Opening of Pacific Trust Canterbury's Pacific Health Clinic

Christchurch Central Electorate
Friday, May 8, 2015

This morning I opened the new Pacific Health Clinic in Montreal Street. The opening of the clinic marks an important occasion for our Pacific community and our vulnerable populations because we are now able to provide them with better access to primary health care services at the lowest possible cost.

The new clinic was made possible by the Ministry of health’s Pacific Provider Development Fund through the government’s “Better, Sooner, and More Convenient” policy.

Opening of Pacific Trust Canterbury's Pacific Health Clinic - Speech

Good morning everyone and thank you for the opportunity to be here today.

Ni sa bula vinaka, Talofa lava, Kia orana, Taloha ni, Malo e lelei, Fakalofa lahi atu, Talofa, Tena koutou and warm Pacific greetings to you all.

I am here on behalf of Minister Peseta Lotu-Iiga, Minister of Pacific Island Affairs and Associate Minister of Health, who extends a warm Pacific welcome to you all.

Thank you to Reverend Makesi Alatimu for your prayer and blessings today.

I congratulate Pacific Trust Canterbury (PTC) on the completion of the Pacific Health Clinic. I note the clinic is designed to provide first-class services that will support the health of Pacific peoples.

Thank you to the PTC staff who have put their hands up and taken on the challenge to own and respond to the issues that are impacting on our Pacific families in Christchurch. The role of improving the health of Pacific people belongs to all of you.

Let me also acknowledge my friend and colleague Alfred Ngaro MP. I have known Alfred for a number of years now and I know he is very passionate about the health and wellbeing of Pasifika people.

I would like to acknowledge Poto Williams, the Boards of Pacific Trust Canterbury and Lomipeau, and the Chairs of Pacific Trust Canterbury Tanya McCall, and Lomipeau, Mosese Fifita.  I would also like to acknowledge Dr Teariki Maoate and Matafanua Hilda Fa’asalele.

Today, I come to celebrate and recognise you all for caring for our people

PTC Pacific Health Clinic

I appreciate the opportunity to talk to you. Despite being able to access the same health services as other New Zealanders, Pacific peoples endure persistent disparities in health outcomes and health care.

The health care needs of Pacific peoples can be met through Pacific services which are provided alongside mainstream services. The concept of by ‘Pacific for Pacific’ is integral to this.

The extended Pacific Health Clinic will provide improved capacity for our local Pacific community, and demonstrates the government’s commitment to improving access to services for our Pacific people.

The Pacific Health Clinic will play an important role in delivering more efficient and effective models of care and delivering more integrated joined up care.

Furthermore, the bigger Pacific Health Clinic will make it easier for PTC to provide better, faster and more convenient care to Pacific peoples closer to home.

Christchurch rebuild

The Christchurch earthquakes have created many challenges, including in providing healthcare to its residents.

But the rebuild is also creating opportunities, and the Government is committed to re-establishing high quality health facilities across the city.

Earlier this year, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman opened the new Child Haematology and Oncology Centre at Christchurch Hospital. The new facility is twice the size of the old unit and will help deliver the best possible care for children undergoing cancer treatment.

And late last year the new Christchurch Blood Centre was opened, providing diagnostic testing and support services that benefit thousands.

Government investment and priorities

Another important focus for this government in health has been on providing services that are “Better, Sooner and More Convenient”.  I know that you are best placed to provide this. Pacific people, with Pacific solutions to issues that are impacting on the lives of Pacific people.

In 2013, the government announced its commitment to building the organisational capacity of Pacific health providers through the Pacific Provider Development Fund. Today is about showcasing what PTC and Lomipeau have achieved.

Such as the coming together of like minds, the spirit of co-operation and collaboration that I am witnessing in so many Pacific communities, as they determine the best pathways forward, for our people.

The Pacific Provider Development Fund focuses on building the organisational capability of Pacific health providers.

Under ‘Ala Mo’ui we can now track progress of the health sector performance for our Pacific people. Since June 2014, Canterbury DHB has seen a six percent increase  for both Pacific woman enrolled to receive a cervical smear and in childhood immunisation at six months.

Conclusion

The New Zealand Government is proud to support the work of Pacific Trust Canterbury and Lomipeau, and we look forward to both PTC and Lomipeau going from strength to strength.

To everyone who has made this possible, well done and congratulations for having the foresight to invest in a project that will support the health of Pacific people in Christchurch for many years.