Summit signals fresh start for Pacific vision

posted: 9:00 am - 15th November 2018
PAS 141 of 264

(Picture caption: The Hon. Aupito William Sio and Hon. Grant Robertson speak to media about Lalanga Fou and the New Zealand Pacific Economy reports launched at the Pacific Aotearoa Vision Summit.)

The Pacific Aotearoa Vision Summit has signalled the start of something new, a fresh start filled with hope.  

It is just the start of the conversation around how Pacific peoples who call New Zealand home, can live prosperous, healthy and vibrant lives.  

Staged at Auckland’s Eden Park on November 13, the Summit was attended by over 450 government representatives and community leaders, and was hosted by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP), and its partners for the event Pacific Business Trust, the Pasifika Education Centre, the Pacific Media Network and Pasifika Futures.

It aimed to refresh the Pacific Vision set in 1999 as a result of a year-long Talanoa process with 2,500 Pacific peoples around New Zealand about their concerns and hopes and aspirations for the future. 

Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon. Aupito William Sio took the opportunity to officially launch Lalanga Fou, a report taking into account the thoughts and feedback provided by Pacific communities during this engagement conducted by MPP.

Lalanga Fou will not solve all the problems Pacific people face in New Zealand, but it will spark debate and encourage action to look at the challenges, inequality and issues faced by many of the 7.4 percent of the population (according to the 2013 Census), who identify with being Pacific, the Minister says.

Following on from its engagement with Pacific communities throughout 2018, MPP has established four priority goals, to achieve:

- Thriving Pacific Languages, Cultures and Identities;

- Prosperous Pacific Communities;

- Resilient Healthy Pacific Communities; and

- Confident, Thriving and Resilient Pacific Young People.

“Two main elements will be involved in the way we will work with Pacific communities, and they are that Pacific values and strengths will inform how things are done; and relationships must be effective in a Pacific community setting,” Minister Sio says.

Over the next year, MPP will connect, innovate and incubate – with its partners and stakeholders, and look to invest in and pilot ideas and initiatives.

“We need to stand together and collaborate to achieve this Pacific vision which can inspire us for years to come and unite us as a nation, to accept diversity and leave a legacy for the next generation ensuring no one gets left behind as.”

Minister of Finance Hon. Grant Robertson also launched the New Zealand Pacific Economy Report, at the Summit.

Presented by Treasury, this report looks at the contribution of Pacific to the New Zealand’s economy.

“It is a foundation to build upon looking at Pacific people’s significant contribution to New Zealand society, and how we create prosperous Pacific peoples, while eliminating negative stereotypes, inequalities and disparities people face,” Minister Sio adds.

Keynote speaker Monica Galetti brought many in the audience to tears as the Samoan-New Zealander shared her story of sacrifice and hardship to get to where she is now – living in the United Kingdom, having found fame on Masterchef, and the owner of Mere Restaurant in London.

She encouraged leaders and parents to let their children dream and to go and chase those goals, just as her parents heartened her to do.

Tongan-Kiwi Asena Tolungamaku - the Air New Zealand Leadership Inspiration Award recipient at the 2018 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards, showed with her incredible energy and enthusiasm she will move mountains to improve the Aotearoa Pacific youth are experiencing.

During her presentation, she implored leaders to provide all Pacific youth with opportunities – and not just the lucky ones.

“My generation is ready, willing and able and have potential but many need a chance,” Asena says.

“Given that chance, they can create a stronger, connected country much like a tightly woven mat – Lalanga Fou.”

It is people’s ability to walk in both worlds – that of New Zealand and one’s Pacific homeland which can prove to be their strongest asset, she adds.

The Summit has proven to be a great success with positive feedback stemming from attendees and those who tuned in via the live-stream on the Pacific Aotearoa website.

Visit www.pacificaotearoa.org.nz for more information and to view Lalanga Fou