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Post-Budget Breakfast outlines road to recovery for Pacific Aotearoa

Post-Budget Breakfast outlines road to recovery for Pacific Aotearoa

  • 19 Jul 2021
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Ministers Carmel Sepuloni, Grant Robertson and Aupito William Sio attended the Post-Budget Breakfast held at Fale o Samoa in Mangere (pictured).

Last week, Post-Budget Breakfast events were staged at Fale o Samoa,  Auckland and at EFKS Porirua, led by Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Aupito William Sio and Minister of Finance Hon Grant Robertson. 

Members of the Pacific caucus attended the Auckland event, including Ministers Hon Carmel Sepuloni and Hon Poto Williams, while both events featured a good turnout from the Pacific community.

Together, the Ministers outlined the goals the New Zealand Government has for Pacific Aotearoa, using funding allocated in this year’s Budget, delivered in May.

They shared how Pacific communities have shown immense resilience and leadership in recent times, and that Budget 2021 recognises the role of Pacific peoples as the champions of their own future through direct investment into their communities.

Budget 2021 builds on previous Wellbeing budgets to deliver initiatives that meet the four goals of Pacific Aotearoa’s Lalanga Fou.

Each goal is a contributing pillar to Pacific wellbeing and will provide the foundation for a future of opportunity and prosperity for all Pacific peoples, while the initiatives delivered as part of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ (MPP) and other government agencies’ work programmes will ensure equal opportunity for Pacific peoples.

Pacific languages, cultures and identities are the cornerstone of Pacific wellbeing Pacific languages, cultures and identity are essential to the health and wellbeing of Pacific peoples in Aotearoa, and a total of $20.8 million has been allocated towards Pacific bilingual and immersion education in schools that will reach approximately 1,500 youth in 23 schools.

Additionally, $5.1 million will be delivered for the development of two new NCEA Pacific language subjects, Gagana Tokelau and Vagahau Niue.

Lalanga Fou’s second goal is to help create and nurture prosperous Pacific communities.

Budget 2021 is trying to achieve this by investing in the Pacific economy to create employment and economic development opportunities.

It also provides $16.2 million to support Pacific businesses accelerate their recovery post-COVID-19, and $30.3 million has been allocated for the Tupu Aotearoa programme with aims of giving approximately 7,500 Pacific people access to meaningful and sustainable employment and training opportunities.  

Budget 2021 also allocates $6.6 million to establish the Pacific Wellbeing Strategy – an all of government initiative to ensure government departments are working together on priority issues for Pacific people.

Being healthy means resilience, and the ability to show up for family and community – something highlighted during the pandemic.

Accessible, culturally appropriate health care is a critical part of the overall wellbeing of Pacific people, and Budget 2021 delivers $16 million to support the implementation of the five-year Ola Manuia: Pacific Health and Well-being Action Plan.

The Plan sets out the priority outcomes and actions for the health and disability system for our Pacific communities and will ensure that Pacific health providers are supported to create new ways to deliver health care with Pacific culture and values at the core.

To support Ola Manuia, $8 million will be delivered to Pacific health providers to accelerate progress towards Smokefree 2025 through targeted stop-smoking support programmes for Pacific peoples.

Finally, when our young people are thriving, the future wellbeing of our communities is secured.

It is essential Pacific young people are given the opportunities to succeed, so Budget 2021 invests $5 million to deliver Tapasā, a professional learning and development tool for teachers and leaders of Pacific learners.

Tapasā will enhance the relationship between teacher and student by helping non-Pacific teachers understand Pacific culture so students’ identities and languages are seen and valued.

This year’s Budget is a stepping-stone towards recovery from COVID-19, and a bright Pacific future.