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Waitakere's Pacific Trade Expo

MEDIA RELEASE

Embargoed until 6pm, Wednesday March 5

Waitakere's Pacific Trade Expo

Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey today outlined the city’s level of commitment to its Pacific peoples – now and in the future.

Speaking at the Pacific Trade Expo at Waitakere’s Trusts Stadium, Mayor Harvey told the audience of around 400 that Waitakere is making a particular effort in terms of its Pacific residents.

“We need to. Pacific peoples make up 15 per cent of our population and that’s only going to increase,” he said.

“Many of our Pacific people have good employment rates and they earn good money and that’s absolutely fantastic but it’s not all rosy and we must always strive to make things better. In Waitakere we are working hard to improve Pacific peoples’ wellbeing.”

Waitakere was the first city in the country to have a formal relationship with its Pacific peoples through the Pacific Island Advisory Board.

The city was also a major sponsor and supporter of the Pacific Skilled Employment Programme.

“This programme is designed to up-skill Pacific workers for higher paid re-employment and it also aims to reduce the unemployment rate,” Mayor Harvey said.

“In order to reduce the proportion of Pacific peoples without post school qualifications we are working with the Pacific Economic Development Agency on a project called TrainSmart, a concept to optimise the learning environment for Pacific youth.”

The Mayor also talked about the Pacific Arts Centre at Corban Estate where everyday the ‘mamas’ weave their spell to thousands of school children and residents so they can experience that culture first-hand, and in a very Pacific environment.

The centre has huge potential for economic development opportunities and cultural tourism prospects.

Mayor Harvey said the initiatives taking place in Waitakere showed how committed the city is to its Pacific peoples who are valued members of the community.

“With these and other planned initiatives their future is looking brighter.”

ENDS

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