Senior members and leaders of the Pacific Community attended a breakfast meeting on the morning of Friday 26th May 2017 in Auckland to discuss the 2017 Budget. Minister for Pacific People’s, Hon Alfred Ngaro was present and delivered a talk on budget appropriations which benefit Pacific families and communities.
The Pasifika Futures hosted event saw CEO’s and Chairs from some of the largest Pacific led community organisations, all which are from the NGO sector across health, education, social services and cultural/language services.
“We are making a difference” Minister Ngaro says as he announced that Whanau Ora has been given a $10 million funding boost, encouraging people in the room that their hard work and achievements with current resource available hadn’t gone unnoticed. Decisions in the budget around income tax, the accommodation supplement, surplus, education and health were also topics discussed.
Mental health received a total of $224 million in funds towards exploring new approaches. Minister Alfred Ngaro highlighted the importance of this by saying “The reality is, we do need that support. When we think about homelessness on the street it’s not just because the fact is that people don’t have a place, actually for some there are issues around mental health and addiction. There are some issues that you can’t just put people in a home and think that it will solve it. We need to have support by people like our mental health services to truly help people work through some of those bigger issues as well.” According to Stats NZ, Pacific People were found twice as likely to have mental health issues.
Minister Ngaro concluded his time by encouraging other pacific leaders to come forward to him and the Ministry of Pacific People at any time to have an open discussion around issues and areas they are wanting to see grow and improve.