Mana Pasifika is a working collaboration between Te Hiringa Hauora, Mapu Maia, Vaka Tautua the Mental Health Foundation and Pasifika health leaders Phil Siataga, Stephanie Erick, Tui Tararo.
A collaborative approach between Te Whatu Ora and Pasifika providers & leaders, driven by a vision that is ‘by us, for us, with us’; Mana Pasifika is a Pasifika wellbeing approach focused on enabling & empowering Pacific Peoples to identify and design Pacific solutions - what we call a ‘Village of Wellness’.
Mapu Maia are an active partner in all Mana Pasifika projects throughout Aotearoa, uplifting Pasifika peoples.
In 2023 Mana Pasifika has delivered two key projects:
Manioro Hawkes Bay
The event was designed to disrupt toxic narratives and discriminating stereotypes for people of diverse genders and sexual orientations through culturally based creativity, education and awareness.
Strands of Talanoa
Providing a safe space for rangatahi to express their lived experience of being Pasifika and/or Māori in school. It allowed youth to share their story using their craft: drawing, poetry and/or storytelling
Manioro Hawkes Bay
Rainbow & Takatāpui people, particularly those with Māori, Pasifika and LGBTQIA+ intersections are twice as likely as their peers to experience mental health problems - including suicidal behaviour, depression and anxiety, eating disorders, substance misuse and social isolation (NZ Stats, 2021).
These are not caused by LGBTQIA+ identities, but are connected with experiences of social exclusion and discrimination (Te Ngakau Kahukura, 2022).
Working in partnership with Nevertheless, Manioro was a two-day event celebrating and uplifting all Takatāpui, MVPFAFF+ and LGBTQIA+ peoples in Ngāti Kahungunu, with a specific focus on Māori and Pasifika.
The event was designed to disrupt toxic narratives and discriminating stereotypes for people of diverse genders and sexual orientations through culturally based creativity, education and awareness. The event was attended by more than 1,500 people, attracted both local and national media coverage and received amazing & deeply heartfelt feedback from attendees across the board. From this, multiple pieces of content and storytelling have been utilized and created.
Strands of Talanoa
Pasifika Youth 13-18 year olds Context: As part of the cross-sector engagement with the Lowdown project, key insights attained in 2021 brought to light that a major barrier to Māori and Pasifika youth mental wellbeing was discrimination at school.
As a result, we endeavoured to explore this space further, utilising Polyfest (8-11 March 2023) - an event that annually attracts 60,000 people over a four day period, with over 9000 students and 181 groups competing from 55 schools (Stuff, 2023) - to engage and gather insights directly from youth to inform a plan of possible solutions moving forward.
The engagement consisted of providing a safe space for rangatahi to express their lived experience of being Pasifika and/or Māori in school. It allowed youth to share their story using their craft: drawing, poetry and/or storytelling, utilising a piece of Tapa, in which would eventually form part of a larger replica of a Tapa cloth. These pieces were also sent nationally to key centres, communities and our extended networks.
We had a total of 178 participants, across school years 6–13 and a range of Pacific and Māori cultures with the majority being Samoan, 15-16 years old. We see this exercise and resulting tapa as the foundation on which to build a plan to address this issue of discrimination in collaboration with key organisations, particularly in the education sector as a next step.
We are taking a generational approach to this focused on reaching the widest range of demographics within our Pasifika communities. Key audiences include:
Hapū māmā and new parents
Those with long term conditions (diabetes, heart disease, etc.)
Small business owners
Essential & Frontline workers