Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Pacific organisations unite to combat alarming child poverty statistics.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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Anauli Karima Fai'ai | Reporter/Director

Pacific organisations banded together to promote better futures for Pasifika children at the Pacific Child Wellbeing conference held in Manukau recently.

This was in conjunction with the release of the Tamaiti o le Moana action plan, which found that one in four Pacific children live in poverty.

The plan, developed by health researchers Moana Connect, focuses on combating child poverty through access to better housing, education and healthcare over the next 10 years.

Holika ‘Uhila, regional manager at the Independent Children’s Monitor, says Pacific people are overrepresented in a number of categories including the Oranga Tamariki system, police and health.

“And there’s a number of disparities that come with that in terms of over-representation of Pacific [people], and so we come together, find the solution and find ways to collaborate with organisations, not just at a government level but across a number of our NGO and pacific providers,” he says.

Many of those Pacific providers were present to let families know where they could turn for support.

Variety NZ – Audrey Williams. Photo: ATMC

Audrey Williams from Variety NZ says the conference was a good way to shed light on the available services.

“It’s always important to know that there are services that people may recognise the brand but don’t actually understand what we do, so being part of this conference is quite key for us in actually understanding what we do and how we can help support our families.”

However, Anthony To’u from the Cook Islands Development Agency NZ says Pacific families often fly under the radar because they are too shy to seek help.

“With the recent activity [like] the floodings, we did put a call out for our families, but our families are very proud. They do need the help, but they’re just ‘oh no, there are other people out there that need help,’’ he says.

Which is why many of the organisations at the conference were promoting the importance of culture and the ‘village’ mentality.

“Coming together, sharing ideas on how they can nurture – basically bring up our children in a foreign land that we’re not used to – it being Aotearoa which is our second home,” To’u says.

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