Recognising the different needs for Pacific in regions

posted: 7:30 pm - 14th July 2019
Charles Faletutulu

Napier local Charles Faletutulu (pictured) says the growing Pacific population in the Hawke’s Bay has very different needs to those who live in bigger cities such as Auckland and Wellington. 

The Business Manager for Kings Force Health, which provides services to the Pacific community throughout the Hawke’s Bay, says Lalanga Fou and the new Pacific Vision the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) has for Pacific people in Aotearoahelps communities such as Hawke’s Bay, as it is tailored to the needs of the people. 

Of Samoan descent, Charles was one of the presenters at the recent Lalanga Fou - Tulī Takes Flight fono in Hastings during MPP’s visit to the region to discuss what has happened since the Pacific Aotearoa Summit and launch of the Lalanga Fou report last year. 

During the fono, Charles shared what Kings Force Health was doing to address issues and concerns Pacific people had in the Hawke’s Bay area.

“The Pacific population is rising rapidly in Hawke’s Bay and we need to put support mechanisms in place to support and cater to the general needs,” Charles says. 

Having grown up in Maraenui, a suburb of Napier, Charles knows the region very well. 

Kings Force Health is part of Hawke’s Bay Pasifika; an initiative put together community members who work for various agencies and tertiary providers. 

“We wanted to create a place where our people could come together and find common ground to share experiences, pass on knowledge to the next generation and to celebrate who we are as Pasifika,” Charles explains. 

Other services and initiatives are offered in the region to support families in need of economic, health, education and community/cultural assistance.

Whanau Ora offer services, while the Ministry of Education’s Pasifika Power Up Plus aims for higher academic success among Pacific children, while also connecting parents and caregivers with the education of their children.

Charles says the Lalanga Fou fono shows how the Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon. Aupito William Sio and his Ministry has responded to the talanoa rolled out in 2018. 

“We also see the action plan for Pacific people shows the gaps we (the Pacific people of Hawke’s Bay) have already spoken about. 

“A poor economy and high unemployment have been big issues for us here in Hawke’s Bay. 

“The Ministry has already indicated this as a priority in its plan and seems adamant it will target this strongly.” 

Charles adds he and his team hope with the 2019 Wellbeing Budget, Pacific people living in regional New Zealand will start to see more initiatives rolled out for them. 

The next series of Lalanga Fou - Tulī Takes Flight fono are scheduled for July 13, in Whanganui, and in Whangarei on July 15. 

Visit Pacific Aotearoa for more details.