Prominent Pacific Islanders make up NZ council
New Zealand Government names prominent Pacific Islanders to new Pacific Advisory Council.
The new Pacific People's Advisory Council is being directed to focus on improving education, employment, entrepreneurship and economic development in New Zealand's Pasifika community.
New Zealand's Pacific People's Minister, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, has just named a new council, which includes paediatric Surgeon Kiki Maoate, former cabinet minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban and the chief executive of Allianz NZ, Eugene Elisara.
Mr Lotu-Iiga told Bridget Tunnicliffe what he expects the council to achieve.
SAM LOTU-IIGA: We are trying to focus on the things that matter to Pacific people, we know that jobs and economic development are important. We know in order to get those jobs education and advancing educational achievement is particularly crucial to the well being of Pacific people. But we also want to promote entrepreneurship in Pacific people and contributing to New Zealand society in many different ways.
BRIDGET TUNNICLIFFE: More Pacific leaders is that what the long-term goal is?
SL: Yea more Pacific leaders, you know we want well being improved by virtue of better education higher income, better housing outcomes. You know we want them to enjoy better health outcomes and a lot of that stems from having well paid jobs and being educated as much as Pacific people can but you know we also want leaders developed and we want business owners developed. We want people taking self-determination to its fullest extent.
BT: Within two decades one in five children will be of Pacific descent and obviously creating more success for Pacific people as seeing as being vital not just for Pacific people but for the well being of the country. Do you think that is something that people maybe overlook?
SL: Well that is exactly right I do think that certainly there are people out there that understand and know that the future of New Zealand will rely on a very young Pacific population and you know a very young ethnic population that is developing and growing in our country today. But you know in the years to come that will become more and more important and I think some of the changes that we can make in terms of policy in terms of legislation to you know promote diversity and the contributions of our pacific and ethnic communities will only improve that.
BT: How important is it to have examples of successful Pasifika people whether it be in sports or culture or the sciences. How much does it help to inspire the next generation. Its particularly important, you know people sometimes underestimate the value of role models. You know we have our sporting heroes and we have our heroes that contribute to the arts and entertainment but you know Pacific people are more and more achieving in other areas, in the sciences and in business and you know we have got to uphold that we have got to promote that and we have got to certainly advance you know those interests in non-traditional areas.
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