Pasifika leaders of today and tomorrow had a meeting of the minds over brunch to explore what success means to the Pasifika community.
An inaugural Pasifika event hosted by EIT in September, the brunch saw student leaders from seven secondary schools engage with the community’s Hawke’s Bay leaders.
“We wanted to give our leaders of tomorrow the chance to have their say on what success meant to them and what they think needs to happen for the Pasifika community to thrive in Hawke’s Bay,” says Tumema Faioso, project leader and Hawke’s Bay Pasifika komiti member.
“These young people will help weave the future for our community.”
The Hawke’s Bay Pasifika komiti is a group of Pasifika leaders in their respective fields such as police, community, special needs education, youth services, education, church and health.
“We’re alumni of those secondary schools, and some of us of EIT. We’ve left and come back to Hawke’s Bay and can see the lack of support there is in the community for Pasifika. We’ve joined hands in a sense, to give back to our community,” says Tumema.
Lots of strong feedback came from the working brunch.
“We asked them about the issues they face in this community as young people and as young Pasifika. It’s given us a really good platform for us to move from.”
One of the keys for the young people was the need for there to be action, not just all talk.
“We’ve taken that on board. Already we are talking to principals and community leaders about some initiatives and we’re working on pulling together a calendar of Pasifika events.
“It was a good start and we’re planning another brunch for the beginning of next year. Watch this space!”
EIT liaison advisor for Māori and Pasifika, Rhys Thurston says the brunch was a good opportunity for the current youth leaders to see the strong connection between the tertiary institute and the Pasifika community.
“It was positive to hear from some of the alumni how their time at EIT had contributed to their careers and lives, and has given them the opportunity to now give back.”