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Don Mann | CEO December 2019 Pānui

News 13 Dec 2019

Rātou kua poto ki tua ō te ārai, e moe e okioki

E ngā whānau pani, arohanui atu, kia kaha.

Tātou te hunga ora e kawe ana i te aronganui mō te pai me te whai rawa ō ngā moutere o Te Moana Nui a Kiwa, tēnā rā tātou katoa.

To those who have passed into the night, may you find eternal rest.

Love and strength to the families of the bereaved.

For those of us who have been left behind to build a prosperous Pacific region, greetings to us all.


It’s challenging to pen a Christmas message at this point in time when many families across the Pacific region are suffering through a series of unconnected critical events.

Furthermore, our thoughts are with the family of Tessa Temata, NZ High Commissioner to the Cook Islands whose funeral was conducted today in Wellington.

Despite this, for those of us who are in a position to affect positive change, it is our duty and responsibility to move forward and celebrate where appropriate.

Anything less is not only disrespecting those who are less fortunate but also those who are currently grieving.

A huge vote of thanks goes to Pacific Cooperation Foundation Board of Trustees led by Chair, Nicole Metzger and Porirua-based primary health care provider, Pacific Health Plus led by Chairman John Fiso.

Our respective organisations have partnered in sending two NZ medical professionals of Samoan descent to Samoa - Dr Penehuro Tapelu and Senior nurse Kailua Faafoi who have joined forces with local Samoan medical professionals in fighting the measles epidemic.

Our regional leadership development programme for 2019/20 is nearing its mid-point as eleven students from six Pacific Island countries continue to immerse themselves in work-life experience through our internship programme.

Special mention goes to Solenn Danger from the Ecole de Gestion et de Commerce (New Caledonia Business School) for her contribution to PCF and two alumni from our programme for recently graduating – Angelica Tovia attaining a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Social Sciences and International Studies from the Auckland University of Technology and Ayana Champot attaining a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing from the Tahiti Business School in French Polynesia.

Planning for PCF’s digital capacity programme to be executed in May 2020 is in full swing with feedback sought from Tonga's government representative Lord Fakafanua; NZ’s High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Mr Phillip Taula; plus meetings with Afamasaga Lepuiai Rico Tupai, Samoa’s Minister of Communication and Information Technology.

PCF acknowledges the support from the following in helping to inform the pending rollout of this initiative: Tovia Va’aleua, Chair of Pasifika in IT, Saia Mataele of Navigators of Success, Ray Allen of Code Avengers and Mary Aue of Coconut Wireless.

(Above image: PCF staff with Code Avengers team)

Special mention to Mr Michael Greenslade, former Trade & Investment Commissioner of Pacific Trade & Invest, New Zealand. Michael departs from this role to explore new opportunities. Michael has been a tremendous advocate for PCF and the six business councils of NZ who activate across the Pacific.

We wish Michael all the best for his next endeavour and no doubt his continued advocacy for a prosperous Pacific region.

(Above image L - R: Tony Whiting awarded the 'Life Member' trophy from Michael Greenslade at the NZ Pacific Business Council AGM and function)

Also taking on a new challenge is Georgina Roberts, MFAT Director for Pacific Connections. Georgina provided a key link between the governance of PCF and our engagement with MFAT.

We look forward to working with Georgina in her new role as NZ High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands.

Georgina’s experience in working across the region and in particular Melanesia is an asset to the bilateral relationship with the Solomon Islands.

(Above image: Georgina Roberts at PCF's HOMs Breakfast function 2017)

Finally, on behalf of the Board of Trustees and all staff of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation, we wish you all a safe and enjoyable Christmas and New Year with your loved ones.May the festive season bring love, joy and laughter to you and your families.

Arohanui atu ki a koutou katoa,

Don Mann