Ministry for Pacific Peoples — NZ Government to support Pacific communities fight COVID-19 NZ Government to support Pacific communities fight COVID-19 Skip to content

NZ Government to support Pacific communities fight COVID-19

NZ Government to support Pacific communities fight COVID-19

  • 07 Apr 2020
  • |
  • COVID-19
jenny salesa nzherald

The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19.

A total of $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package.

This will help support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand and ramp up public health messaging and guidance for Pacific communities in Pacific languages.

It will also support the roll out a new outreach programme putting non-clinical health support staff into Pacific communities, linking high-risk Pacific people with important services.

Associate Health Minister Hon Jenny Salesa says New Zealand mobilised quickly against COVID-19 by locking the country down and encouraging people to stay at home.  

“However, our Pacific communities face unique challenges that require a targeted response to keep our communities well and out of hospital emergency rooms,” she adds.

This response package provides that, helping us communicate with Pacific communities in their languages so people better understand what they need to do to combat the virus, and how they can obtain help when they need it, Minister Salesa says.

“It’s also about ensuring the continued availability of By-Pacific, For-Pacific health and disability services for Pacific people throughout this pandemic.

“Our Pacific communities are highly urbanised, with larger family sizes than the average population, and many are living in overcrowded housing and as a result, Pacific families face a higher risk of rapid COVID-19 spread if actions like those announced to stop the spread of the virus are not adhered to.”

The Minister says Pacific communities also face greater challenges in accessing health and disability support services, which means they are at greater risk as services shift from traditional face-to-face practices to online due to the virus.

“This Pacific health package keeps Pacific people connected to the critical health services that could literally save lives.

“Our Government continues to act decisively to protect those at greatest risk.

“In our COVID response, we are seeking to ensure no one is left behind and we are working to protect the health of New Zealanders and to keep businesses running and as many people as possible in jobs.”

It is now up to all Pacific families to do their part to stamp out COVID-19.

“Stay at home, stay in your family bubble, wash your hands, be kind to each other, and save lives,” Minister Salesa says.

Visit Unite Against COVID-19 website to stay informed about COVID-19 in New Zealand. Meanwhile, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples website has information in English and Pacific translations.