Tabana Nius Newsletter Issue 6
This is the October 2017 issue of our quarterly newsletter, Tabana Nius. It provides updates on our progress delivering the Pacific Economic Strategy and our work relating to Pacific communities.
Foreword: Jo Hughes, Head of Office of the Chief Executive
Bula vinaka, welcome to the sixth edition of Tabana Nius! It has been a busy time since our last edition of Tabana.
We would like to acknowledge and farewell Associate Professor, Teresia Teaiwa. We are grateful for her contribution in supporting our work at MBIE and also her immense contribution in growing the next crop of skilled Pacific people in NZ.
In this edition, we profile some of the initiatives that we've been running, including the Tupu Tai Pasifika Public Sector Internship Programme. Tupu Tai has grown from strength to strength, with 18 positions across 9 government agencies. We are also excited to have 3 new team members in our Pasifika team, forming the 'Fab Four'.
Also in the pipeline are Pac Hack, a day-long Pacific 'Hackathon', and our Tupu Tek ICT/technology summer internships. We have also recently kicked off a co-design project with Auckland Council on Pacific peoples' progression in the labour market. It's a critical piece of work which will provide a deeper understanding of the barriers but also opportunities for progressing Pacific people in the workforce.
A new addition to Tabana will be a feature of upcoming events and links to recent economic related research documents.
I look forward to supporting our Pasifika work in MBIE.
Meet the new MBIE Pasifika team!
The MBIE Pasifika team has recently doubled in size, with the addition of team members Derek Johnson (Senior Policy Advisor) and Tuitapuono Milford (Policy Advisor) in late August.
They join Matalena Leaupepe (Chief Advisor Pasifika) and Natalia Fareti (Senior Policy Advisor) to form the Fab Four MBIE Pasifika team. The Pasifika Team sits within Strategic Programmes, in the Office of the Chief of the Executive under the leadership of Fiona Whiteridge.
Derek Johnson, Senior Policy Advisor, Auckland Derek joined MBIE from the Ministry of Justice where he was working in the Ministerial Working Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Prior to that, he worked for ACC as a Senior Policy Advisor for 6 years. He also spent 3 years working (basking in the sun) in Rarotonga for the Cook Islands Government in the Treasury Department (Economic Advisor) and the Office of the Prime Minister (Senior Planner). His interests include sport, motorcycling, and weekend brunches.
Tuitapuono Milford, Policy Advisor
In 2017, Tuitapuono moved back to Wellington from Samoa (where she was born and raised) to take up a role as Pasifika Policy Advisor. Tuitapuono is a law graduate from Victoria University here in Wellington. After completing her degree, she spent 3 years back in Samoa working for the Samoa Law Reform Commission. Tuitapuono is an avid food taster, enjoys complaining about being at the gym while at the gym, and pining after Wellington’s very rare sunshine after it inevitably goes away again.
Natalia Fareti, Senior Policy Advisor
Natalia joined the Pasifika team in June 2017 after working as a Research Economist at Business and Economic Research Limited (BERL Economics). Before that, she was a Research and Policy Analyst at Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ), the peak body for NZ’s 78 councils. She also helped manage her family’s food businesses – you may be familiar with her parents’ delicious sapasui and panikeke! An avid bookworm, she’s an aspiring author who enjoys a bit of kickboxing training here and there, and finds it hard to say no to chocolate.
Matalena Leaupepe, Chief Advisor, Pasifika
Matalena brings a variety of experiences to MBIE having worked on strategy development and policy advice with the Department of Labour, Ministry for Pacific Peoples and Careers New Zealand and Private Secretary to Hon Tariana Turia before joining MBIE. Matalena led the development of the Pacific Economic Strategy which was launched in 2015 and sets the strategic direction for how MBIE can best support Pacific economic development in New Zealand. Matalena’s biggest achievement and challenge is raising her three awesome girls.
Tupu Tai success
The Tupu Tai Pasifika Public Sector Internship programme, now in its third year, has grown exponentially, from 6 internships offered across 4 agencies in 2016, to 18 internships across 9 agencies in 2017.
Its scope has also grown to include not only policy roles, but also project management and procurement roles. This reflects the broader opportunities in the public sector available to Pasifika students and peoples.
After a busy and challenging Assessment Centre for our Tupu Tai candidate finalists, we are pleased to announce the successful Tupu Tai interns for 2017/18:
- Department of Conservation – Malia Vehikite
- Ministry of Defence – Sariah Clayton
- Ministry for the Environment (2 interns) – Heleina Erasito and Robyn Lesatele
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2 interns) – Patrick Gibson and Tausala Fruean
- Ministry for Women – Sina Ete
- New Zealand Qualifications Authority – Lisita Aloua
- New Zealand Treasury – Zsontell Levi-Teu
- State Services Commission – Mary Jane Kivalu
- MBIE Auckland Policy Office – Litiana Wilson
- MBIE International Strategy Team – Wilberforce Tupua
- MBIE Procurement Team (2 interns) – Olita Katia and Tiana Felix-Hotham
- MBIE Service Support and Design Branch Team – Marie Perese
- MBIE Strategic Policy Team – Nera Tautau
- MBIE Urban Performance – Asena PouliMBIE Pasifika Team – Esther Mataafa
We congratulate the interns, and thank all the candidates for their participation. Regardless of the outcome, all the interns learnt some valuable skills to take into their future interviews and roles.
Special thanks to our partner agency whanau who are taking on this year’s interns and have helped make this year’s programme such a success!
We will be holding an official launch and welcome for the interns in November, before they embark on their 10-week internships.
Farewell to our fiery canoe, Associate Professor Teresia Teaiwa
In March this year we bade farewell to Associate Professor Teresia Teaiwa, after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.
A celebrated author and poet, academic, activist and voice on many political issues, Teresia was a true champion for Pasifika. Chief Advisor Pasifika, Matalena Leaupepe spoke at the recent launch of the Teresia Teaiwa Memorial Scholarship Fund, on Teresia’s vision of continually sowing the next crop – our future generations.
Her legacy lives on in her students, her writing, and the lives of those who were touched by Teresia. Teresia is survived by her 2 sons, Manoa and Vaitoa, and husband, Sean Mallon.
Make an online donation if you would like to contribute to the Teresia Teaiwa Scholarship Fund.
A tribute poem written by Tele’a Andrews (Senior Policy Advisor, MBIE)
At the dawn of a salted earth a rally cry stirs
This is not a drill
When the Totara falls it echoes across the wind
Into the consciousness of what is left behind
It beckons to manifest in life renewed
Master carvers, tohunga of all lands and creeds with our sea of islands etched on your heart
Listen to the whisper of the Totara wind and let it speak to your loto to guide your hands and heart and feet
to do what is needed not what is easy
Gazing into the void is enough to shake with fear
But the roots remain
The roots are strong
The roots are many
We know the work is urgent
We do remember
Even as our hearts continue to heave and the ache is still raw
We know that the spirit soars
We know that in the veil of po, in the burnt darkness, is where magic is born of hope
Dearest teacher, mentor and friend
We are ready
If you've ever wondered about my intellectual whakapapa now you know where the mind learnt to love the heart
Rest in love Teresia Teaiwa
Profiling Pasifika success: Penina Health Trust
Penina Health Trust has become the first Pacific organisation in New Zealand to become a registered Community Housing Provider. Congratulations to Roine Lealaiauloto (CE of Penina Trust), the Board and staff for reaching this fantastic milestone.
The Trust, based in Manurewa, officially opened a 21-unit transitional housing complex in August 2017. The complex, located on Redoubt Road in Manukau Heights, consists of a mix of 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units that will help up to 84 families a year.
The Trust also provides a range of services within the wider South Auckland community including family support, mental health, and child and adolescent support.
Work to build Pacific community housing capability has been a collaborative effort between MBIE’s Housing Policy team, our Pasifika team, the Community Housing Regulatory Authority, the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples and Community Housing Aotearoa.
In March this year, the Pacific Social Housing Network was established to provide ongoing support to newly established Pacific Community Housing Providers. The support will help to upskill people and organisations by sharing insights, experiences and best practice from the wider sector. The network will be sector-led and operate as a space for potential partnerships, generating ideas for Pacific communities and supporting their participation within the social housing sector.
October 26th and 27th will see 4 teams experience ‘Pac Hack’; a Pacific specific Hackathon. Applications have recently closed, with finalists to be announced around mid-October.
‘Pac Hack’ is short for ‘Pacific Hackathon’. A Hackathon is an event where teams get together for a short period of time, usually between 24 – 48 hours, to create, build and deliver a product or service using technology. It’s an intense period with participants often working with little (if any!) sleep during the period, in order to achieve their task.
Pac Hack will be a 2-day event, held on the 26th and 27th of October. It is being run by Enspiral Dev Academy. At the conclusion of the event, 1 of the 4 teams will be selected by a panel to receive specialised expertise to further develop their product or service.
It’s the chance for the selected teams to meet new people, develop new skills, generate ideas, get access to experts in different fields, and come up with a minimum viable product/solution to a problem in a very short space of time.
The Tupu Tek Pasifika Internships are a new initiative created through a partnership between Summer of Tech and MBIE. Summer of Tech is the premier IT internship programme for NZ.
Tupu Tek is a targeted internship programme that encourages Pacific learners to take up paid work experience within the tech industry. Applications have just closed, with the successful Tupu Tek interns to be announced shortly.
Latest Pacific population projections released
Statistics New Zealand’s recent release of its latest population projections sees Pacific peoples’ populations growing in every region.
Between 2013 and 2038, Pacific peoples’ population in Aotearoa will grow approximately 2.2% each year (based on medium growth projections).
The highest rate of growth in percentage terms will be in Northland, growing at average annual rate of 3.8% each year between 2013 and 2038.
In terms of numbers, the greatest growth will be in the Auckland region, with just over 140,000 Pacific peoples in that 15-year period.
The Pacific population, along with Māori and Asian populations, will increase their share of the total population in most regions, because their rates of growth are higher than the regions’ overall rate of population growth.
Co-design project on ‘Accelerating Pacific peoples’ progression in the labour market’ kicks off
Using a co-design process, the MBIE Pasifika team together with Auckland Council and TSI, are working to identify key barriers to Pacific people progressing in work, and test potential solutions to the issues.
Previous work conducted by MBIE revealed that many Pacific people who enter the workforce do not seem to have successful career progression, whether it be moving up in the career ladder or gaining other skills and moving within different jobs.
We have also seen Pacific grads starting out on the same level of pay as all other grads but after 5 years non-Pacific move upwards in salary and Pacific grads do not1. The purpose of the challenge is to look at why this is happening and then make some recommendations on what we could do in the future to help staircase Pacific people who are already in the workforce to upskill and improve their career progression.
The project is now at the interview stage, canvassing a range of Pacific employees, and employers/organisations who hire Pacific employees.
What's on/Coming up
- Pac Hack Hackathons
“Encouraging the uptake of technology by Pacific communities and using technology in creative ways to address a wide range of challenges.”
Friday 27 October, Dev Academy Wellington and Auckland offices
- Wellington Pasifika Startup Weekend
“Launch your Pasifika startup in this weekend-long entrepreneurship journey”
Friday 3 – Sunday 5 November, Whitireia Polytechnic, Porirua
- Pasifika Festival 2018
“This family-friendly, free event is a great way to experience the diverse cultures of our Pacific whanau.”
Saturday 24 – Sunday 25 March 2018, Western Springs Lakeside Park
- Do you know your tenancy rights?
“New to tenancy? Want to know how to go about getting your bond refund? Landlord compliance checklist met? Find out more about your rights and responsibilities as a landlord or tenant.”
- Do you know your leave entitlements and how to calculate your final pay?
“The leading source of information on employment in New Zealand.”