NZ Health Minister visits the Pasifika Medical Association

(L-R) Mr Abel Smith, Hon Jenny Salesa, La’auli Sir Michael Jones, Hon Minister of Health Andrew Little, CEO Mrs Debbie Sorensen, Dr Tule Misa

New Zealand Minister of Health, the honourable Andrew Little, took time out of his busy schedule yesterday to visit the Pasifika Medical Association’s (PMA) Auckland office to talanoa with Chair Dr Kiki Maoate (ONZM, FRACS), CEO Mrs Debbie Sorensen and members of its various governance boards – La’auli Sir Michael Jones, Mr Abel Smith and Dr Tule Misa.

Accompanied by fellow Labour MP, the honourable Jenny Salesa, Minister Little received a presentation that outlined the work of the PMA Group and how its entities which include Pasifika Futures, the Whānau Ora commissioning agency for Pacific, work towards the universal goal of empowering and enabling Prosperous Pacific Communities.

“We felt very honoured to host Minister Little,” says Mrs Sorensen. “As a senior cabinet minister with a busy portfolio, to take time out demonstrates his commitment to reaching out to communities and his heartfelt desire to best meet the health needs for our people.”

Mrs Sorensen says the visit was the perfect opportunity to discuss with the Minister the major health reforms announced by the Government in April, which will see all 20 district health boards abolished in favour of a centralised body.

“We were able to have a conversation with the Minister about the opportunities in the new health reform process, to collaborate, to improve and strengthen Pacific health outcomes.

Minister Little was enthusiastic hearing about the work the PMA and our 52 partners do across the country and the potential for the new health reforms to build capacity and strengthen a Pacific health workforce.”

Minister Little said during his visit that he supported Pacific providers designing and delivering services to their own community.

“Health is very personal and intimate. For Pacific, they need to be in a position to determine their own destiny,” said Minister Little.


Date: Thursday 15 July 2021