News 29 Mar 2019
Kia ora, Mālō e lelei and Pacific greetings,
Firstly, on behalf of trustees and team at Pacific Cooperation Foundation we pay our deepest respects to our fellow New Zealanders and Muslim whānau who were murdered during prayers in Christchurch on Friday 15 March.
He maimai aroha ki a rātou kei tua o te ārai, kia moe mai rātou i roto i te Atua, e okioki ai.
A, ki a koutou e noho pani ana, arohanui atu, kia kaha.
This act of terror has compelled us to reflect on what we stand for and what we believe in whether it be within our respective social circles or at an organisational level. In doing so, my thoughts were drawn to the language of the Pacific Reset. The principles of understanding, friendship, mutual benefit, collective ambition and sustainability are no longer simple statements on a page. In times like this, words are important. These seven simple words have the potential to stand like beacons of light as we set about to rebuild, heal, come together and prosper.
I recently had the privilege of meeting the latest cohort of MFAT scholars who completed PCF's Summer Internship programme. What immediately stood out was the desire of every intern to give back to their home country. Talie Mundia of Samoa (pictured below), a University of Auckland Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) student stated, "many island nations are attempting to reduce their impacts on the environment through more sustainable planning and practices which I hope to lead in the future". This innate Pasifika virtue of servant leadership stands as a 'point of difference' as emerging regional leaders make their mark on a global stage.
A key tenet of PCF's Summer Internship programme in partnership with MFAT and private sector organisations is to develop a pipeline of future leaders who go on to become advocates for regional cooperation. Chandar Sen, current President of NZ Fiji Business Council and MD of Pacific Engineering Projects is an alumnus of NZ's scholarship programme and a shining example of what PCF's internship programmes aims to achieve.
A reminder that applications for the 2019 Media Internship programme are open and will close on Friday 5 April.
On the subject of business councils, PCF's annual engagement with New Zealand's Pacific Business Councils is in full swing. A highlight of the month was PCF's hosting of Pacific Business Chairs attended by Hon. Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Regional Economic Development and Disarmament & Arms Control. The first segment of the engagement was a closed meeting led by PCF Chair Nicole Metzger. This provided a platform for Pacific Business Chairs to give an overview of their respective councils and discuss issues and opportunities impacting on New Zealand businesses trading across the Pacific region. Matters raised included the implementation of regional Double Tax Agreements, enhanced labour mobility, transparency, liquidity and availability of capital plus opportunities through PACER Plus. A network event followed which allowed members of Pacific business councils and other key PCF stakeholders a chance to personally engage with Mr. Tabuteau.
PCF extends their thanks and appreciation to Mr. Tabuteau for attending the event at a time when his presence is needed elsewhere. PCF also acknowledges the work of MFAT's Director of Pacific Connections, Georgina Roberts in making this happen. Full album here
The team at PCF are preparing for the upcoming Māori Pacific Business Forum, a new initiative born out of last year's involvement with the World Indigenous Business Forum in Rotorua. The theme for the forum is 'whenua' (land) and will bring together resource owners from across the Pacific region with those from the Māori economy on 26-27th June at Waikato-Tainui College in Ngāruawāhia. The TDB Advisory report of February 2019 estimates the value of assets owned by Māori entities at over NZ$9B.
PCF aim to make informed connections that enable both Māori and Pacific resource owners to collaborate in the future. PCF is partnering with Te Ohu Whai Ao Trust Chairperson Richard Jefferies and trustee Rachel Petero for expertise on connecting Māori businesses with indigenous communities. The essence and spirit of the forthcoming event is best articulated by Richard:
"He maha ngā tangata whenua, he iwi moana kotahi."
"Peoples of many lands, people of one ocean."
Finally, I wish to acknowledge Laura Keil-Hall and Afamasaga Jackie Curry of The Pacific Business Hub, Manukau. Laura and Jackie stepped up at short notice to create three days of pop-up markets for Pacific business owners who travelled from across the region to New Zealand only for Pasifika Festival to be understandably cancelled at short notice. PCF were pleased to be able to support the pop-up Pasifika markets through supplying equipment, tables and marquees.
Ngā mihi nui,