The launch of our new support service, for Pasifika by Pasifika.

“If you build it, they will come.”

– Adapted from Field of Dreams (1989)

This has been the story of Poutu Pasifika. We thought about it, decided what was needed, built and developed it over the last 2 years and our stats for the last 4-5 months have shown that the people have indeed come! Our Pacific referrals have almost tripled compared to the same time last year.

The last 3 months in particular have been the busiest with preparing our new office, having it blessed before moving and settling in, hosting Minister Marama Davidson and planning and running our Opening Day, all alongside servicing our existing clients and an influx of new ones.

On 22nd September, a group of Tangata Whenua came from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to bless our office before we moved in. It was an incredibly moving experience as the sun was rising, and made such a difference to how we felt about occupying and working in our new space, particularly given the mahi that we do.

For those of you who haven’t yet had the chance to visit our Poutu Pasifika office at 713 Dominion Road, here are a couple of photos of the entrance/waiting area.

Waiting room at Poutu Pasifika office
Entrance way to Poutu Pasifika office

Our Opening was a magical day, and felt like a real stake in the ground had been established, putting Poutu Pasifika on the map for Tāmaki Makaurau.

Currently Poutu Pasifika has 7 staff, contributing 175 hours of service every week to the Pacific people of Tāmaki Makaurau from Orewa to Papatoetoe. Given there is no specific Pacific service for sexual violence survivors in Tāmaki Makaurau, our team ensures our services are available to anyone who’s referred, regardless of where they live.

Our service includes crisis response, court support, social work and long-term counselling, all through a Pacific lens to ensure we’re providing relevant service in the way that’s needed for our Pacific families.

At this stage, most of our Pacific clients are from Auckland Central, but there is definitely an increase occurring from South Auckland and other areas as word about Poutu spreads.

Our stats have also shown us what we’ve always known, that our Pacific people are less likely to involve the police or report through official channels. Having face-to-face sessions, even initial sessions, is important for our people and the way that we provide service.

At this stage, we’re still working through what works for us as a team, the way we provide service and how we ensure the work is accurately captured in our database. As our processes and procedures continue to refine and improve our services and the work we’re doing, I would expect our stats to more accurately present this.

Minister Davidson’s visit to the Poutu Pasifika office

Written by Sylvia Yandall, Poutu Pasifika Service Manager