, the seminar organisers received considerable verbal feedback from participants that the seminar was highly informative; stimulating and presented innovative models of care.

"Well done to the organising team in putting together such wonderful programme with informative and insightful presentations. My understanding of some of the issues the health sector faces and seeks to improve on has increased tremendously. Well done!"

"Well done for organising such a big event highlighting the needs of our Asian community and what services are available"

[View the Asian Health Week Overview of Presentations and Evaluation Report]

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