Supporting Pasifika young people in New Zealand


Released 04/07/18

We want to help reduce family violence, sexual violence, and suicidal behaviour among Pasifika young people in New Zealand. To do this, we've partnered with Pasifika organisation Le Va.

Le Va has recently launched a programme called ‘Atu-Mai’. It's New Zealand's first national violence prevention programme for Pasifika young people.

Atu-Mai focuses on addressing high rates of violence, low access to existing health and social services, and low reporting behaviour.

Connecting with our Pasifika communities

Our Acting Chief Customer Officer Emma Powell says Le Va has strong knowledge of Pasifika communities.

“Atu-Mai as been designed by Le Va to break down some of the barriers that have inhibited previous attempts to change behaviours.

“Pasifika youth are three times more likely to be exposed to family violence. They have higher rates of assault claims lodged with ACC. And their injuries from assault tend to be worse, and come at a higher financial and social cost,” she said.

“Our research suggests three quarters of all violence is not reported to Police. Low reporting in our Pasifika communities limits our understanding of harm and can mask the extent of the problem.

“We know there are strong cultural traditions that must be considered with care. We trust Le Va’s expertise, knowledge, and ability to communicate in a way that works best for our Pasifika communities,” she said.

The numbers

Pasifika people constitute 7.75% of the New Zealand population, but make up 12% of all ACC assault-related claims.

Assaults make up 2% of all home and community related claims. 3% of all home and community-related claims are lodged by Pasifika people.

Assault claims for Pasifika people also cost more on average. Active claims for home-related assaults in 2015/16 cost $15.7 million, and averaged $1,757 per claim. But for Pasifika clients, this was $4.27 million, averaging $2,425 per claims.

Only 5% of sensitive claims come from Pasifika communities. Le Va’s research found under-reporting the cause, rather than an indicator of sexual violence in the community.

The Te Rau Hinengaro NZ Mental Health Survey found Pasifika people 18 years and over are 3 times more likely to attempt to commit suicide than the general population. Pasifika youth also have higher rates of suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Atu-Mai launch

The Atu-Mai programme was officially launched on 4 July 2018. We want Pasifika people in New Zealand to thrive, so we are investing $5.9 million over the next five years to support Le Va.

For more information, see Le Va’s website and Facebook page.

Le Va official website 
Le Va Facebook page

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