As New Zealand moves to operate in its ‘new norm’, a new environment due to COVID19 we saw an increase in engagement and connectiveness across our Pacific communities over the last few months. Some of which included a zono with Waikato Pacific Businesses on Thursday 16th July and a zono with Pacific Church Ministers on Friday 24th July.
The purpose of these zono’s was to engage our local Pacific businesses and ministers around the challenges and opportunities created by COVID19 in their respective communities. And discuss the support available and what other assistance they may need from us, to support their business and/ community during these times.
These zono’s highlighted a few concerns including the need for:
- Access to business funding support to help with fixed cost not including business loans
- Access to funding for resources to allow people to work from home e.g. wifi, tablets, laptops
- Better awareness and visibility for churches and wider communities on where to access COVID19 information, and help with language barriers to understand information
- Better awareness of food support for our families
- Better awareness, visibility and accessibility to funds available specific to Pasifika businesses in Waikato
Joined and led by Minister Aupito Sua William Sio, the Minister of Pacific Peoples, he described the sessions as “a passionate group of Pacific entrepreneurs and community leaders from the Waikato region” this Talanoa included planning for the future and exploring opportunities via the economic recovery for rebuilding the Waikato region- the fastest growing region across New Zealand.