By Sela Jane Hopgood, RNZ Pacific journalist
In the New Zealand 2021 Budget, a big investment of NZ$108 million has been signalled to support the wellbeing of the Pacific population through the rebuild and recovery from the covid-19 pandemic.
Pacific Peoples Minister ‘Aupito William Sio said this was a significant investment for Pacific communities who have been hard-hit by the pandemic in the past year.
“With the Pacific Aotearoa Lalanga Fou Goals as a guide, the Pacific package puts a strong focus on Pacific wellbeing and continues the government’s commitment to ensuring that Pacific peoples are leading this work to achieve confident, thriving, prosperous and resilient communities,” he said.
“Budget 2021 makes this possible through tailored business, health and education initiatives that bolster the vital holistic work Pacific communities are already doing across the country.”
- READ MORE: Budget 2021: Benefits boost in ‘quest to reduce inequality’
- RNZ coverage of the 2021 Budget
The $108 million Pacific package is made up of the following:
- $99.6 million new operating funding
- $660,000 new capital funding from the Budget 2021 allowances and the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF).
- $7.8 million in operating funding is repurposed from existing funding in Vote Education.
The package includes:
- $30.3 million boost to assist the Tupu Aotearoa programme to support approximately 7500 Pacific peoples into employment, training, and education across Aotearoa New Zealand, funded from the CRRF.
- Investing $6.6 million to support establishing the Pacific Wellbeing Strategy – a cross-government initiative that will develop ways to measure Pacific wellbeing across government work programmes and initiatives.
- Supporting Pacific businesses through the impacts of covid-19 with $16.2 million for business support services, funded from the CRRF.
- $20.8 million supporting Pacific bilingual and immersion education in the schooling system, made up of $12.4 million of new operating funding and $644,000 of new capital funding from Budget 2021 allowances, with $7.8 million of repurposed funding from Vote Education.
- $5 million operating funding and $16,000 capital funding to deliver sustained professional learning and development to embed Tapasā as a tool to address social inclusion in the education sector.
- $5.1 million for the development of two new Pacific language subjects, gagana Tokelau and vagahau Niue as NCEA Achievement Standards subjects.
This content originally appeared on Asia Pacific Report and was authored by APR editor.