Wellington Pacific Leaders' Forum



Date:  Tuesday 7 August 2018

Venue:  Victoria University

Time:  6pm-8.30pm

Contact: andre@unicef.org.nz


Following the Pasefika Proud Wellington Region Pacific Community Leaders' Fono in Porirua on 20 & 21 September 2016, a Wellington sub-group has been meeting to progress a Local Action Plan that was developed at the Fono.  


As the group is a network of churches, community groups, service providers, NGOs and agencies, it has become a Forum for ideas and initiatives that promote collaboration and coordination for improving the well-being of Pacific communities in central Wellington.


This page is an interim portal for documents and updates from the Forum. Pasifika Network is delighted to support the Forum.  


The Forum is open to any group or individual operating in Wellington (Wellington City Council boundaries) with an interest in supporting the betterment of the Wellington Pacific communities.

New Chair & Deputy Chair Elected
13 February 2018

Andre Whittaker (Cook Islands and Tahiti), Director Child Rights Team for UNICEF NZ, was elected the new Chair of the Wellington Pacific Leaders' Forum.



 Elisapeci Samanunu Waqanivala (Fiji), Fijian Language Interpreter, Translator & Oral Historian Researcher, was elected Deputy Chair

Forum Discuss & Brainstorm Strategy for 2018

WPLF meeting held on Wednesday 21 March to discuss and brainstorm strategy for the year. 

Two presentations were delivered at the latest Forum gathering as part of the Setting The Sail Workshop held on Wednesday 21 March. The first presentation was led by Deputy Chair Elisapeci Samanunu Waqanivala on mapping Pasifika peoples in the greater Wellington region.

The second presentation by Peter Foaese from The Office of The Children’s Commissioner was about opening up the space to hear the voices of Pasifika Youth.

The next meeting will be held at the Ministry for Pacific Peoples on Wednesday 18 April from 6pm to 8:30pm. The forum will get the opportunity to contribute to a “Vision for Pasifika Peoples 2020” in Aotearoa. 


Click on the PDF for more information on the workshop. 

Labour Party Spokesperson Discusses Ambitious Policies for Pasifika Community if they become Government

October 2017 - Labour party spokesperson for Pacific Island Affairs and MP for Mangere Aupito Su’a William Sio meets with Wellington Pacific Leaders’ Forum.

Labour spokesperson for Pacific Island Affairs promised to prioritise Pacific needs if they win this year’s election.

Aupito spoke at the Wellington Leaders’ Forum and shared the changes he would make to the Ministry for Pacific Peoples if he became Minister.

The MP for Mangere plans on creating solutions with the housing crisis for Pacific people, promoting Pacific language policies and creating a Pacific Television channel.

Aupito believes it's important to create a Pasifika Television channel as there is a large number of Pacific Islanders living in New Zealand.  With a vast majority of them being born in New Zealand, it would be beneficial to create a platform for Pacific Island people to stay connected with their culture.

“I want to increase the content of Pacific material on mainstream media. We need to find a way to preserve, advance and protect language and creating a Pacific broadcast programme will keep us connected to the Pacific,” said Aupito.

Aupito said the current housing crisis is affecting many Pacific Island people with only 16 percent owning their own homes. This is the lowest rate it has ever been.

With the majority of Pacific Island people earning a net worth of $12 ,000 dollars a year, their ability to own a home is highly unlikely.

“Our vision is to build more affordable houses for Pacific Islanders so that they can own their homes and are able to make regular payments through our own ‘rent to own’ policy,” he told the Forum.

The party also plans on putting in place a Language Policy for Pacific Languages in the education system.

“We plan on putting money into preserving languages and believe this is important. Currently, with a National-run country, they have made it difficult for these policies to go ahead.”

Labour plans on legislating five Pacific languages; Cook Islands, Niuean, Samoan, Tokelauan, and Tongan.

The spokesperson attended the Wellington Leaders’ Forum on August 30th and acknowledged the work of the Forum to promote and advocate Pacific community issues in Wellington.

'You're Setting the Agenda' - Minister Tells Wellington Pacific Leaders' Forum

30 August 2017 - Associate Minister for Children and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon. Alfred Ngaro (pictured left) didn't hold back on his advice to the Forum - "Keep leading the agenda".  (Pictured right, Forum Chair Samson Samasoni presents an overview of the Forum's work to the Minister)

The Minister was glowing in his congratulatory comments about what the Forum had achieved after only eight months of operation.

He was highly complimentary about it's approach to addressing issues impacting Pacific communities in Wellington when he met with the Forum in May.

"What you're doing is setting the agenda," he told the Forum. "Keep leading the agenda and keep telling us what's important in your community."
Mr Ngaro said he'd done his homework on the Forum and was aware that the group was organised, clearly focused and committed to positive outcomes.

The Minister said he was impressed with the Forum's approach of clearly targetting key issues, analysing and interpreting available data and research, then developing 'strategic tipping point solutions'. He cited the Forum's focus on Financial Capability training in response to family violence, as an example of foresighted solution development.

Forum Chair Samson Samasoni (pictured) started the meeting by providing an overview of how the Forum had refined its initial action plan since October 2016, by seeking empirical data to better understand the key issues and potential solutions. He said the Forum, as a collective of service providers, churches, community groups and agencies, was not looking to duplicate what was already in existence but to identify a key challenge and need, isolate the gap in existing services and then implement a measurable solution. "We're looking for the strategic tipping point solution, where a simple intervention or programme can have a major enduring flow-on impact for the betterment of our communities," he said.

Samasoni told the Minister that to be more effective, the forum did require support with in-depth relevant research. "We don't get hung up on the statistics and data, but it helps us better refine and target our energies and potential initiatives," he said. "As a volunteer group, it's important that we're judicious about what we take on". The Minister was eager to meet again with the Wellington Pacific Leaders' Forum and to support its ongoing work.


For up to date information on the work of the Forum, click here for the latest newsletter.

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