If you have been affected by the Auckland floods and need assistance, please call 0800 ETURERE (0800 388 7373) or click here for more information.

“Grateful to serve” – PACMAT mission complete in the Hawke’s Bay
Updates / News , 13 Mar 23
The Pasifika Medical Association's (PMA) Medical Assistance Team (PACMAT) have completed their deployment in the Hawke's Bay Region, having supported a large population of RSE workers in the region with primary care, psychosocial and mental health support, following the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle.

Since the 21st February 2023, the team visited orchards, RSE accommodation sites, churches and local community groups to set up clinics alongside the Hawke's Bay Pacific Te Whatu Ora team. The PACMAT team's ability to speak in different Pacific languages allowed for medical checks, mental health checks and psycho-education sessions to be tailored to the individuals supported, resulting in the following support being provided: 

Hawke's Bay:

  • 1,260 individuals supported, made up of 957 RSE individuals 
  • 571 individuals supported with a mental health check 
  • 332 individuals supported with a GP medical check 
  • 21 psycho-education group sessions delivered to 763 individuals  


  • 206 individuals supported, made up of 179 RSE individuals 
  • 206 individuals supported with a mental health check 
  • 80 individuals supported with a GP medical check 
  • 4 psycho-education group sessions delivered to 167 individuals  


54 forestry and freezing works individuals supported with mental health and GP medical checks 

The PACMAT primary care team were also active in standing up clinics to vaccinate RSE workers.  

PMA CEO, Debbie Sorensen, says the team will continue to provide support remotely. She reassures that RSE workers will continue to receive support from local providers. 

"We have established a handover and care plan with the local team on the ground, but will continue our support to ensure there is a smooth transition out as our team wrap up the deployment. Our PACMAT leads will continue to support the local team and providers and stay connected via phone for the next week.  

"RSE workers will continue to receive long term support from providers in the region who we have strong and trusted relationships with. RSE employers can be reassured that support will be available for their workers; local health providers maintain their commitment to assisting those in need." 

Mrs Sorensen expresses her gratitude to the team members who were assigned on the mission as well as the leadership of Tofilau Talalelei Taufale, the Interim National Pacific Health Commissioning Lead and Pacific Lead – RSE and Transformation for Te Whatu Ora's Pacific Health team. 

"Our team were incredibly active in their support and driven by their heart for serving our people. They all answered the call to help and we're grateful they were able to serve and offer their expertise. 

"We're especially grateful to Tofilau for his leadership, service and his trust in our team to carry out the necessary work to support the RSE workers. This is what it's all about, coming together and serving our Pacific communities in need. PACMAT will continue to respond and provide support where necessary."