Budget boosts Pacific-led wellbeing focus for Aotearoa

  • Hon Aupito William Sio
Pacific Peoples

“The Wellbeing Budget has secured an unprecedented amount of new funding of over $113 million over four years to boost support for Pacific communities across Aotearoa New Zealand to achieve their vision of a confident, thriving, resilient and prosperous Pacific Aotearoa through Pacific-led solutions in education, health, languages & cultural, economic and community wellbeing,” says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.

“The Wellbeing Budget is about tackling New Zealand’s long-term challenges with the Government committed to doing things differently. It has changed the status quo by embracing Pacific values and Pacific-led solutions to achieving intergenerational outcomes and at the same time meeting present-day needs.

“This Budget responds to the refreshed vision for Pacific peoples as captured by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ Lalanga Fou report, which highlights four key goal areas, with the focus on languages, cultures, prosperous communities, resilience, health, in addition to being confident, thriving Pacific young people.

“To ensure Pacific languages and cultures are valued, we have invested $20 million over four years to establish a Pacific Language Unit, which will provide language support functions to ensure our Pacific languages & cultures are celebrated as an asset to New Zealand, and enable us to find ways that Pacific languages are passed onto future generations.

“To create a more prosperous Pacific communities, this Budget provides $11.2 million over four years to grow the Pacific economy and support Pacific businesses, $2.6 million aimed at supporting Pacific people into home ownership through financial capability services and $1.4 million to grow Pacific skills and leadership into the public sector.

“The goal to create a resilient and healthy Pacific peoples means we have invested $12 million to reduce the incidence rate of rheumatic fever among both Pacific and Maori, in addition to the $10 million for the Pacific Provider and Workforce Development Fund (PPWDF) which aims to increase the Pacific health workforce.

“Further investment of $9.8 million looks at how we can support better Pacific health outcomes by supporting the development of innovative Pacific initiatives which include evidence-based models of care in addition to $4.3 million to increase the Pacific nursing and midwifery workforce.     

“To support the goal of a confident, thriving and resilient Pacific young people, the Budget invests $14.5 million to grow opportunities for young people to support up to 2,220 into employment, education or training and $27.4 million over four years to ensure Pacific students and their families have the skills and knowledge to pursue any education pathway.

“The focus on mental health is a priority for this Government and $12.4 million has been allocated for Pacific and Maori suicide prevention initiatives for providers to design and deliver additional culturally-responsive suicide prevention initiatives, which will contribute towards addressing persistent high suicide rates.

“These initiatives are in addition to all other measures in Budget 2019 that support the long-term wellbeing of all New Zealanders including Pacific peoples,” says Aupito William Sio.