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Ensuring equity for Pacific families: Learning from a pandemic

Project Dates

Start Date: 1 Jan, 2021

End Date: 30 Jun, 2023


Dr Jacqueline Cumming

Dr Debbie Ryan

Dr Ausaga Fa'asalele Tanuvasa

Dr Marianna Churchward

Dr Lynne Russell

Lisa Kitione

Harriette Kimiora


Published: In publication

Project Aim

Pacific peoples are particularly at risk from worsening wellbeing outcomes as a result of COVID-19. Key contributing factors include a high prevalence of long-term and respiratory conditions, leaving Pacific peoples vulnerable if they catch the virus. Existing barriers to healthcare (e.g. cost, health literacy, racism) have significant implications for Pacific peoples’ access to key messages, testing and healthcare. Finally, existing socioeconomic inequities experienced by Pacific communities will worsen as a result of the flow-on effects from COVID-19 (e.g. unemployment). In this study, we will identify, via repeated interviews, the key issues that 15 Pacific families faced and continue to face through the various stages of COVID-19, and how successful key initiatives are at supporting Pacific families. Key policy makers and providers will also be interviewed over the response for Pacific peoples. The findings will support community and government responses for Pacific health and wellbeing.


  • To explore what works, in what contexts to support Pacific peoples through the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • To identify and promote key strategies and policies that will work to support Pacific families during a pandemic such as COVID-19, to ensure that existing inequities in health are reduced, not exacerbated, during such times

Related Publications

New Zealand's Response to COVID-19 Commissioned report for the Asia Pacific Observatory

Author: Cumming, J., (2021).

New Zealand's Response to the Coronavirus (Commissioned)

Author: Cumming, J., (2021).

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