28 Feb 2011

Cultural differences impacting on recent Pacific migrants to Christchurch

7:26 pm on 28 February 2011

Many Pacific people have left Christchurch to escape the after-shocks and the trauma of last week's earthquake and some are questioning whether they'll return.

The number confirmed dead is now 148, with about 50 people unaccounted for.

Meanwhile, Language and cultural differences may be compounding the problems experienced by recent Pacific migrants in earthquake struck Christchurch.

George Clark, a settling in coordinator with the city's Migrant Centre Trust, says it can be more difficult for them to access the support they need.

"For instance where communities have a cultural preference of not having women and men together in the same premises overnight and so they tend to establish their own say in garages or something like that so it's important to make sure they're secure and safe in those areas."

George Clark says over the weekend they came across a 100-strong Tongan community in that situation.

He says they were able to get food to them and they'll continue to work with them.