Govt ensures extra support for Māori and Pacific Omicron response

Extra support is being made available to Māori and Pacific communities as they continue to face the impact of the current Omicron outbreak.

This extra support is in addition to the Care in the Community boost the Government announced last week to help all families who need to self-isolate, as well as the social service organisations and community providers working hard to support them.

Omicron is likely to disproportionately affect Māori and Pasifika communities, and the Government is committed to making sure vulnerable whanau received the support and care they deserve.

With Omicron cases increasing, it is important whānau have the support they need to self-isolate and stop the spread of the virus.

Using the $140 million funding, 160 Māori and Pacific health providers will together support Māori and Pacific households throughout Aotearoa.

The focus of this current response is to enable Māori health providers to scale up their efforts, to support the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies to directly get resources to the people most in need, and for the Māori Communities COVID Fund to support community agencies in complementary ways.

We have seen how the rapid response by our Māori health and community providers works fast and effectively. Their models of care have been crucial in the government’s COVID-19 response for their own communities.

Māori providers have shown their strength and agility when dealing with previous outbreaks, and this investment will enable them to deliver immediate, flexible, holistic support where it’s needed most.

For example, the Māori Communities COVID-19 Fund, which goes directly to Māori providers, including iwi, supported the acceleration of Māori vaccination rates, which increased from 69% to 90% for first dose in just 3.5 months. 

Minister for Māori Crown Relations Kelvin Davis said that since the COVID-19 outbreak the Government has acted to ensure New Zealanders are supported to respond to the threats on our people and economy.

We need to continue approaches that best look after our people, so they are prepared in the face of Omicron.

The investment will help Pacific health providers, particularly those outside the northern region, scale up the services they already provide to Pacific communities. Funding will go towards supporting, their workforce resources including vaccination.

This investment is innovative, comprehensive, and Pacific-focused, allowing Pacific Peoples to prepare for the next phase of COVID-19 and to respond and rebuild in the aftermath of Omicron.

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