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Source: Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF)

The Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) urges the Pacific community in New Zealand to make their voice count this election.

Board Chair and Acting Chief Executive Fiso John Fiso says, “Election time is a good time for the Pacific community, especially our youth, to engage in what each political party stands for, and have honest conversations with each other about what the benefits are for different policy options.”

“It is important Pacific people are actively part of finding the solutions to the challenges we face, not just passive recipients of Government decisions and policies,” Fiso John Fiso said.

“We need more effective policies and a strategic mind set shift that will contribute to better health, and educational outcomes, more home ownership, and not just jobs, but higher incomes, and business ownership, for Pacific people.

“The recently announced PGF funding for Pasifika churches, while it recognises the important economic, cultural and social contribution Pacific churches play in the lives of many Pacific families and communities, it would be great to explore initiatives like these for the largest Pacific populations in South Auckland and Porirua.

“Laree Taula who has just joined the newly created PCF Wellington based office, ‘Partnerships and Special Projects Officer (Engagements, Research & Data)’ says, “Now is an integral time to use our political capital by mobilising the collective resources we have built up over time through relationships, trust, education and information, to influence the make-up of our mixed member proportional representation political system.

“It was great to see the inaugural RNZ-Pacific Media Network Pacific candidates’ debate on Sunday with Pacific journalist Indira Stewart drilling down on some of the questions our Pacific community want answers to, so they can make informed choices about which political party is most closely aligned to their values,” Laree Taula said.

“Pacific people are a growing, youthful and diverse population and what binds us together is our shared core values, such as the importance of service and family, and the desire to see us collectively succeed in all areas of life.

“As a strong advocate for Pacific aspirations, the PCF is committed to contributing to informed, connected and empowered Pacific peoples, with a focus on developing our future Pacific leaders and youth in New Zealand and across the Pacific region.  

“We are also wanting to bring a greater awareness and appreciation by the people and communities of the Pacific Islands and New Zealand, of their shared Pacific identity, history, and culture, and how this is inextricably linked with politics,” Laree Taula said.