Ola Manuia: Driving better health outcomes for Pacific peoples

  • Hon Jenny Salesa
Health Pacific Peoples

A new action plan for Pacific people launched today by Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa demonstrates the Government’s commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of our vibrant and growing Pacific population living in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Ola Manuia – the Pacific Health and Wellbeing Action Plan for 2020-2025 is about driving more effective and equitable health outcomes for thousands of Pacific New Zealanders who call this country home,” Jenny Salesa says.

“New Zealand’s Pacific peoples make up a large portion of the country’s essential workers – especially in the health and disability workforce where they literally hold many of New Zealand’s most vulnerable people in their care - yet, they themselves remain consistently over-represented across all vulnerability indicators for health and wellbeing.

"These vulnerable groups are the people Ola Manuia aims to support.

“The strength and resilience of New Zealand’s Pacific communities was strongly highlighted in the country’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak. The commitment from Pacific individuals, families and communities to do whatever it takes to keep others safe has been deeply inspiring.

“Ola Manuia matches that with an equal level of commitment from our health and disability system. Developed with strong input from Pacific communities across New Zealand it builds on the momentum of what's working well and provides clarity about where and how we can improve Pacific health outcomes,” Jenny Salesa says. 

"Achieving Pacific health equity is about addressing causes not just symptoms.  It is about improving how Pacific people are treated when they access services and it is about getting the level of engagement, the quality of care and the modes of delivery, right. 

“Ola Manuia highlights the range of factors that impact on Pacific peoples’ health and the need for more effective collaboration both within the health and disability system and across the health, housing, employment, education and social service sectors. 

“The current inequities we see in Pacific health and wellbeing outcomes have no place in this country’s future. Ola Manuia challenges us to do things differently in order to realise the best outcomes for Pacific peoples and charts a key part of the course we must follow to achieve a more just, more equitable future together,” Jenny Salesa says.

Note: Ola Manuia draws on all available system levers, including the strengthening of Pacific funding signalled in the COVID-19 Pacific Response Package: 

  • The package allocated $17 million to secure the capacity of the Pacific health and disability sector and support a national response to the health and disability needs of Pacific communities. 
  • This included specific funding of $7.5 million that was directly allocated to 30 national Pacific health providers and $9.5 million to expand the Pacific non-clinical health workforce and support clinical workforce development and increase regional community engagement initiatives. 
  • These initiatives build on the momentum of the 2019 Wellbeing Budget and continue into the 2020 period.