Pacific Islanders

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.

Pacific contribution to NZ highlighted in Queen's Birthday Honours

Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says it is exciting to see the recognition of so many people that represent our diverse Pacific identities in Aotearoa, and people who we all know add significant value to making New Zealand a better place for us all by their constant service and advocacy for our youth, children, women, elderly groups, disabilities groups, LGBTQI+ groups, and trade unions.

Aupito praises Pacific recipients of Queen's Birthday honours

Former Labour MP Luamanuvao Winnie Laban leads the list of Pacific people recognised this year.

Luamanuvao was formally invested as a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit today for services to education and the Pacific community.

Aupito said all the recipients had made a significant contribution, whether at a community or national level, to make a lasting difference in their communities.

Too many Pacific people being duped by unlicensed immigration advisors

Over the past 10 years, the Immigration Advisers Authority has prosecuted 16 unlicensed immigration advisers and 10 of those prosecutions have involved Pacific victims.

IAA Registrar Catherine Albiston says it's still an area of huge concern for them and they're working hard to continue to raise awareness for Pacific families. 

"It's not okay to give immigration advice if you're not a licensed adviser and you're not exempt and people need to be really careful if someone's offering them immigration advice and they're not licensed or exempt," she says.

Pacific islanders urged to save money

The report of the study on the impact of the MoneyMinded programme of the Australian New Zealand Bank in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu was released at the 5th Pacific Media Summit by Jessie Cocker, deputy governor of the National Reserve Bank of Tonga.

Results of the study show that the percentage of participants of MoneyMinded who saved regularly increased in all the four countries.

It went up by 56% for Fiji and Tonga, 44% in Samoa and 40% in Vanuatu.

What next for senior RSE workers?

The temporary migrant labour scheme celebrated its tenth anniversary in Blenheim in July 2017 after initially being introduced in 2007 to assist the New Zealand horticultural industry find a stable workforce whilst improving the economies of the Pacific Islands.

However, RSE Liaison Officer for the Tongan Government Sefita Hao’uli believes the time has come to train workers to transition back to living permanently at home after finishing their time on the scheme.

More Pacific people appeal to stay in NZ for medical treatment

Among them are Tongans requiring life saving medical treatment like dialysis. While kidney disease is a common ailment in Tonga, treatment isn't publicly available there.

Renal specialist in Auckland Dr Viliami Tutone said the number of non-residents from the Pacific he treats was definitely on the rise.

Dr Tutone, who is a Nephrologist, said it was a tough and sad reality.

"We do have our fair share at Middlemore of non-residents," he said.

Kava drinkers urged not to "wash-down" with alcohol

A researcher from Waikato University, Apo Aporosa, recently visited Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and Vanuatu to gauge reaction to his study funded by New Zealand's Health Research Council that examines kava and drink driving.

Aporosa said he was advising people to avoid a trend he observed in the Pacific called a 'wash-down'.

He said this is when people drink alcohol after a traditional kava session that can last for hours.

AUT NZ Scholars’ success celebrated

This is Deputy Secretary, Pacific and Development Group, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) Jonathan Kings’ message to the 22 NZ Scholarship students taking part in the AUT MFAT NZ Scholarships Programme Completion Celebration.

Years of hard work, dedication and sacrifice have been celebrated at Tuesday’s gathering at AUT, hosted by the University Scholarships Office – an event which also recognises scholars’ achievements while on award.

Australian channel apologises for 'racist' rugby video

The clip, on the popular Fox Sports Matty Johns Show, showed small children attempting to pronounce the 'funniest' player names in the NRL (National Rugby League), most of which being Pacific Islander surnames, 9News network reports.

But the "Footy Kids in Cars" video has not gone down well with players. Former Samoa international Frank Puletua told 9News he was "disappointed that a segment like that got to air without any sort of thought about how it might be perceived by people in Pacific Island league communities."