Voices of the Nation Project

The Ministry for Women has worked with PACIFICA in 2017 to seek feedback on Pasefika nationhood in Aotearoa. The Voices of the Nation project asked PACIFICA women: 

- what does Pasefika nationhood in New Zealnad mean to you?

- how do you celebrate your Pasefika identities?

- how do you want Pasefika identities to be celebrated in the future?  

Manukau and Christchurch branches held events to discuss these issues.

In Christchurch twenty-five girls/women attended ranging in ages from 10 to 50 plus and represented the following ethnicities:  Solomon Islands, Samoan, Fijian and Tongan. The issues that were discussed included: family, belonging, learning, being proud, supporitng people, culture, community gatherings, singlng, dancing and opportunitites to celebrate Pacific cultures.

Members were encouraged to make videos and a combined project was created by Whangerei, Auckland, Manukau and Tamaki branches.

The video includes interviews with the following women:

  • Roseline Blake, Cook Islands Consul-General
  • Tagaloatele Professor Peggy Fairbairn Dunlop, (Samoan)
  • Bernadette Pereira, (Samoan) National President PACIFICA Inc
  • Meiolandre Faiva Nanai Tagoilelagi Tima, Postgrad student (Samoan)
  • Kathleen Talauli, (Tongan) Pacific Islands Family Project
  • Moana Tangimetua Petero, (Cook Islands) Zumba Instructor
  • Ite Camel,  (Fijian) Lecturer
  • Auomala Emma Epati Lefale, (Samoan) Faletua (Pastors wife) and Traditional Samoan dancer
  • Tea Mau, (Tongan) Health Promoter

The women were aged from 24 to 70 years and were of Samoan, Tongan, Cook Island and Fijian ethnicity.

The Voices of the Nation project was a great opportunity to celebrate and highlight Pasefika women.  It definitely achieved the purpose of acknowledging and recognising Pasefika women and the extraordinary contribution they make in their work, families, churches and communities.  PACIFICA as a whole will continue to celebrate its women  and continue to work in collaboration with other partners in furthering common interests to improve the quality of life of Pasefika women and all women.