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Money must reach Pacific Island families

Pouring money in to improve the poor health and education of Pacific Island people is a waste of time if people won't seek help or don't know how, says National's Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Arthur Anae.

He says he just about screamed in despair watching the Pacific Island family interviewed on TV One news last night. "Last decade National put millions into health and education, and actively recruited Pacific Island providers to deliver social services to Pacific Island families.

"Despite National doing more for our people than any previous government, Pacific Island people are still unaware of basic free healthcare available.

"Why is there still huge failure and concern in these areas? I believe that setting up the right health provisions is only half the solution.

"The Government must find out why free doctors visits for under sixes and free immunisation aren't being taken up. The Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Mark Gosche should support a study to find the barriers.

"Part of the problem is cultural; Pacific Island people often stand back and wait which doesn't help them get any help, let alone the right help. The government needs to investigate ways of taking the services to the people that need them.

"Over 200,000 Pacific Island people now live in New Zealand. More money to help our people is good, but no use if it's not reaching them. The Minister desperately need to research why government initiatives aren't filtering through to our Pacific communities. That will involve finding out what makes our people tick," says Mr Anae.

Ends

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