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Pasifika Futures flood relief support remains a priority - $1.8 million invested thus far
Updates / News , 13 Feb 23
As the upper North Island continues to be prepared for Cyclone Gabrielle, Pasifika Futures (PFL), the Whānau Ora commissioning agency for Pacific families, will continue to support affected communities, having invested $1.8 million into flood relief support.

As of Thursday 9 February, PFL have invested $1.8 million into flood relief support, working with 15 partners. Since responding to the communities' needs, 5,788 individuals have been engaged with and 5,136 packages of support have been delivered. Moreover, 156 displaced families and 83 families with disabled/elderly members have been supported.

PFL CEO, Debbie Sorensen, says the needs for families is looking to be long-term. 

"Food and clean-up support are still the most prominent forms of support families are seeking. What we are also seeing are families having to stay with other relatives, resulting in overcrowded homes, a need for mental health support and disruptions to students' education.  

As we all prepare for Cyclone Gabrielle, we will continue investing into supporting our communities; our families continue to be resilient and as an organisation we will respond and meet their needs." 

In a talanoa for 531 PI's Pacific Mornings show, Pasifika Medical Association Group (PMAG) Board Director, Sir Collin Tukuitonga KNZM, encouraged people to stay away from flood waters for the safety of their health. 

"There's a tendency and temptation for young people to go out and play in the water and so the messages that have been sent out is really about discouraging mostly young people from playing in the water. 

We don't know what is in there but it's a fair bet that it's contaminated with material that can make people sick; it's a message that we've been repeating throughout this time." 

With severe weather warnings in place and the looming threat of the cyclone, Mrs Sorensen encourages our communities to follow official advice and to stay safe. 

"Families are anxious about Cyclone Gabrielle and while there is uncertainty of its impact, as an organisation we reassure that we will support where needed and get through this together."