Once the teams’ circumstances were known, Pasifika Futures (PFL) - the Whānau Ora commissioning agency for Pacific families – deployed an emergency team to provide immediate support for the players and team management.
Dubbed the “Uber Aunties” by the Moana Pasifika players, the deployment team led by PFL Director Lucyanne Laurenson, provided a wide range of support for the team including additional food, laundry services, health care packs and mental health check ins.
“We provided whatever support we could to minimize any stress and anxiety and keep them upbeat despite their circumstances. A lot of these players remind us of our own little brothers, nephews and family so as we supported them over the last few weeks, they started calling us ‘aunties’ and because our support was universal, they coined our team the ‘uber aunties’ which showed the bond we built with the team”, says Laurenson.
The “Uber Aunties” also kept the team updated on national response changes to Covid-19 which was important as the team went into isolation in phase one and in their final stages of recovery have transitioned right through to phase three.
“Without the support of PFL we will have had to manage our cluster on our own in Queenstown. Their presence lifted the pressure from team management and ensured they had expert support on hand to help during this challenging time. They minimised stress and ensured the team got through it as best as possible.
The fact PFL was able to have a team from Auckland on the ground in Queenstown within the same day their support was sought was amazing”, says Moana Pasifika CEO Mr Pelenato Sakalia.
With many of the team back to full training and their first game in sight, the deployed PFL team are in their final days supporting the players and have established a positive relationship with their ‘nephews’. Sentiments that are shared with Moana Pasifika players and management as affirmed by Mr Sakalia,
“PFL is a key partner for Moana Pasifika. We are aligned in our goal and aspiration to assist our Pasifika communities. When Moana Pasifika needed urgent help PFL responded without any hesitation. Moana Pasifika will be forever grateful to the amazing team from PFL”.
Date: Saturday 26 February 2022