May 19, 2020, 3:06 p.m.
Vaniva Lewis is one of a handful of volunteers that supported Pacific Island whānau in the Far North during the lockdown period. When given the task of identifying Pasifika families in the Te Hiku area she had only known of 10 Cook Island whānau. However, with support from the wider community was able to find nearly 50 families, with links throughout the Pacific.
Fale Pasifika are a non-for-profit organisation funded by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples and was set up to bridge the gap between island roots and New Zealand-born Pacific peoples. Fale Pasifika has assisted many Pacific people who have settled into the region. Vaniva found that some families did not have the same access to government support if they weren't able to work during the lockdown period.
Support was found from other organisations such as Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA) New Zealand.