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PCF visits Waikato region to explore opportunities for Pacific peoples

Industry Advice 10 Jul 2020

As part of PCF’s efforts to build on its connectivity and relationships, PCF Chair Fiso John Fiso and PCF staff members: Programme Development Manager Linda Kaua, Programme Administrator Cathryn Laban and Marketing & Communications Manager Suzanne Suisuiki travelled to Waikato region to meet with several stakeholders.

It is the first stakeholder engagement PCF has had post-lockdown and with the Pacific region restricting its borders, PCF recognises there are opportunities to address ongoing inequities faced by the NZ Pacific community – particularly in housing, health, and employment.

It was noted that the Waikato region has an effective support system in place for its growing Pacific population and this is evident through the Waikato Plan and K’aute Pasifika’s Pan Pacific Community Hub presented by Lale Ieremia, Waikato Pacific Business Trust Board Member.

“The Waikato Plan which has been endorsed by the Waikato Regional Council will develop 51,000 houses over the next 25 years” Lale said.

“It is anticipated that 75% of those houses would be affordable. It is important to demystify the process and simplify all finance/technical language for our Pasifika people if we want to see more them become homeowners.”

K’aute Pasifika’s Pan Pacific Community Hub funded by Trust Waikato, has been a long-time dream for its CEO Leaupepe Rachel Karalus and her mother who founded K’aute Pasifika 23 years ago.

The hub will comprise of a medical clinic, pharmacy dispensary, nurse-led services, social workers and education programmes and an early childhood centre.

“We’ve dreamed of this for 20 years,” Leaupepe has stated previously.

“There’s really nothing like this in New Zealand. A centralised and accessible Pasifika centre will mean that we can better support the holistic wellbeing of Pacific families, increase our connectedness and cultural identities, and celebrate and support academic, sporting, creative and leadership potential.”

The team were also fortunate to meet with Michelle Hollands, Strategic Partnerships and Projects Manager at Te Waka and Tim Mackle, CEO of Dairy NZ.

Both stakeholders have advised there are employment and training opportunities for Pacific people who have an interest to work in forestry, construction, and dairy sector.

The visit to Waikato has inspired PCF to explore new collaborations to provide innovative solutions for the Pacific population in New Zealand.

Further updates will be provided soon.

Image L - R: Linda Kaua, Cathryn Laban, Lale Ieremia - Director of PCM Consulting, PCF Chair John Fiso and Rebecca Ama.