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2006 Porirua Strong Pacific Families Week

MEDIA RELEASE

November 23, 2006


2006 Porirua Strong Pacific Families Week


Ngati Toa Welcomes Porirua's Seven Pacific Nations

Highlighting positive relationships between Porirua’s tangata whenua and its seven Pacific communities, Ngati Toa will welcome Tagata Pasifika with a powhiri when they arrive at Te Rauparaha Park on Saturday (November 25) to open the 2006 Porirua Strong Pacific Families week, (Nov 25 – Dec 2)

Focusing on the success of Porirua’s strong and vibrant Pacific families, the week begins when two celebratory parades starting from Porirua East and Titahi Bay wind their way through the city combining for a festival at Te Rauparaha Park.

The formal powhiri will begin with the blowing of a conch shell by Ngati Toa as the marchers arrive at Te Rauparaha Park at 11 am.

The Pacific peoples will reply with their conch shells before the kairanga from Ngati Toa heralds the commencement of the Powhiri proper. At the end of the powhiri Porirua’s Deputy Mayor, Euon Murrell will open the week

Ngati Toa spokesman, Taku Parai says that as tangata whenua the iwi recognises the contribution the Pacific Nations have made to Porirua over the last 30 years and are happy to reaffirm their relationship with the Pacific peoples

“Ngati Toa supports Strong Pacific Families Week because we have a common aim of strengthening our families and standing together as families against violence,” he said

Inspired by the vision “Nurturing Strong and Vibrant Pacific Families”, families and friends from seven Pacific Island communities will form the heart of the parade. The Samoan, Tokelau, Tongan, Cook Island, Niue, Tuvalu and Fijian communities will each have the opportunity to showcase aspects of their culture and family traditions.

Streets Ahead, a grass roots Porirua East community initiative will also run over the weekend. Under the Streets Ahead banner families from Miranda Street will share with families from Fantame Street their successful ideas for bringing neighbours together, supporting their children and each other in safe and caring homes.

A highlight of Strong Pacific Families Week will be four Pacific Narrative evenings, (Monday to Thursday, 7pm at Te Wananga O Aotearoa, Heriot Dr, Porirua) where storytellers across the generations share tales from the Pacific past and the Porirua present.

On Monday Matua (elders), will tell their stories, on Tuesday it’s over to the youth, on Wednesday men of the Pacific will speak and on Thursday it will be the turn of the women to close the week of storytelling.

Throughout the week over 50 community organisations will hold displays under the Canopy Connection in Porirua Mall. Theme include finance and employment, safety and resilience, family health & wellbeing, and strong families.

The week’s grand finale will be the Pacific Matua Ball on Saturday 2 December. This unique occasion will honour elders, many of whom migrated from the islands in the late 1940’s to the 60’s to build Porirua’s successful pacific and give their children greater opportunities.

Each community will choose five matua who will be honoured as pioneers on behalf of their people in Porirua. They will be presented to MP Hon. Luamanuvao Winnie Laban and will recognised by subsequent generations for the sacrifices they made and the challenges they met.

This is the second year Strong Pacific Families Week has been held and it’s shaping up to be a great celebration of what pacific family life is about.

Ends

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