May 8, 2020

Māori and Pasifika leaders in West Auckland leading for their communities  

Working from home has not stopped Healthy Families Waitākere from convening community leaders to discuss a collective approach to support Māori and Pasifika whānau in response to COVID-19.

Over the past five weeks, the team has provided backbone support to respective Māori and Pasifika Leaders to help take a collective approach in supporting communities in the short and medium-term. The collaborations were brought to life rapidly through existing relationships and networks with organisations from the health, social service and community sectors.

By sharing real-time local data, insights and future work plans, the groups are exploring collective actions to respond to the challenges for Māori and Pasifika now, and post COVID-19.

As well as responding to the immediate needs to support whānau, the Māori rōpū (group) are exploring a West Auckland response to anticipate the second wave and impacts on whānau and services who provide food relief, social services, employment and housing.

Manaakitanga is at the forefront of how the rōpū operates. The group are also supporting kaupapa Māori driven initiatives such as māra kai, to promote food resilience and ensure whānau in the recovery phase continue to thrive and flourish, says Healthy Families Waitākere Kaiwhakaauaha Pūnaha (Māori Systems Innovator), Vikki Ham.

“We are fortunate to support a collective of community leaders and create a platform to share insights and better understand the needs of our communities. Collectively, we are forming an effective and coordinated Māori response.”

Members of the Pasifika collaboration are working cohesively to exchange information and capture insights, and have agreed to share consistent and localised Pasifika community messages across their social media platforms.

This will amplify support available to families and relevant information having a deeper reach within the West Auckland Pasifika community. Healthy Families Waitākere Pasifika Systems Innovator, Fole (Daleki) Finau explains.

“Capturing the lived experience of our West Auckland Pasifika community is going to help build evidence for system improvement. This approach is about supporting our communities to be more resilient, better informed in the future and ensures their voice can shape more effective Pasifika support services.”