Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Prevention is better than cure

The Government released its first ever Wellbeing Budget today in parliament with a focus on the wellbeing of New Zealanders.

“We’re taking mental health seriously, breaking the cycle of child poverty and domestic violence, supporting Māori and Pasifika aspiration, transforming our economy and building a productive nation” Minister of Finance Grant Robertson says.

Key investments include:

  • $1.9 billion over five years, including $455m for new services of mental health workers at places such as health and doctors’ clinics to service those with low to mid mental health problems.
  • $12 million in funding for rheumatic fever programmes.
  • $1 million to improve primary healthcare outcomes for Māori and Pacific peoples.
  • $80 million over four years to Whānau Ora. Including $35 million over four years to reduce reoffending and improve whānau outcomes and wellbeing.
  • $20 million over four years to establish a new Pacific Language Unit
  • $27.4 million over four years for Pacific PowerUP
  • $14.5 million to grow opportunities for young people not in employment, education or training.
  • $11 million over four years to boost the Pacific Business Trust.
  • $14.3 million over four years for a strengthened Pacific training pathway, from secondary school to tertiary study, work experience and work placements. This includes increasing the number of Pacific peoples nurses and midwives.

However, social services worker Akerei Maresala-Thomson is concerned the wellbeing budget is funding more resources rather than prevention programmes.

“The budget is focused on throwing money and resources on more services and rehabilitation but very little detail on how people are meant to have visibility and access to services before they reach a crisis point and are referred from hospitals and police station.

“We currently have close to 100,000 services already that no one knows about.”

The former NZ Police officer is the founder of the MyRivr app, an online directory offering health and social services around the country.

Maresala-Thomson has learnt from attending suicides and domestic homicides for more than 12 years in the Police force and is urging for more awareness of the support services that are available for Māori and Pasifika.

He says the Government can do more about pre-migration training to educate everyone who moves to New Zealand.

Maresala-Thomson says migrants need to learn about “NZs common laws, road rules and what services to reach out to in times of need.

“This will better inform our people before they arrive so they can “thrive” in NZ and not barely survive.”




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