Working to promote Pacific health and wellbeing
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.
Pacific Language Weeks 2021
Pacific languages, cultures and identity are essential to the health, wellbeing and lifetime success of Pacific peoples and their communities in Aotearoa.
The Ministry for Pacific Peoples works closely with Pacific communities’ to maintain and promote heritage languages. Languages magnify the value of a community, providing a vital link between our place in Aotearoa and our heritage.
The Ministry for Pacific Peoples has been supporting Pacific Language Weeks since 2010 – promoting and raising awareness of the diversity of our Pacific Languages.
Extra support for Pacific health providers to vaccinate
Beehive media release: 19th March 2021
The Government is providing a funding boost to Pacific health providers to assist them with the delivery of the Government’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Pacific communities.
“Our Pacific providers know and can reach our communities best. They will have access to vaccines on a rolling basis. This will enable them to vaccinate as many people as they can reach,” Associate Minister of Health Aupito William Sio says.
“These providers are trusted. They have the language skills and cultural intelligence to engage with Pacific communities effectively. They will mobilise vaccination services to make it easy for people to access services, such as holding temporary clinics in our churches, workplaces and where our communities gather.
Pacific health providers have the discretion to immunise family members living with older people, disabled people and people with relevant underlying health conditions when they accompany them to the appointment. This will be, however, with consideration to enough vaccine doses being available on site to meet expected demand until new deliveries arrive.
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:
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
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.
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.