Rural Book Project – 30 years of the Rural General Practice Network: a milestone, a celebration and a transition

The Network is proud to announce a book project coinciding with our proposed transition to Hauora Taiwhenua Rural Health Network.

What is the book project about?
From the first RGPN conference in 1992, to the 2022 conference when the Network will review the proposal to become one of six partners in Hauora Taiwhenua Rural Health Network, there are many stories to tell.

At this important point of transition, the Network is proud to sponsor a book project which will celebrate our legacy of rural health advocacy and capture the experience and wisdom of those who’ve been involved in the Network.

One in five people in Aotearoa New Zealand live rurally. We hope that concerns about equitable health outcomes for people living rurally – particularly rural Māori communities – will be addressed in the current sector reforms. But many of the core problems that prompted the formation of the Network endure. The book will be a forward-looking reflection so that our successes and hard won learnings can inform future rural health service provision and workforce planning.

Who is it for?
It will be useful to many audiences: showing health professionals and students the joys and challenges of working in rural settings; helping rural communities and health services understand how best to support the workforce; and bringing lived experience to policy and political decision-making.

How will it happen?
An Editorial Board will guide and direct an Editorial Team who’ll do the work, with an Oversight Committee from the Network ensuring the project progresses and delivers the book for the 2022 RGPN Conference. In the Editorial Team are Dr Jean Ross and Dr Martin London, both recognised for their publications and long held passion for rural health. They are supported by Shelley Jones, a researcher and writer who has a track record of facilitating health professional expert groups in complex multidisciplinary national projects. The Team is being guided in a partnership approach by Te Rōpu Arahi and others.

The Editorial Team is looking for perspectives from everyone involved with the RGPN and its historical context.

When will it happen?
We’re calling for contributions and perspectives, ideally with expressions of interest by the end of August, and more in-depth material (in a timeframe that will suit you) as themes emerge.

We’ll need to start working with final material by late September. We will then check back with contributors by mid-November so that we can compile all the material ready for book design before Christmas. We need to be underway with design and production in the New Year, heading to launch of the book at the RGPN 2022 conference.

What can I do? How can I be involved?
We’d love to have an initial expression of interest from everyone who’d like to be involved. Please fill out this form to express your interest.

First we want to confirm critical issues, map the important themes and direct the emphasis in further exploration. We’ll then ask for more in depth perspectives via a contribution/response template. All those responding and contributing will be acknowledged in the book.

Please send through any queries to