Pacific Islanders

Closure of Utah health clinics endangers Pacific Islanders

Jacob Fitisemanu has been managing the Health Clinics of Utah, which are being shut down by the government as its finances are battered by the virus.

He said the clinics were for the under-served, those without health insurance or who faced other barriers.

Pacific Islanders were contracting Covid-19 at four times the overall rate in Utah and Mr Fitisemanu said cutting clinic access in the midst of a pandemic was not a good decision.

It would meant 13,000 active patients would have to find a new medical home, he said.

Utah Pacific Islanders called on to do more to combat Covid-19

There are about 30,000 Pacific islanders in Utah, and there has so far been about 1,200 cases and 13 deaths from the coronavirus among them.

Jake Fitisemanu, of the Utah Pacific Islander Health Coalition, said his organisation had been working hard to get the community to make use of available resources.

He said it had been working with the media, churches, and Pasifika officials in the governor's office.

COVID cases surge among Pacific Islanders in Utah

The state is home to the largest Pacific Island community on the United States mainland - it is made up mostly of Polynesians but also includes a significant number of Micronesians.

As of the middle of this week there have been 1248 Pacific Islanders in Utah reported as affected by the virus, a rate 2.5 times higher than the state average.

Of those cases, 170 have come in the past week with 20 people hospitalised. Thirteen Pacific Islanders have died of COVID-19 in Utah to date.

Pacific Islanders can purchase Tokyo Olympics tickets

This includes Ni-Vans, Fijians, Samoans, Tuvaluans,Solomon Islanders, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Nauruans and American Samoa

KNT is the Authorised Ticket and Package Agent (ATR) and will endeavor to offer the same service for tickets and packages for these new dates and to protect those who have already purchased for the 2020 Games.

As far as tickets are concerned, the following is the latest information we have from the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committee (TOCOG): “As announced on 24 March 2020, the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 has been postponed.

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.

Hundreds more Pacific workers join NZ building industry

New figures from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education Commission show the building industry is becoming more diverse, with more than 2,700 women, 1,000 Maori and 2,800 Asian New Zealanders employed in the industry or being trained in the trades.

The Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says an extra 11,000 Kiwis are working in the construction sector, building houses, schools, hospitals, roads and rail.

She says the government has made it more attractive for Kiwis to learn a trade.

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.

Australia deports Pasifika people to NZ who have never set foot here: 'It's wrong'

Two men deported from Australia landed in Christchurch in the past two months, stepping foot on New Zealand soil for the first time.

One man, Fofoa I Vaoese Toese Pei, was born in Samoa. He isn't fully aware of how he qualifies as a New Zealand citizen.

The other, Arona Pere, was born in the Cook Islands, and has been sent to New Zealand because of the New Zealand citizenship that comes with that.

They are part of a growing list of people being deported from Australia to New Zealand.

Mr Toese Pei moved to Australia from Samoa when he was 10-years-old.

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.