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Nelson Tasman Pasifika Trust helping families in need

The Nelson Tasman Pasifika Trust has provided help and guidance to the region’s Pasifika community for more than 20 years.

The trust works in a range of areas including community development, health, education and social service.

Trust manager Jennifer Beatson said it gave much-needed support to Nelson’s 1500-strong Pasifika community.

“The difference between privilege and poverty is actually having choices, so what we try to do is we try to give people choices,” she said.

“We do that by educating them, by supporting them and by helping them to develop their own solutions to their own problems, and then owning those solutions.”

One of the programmes supported by the trust is Kai Rescue, which has so far seen more 180 tonnes of food donated to families and groups in the Pasifika community.

“The people we deal with mainly are low income families who are struggling with a wide range of issues” Ms Beatson said.

“Programmes like Kai Rescue help to ensure these families put kai on the table.”

The trust also runs a drivers licensing programme called Ako Taavale, which helps people of all ages get their learners, restricted and full licenses.

“It seems like a small thing but it is massive,” Ms Beatson said.

“I can’t emphasise what a difference getting a license makes for these families. Especially for the women. We have stories of women who had to wait for their husbands to come home from work to take them to the supermarket. Or fathers coming home from work to the school drop off and then returning to work.“