Guest blog from Epenesa Olo-Whanga
The establishment of Moana Pasefika was initially supported by the Northern Region Support Services (NDSA) to provide support and advice to the Network North Coalition. This coalition was tasked with providing vital links to all stakeholders in mental health and addictions following a review of services by the Mental Health Commission in 2002.
Moana Pasefika’s membership was, and still is, made up of key stakeholders from Pasefika mental health and addictions services across metro Auckland. These include senior managers, planners and funders, consumer advisors and mātua. Previous contributing members included Ti’a Kirk Mariner, Vaoita Turituri, Pulotu Bruce Levi, Papalii Johnny Siaosi, the Late Nonumalo Taufao Lurch, Dr Monique Faleafa, and Matua Levao Tiava’asu’e.
Moana Pasefika developed key documents such as Pacific Consumer ‘Tiare Ruperupe’, Leadership Framework for the Mental Health and Addictions Sector (2010) and the Pacific Mental Health and Addiction Northern Region Implementation Plan (2009-2012).
This group also developed and shared innovations and research. It was the conduit for workforce and service development planning for Auckland mental health and addictions. Child and youth mental health and addictions, regional consumer and family forum was also led through this group which also developed the national specifications.
Since then, there has been a refocus for the group; looking and learning from the past to move forward. To regroup, reconnect with key stakeholders and take a leading role in creating change to help our Pacific workforce stay relevant and responsive to the needs of our communities.
Currently Moana Pasefika is chaired by Epenesa Olo-Whaanga (service manager, Takanga a Fohe) with Saveatama Eroni Clarke (cultural and relationship Manager, Le Va). This group meets bi-monthly and make submissions pertaining to the sector as required.
We’re looking forward to convening on 20 April at GPS2016 – Le Va’s Growing Pasifika Solutions for our young people conference.
Service Manager & Clinical Psychologist
Takanga A Fohe, Pasifika Mental Health and Addictions, Waitemata DHB