The Fiso Group’s deal to take over Pacific Health Services in Porirua has been confirmed with new management swiftly put in place to work through transition to a new entity - Pacific Health Plus.
The Fiso Group has committed necessary resources to ensure that Pacific Health Services, which was struggling to service the Pasifika community in Porirua, can continue providing much-needed healthcare to more than 2000 people in Cannons Creek. It is also working closely with both the community and partner agencies to ensure this.
Pastor Teremoana Tauira Maka, current chair of the Pacific Health Services board said: "We are relieved that the Fiso Group moved quickly to immediately to assist with management and governance, where we urgently needed support. We can now move forward to improve vital health services to our community and provide a good quality service which understands Pacific needs.”
John Fiso, chairman of the Fiso Group, who is well known for advocating for Pasifika, said: "My main focus is to ensure that this critical service, which has been struggling for some time, continues to serve the Pacific community.
“The first step will be to accurately determine the health statistics of those who use the service, identify barriers to improving these and find ways to tackle the problem.
“Cannons Creek, which I know well from my youth, is a high need, highly disadvantaged area and will require an integrated approach to deal with multiple issues - such as housing, education, health and social issues. Improving outcomes for those that live here is long overdue.”
Mr Fiso is best known for changing the outcomes of more than 15,000 students by improving qualification rates, particularly for Māori and Pasifika, through the tertiary training provider, the New Zealand Institute of Sport, which he started in Porirua 20 years ago.
“As I have said before, Pacific people’s needs are not being met,” said Mr Fiso. “Pacific people constitute 26% of Porirua and their health outcomes are not improving – in fact they are getting worse.”
According to a 2016 StatsNZ report, Pasifika people are the poorest ethnic group in New Zealand, with median wealth of $12,000, 12 times lower than European and four times lower than Māori. The national median average was $87,000.
Almost half of all Pasifika preschoolers in New Zealand live in crowded housing, which is linked to many poor health and education outcomes.
“These kids have the highest rate of rheumatic fever; our children also have an increasing rate of obesity, directly linked to deprivation,” Mr Fiso said.
“The situation is simply not good enough and I hope I can help change these outcomes with opportunities such as this one.”