Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Government announces $140m Omicron support for Māori and Pacific

Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare says Omicron is likely to disproportionately affect Maori and Pasifika communities. Photo: Tagata Pasifika
Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare says Omicron is likely to disproportionately affect Maori and Pasifika communities. Photo: Tagata Pasifika
Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare says Omicron is likely to disproportionately affect Maori and Pasifika communities. Photo: Tagata Pasifika

The government has announced $140m worth of targeted funding for health providers to support Māori and Pacific communities in the Omicron outbreak.

Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare says Omicron is likely to disproportionately affect Maori and Pasifika communities and that the government is committed to making sure vulnerable whānau received the support and care they need.

“With Omicron cases increasing it is important whānau have the support they need to self-isolate and stop the spread of the virus,” he says.

“We know our funding to date has made a huge difference in lifting vaccination rates and reducing the vulnerability of whānau, but the fight is not over yet and Omicron presents a whole raft of new challenges.”

Cases in New Zealand have soared with the Ministry of Health recording 2365 new cases on Monday, reaching a total of 15,928 active cases. Counties Manukau and Auckland remain the largest concentration of active cases.

There are currently 116 people who have been hospitalised due to Covid, with one person in intensive care.

Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito Su’a William Sio says Pacific health providers, particularly those outside the northern region will be better placed to support the communities they already serve. Photo: Tagata Pasifika
Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito Su’a William Sio says Pacific health providers, particularly those outside the northern region will be better placed to support the communities they already serve. Photo: Tagata Pasifika

The funding boost will be divided into four pathways; almost $40m will go towards Māori and Pacific health providers, $40.6m to the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, $40.5m to build on the Māori Communities Covid-19 Fund, plus $1.75m for the Karawhiua Māori vaccination campaign. 

Finally, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples will lead the Pacific Aotearoa Community Outreach Initiative, which will receive $18m in funding. The initiative aims to support Pasifika communities to prepare, respond and recover from the social and health impacts of Omicron.

Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito Su’a William Sio says Pacific health providers, particularly those outside the northern region will be better placed to support the communities they already serve. 

“Funding will go towards supporting their workforce resources including vaccination,” Aupito says.

“I want to encourage innovative Pacific models of care with a focus on the immediate Omicron response. I want to communicate key public health messages in culturally appropriate ways.

“This investment is innovative, comprehensive, and Pacific-focused, allowing Pacific Peoples to prepare for the next phase of COVID-19 and to respond and rebuild in the aftermath of Omicron.”

Click here to read more about the $140m Omicron funding boost.

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