Topic: Pacific Affairs

Te Rerenga Manu conference off to flying start

By Leo Horgan
  • Auckland

Minister of Pacific Peoples, Alfred Ngaro, delivered a keynote speech on 1 September during the second and final day of the Te Rerenga Manu fono (conference).

Te Rerenga Manu was held on 31 August and 1 September at the Papatoetoe Seventh Day Adventist Church (PAPSDA) Campus in Manukau.

It was delivered by the Emerging Pasifika Leaders Steering Group, a group funded by The Southern Initiative of Auckland Council.

The Cook Island New Zealander in his speech titled ‘South Auckland, the Face of the Future’ strongly promoted ‘cultural capital’ as being an innovative and successful way forward for pacific people in New Zealand.

“Cultural capital motivates individuals and mobilises communities. It’s about using our cultural values to care for our kōpu tangata (extended family) as the platform to generate funds or income through a business or social enterprise,” he says.

“The examples of cultural capital are inspiring and powerful. A young lady Jade Temepara in Christchurch started a first venture of its kind - a social enterprise café and cookery school based on organic healthy living and traditional Maori foods. She saw a need and then started the café and cookery school that benefits her community while also make a living for her whanau,” says Ngaro.

“Penina Health Trust is another fine example of cultural capital. 15 years ago they started providing social services to support families in South Auckland. Earlier this year they became the first Pasifika group to be a community housing provider and opened its first property - a 21 unit transitional housing complex in South Auckland which will support 84 families every year.

“Pacific people are naturally gifted and inherently caring for their kōpu tangata. When more of our people begin to understand that our natural gifts and values can be used as capital to benefit others and uplift our own social and economic status. We will see a new trend, that is that other people will knock on the doors of pacific people for help, and not the other way around,” says Ngaro.

Te Rerenga Manu:

The first ever Te Rerenga Manu fono (conference) took place today 31 August and 1 September at the Papatoetoe Seventh Day Adventist Church (PAPSDA) Campus in Manukau. Te Rerenga Manu refers to the freedom and flight of the bird (manu). The two-day fono brought together social, business, health and educational innovators who will lead the way in unleashing the entrepreneurial pacific spirit. Te Rerenga Manu is being delivered by the Emerging Pasifika Leaders Steering Group, a group funded by The Southern Initiative of Auckland Council.

About the Southern Initiative of Auckland Council:

The Southern Initiative (TSI) champions, stimulates and enables social and community innovation in South Auckland. It is one of two major place-based regeneration programmes established in the Auckland Plan, alongside the city centre programme.

It covers the local board areas of Māngere-Ōtāhuhu, Ōtara-Papatoetoe, Manurewa and Papakura. With its unique model of enabling change, TSI is attracting a high level of interest and investment from central government, community, business and philanthropy groups.

It has become Auckland's go-to community and social innovation centre, developing a practice that empowers the community to thrive. TSI has sharpened its attention to concentrate its limited resources on strategic projects and initiatives, selected because we know they can produce high-quality, high-impact results and effect deep change – our focus areas. These are:

• Employment and skills

• Whānau and families

• Entrepreneurship and enterprise.