(Picture caption: L-R Mark Sowden, Laulu Mac Leauanae and Ivan Tava sign three separate memorandum of understanding, in Wellington.)
The signing of three separate memorandum of understanding by Stats NZ, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP), and the Pacific Data Sovereignty Network (PDSN) marks an important step in the right direction for driving positive outcomes for Pacific communities through data.
On August 11, leaders and representatives of the three agencies gathered at the Wellington Stats NZ office, where the MoU signings took place, between MPP and Stats NZ, MPP and PDSN, and PDSN and Stats NZ.
The three agencies have discussed working together more closely in recent years, so to reach this milestone is rewarding for all involved, Secretary for Pacific Peoples Laulu Mac Leauanae says.
“I am a well-known champion of collaboration, especially in the Pacific space, as it reinforces the strengths and abilities of Pacific peoples to drive their own innovative solutions.
“The partnerships formalised on this occasion are significant in progressing critical work with the PDSN on the Long-Term Insights Briefing the Ministry is leading on the topic, Improving Pacific data equity – opportunities to enhance the future of Pacific wellbeing.
“Our MoU with Stats NZ is a crucial milestone in supporting Pacific peoples’ participation in the 2023 Census, as well as strengthening our shared relationship across key data issues for our communities.”
Government Statistician and Stats NZ Chief Executive Mark Sowden says data, in particular quality data, is a vital asset that has the potential to positively impact the lives of all New Zealanders.
“We understand behind every number and statistic are real people with their own stories to tell – it's crucial we are doing everything we can to capture and understand the experiences of our Pacific communities in official data and statistics,” Mark says.
Chair of PDSN Ivan Tava adds the signings commits all three parties to long-term work programmes which acknowledge the value of the Pacific voice in the data system.
“Nothing about us, as Pacific peoples, can be done without us,” he says.
“The network celebrates a collaborative initial focus on securing higher response rates and engaging network members in the value of data among Pacific communities in Census 2023.
“This ensures our people are properly counted, and therefore represented, in our biggest national survey.”
Working together, Stats NZ, MPP and PDSN are committed to building enduring relationships to harness the power of data for Pacific communities.