Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Food price rises set Pasifika families back even more

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
Tracy Stowers from Vaiola Pacific Island Budgeting Service says people are given loans they can't repay. Photo: Sarah Robson RNZ
Tracy Stowers – General Manager at the Vaiola Pacific Island Budgeting Service. Photo: Sarah Robson RNZ
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Kendall Vano | Reporter

You only have to go down to your local supermarket to see that the price of food has had a sharp rise in recent months.

And there are signs, it’s not going to get better anytime soon.

Tracy Stowers, General Manager at the Vaiola Pacific Island Budgeting Services Trust in Mangere says Pasifika people – many of whom are in the lower socio-economic bracket – will bear the brunt of the price hikes.

“Those pacific islanders who are already living paycheck to paycheck are really going to struggle,“ she says.

Stowers says, for some families, the strain only becomes far too real and barely leaves enough to survive on.

“Pacific low income earners are already spending 70 percent of their income on rent and other household essentials.”

Late last month the Government announced inflation had increased by up to 5.9 percent to the year ending December 2021, confirming what households around the country already knew about price rises across the board.

Compared to previous years, price inflation is the highest it’s been in 30 years with food inflation up 3.5 percent.

Stowers says, based on projected estimates provided by the Consumers Price Index, our current state of inflation is bound to remain at that level.

“For now, we can only wait for the Reserve Bank to intervene or for the Government to boost the minimum wage,” she says.

“Despite the outlook, what we know for sure is that our Pasifika people are resilient. And we can weather this terrain as we have so many times before.”

For those needing assistance, Budgeting and Family support services can provide food parcels for families and individuals in need.

Contact these agencies for help or for budgeting advice:

Budgeting and Family support services – http://mangerebudgeting.org.nz/
Vaiola Pacific Island budgeting services trust –  https://www.vaiola.org/services.html.

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