Over 50,000 Pacific individuals receive Covid-19 Support Packages during Level 4 lockdown

27 April 2020

This week’s data from the Pasifika Medical Association (through Pasifika Futures¾a Whānau Ora agency for Pacific families) shows 52,507 individuals have received Covid-19 Packages of Support during lockdown, reaching over 9000 families across New Zealand.

The Covid-19 support packages are a result of a $3 million-dollar investment to provide essential needs to families who are experiencing a loss of income and are unable to meet basic needs.

Fale Pasifika Northland – a Covid-19 support package partner, have so far reached 160 families across Northland providing them with grocery vouchers.

Co-Chair of Fale Pasifika Northland, Johnny Kumitau, says grocery vouchers as a support package enables families to buy exactly what they need as everyone’s essentials are different.

“They don’t need to spend it all at once, but they space it out and use the vouchers as part of their food budget. We’ve reached families all over Northland: Kaipara, Kaitāia, Hokianga to the very far north.”

Kumitau explains getting support packages to families has been a community effort with locals in other regions pitching in and helping to deliver them safely to families.

“Distance has been an issue for us so it’s been great to be able to utilise our community to help reach as many families as possible in other regions. It’s how we were able to start supporting families so quickly. For example, we have a lady who is a local in Kaitāia, she is passionate about helping our Pacific families and wanted to help spread the word and deliver packages.

“We also have a Pacific minister in Paihia who has been helping as well. Despite everyone feeling really uncertain at this time, the support we have received shows that we are a really tight community up here, it’s nice to see everyone is on board.”

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Date: Monday 27 April 2020