More than 40 parliamentary members across 17 Pacific countries and territories are visiting New Zealand this week for the second Pacific Parliamentary Forum.
While in Auckland as part of their national programme, members were welcomed by Alliance Community Initiatives Trust (ACIT) and Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura, to share in the organisation’s work across South Auckland.
“There remains strong relational ties with our families from our Pacific homelands and our families here in South Auckland,” says Rachel Enosa, ACIT Nominative Chief Executive. “It is because of these connections there is an opportunity to work collaboratively to address the complex issues affecting our communities. Issues in areas of youth engagement, housing and health and wellbeing.”
Facilitated by the Pacific Cooperation Foundation, the Pacific Parliamentary Forum provides an opportunity for Pacific Parliamentarians to engage with and learn from their fellow Pacific and New Zealand leaders.
Alongside a debate looking at pressing Pacific issues, the forum also fosters discussion around regional issues of climate change, democracy, health and gender equality, as well as business development and job creation.
Vanuatu MP Andrew Napuat says the visit is a great opportunity to connect and see how other countries interract with community. A highlight from his visit with ACIT and Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura, was getting an insight into how cross-sector partnerships can work to address issues affecting communities.
“I was interested to see how this partnership between civil society organisations, NGOs and the private sector come together for different initiatives,” he says. “In my observation, if the Government has limited resources, you can pull together these types of collaborations and networks for a wider, community-focussed approach. And I can see it is having a positive effect here.
“This is something I would like to see back home.”
The Forum began in Auckland on November 14 and concludes in Wellington on November 19.
Representatives from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoan, American Samoa, and Australia with Pacific Cooperation Foundation, ACIT and Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura staff.
Front row (L-R): Hon Albert Nicholas, Hon Lorna Eden, Andrew Napuat, Alaiasa Moefaauouo Sepulona Moananu, Senator Lalolagi S. Vaeao.
Middle row (L-R): Annie Ualesi, Anna Jacob, Andrew Laming, Rachel Enosa, Fagaivalu Kenrick Samu Amituanai, Gayle Lafaiali’i, Sefa Lafaiali’i.
Back row (L-R): Leilani Unasa, Ralph Elika, Willie Iosia, Alex Whitcombe.
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