18 Apr 2020

More than 40,000 Pasifika assisted in NZ during Covid-19 lockdown

6:03 pm on 18 April 2020

More than 40,000 Pacific people in New Zealand have benefitted from the government's Covid-19 support packages.

The Pasifika Medical Association through Pasifika Futures- the Whanau Ora commissioning agency for Pacific families - said nearly 7500 packages had been delivered to families since the lockdown was announced on 23 March.

Deputy CEO of Pasifika Futures, Wilmason Jensen

Deputy CEO of Pasifika Futures, Wilmason Jensen Photo: Pasifika Futures

In its latest data released on Friday, the association said 7497 families received the packages supporting 40,231 individuals.

It said almost 50 percent of families needed the assistance due to loss of income, with 76 percent unable to meet essential needs and eight percent had a family member who was sick.

The Covid-19 Packages of Support included items like: canned food, rice, flour, sugar, porridge, powdered milk, soup mix, water, soap, paracetamol, toiilet paper, rubbish bags, nappies and baby wipes.

To assist with the efforts a Foundation North grant of $NZ100,000 was made to Pasifika Futures this month.

Deputy CEO of Pasifika Futures, Taulapapa Wilmason Jensen, said the majority of Pacific people live in Auckland and so, there was always a great need in the area.

"The grant made from Foundation North is exciting as it shows support for the Pacific community and we are grateful for this opportunity."

"Families have told us that the impact of Covid-19 is causing unprecedented hardship, anxiety and stress in their families, and their bubbles.

"Having food and warmth contributes not only to a healthy individual, but to the overall well-being of the bubble. The gratitude from families is humbling," Taulapapa said.