Working to promote Pacific health and wellbeing

Pacific Health logo of 3 interwoven traditional weaving bands and a red band in a star-like shape.Bula Vinaka, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Fakatalofa atu, Kia orana, Mālō e lelei, Mālō nī, Talofa lava and warm Pacific greetings.

There are about 14,000 Pacific people living in the Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health region (Canterbury, South Canterbury and the West Coast). This includes Pacific nations such as the Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Pacific communities are built around the churches and ethnic groups that play an important part in community life. Many Pacific people have barriers around accessing health information and health services. This is due to many issues such as language, health literacy, transport and finances.

Our Pacific Health Promoter strives to work across the areas of health and its social determinants that affect Pacific communities, especially financial concerns, smoking and housing issues. This includes acting as a link between the health system and Pacific ethnic communities.

Some examples of how Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health works with the Pacific community include:

  • Building awareness in Pacific communities to identify and respond to issues that affect their health.
  • Co-ordinating community health education seminars and programmes on identified issues.
  • Providing advice and culturally-appropriate information on issues that affect the health of local Pacific ethnic communities – in partnership with Pasifika health providers and Pegasus Health.
  • Acting as a point of reference for health agencies wishing to communicate with different Pacific communities.
  • Raising awareness for health professionals on Pacific cultural needs and perspectives.
  • Ongoing networking and consultation with the Pacific ethnic communities.
  • Working with local Pacific agencies and interagency groups such as Canterbury Pasifika Churches Network and the Christchurch City Council Multicultural Advisory Group.
  • Working collaboratively on relevant health issues with Pacific health organisations, the Pacific Caucus, Pacific Reference Group and the Integrated Respiratory Service Development Group (part of the Canterbury Clinical Network).

Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health also has the Senibua group that supports staff to implement effective action to improve Pacific health outcomes and reduce Pacific health inequities. This includes promoting Pacific Language Weeks during the year.

Prioritising Pacific health at every level

Health NZ media release: 4th April 2024

New Fatu Fono Ola Chair Mr Kiki Maoate is urging the Pacific community to prioritise their healthcare to ensure they live longer, healthier lives—while advocating for change to improve their experiences with the healthcare system.

Kiki is a specialist Paediatric Surgeon and Paediatric Urologist at Christchurch Hospital. He was born and educated in the Cook Islands and completed his medical degree at the University of Otago.

“If we are to succeed in ensuring all people can access the healthcare they need, we need Pacific families to prioritise health as a commodity. Right now, we know that this is not the case. For a lot of Pacific people health sits about third or fourth on the list of needs that get the most attention. This means that many Pacific peoples are not aware of, or not taking up, the opportunities available to them. We need to ask why is it that our younger generations, who are more familiar with New Zealand and how things work, are not taking up those opportunities?”

“It’s just as important to make sure that Pacific peoples trying to access the healthcare system have a positive experience and can navigate the system with confidence. For instance, we want our people to feel comfortable and confident asking for information, available options or a second opinion to ensure they get the best healthcare for their needs, and that they help instil that attitude in the younger and older generations.”

Fatu Fono Ola is an independent advisory board made up of 11 senior Pacific clinicians from across the country. It supports Health New Zealand to deliver more equitable health outcomes for Pacific peoples by providing objective, strategic advice based on its members’ collective experience and understanding of the health sector, existing health initiatives and the needs of Pacific communities.

Pacific Languages Weeks 2024.

Contribute to the National Pacific Disability Action Plan

Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People is developing a National Pacific Disability Plan and wants to hear from Pacific disabled people and their aiga or whānau (family).

The National Pacific Disability Action Plan will be co-developed with the community and help guide changes to the disability support system and services for Pacific people that Whaikaha manages. By co-developing this plan with the community, we make sure that the Pacific community’s needs and goals guide important changes that understand and appreciate their culture.

They want to know the challenges experienced by Pacific disabled people, what systems are currently working well or not so well, and how we can make the system and sector better for them and their aiga or whānau.

An online survey with alternate formats is coming soon so that Pacific disabled people and their aiga or whānau to share their experiences.


Children and young people


Download or order resources from the Community Health Information Centre. Some resources are available in several Pacific languages.

The Ministry of Health is no longer providing printed copies of some resources in Pacific languages.
Download and print Ministry of Health resources by Pacific language (HealthEd).


For further information, contact:

Losana Korovulavula
Ph: +64 3 378 6855

Pacific health providers and services

Pacific Alcohol and Drug Helpline
0800 787 799

Pegasus Health
Ph: +64 3 379 1739

Etu Pasifika Health Clinic
Ph: +64 3 365 1002

Tangata Atumotu Trust
Ph: +64 3 940 5692

Vaka Tautua – Disability Information Advisory Services
Ph: +64 3 376 4677 or 0800 825 282

Pasifika O Aoraki
Ph: +64 3 687 7585

Multicultural Aoraki
Ph: +64 3 687 7332

COVID-19 information and resources for Pacific peoples

Resources and videos on COVID-19 have been released by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples in many Pacific languages.

O Luga o le Motu App launched

The Tino e Tasi Preschool in Christchurch, has broken barriers with the launch of a Samoan Language App produced in-house and with the direct participation of its own pre-schoolers!

Zohar Marshall of Tino e Tasi says the O Luga o le Motu App was produced by asking the three to four year-olds at the pre-school to draw a picture of a game they like to play on a tablet or phone at home.

The idea behind the App was to make learning a game and something the tamaiti would relate to. “The kids were at the centre of the project from the very start and it’s their ideas that drove it. It is interactive and has a real Sesame Street vibe. They just love it,” Zohar says.

Page last updated: 05/04/2024

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