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Source: New Zealand Government

Pacific peoples will benefit from a $108 million Pacific package that will continue to support Pacific communities’ wellbeing through the rebuild and recovery from COVID-19.

“This is a significant investment for Pacific communities who have been hard-hit by the outbreak of COVID-19 in the past year.

“With the Pacific Aotearoa Lalanga Fou Goals as a guide, the Pacific package puts a strong focus on Pacific wellbeing and continues the Government’s commitment to ensuring that Pacific peoples are leading this work to achieve confident, thriving, prosperous and resilient communities,” Aupito William Sio said.

“Budget 2021 makes this possible through tailored business, health and education initiatives that bolster the vital holistic work Pacific communities are already doing across the country.”

The $108 million Pacific package is made up of $99.6 million new operating funding and $660,000 new capital funding from the Budget 2021 allowances and the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF). $7.8 million in operating funding is repurposed from existing funding in Vote Education.

The package includes:

  • a $30.3 million boost to assist the Tupu Aotearoa programme to support approximately 7,500 Pacific peoples into employment, training, and education across Aotearoa New Zealand, funded from the CRRF
  • investing $6.6 million to support establishing the Pacific Wellbeing Strategy – a cross-government initiative that will develop ways to measure Pacific wellbeing across government work programmes and initiatives
  • supporting Pacific businesses through the impacts of COVID-19 with $16.2 million for business support services, funded from the CRRF
  • $20.8 million supporting Pacific bilingual and immersion education in the schooling system, made up of $12.4 million of new operating funding and $644,000 of new capital funding from Budget 2021 allowances, with $7.8 million of repurposed funding from Vote Education
  • $5 million operating funding and $16,000 capital funding to deliver sustained professional learning and development to embed Tapasā as a tool to address social inclusion in the education sector
  • $5.1 million for the development of two new Pacific language subjects, gagana Tokelau and vagahau Niue as NCEA Achievement Standards subjects
  • $16 million to support the implementation of Ola Manuia: Pacific Health and Well‑being Action Plan 2020-2025 funded from the CRRF.

“The Tupu Aotearoa programme is a key part of rebuilding the Pacific economy by ensuring that Pacific peoples have the tools they need to quickly recover from the impacts of COVID‑19,” Aupito William Sio said.

“Funding from Budget 2021 builds on the rapid expansion of the programme in recent years and lays the foundations for an increase in participants so that more Pacific people can have access to sustainable employment and tertiary education pathways.

“The Pacific Wellbeing Strategy will assist government agencies to work better together, align their efforts, coordinate their work and focus their energy and resources on priority issues Pacific people are leading to lift their wellbeing. This work will create a framework to measure Pacific wellbeing so that the impact of government projects for Pacific people is clear and transparent.

“In response to the impact of COVID-19 on the Pacific economy, Budget 2021 provides investment to accelerate the recovery of Pacific businesses by working with localised regional partners to provide guidance and enable innovative business practices to help support businesses to get back on their feet, faster.

“Funding for implementing Ola Manuia: Pacific Health and Wellbeing Action Plan will include support to Pacific health providers to implement the Plan and provide investment into Pacific models of care and the development of Pacific community hubs.

“In education, we will support quality bilingual and immersion provision in approximately 23 schools to continue delivering diverse learning pathways that are safe, culturally relevant and affirm Pacific identities, languages and cultures that support approximately 1,500 learners. This initiative and the support for professional learning and development, based on Tapasā, a cultural competency framework for teachers of Pacific learners, will support the further implementation of the Action Plan for Pacific Education 2020-2030.

“Budget 2021 and the Pacific package highlights this Government’s commitment to supporting Pacific peoples’ wellbeing approach of using the Lalanga Fou goals to achieve thriving, confident and resilient Pacific peoples in Aotearoa New Zealand,” Aupito William Sio said.

MIL OSI