The Tonga episode in AUT’s Pacific language video series – ‘Adapting to a changing world, shaping resilient futures’ has been released.
The video is narrated in Tongan (with English subtitles) from the viewpoint of a 15-year-old girl, to acknowledge the language being celebrated in Aotearoa this week.
It looks at the issue of food security among our Pacific families in Aotearoa, based on significant findings from the Pacific Islands Families Study (PIFS).
PIFS Director, Associate Professor El-Shadan Tautolo says the availability and cost of healthy food options is a significant issue faced by many communities across Aotearoa, including our Pacific families.
“Our research found that around 40 per cent of the 1,300 families interviewed, could not afford to buy healthy food, and as a result, they would often skip important meals and go hungry, or they would buy food that was less nutritious, but cheaper,” says Associate Professor Tautolo.
“Much more needs to be done for our communities when it comes to this issue.
“There are some resources available, including AUT’s Certificate of Proficiency in Pacific Nutrition, which supports our communities to utilise healthy eating options or alternatives, at a low cost, to avoid diet-related health diseases.
“However, at a policy level, Governments need to do more to close the gap between food availability, choice and cost, particularly in light of the recent COVID-19 situation and the impact on household incomes and the ability to buy nutritious healthy food.
“The upcoming elections provide an opportunity to see this issue highlighted – we need urgent regulatory changes to ensure healthy food options are prioritised.”