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 Community and Public Health region (Canterbury, South Canterbury and the West Coast). This includes Pacific nations such as Samoa, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Niue, Fiji, Tokelau and Tuvalu.

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 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 and the Integrated Respiratory Service Development Group (part of the Canterbury Clinical Network).

Community and Public Health also has a working group called Senibua 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.

2021 Toloa Tertiary Scholarships aim to increase Pacific participation in STEM

Beehive media release: 14th September 2020

The Toloa Programme encourages Pacific young people to explore STEM studies in response to the beckoning call from the science and technology focused sector of the New Zealand economy. The programme is a key component in building their awareness and confidence to be leaders in the high-tech sectors of Aotearoa and the world,” says the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.

“These tertiary scholarships are administrated by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP), and are part of MPP’s overall Toloa programme where we are supporting Pacific communities and providers to deliver targeted Pacific programmes and workshops to increase interest and encourage greater participation in STEM subjects right across Pacific communities, including at the ECE, primary, intermediate and secondary school levels.

“Pacific people making up only 2 percent of the Pacific workforce involved in STEM careers. The Government recognises the need to have more Pacific people in these fields so that they too can have security and confidence in the future of work.

“Anyone that’s doing forecasting on the future of work will tell you that technology and automation will have a huge impact on existing jobs, and we’ve got to work fast to ensure that we increase the number of graduates exiting with STEM related qualifications to respond to the growing demand from the Tech Industry.

The Toloa Tertiary Scholarships cover tuition and compulsory fees up to $10,000 to eligible Pacific applicants majoring in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subject.



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 3 364 1777 or +64 21 794 701
Fax: +64 3 379 6125

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

Fale Pasifika O Aoraki
Ph: +64 3 687 7585

Pacifically Speaking from All Right?

This resource was specifically designed for Pacific fanau with primary school children. It is made up of two sets of cards:

  • the Pacifically Fun Stuff set describes a variety of activities for families to do together; and
  • the Pacifically Speaking set is made up conversation starters.

Pacifically Speaking resource (MNH0178).

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: 14/09/2020

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