News 16 Nov 2018
On Tuesday 13 November, Eden Park drew a crowd of 350, for a gathering like no other. Pacific government and community leaders from all over New Zealand came together for the Pacific Aotearoa Summit hosted by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to refresh the shared vision for Pasifika communities in New Zealand.
The summit was a result of a year-long process convened by the Ministry who engaged with 2500 Pacific people to discuss their concerns and hopes for the future.
The last time the New Zealand Government set up a project for its Pacific communities was 19 years ago in 1999, when a then National-led government set up the Pacific Vision where the focus was on coming up with solutions to issues faced by Pacific people.
However, the NZ Pacific Economy report presented by Treasury at the summit reflected the progress and contributions Pacific communities have made.
It is estimated that the Pacific population contribute up to $8 billion to New Zealand’s GDP, and around 1500 Pacific business employers and not-for-profit organisations generate $3.1 billion annually from its assets.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio spoke about the impact and legacies laid by the Pacific community despite the prevalent issues.
“While the research explores the monetary value of the Pacific economy, the Government recognises that for Pacific people wealth is defined more broadly and includes knowledge, family, faith, education, health and culture.” Grant Robertson says.
“It is a foundation to build upon looking at Pacific people’s significant contributions to New Zealand society, and how we create prosperous Pacific peoples, while eliminating negative stereotypes, inequalities and disparities people face,” Minister Aupito said.
The highlights of the summit include panel discussions, guest speakers, debates and workshops facilitated by four other New Zealand-based Pacific organisations.
International celebrity chef, Monica Galetti was one of the summit’s keynote speaker and moved the audience with her background story and the journey she embarked on to becoming a television personality and restaurant owner in the UK.
Born in Samoa but raised in New Zealand, Monica spoke about her late mother’s sacrifice to allow her to dream big
“My mum is such an intelligent woman that she stopped her life for us, she really did, she went without for so many times to put food on the table for myself and my siblings.”
“The amount of times I found her in tears because she couldn’t get something we needed for school, so she pushed me to go, to leave and travel and to dream”
“We owe it to our children to and the next generation to let them dream, let them achieve.”