Budget 2020 seen through Pacific lens

posted: 9:00 pm - 14th June 2020
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(Picture caption: A Pacific youth panel discuss the Budget 2020 with Ministers during the Post Budget Online Event.)  

Ministers, Pacific businesspeople, Pacific young people, and community representatives have come together for a unique talanoa following Budget 2020 Rebuilding Together.

Budget 2020 Rebuilding Together sets out a vision for the response and recovery due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has hit New Zealand – and Pacific peoples hard.

Supported by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP), the Post Budget Online Event from June 10-12, saw vibrant and insightful discussions about how Budget 2020 will support Pacific peoples in New Zealand to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic and help them to thrive.

Over the course of three days, Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Aupito William Sio and Minister Robertson shared how the $195 million dedicated to Pacific peoples in Budget 2020 will impact Pacific communities and the New Zealand economy.

Meanwhile, Minister of Social Development Hon Carmel Sepuloni, and Minister of Building and Construction Hon Jenny Salesa and Member of Parliament Hon Poto Williams spoke about their respective portfolio areas where money is to be injected.

This event was staged live online due to Covid-19, which allowed the public to watch and contribute to the talanoa between Ministers and panellists, which was facilitated by Andre Afamasaga and Brian Sagala.

Areas of concern in the post-Covid-19 environment which were highlighted and discussed by those watching the talanoa, include job security, housing, support for new business, Pacific employment and training services, the digital divide Pacific families face, gender equality in the workplace, mental health, racism, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and whether the Budget did enough to address these subject matters.

Panellists included Roine Lealaiauloto, Judy Matai'a, Denise Kingi-Uluave, Caren Rangi, Rachel Enosa, Rev Tevita Finau, Arizona Leger, Fredwyn Kisona, Eteroa Lafaele, Tupou Veiogo Cameron Young, Saia Finau Latu, Eli Tagi, Rachel Afeaki Taumoepeau, Jacinta Fa'alili-Fidow and Rorouina Brown.

Together with the Ministers, they shared how this year’s Budget is about walking alongside Pacific people, their families, and their communities, engaging, responding, and supporting them as they reset their lives after COVID-19 and beyond.

It is about rebuilding our economy and providing Pacific Aotearoa with the opportunities they need for redeployment, skills development training and business engagement; and it also supports the Pacific community vision, ensuring the continued growth and reach of our arts, languages and cultures.

This vision, guided by the Lalanga Fou Report published at the end of 2018, will help the New Zealand Government, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP), and Pacific communities to achieve the collective vision of a confident, thriving, prosperous and resilient Pacific Aotearoa.

A digital Budget booklet has been produced to outline where money is being injected to help Pacific peoples prosper.

It is available in HERE, and will be available in 9 Pacific languages in the comings weeks.

All talanoa sessions are available on PMN's 531 Facebook page and will shortly be available on MPP’s YouTube channel and for more information and resources about Budget 2020, visit MPP's Budget Wellbeing page here.