Pacific Responsiveness Strategy Te Manaaki Tāngata Pasifika

We want to support Pacific people in New Zealand to live healthy lives through improved and timely access to, and use of, medicines and medical devices. Our Pacific Responsiveness Strategy helps us do that.


The Pacific Responsiveness Strategy (PRS) is Te Pātaka Whaioranga - Pharmac’s strategic intent for improving Pacific peoples’ health outcomes in Aotearoa New Zealand. It was originally published in 2017 and had three 3-year phases.

The Strategy is focused on influencing health outcomes of Pacific peoples:

  1. through connecting with Pacific communities directly
  2. by embedding Pacific perspectives into Pharmac as an organisation
  3. by influencing change elsewhere in the health system.

Stage Two: Growing and changing

Priorities for Stage Two were re-focused in 2021 and our approach and deliverables for the Pacific Responsiveness Strategy changed to better meet the needs of our changing environment with many of our Pacific health stakeholders and health partners heavily part of the COVID-19 response and recovery.

We also took time to analyse the Pharmac Review (2022) recommendations and the new Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022 to ensure ongoing work for the Pacific Responsiveness Strategy is better aligned with Pacific Health priorities and that we were working collaboratively with our health partners and Pacific communities. 

Some of the deliverables from Stage Two will be carried through to be implemented in Stage Three 2023-2026: Flourishing change ‘Aufua ‘a Tefuli (Tonga) work programmes (currently in development). 

What we have achieved in stage two

Connecting with Pacific communities directly

Our goal: Pharmac will have meaningful and ongoing relationships with key Pacific organisations and Pacific communities. 

  • You Are a Priority health promotion campaign designed to raise awareness of the two new medicines for Type 2 diabetes to Māori and Pacific peoples
  • Funded patient information resources in Pacific languages for preventative conditions, including gout 
  • Health promotion, capability development, and Pacific workforce outreach with Pacific Pharmacists Association
  • Embedding Pacific voices in our work and influencing our decision-making, including Pacific consumer advice through our Consumer Advisory Committee
  • Appointment of Pacific and Youth Representative as Co-Chair of the Consumer Advisory Group Committee
  • Collaboration with Moana Connect in the development of our Pacific Peoples Health – Gout Data Insights report, including Pacific Data Insights Reviews
  • Annual Sponsor of SunPix Pacific Peoples Awards Pacific Service Excellence Award, which celebrates those making essential contributions to Pacific communities in their work
  • Exploring commissioning of a community-based initiative for gout with Moana Research
  • Collaborating with organisations to better meet the needs of Pacific communities, including:
    • the Pacific Pharmacists Association
    • Pasifika GP Network
    • Ministry for Pacific Peoples
    • Manatū Hauora
    • Pacific Collective
    • Auckland University
    • Moana Connect
    • Te Whatu Ora
    • Arthritis New Zealand
    • Pacific Data Sovereignty Network
    • Pacific health leaders and groups.

Embedding Pacific perspectives into Pharmac as an organisation

Our goal: Factoring impacts and implications for Pacific people into all our work.

Pacific capability, leadership and development 

  • Established Malae Te Manaaki Pacific: Pacific capability and leadership development programme.
  • Partnership with Moana Connect to deliver:
    • Workshop 1 & 2: Pacific Health, Pacific Worldviews & Social theories that impact Pacific communities.
    • Workshop 3:  Pacific Data Sovereignty
    • Workshop 4:  Digital Vā
  • Ongoing engagement with Manatū Hauora (Pacific Health) to deliver Pacific Health
  • Partnered with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to deliver the Kapasa - The Pacific Policy Analysis Tool(external link) training to strengthen how we factor Pacific peoples in our planning and decision-making
  • Established a commissioning process for Pacific health expert and clinician review of data insights reports, including Pacific data sovereignty review
  • Pacific Health Guidance: Advice for activities and decision-making that impacts Pacific peoples
  • Monitoring medicines uptake and use
  • Pharmac secured supply and increased access to COVID-19 vaccines and antiviral medicines, introducing preventative treatments for high-risk people including Pacific peoples.
  • Internal projects that contribute to Pacific Health, population health and equity priorities
  • Contributed to the development of the health equity policy
  • End to end process improvement project on how we make our decisions  
  • Strengthening Pacific health and equity factors for consideration, in our assessment and decision-making processes – (ie:  influenza vaccine)
  • Strengthening how Pacific health and equity are factored in Requests for Proposals (that is asking suppliers to propose how their goods or services or works can achieve a specific outcome and meet budgets). 

Factored inclusion of Pacific ethnicity into our access criteria

Since 2021, Pharmac has used pro-equity criteria within our special authorities for a number of medicines and vaccines which treat conditions that disproportionately affect Māori and Pacific peoples and which offer significant health benefits. This has included: 

  • medicines to treat type 2 diabetes - dulaglutide, liraglutide and empagliflozin
  • rosuvastatin for high cholesterol
  • COVID-19 treatments, including nirmatrelvir with ritonavir (Paxlovid), remdesivir and mulnupiravir
  • influenza vaccine (to 31 December 2023)

Influencing change elsewhere in the health system

Our goal: Using our influence within the health system to support change that would lead to improved access to medicines and medical devices for Pacific peoples.

  • Contracted for delivery of educational resources for primary care clinicians to support and promote the responsible use of medicines and behavioural change to improve access to and the optimal use of medicines.
  • Pacific representation and voices on the Responsible Use Advisory Group
  • Support the provision of clinical equity-focused education of primary healthcare professionals through He Ako Hiringa (gout current focus)
  • Produced The Pacific Peoples Health – Gout Data Insights report (2022)
  • Advice and influence:
    • Manatū Hauora – Prescription subsidy 
    • Ministry for Pacific Peoples - Government Pacific Wellbeing Strategy and the Pacific Languages Strategy, and development of the Pacific Peoples Disability Position Statement
    • Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet - Pae Ora Bill
    • Manatū Hauora – Te Mana Ola Pacific Health Strategy, Rural Health Strategy, Women’s Health Strategy, Pae Tū Māori Hauora Strategy

We didn't do this alone

We would like to acknowledge all stakeholders, partners and Pacific communities who have supported the work and implementation of Stage Two of the Pacific Responsiveness Strategy.