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K’aute Pasifika lend a helping hand

K’aute Pasifika lend a helping hand

  • 03 May 2020
Care package family thank you

The COVID-19 situation in Aotearoa has seen the Waikato community rally together to help those in need, with Pacific services provider K’aute Pasifika Trust leading the way.

Based in Hamilton, K’aute Pasifika provides a comprehensive range of services to Pacific people and other disadvantaged groups to improve the well-being of communities in the Waikato region.

It is also part of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples Tupu Aotearoa initiative, supporting young people in the region to gain access to employment and training opportunities.

Working together with local food suppliers, community funders, corporate and public sector volunteers, K’aute Pasifika has been able to deliver over 1000 free care packages consisting of food and household essentials to Waikato families in need during the national lockdown.

K’aute Pasifika Chief Executive Rachel Karalus says the reality for many families in our community is they need immediate help.

“The families we are supporting were already vulnerable and COVID-19 has intensified their vulnerability and added more pressure,” Rachel says.

Providing free care packages is a way K’aute Pasifika could help to reduce the pressures Pacific families are experiencing, she adds.

“We couldn’t do this alone - it is thanks to the tremendous collective effort from our funders, food suppliers and volunteers we’ve been able to make this happen.”

K’aute Pasifika has received requests for help from a broad cross-section of the community including elderly people living on their own and unable to go to the supermarket, solo mothers living in motels, and people who have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced.

The team have also been contacted by family members living outside of Hamilton to deliver food packages to their families.

“Our core purpose is to improve the holistic wellbeing of all our communities.

“The care packages are for all people needing support regardless of their ethnicity, religion, political affiliation and so on.

“We exist to serve and are in an extremely privileged position to be able to do something practical for our community during this challenging time,” she says.

Hamilton City Council, St John’s Methodist Church and the Enderley Community Centre provided the K’aute Pasifika team with space to prepare the packages, while maintaining social distancing measures, which was hugely appreciated by the team.

Working with local food suppliers has enabled K’aute Pasifika to meet the high demand with food available and ready to be delivered.

General manager of Gilmours Te Rapa Dayne Riddle says more teams like the one at K’aute Pasifika are needed, with people putting themselves forward to help those in need.

“We will do whatever we can to help those in need during these troubling times,” Dayne adds.

Volunteers from organisations including UltraFast Fibre, Department of Corrections, Civtec and the New Zealand Police alongside staff from K’aute Pasifika have been working tirelessly, packing and delivering care packages to families in the region including Huntly and Ngaruawahia.

John Hanna, Chief Executive Officer of Hamilton-based Ultrafast Fibre John Hanna says assisting the community at a time like this is not a decision for us, it is simply a reflex.

“We are proud to support the great work K’aute Pasifika continually do for our communities – our recovery from events like this will always build up from the basics.”

Funding for the food packages has been provided thanks to the generosity of Pasifika Futures Ltd, Trust Waikato and the Wel Energy Trust.