Figure.NZ has teamed up with Stats NZ to build a free website which brings together data for and about Pacific people in New Zealand. The Pacific Data Fale o Aotearoa is a hub of information containing reports, research and a list of experts who can help give important Pacific context to the data.
Last year, Figure.NZ trialled and launched a pilot project called Pātaka Raraunga, a free Māori data website that brings together reputable data for and about Māori. After it was launched, members of the Pacific community were requesting for a similar site for Pacific data.
“We specially built this tool for Pacific people to use. It is for everybody — from 7-year-old students at school who are doing projects, researchers, academics, businesses who might want information, charities, churches — anybody can access this information,” says Ngapera Riley, CEO of Figure.NZ.
“You can find data by topic such as education, health and disability, language and religion. You can also find data by country, such Samoa, Tonga or Niue.”
Riley says data is like “the new oil or the new gold of the 21st century” and believes regardless of whether you are a data expert, everybody should be able to find and access information about their own people.
Pacific Lead Advisor Afamasaga Jackie Curry says ethnic-specific data also helps Pacific NGOs, organisations and Government ministers with decision-making, including their Covid response.
“By having access to readily available data, they have been able to make quick and well informed decisions that have helped to now get people to where we are in terms of vaccination rates, and also in general understating where our Pacific communities are at when it comes to our response.”
Riley says: “Pacific people already have a clear idea of what the issues are and how to help, but sometimes having that data there means that our government can come in and fund these things because we have the actual information to show, ‘Hey, this is what the data says. We’ve got this lived experience that is important too, but now the data can back us up, and it can help us to really target resources.'”
Anyone can access the Pacific Data Fale o Aotearoa at pacific.figure.nz