A Pacific language video series by Auckland University of Technology (AUT) will highlight the Pacific Islands Families (PIF) Study’s work in shaping resilient futures for Pacific communities in Aotearoa.
The PIF Study – now in its 20th year – is the largest longitudinal study of its kind.
Based at the AUT South Campus in South Auckland, it continues to follow more than 1,300 Pacific children born at Middlemore Hospital in the year 2000, and their parents, with a focus on health and wellbeing over key developmental stages.
Major outcomes from the study have included the development of guidelines around hearing screening for infants, key smoking statistics among Pacific adults, and data showing the positive influence of cultural resiliency and identity.
Led by AUT’s Office of Pacific Advancement, the video series – Adapting to a changing world, shaping resilient futures – will explore cultural resilience and health, immunisation, father involvement, nutrition, mental health, and more.
The release of each video will tie in with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ (MPP) broader Pacific Language Weeks initiative, while research from the PIF Study will be told in the nine Pacific languages being celebrated in Aotearoa: Rotuman, Samoan, I-Kiribati, Cook Islands Māori, Tongan, Tuvaluan, Fijian, Niuean, and Tokelauan.
Director of the PIF Study Associate Professor El-Shadan Tautolo (pictured below) says the current COVID-19 pandemic has had significant inequitable impacts on Pacific people in Aotearoa.
“This pandemic has highlighted more than ever, that there is the need for work like the PIF Study to ensure a more resilient future for our Pacific communities in Aotearoa and abroad.
“We need to have a deep understanding of those pressure points within our Pacific communities, the role of our Pacific cultures and values, and work collectively towards appropriate strategies.”
AUT Assistant Vice-Chancellor South Campus and Pacific Advancement Walter Fraser says AUT has been celebrating the Pacific Language Weeks since 2014.
“For us however, it is not about simply celebrating the language – it’s also about exploring those aspects whereby we can collaborate with our Pacific communities in Aotearoa and show the work we have being doing as a university for the past 20 years, to help our communities adapt to a constantly changing environment.”
Over the years, the PIF Study has received significant funding grants from the Health Research Council of New Zealand, as well as from Governmental and charitable entities.
These grants have helped bolster the study, increasing the research scope even more rich qualitative and quantitative data can be gathered.
The PIF team’s goal is for this research to drive decision making at local, national and international levels and arm agencies and policy-makers with new knowledge about Pacific children growing up in New Zealand, and ultimately build resilience among Pacific our communities.
Release dates for the video series: