Pacific Islanders

Behavioral change impact of Pacific Island Food Revolution

Before COVID- 19, the Pacific was already in crisis. Diabetes, heart disease, and obesity are ravaging the region, all due to what people eat. The numbers are shocking: three Fijians a day undergo diabetes-related amputation, 90 per cent of Tongans are obese, and 40 per cent of the Pacific’s population has been diagnosed with a non-communicable disease (NCD). In fact, NCDs account for 75 per cent of all deaths in the Pacific.

Seasonal workers from Pacific Islands gather to celebrate culture, identity and sport

People from the Pacific Islands have long been a part of the Riverland community, with many travelling far from home to take up seasonal work in the South Australian agricultural region.

However, COVID-19 has made that distance from home seem even further, with workers who were already in Australia before the pandemic hit forced to stay longer than expected.

As well, due to the labour shortage across Australia, 800 people from the Pacific Islands have come to the Riverland and quarantined for two weeks before heading out to work on properties across the region.

Hundreds of Pacific people receive COVID-19 vaccine in Wellington

Part of a series of ‘festival days’ – where the Pacific community is vaccinated together in a welcoming environment – today’s event was the first in the region to be held in a place of worship.

Capital & Coast DHB worked with Tū Ora Compass Health PHO and the church community on the event last week.

“It was wonderful to see so many of our older Pacific members there today, and we look forward to more events like this supporting better health outcomes for our vulnerable communities,” said Tū Ora Pacific Director of Health Henrietta Hunkin-Tagaloa.

Queen's Birthday honours: Pacific recognised

Tanya Muagututi'a and her husband, Posenai Mavaega, have been made Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Pacific performing arts.

Since the 1990s, Mavaega and Muagututi'a have provided numerous performing arts platforms for the Christchurch Pacific community to tell their stories

From 2001 to 2010, they delivered 10 Christchurch Pacific Arts festivals where local and international guests shared performance and exhibition spaces.

Employers urged to focus on health needs, housing for seasonal workers

The government will bring in 2000 Recognised Seasonal Employer, or RSE, workers into the country to help with harvests.

Growers must pay isolation facility costs for each worker and also pay them the living wage of just over $22 an hour.

The co-convenor of Komiti Pasefika, CTU, Caroline Mareko supports the changes to the programme restrictions and adds that increasing the living wage will make a big difference to families.

"It's great news this is happening," she said.

Closure of Utah health clinics endangers Pacific Islanders

Jacob Fitisemanu has been managing the Health Clinics of Utah, which are being shut down by the government as its finances are battered by the virus.

He said the clinics were for the under-served, those without health insurance or who faced other barriers.

Pacific Islanders were contracting Covid-19 at four times the overall rate in Utah and Mr Fitisemanu said cutting clinic access in the midst of a pandemic was not a good decision.

It would meant 13,000 active patients would have to find a new medical home, he said.

Utah Pacific Islanders called on to do more to combat Covid-19

There are about 30,000 Pacific islanders in Utah, and there has so far been about 1,200 cases and 13 deaths from the coronavirus among them.

Jake Fitisemanu, of the Utah Pacific Islander Health Coalition, said his organisation had been working hard to get the community to make use of available resources.

He said it had been working with the media, churches, and Pasifika officials in the governor's office.

COVID cases surge among Pacific Islanders in Utah

The state is home to the largest Pacific Island community on the United States mainland - it is made up mostly of Polynesians but also includes a significant number of Micronesians.

As of the middle of this week there have been 1248 Pacific Islanders in Utah reported as affected by the virus, a rate 2.5 times higher than the state average.

Of those cases, 170 have come in the past week with 20 people hospitalised. Thirteen Pacific Islanders have died of COVID-19 in Utah to date.

Pacific Islanders can purchase Tokyo Olympics tickets

This includes Ni-Vans, Fijians, Samoans, Tuvaluans,Solomon Islanders, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Nauruans and American Samoa

KNT is the Authorised Ticket and Package Agent (ATR) and will endeavor to offer the same service for tickets and packages for these new dates and to protect those who have already purchased for the 2020 Games.

As far as tickets are concerned, the following is the latest information we have from the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committee (TOCOG): “As announced on 24 March 2020, the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 has been postponed.

Quarantined Pacific Islanders leave Auckland naval base

After undergoing a last health check, the evacuees left the Whangaparaoa military base and travelled by bus to the airport. 

98 New Zealanders left by bus or with family and friends.

The base will soon be back in use as a quarantine centre. Eight New Zealanders on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship​ are due to leave Japan late on Wednesday night on an Australian evacuation flight to Darwin.

Of the 14 New Zealanders originally on board the ship, two are still in hospital in Japan and a family member has stayed with them.