Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Tackling Pasifika Mental Health Inequities Through Digital Inclusion

A collaboration of Pasifika organisations, led by Le Va, has taken steps to help ensure members of the Pasifika community are not left behind in our digital world.

As more parts of life become heavily reliant on digital forms of communication, access to reliable and accurate information is crucial.

For Le Va CEO Denise Kingi-‘Ulu’ave, tackling the digital divide is close to the NGO’s heart of leaving no-one behind and helping Pasifika families and communities unleash their full potential.

She said many Pasifika do not have access to the internet, data or smartphones. And it’s not just the elderly.

"During our first Covid-19 lockdown and changing alert levels, there was heightened anxiety, worry and fear gnawing at our people. That was exacerbated by the barriers we face in accessing up-to-date official information on what was happening, how to stay safe and where to get help."

With funding from the Ministry of Health, Le Va is collaborating with Pasifika community services to address the gaps to access, affordability and digital literacy.

In their dialogue with community and local services, many who did have devices could not afford data or were on a plan that could not meet the needs of the family, particularly for education.

"It can be very hard for people to access information," says Denise. "People found themselves shut in their homes, socially isolated and not knowing what was happening in the outside world."

In partnership with South Waikato Pacific Islands Community Services Trust, Le Va’s Digital Inclusion programme was piloted at Tokoroa’s local library in December. Smartphones and tablets were provided to members of the community identified to be in need, and customised 10-week workshops helped those who had never used a device set up and go digital.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

The results have been promising in addressing not just the digital but also the intergenerational divide.

"When I was asked to be part of the programme so that I can connect with our people, not just in Tokoroa, but right around the country, I was so happy!" says an elderly gentleman. "Pasifika culture is embedded in connectedness and community. We understand that many things can drive generations apart, but technology doesn’t have to be one of them," Denise says.

Due to the overwhelming success of the programme, it is now being rolled out nationwide to rural areas with Pasifika communities.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Perils Of Joining AUKUS Pillar Two

The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:
...We've been gratified by how many countries want to join with us to work with cutting-edge technologies like in the cyber arena, hypersonics, you can go down a long list and it's great to hear that New Zealand is interested...


ACT: New Zealand Dodges Dopey Experiment In Prohibition

“Labour’s attempted crackdown on smokers would have delivered criminal groups a near-monopoly over the cigarette trade,” says ACT Health spokesman Todd Stephenson... More

Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.