$195mil allocated to help Pasifika in Aotearoa

By Bronson Perich
Pasifika Festival held in Auckland - Photo / File

A welcomed $195mil allocated to help Pasifika in Aotearoa, the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the $195mil allocation will help ease the effects of COVID-19 on Pasifika communities.

“Pacific communities are always among the hardest hit whenever there’s an economic downturn and Budget 2020 will help to rebuild the Pacific economy so that Pacific peoples aren’t left behind, and missing out on jobs and business opportunities.”

COVID-19 has changed the way that Pasifika live their lives and the government wants to ensure that any lasting changes are for the better. To that end, the money will be used for a variety of cultural, educational, and employment initiatives.

“I am a firm believer that Pacific peoples themselves have to lead the work of recovery so they can quickly provide security for our families with sustainable incomes, jobs and homes to keep everyone safe,” Aupito continues.

Funding for Pacific focused initiatives announced in Budget 2020 include:

  • A Pasifika Culture and Heritage Fund to enable festivals to continue to provide platforms of opportunities to the festival ecosystem ($12.0 million)
  • Progressing the establishment of a New Zealand Fale Malae ($10.0 million)
  • Toloa - Empowering Pacific participation in STEM ($4.9 million)
  • Expansion of Tupu Aotearoa programme across New Zealand ($13.9 million)
  • Developing Pacific community content ($1.7 million)
  • The Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund ($3.0 million)
  • The Auckland Pacific Skills Shift – an initiative that supports Auckland Pacific peoples in low skilled precarious work, to transition into quality employment ($22.1 million)
  • Pacific education initiatives will be announced in the near future by the Associate Minister of Education, Hon Jenny Salesa (up to $80.2 million)
  • Improving housing for Pacific families and communities (up to $41.3 million)

Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister, and Associate Minister for Pacific Peoples Carmel Sepuloni says, “Pacific festivals are an integral part of New Zealand’s cultural calendar, ensuring that people stay connected to their language and culture, and supporting all New Zealanders to experience what makes New Zealand a unique place in the Pacific.”

Pacific festivals create opportunities for Māori as well. While they allow Pacific people to reconnect to their roots, they do the same for Māori with Pacific ancestry.

The benefits also extend to providing business opportunities for Māori.