27 Jun 2018

Pacific-style elderly care could be under threat in NZ

9:25 am on 27 June 2018

It's thought traditional Pacific-style ways of caring for the elderly could be under threat in New Zealand and a new study plans to examine the issue.

Cook Islanders elderly people sitting together.

Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari

Pacific island people living in New Zealand have brought with them customs like intergenerational living but that way of life could be changing amid the pressures of long working hours and high living costs.

The research is led by Siautu Alefaio, from Massey's School of Psychology and will involve families in South Auckland and Palmerston North.

Dr Alefaio says researchers will survey and explore the practices and challenges facing New Zealand's Pasifika people in caring for matua.

"Because the values around family, around reciprocity rgearding giving back to their elders, that tends to be the same. How we're enacting that or how it's actually being lived out that's what we don;t know. We don't know how that's actually happening across the different cultures as well."