Fonofale model

The Fonofale model was created by Fuimaono Karl Pulotu-Endemann as a Pacific Island model of health for use in the Aotearoa New Zealand context. Although originally designed for Pacific people, this model can be applied across cultures, as it can help us to understand and support people in a holistic, safe and effective manner.

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The roof

The roof of the fale represents culture.

The pou (posts)

Between the roof and the foundation are the four pou (posts). Each pou represents a different dimension of well-being. These dimensions are: physical, spiritual, mental, and other.

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The foundation

The foundation of the fale represents family.

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The cocoon

Around the outside is a cocoon where the dimensions have direct or indirect influence on each other. These dimensions are time, environment and context.

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Fonofale model

Fonofale model

Culture

The roof represents cultural values and beliefs that is the shelter for life. Culture is dynamic and therefore constantly evolving and adapting. In some Pacific families, this culture may be a traditional approach based on the particular Pacific Island identity of that group. In other families they may lean more toward a Palagi approach where those particular family members practice the Palagi values and beliefs. Other families may live their lives in a continuum that stretches from a traditional Pacific cultural orientation to a Palagi cultural orientation.

Physical

This dimension relates to biological or physical well-being. It is the relationship of the body which includes anatomy and physiology as well as physical or organic and inorganic substances such as food, water, air and medications that can have either positive or negative impacts on the physical well-being.

Spiritual

This dimension relates to the sense of well-being which stems from a belief system that includes either Christianity or traditional spirituality relating to nature, spirits, language, beliefs, ancestors and history, or a combination of both.

Mental

This dimension relates to the well-being or the health of the mind which involves thinking and emotions as well as the behaviours expressed.

Other

This dimension relates to variables that can directly or indirectly affect health such as, but not limited to, gender, sexual orientation, age, social class, employment and educational status.

Family

The foundation of the Fonofale represents the family which is the foundation for all Pacific Island cultures. The family can be a nuclear family as well as an extended family which forms the fundamental basis of Pacific Island social organisation.

Time

This dimension relates to the actual or specific time in history that impacts on Pacific people.

Environment

This dimension addresses the relationships and uniqueness of Pacific people to their physical environment. The environment may be a rural or an urban setting.

Context

This dimension relates to the where/how/what and the meaning it has for that particular person or people. The context can be in relation to Pacific Island reared people or New Zealand reared people. Other contexts include politics and socioeconomics.

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