Minister of Pacific Island Affairs Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga hosted a function in Parliament’s Grand Hall as part of the 17th Annual Pasifika Medical Association Conference – Transformation through Whanau Ora held in Wellington from 27-29 August 2014.
The cocktail event celebrated the partnership between the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) and Pasifika Futures. In March this year, Pasifika Futures was appointed as the new Whanau Ora commissioning agency for Pacific communities in New Zealand.
“Pasifika Futures is uniquely positioned within the community, allowing it to be better informed about the needs of Pacific families. This means it is able to respond in a timely and appropriate fashion to community needs,” Mr Lotu-Iiga said
Pasifika Futures developed its Whanau Ora model following an extensive community consultation that included over 650 families throughout New Zealand. The responses of these families together with their own research and review of current practice has resulted in a model that closely reflects the preferences and needs of the Pacific population it intends to benefit.
“As Minister Turia so eloquently said in her valedictory speech, Whanau Ora resonates with our community because we understand completely that collective responsibility and obligation is needed to restore our communities.” Mr Lotu-Iiga said.
“It is also important because it is not a case of asking what the government can do for our communities, but instead that we are trusted in our communities to develop our own solutions and take these ideas forward.”
The partnership between Pasifika Medical Association and Pasifika Futures brings a membership of more than 3,000 health professionals to the table to help improve the health and wellbeing of Pacific peoples.
“Around 9,000 families representing nearly 42,000 individuals in communities across New Zealand have benefited from Whanau Ora. It is that benchmark which we hope Pasifika Futures will follow by building the capabilities of Pacific people, families and communities.” adds Mr Lotu-Iiga.