Since its inception in 1997, the Family Life Education Pasefika Trust and organisation have had to evolve to remain relevant in a rapidly changing and challenging environment. The creation of the Village Collective in 2013 reflected the need for the Trust to reinvent itself to be more reflective of the diverse and changing needs of the Pacific youth communities we serve. The logo represents Fale (Houses) and the collective houses represent the village. A collective response is needed if we are to support our Pacific young people to make better-informed well-being and sexual health decisions.
On behalf of the Trust, we present the Village Collective direction of travel over the next five years.
Our strategy builds on a strong foundation that includes:
Over the next five years, we intend to build on our strong foundation and apply a more deliberate and accelerated approach to building our people, our systems and infrastructure, our body of knowledge and our role as a game-changer within and across the health sector.
We have set an ambitious agenda for the Trust and for the Village Collective. We believe Village Collective can bring evidence, best practice and innovative solutions which positively impact Pacific health outcomes. We look forward to reporting on our achievements in future.
Seiuli Ativalu Lemuelu & Debra Tuifao
Co-Chairs, Family Life Education Pasefika Trust
New Zealand is home to at least 13 distinct Pacific ethnicities, including Samoan, Cook Islands, Tongan, Niuean, Fijian and Tokelauan groups. In addition to these are smaller numbers from Tuvalu, the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and the small island States of Micronesia.
Results from the 2013 census show that there is around 300,000 people of Pacific ethnicity living in New Zealand (7.4% of the total population), with the Pacific population being the fastest natural growing population in the country.
The majority (60 percent) of Pacific peoples living in New Zealand were born here, which is a marked change from about 30 years ago when most Pacific peoples in New Zealand were migrants from the Pacific Islands. The Pacific population is young. In 2013, the majority (54.9%) of Pacific peoples in New Zealand were aged under 25 years, with a Pacific median age of 22.1 years (compared with a median age of 38.0 years for the total New Zealand population).
Pacific people are predominantly urban with an estimated 67% living in Auckland, 13.1% in Wellington, 4.4% in Waikato and 4.1% in Christchurch. Pacific people continue to live in relative social and economic deprivation compared to the non-Pacific, non-Māori population.
In terms of education, Pacific young people are overrepresented in underachievement and this is across all settings and decile ratings. In March 2017, about 11,500 (or 17.0%) of Pacific young people aged 15–24 years were not in education, employment and training (NEET) compared with 12.8 percent overall. The Pacific median income recorded at the 2013 Census was $19,700 compared with a total population median income of $28,500.
The Youth ‘12 health and well-being survey showed that Pacific young people were almost twice as likely (compared with NZ Europeans) to report being unable to access health or dental care that they required within the last 12 months. In terms of sexual health, for every 100 Pacific young people surveyed, 27% have had sex, 44% always used contraception when they had sex, 4% would be attracted to people of the same sex or attracted to people of both sexes, and 2% would be transgender.
In the Youth ’12 survey, Pacific young people were four times more likely than New Zealand European students to report that their spiritual beliefs were important to them; 73 percent of Pacific youth reported being happy about how they got along with their family, and 82 percent also reported feeling very proud of being from their family’s Pacific culture or cultures. Almost a quarter of the overall Pacific population identifies as afakasi (Pacific and one other ethnicity), and 13.2 percent identify as belonging to three or more major ethnic groups.
The implications of this diversity are that traditional approaches to working with Pacific communities will need to evolve from being pan-Pasifika to being ethnic specific and ethnic inclusive. The notion of diversity amongst Pacific people takes on a new meaning and when developing solutions and services must be integrated into the planning phase.
To be the preferred provider for well-being and sexual health of Pacific youth.
The work of the Trust continues to be based on its ability to design and deliver culturally appropriate solutions that match the needs of the community. The Trust maintains its focus on resourcing its core competencies which enable it to have a competitive advantage and point of difference in the sector.
The following work streams have been created with sufficient investment by the Trust in supporting Pacific communities.
The Rainbow Fale is a safe and non-judgmental space for Pasifika Rainbow Youth to develop resiliency strategies so that they have the confidence to participate in school, family and community settings.
The Rainbow Fale intends to develop and embed its three key areas of focus.
A review by the Education Review Office (ERO) in 2007 identified a significant variance between schools in the delivery of their respective sexual health education programmes. The review noted the broadness of the curriculum in terms of schools and their Board of Trustees determining how students learn about sexual health. This challenge continues to exist, and where school communities are conservative, so too are their approaches towards sexuality education. For Pacific students, this often means missing out on learning key information at school, combined with cultural attitudes at home. The inability of schools to provide quality sexuality education means students lack the much-needed knowledge to make informed decisions.
Quality sexuality education acknowledges that students are delivered age and culturally appropriate information which helps to increase their confidence and ability to make better decisions. The Youth Fale will support Pacific students through developing and delivering:
There are cultural sensitivities and practices that have shaped how Pacific people respond to sexual health issues that more often than not, include embarrassment. Sexual Health is still considered by many within Pacific communities as an issue that is taboo. As a result, this presents challenges with how people learn about sexual health, find out solutions and seek treatments.
Creating supportive environments is in order to encourage families/communities to have the confidence to speak freely and feel supported. The Community Fale will support communities through:
The Village Collective is uniquely positioned as the only Pacific Sexual Health Service in the Auckland area. The intelligence that is gathered by the Trust extends beyond the measures that capture the impact of our work. This means that any input that the Village Collective has at the planning and development phases, increases the impact for our Pacific communities. However, opportunities for input will only come about when the Trust is able to position and influence those making the decisions.
A national strategy is about ensuring the Trust is seen as a credible partner and source of information.
The main function of management is to deliver on the strategic intent and direction set by the Governance Board. This requires management that is adept in planning, organising, allocating resources, motivating and influencing those around them. Whilst the management structure is small within the Trust, the focus will be talent quality and development. Fiscal responsibility ensures funders have the confidence that allocation of funding is used appropriately and in a way that demonstrates value for money.
Solidifying operational infrastructure will provide a robust platform to foster business growth and efficiency of service delivery. Investment in our talent is imperative in achieving the strategic goals.
Social media and new technologies will become more utilised as a resource to engage with Pacific families, minimising geographical boundaries and increasing service reach.
The Governance Board establishes the strategic intent and direction of the Trust. The composition of the Board is critical to ensuring strong leadership and this will be a key focus to ensure the right skills are on board. This supports the effectiveness of decision-making, accountability as well as relevant skills to enhance operational success. The specific range of skills currently sitting at governance level include:
A priority focus for the Board is professional development and succession planning. Governance succession planning ensures there is a process in place, which seeks, identifies and attracts suitable candidates to be co-opted on to the Board. During this period, the successful candidate is mentored, coached, and offered training to ensure they are able to function effectively in their role.
The establishment of this group serves to ensure that the work of the Trust is informed and led by
Best Practice. Membership in this group will include Pacific people with clinical expertise who work in the community. The community component of the group will ensure that work developed reflects the perspectives of our community. Originally seen as two separate groups, the opportunity for both to integrate was seen as important and beneficial in providing the organisation with valuable advice.