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The Pacific Aotearoa Community Outreach Fund - Omicron Response

The Pacific Aotearoa Community Outreach Fund - Omicron Response

The Pacific Aotearoa Community Outreach - Omicron Response Fund has now closed

The Pacific Aotearoa Community Outreach Fund - Omicron response - was established to support Pacific communities to prepare, respond and recover from the social and health impacts of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

This new PACO fund was part of $18 million in Government funding announced in February 2022.

The fund aimed to enable more frequent and responsive engagements between government and Pacific communities to keep Pacific peoples informed and supported during the country's response to COVID-19. While we have a Care in the Community response, this investment provided continuity of care for family, support throughout self-isolation and assist with a faster recovery from COVID-19.

Applications closed at 5pm on Thursday, 30 June 2022. 

Update 15 September 2022

Fa’afetai lava to all those who applied to the Fund. We've had over 400 applications, which has slowed down our processing timeframes considerably. Please bear with us as we work through the final details – we greatly appreciate your patience. 

We understand many of you have questions about how the government’s COVID-19 announcement this week might impact our PACO programme. We will be issuing more information shortly about this.

In the meantime if you have any questions, please email [email protected].

Faka’apa’apa atu

About the fund

The Pacific Aotearoa Community Outreach Fund – Omicron Response - aimed to enable Pacific communities to absorb and adjust to the impacts of COVID-19 through innovative, holistic, and, most importantly, Pacific-focused initiatives and solutions.  

This will empower Pacific communities to embed and strengthen their own innovative solutions, interventions and initiatives to create opportunities that build resilience to better respond to future impacts of COVID-19.

Successful applications receive funding to support initiatives that enable:

  • Community groups to understand the COVID-19 Protection Framework.
  • Community groups to absorb and adapt to the evolving impacts COVID-19 and Omicron.
  • Digital readiness and training solutions.
  • Community groups or organisations delivering community readiness initiatives (For example: increase vaccination, testing, contact tracing, messaging, transition to the new framework).
  • Community groups or organisations providing home isolation preparedness (For example: care packs, medical packs, translation information).
  • Increase social impact through social enterprise initiatives.
  • Innovative intervention and targeted solutions.
  • Targeted innovation and interventions targeted at disability, elderly and rainbow youth communities..
  • Innovation, initiatives, and solutions that demonstrate ability, capacity and capability to achieve national, regional and metropolitan reach and a wide range of impactful outcomes.

The Pacific Aotearoa Community Outreach Fund – Omicron Response - opened 21 March, 2022. Applications closed at 5pm on 30 June 2022.

Applicants could apply by submitting a costed proposal of up to $100,000 using the application form provided. Assessment of applications is ongoing.

To be eligible, applicants had to:

  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand
  • Be of Pacific descent, or serve a Pacific audience 
  • Represent a registered group with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples
  • Represent a Pacific owned and/or operated group or organisation
  • Be able to deliver an initiative targeted at Pacific communities within the timeframe and allocated funding


The Pacific Aotearoa Community Outreach – Omicron Response Fund was available for initiatives that were aligned to the following but not limited to: 

  • Targeted at Pacific communities.
  • Increasing and improving community digital information and social connectedness. For example: online training and virtual delivery of meetings, church services under Omicron and preparing for future COVID-19 impacts.
  • Educating Pacific communities on following new health measures such as the COVID-19 Protection Framework to increase awareness and preparedness to live safely in the evolving COVID-19 environment including Omicron.
  • Educating Pacific communities on the use of Vaccination Passes and Certificates.
  • Vaccination Events – ensuring that vaccinations continue to increase by providing Pacific communities with correct information from trusted sources, as well as increase in children and COVID-19 booster vaccinations.
  • Targeted vaccination events for targeted Pacific communities.
  • Self/Home Isolation Kits  care packages and medical packages for families affected.
  • Hubs – obtaining equipment for lamination of vaccine pass/certificate.
  • Instructional videos on how to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine pass, information on COVID-19 Protection Framework, Omicron and health measures.
  • Community radio programmes to promote COVID-19 health messages, COVID-19 Protection Framework and Omicron.
  • Evidence of successful initiatives that are scale-ready for wider reach and greater impact outcomes.
  • Can be delivered successfully by 30 June 2023.

Note: all initiatives funded had to follow Government COVID-19 health measures for gatherings and social distancing when required. Applicants needed to consider alternative ways to run their programme such as online where possible. 

The Pacific Aotearoa Community Outreach Fund – Omicron Response - will not fund:

  • Initiatives that only benefit or support one individual.
  • For-profit activities/businesses (Limited Liability Companies)
  • Initiatives that are not aligned with the priorities of this fund.
  • Work that has already been completed (the work on your initiative must be ongoing after the closing date for applications).
  • Initiatives that are the general responsibility of other sectors (such as school and tertiary-based programmes which are the primary responsibility of the Ministry of Education, NZQA and TEC).
  • Food or Food banks (Note: Support for these can be obtained from MSD funding or from your Pacific Social service providers).
  • Initiatives and activities delivered solely overseas including the New Zealand realm countries.
  • Wages, salaries, infrastructure, fixed assets, travel, accommodation, and capital expenditure.
  • Debt repayment or debt servicing.
  • Renovation or remediation of buildings.

If you need more information about the Pacific Aotearoa Community Outreach Fund - Omicron response - please email [email protected]