21 Nov 2019
I am delighted to present the 2018/2019 Chair’s report on the work and activities of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF).
At the beginning of 2019 we welcomed our new Chief Executive Officer Don Mann, as Craig Strong relocated to take up the role of Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Fisheries in Fiji. 2018/19 saw a number of new PCF initiatives come into fruition along with continuing our existing programmes such as the internships.
This year we welcomed 16 interns from various tertiary institutions and regional bodies including the International Business School in New Caledonia, Tahiti Business School, National University of Samoa, University of the South Pacific, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, as well as New Zealand Scholars from across the Pacific region.
Our Business Harmonisation Conference held in August 2018 in Auckland, in conjunction with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and the Pacific Island Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), welcomed private sector representatives from around the region ahead of the 2018 Forum Leaders Meeting in Nauru.Our collaboration with PIFS will continue with another conference planned for early 2020 and we hope to strengthen this relationship in the coming years.
PCF partnered with the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce to deliver a digital technology workshop in the Cook Islands in May. This was the first time a NZ Techweek event took place in the Pacific Islands and we will continue this in the next year.
We are very pleased to report that 68% of the SME representatives at the workshop were women. During this period, we also held a workshop for secondary school students as part of the Young Enterprise Scheme where 83% of the participants were young women.
Our hugely successful inaugural Māori Pacific Business Forum was held at the end of June 2019 with 80 participants from Aotearoa and the Pacific. The forum was held in partnership with Te Ohu Whai Ao Trust, following on from the 2018 World Indigenous Business Forum held in Rotorua. As a result of the Māori Pacific Business Forum, many connections were established and a number of participants have started discussing the next steps for them at the bilateral level, particularly for further engagement with Māori resource owners.
This year saw Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting ‘graduate’ from PCF into their own entity as Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited (PCBL) and expand their Pasifika TV service. We wish the PCBL board and staff all the best for their future.
Thank you to the PCF team for all their hard work and dedication. On behalf of PCF, I would like to thank the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rt Hon Winston Peters and his team at MFAT for their continuous support. We bid farewell to Dr Brook Barrington and wish him well in his new role and welcomed Chris Seed as the incoming Chief Executive and Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
My sincere thanks to my fellow Trustees, Andrew Wilson, John Fiso, Rohit Reddy and Gerardine Clifford-Lidstone for their tireless support on behalf of Pacific Cooperation Foundation.
It is a privilege to serve this organisation and ensure PCF remains committed in their kaupapa to promote connected, informed and enabled communities in the Pacific.
To access and read our full annual report click here.
To read the Chief Executive's annual report click here.