As well as serving as a critic and conscience for societies, universities are elite sites of privilege which, at a surface level, are unlikely locations for health promotion interventions. This paper provides a critical review of the existing health promoting universities (HPU) approaches which is informed by health promotion values. It explores the silence in the global literature around issues of structural discrimination such as the sexism, homophobia and institutional racism that can thrive within university settings. The existing literature also reveals a very limited engagement about positive mental health or indigeneity. In response, this paper brings together these three factors—structural discrimination, mental health, and indigeneity—all of which the authors consider are criterial to health and its promotion. The authors introduce the New Zealand university landscape, in which there are eight Western universities and three whare wānanga (Māori universities), and, drawing on a survey of their Charters and other official statements, offer a moemoeā (vision or dream) of an HPU that addresses structural discrimination, is based on holistic conceptions of health, and is centred on indigenous worldviews and concerns.

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