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Harvey: Pacific Trade Expo

Pacific Trade Expo – March 5 2008 (Trusts Stadium)

Mayor Bob Harvey’s Speech


Talofa

Malo e lelei

Kiorana

Fakalofa

Taloha ni

Ni sa bula

Namaste

Kia ora


Warm Pacific greetings to you all.

It is an absolutely honour to be in the same room as so many distinguished guests.

I hope you have all enjoyed the trade expo today and that much business has been done.

Isn’t this a fantastic venue to celebrate the day and your visit to Waitakere and New Zealand?

I hope you all saw the Waitakere On Your Radar stand.

If not, please make sure you do tomorrow.

Because you all need to know just how keen we are to attract business to and do deals in Waitakere.

Indeed I think your presence at this expo shows you are interested in Waitakere, Auckland, New Zealand and all that we can offer.

We are making a particular effort in terms of our Pacific peoples.

We need to – they make up 15 percent of our population.

And that’s only going to increase.

The biggest population is Samoan – 15,000 people.

Then Cook Island Maori – 3800

Tongan – 3600

Niuean – 2700

Fijian – 1300

And many more…

I don’t want to bore you with statistics but:

The highest percentage (nearly 28 percent) of Pacific peoples living in Waitakere have a personal income of $30,000 to $50,000.

The median personal income of Pacific peoples living in Waitakere is nearly 23,000 - that’s more than those living in Auckland, Manuka and other parts of the region.

I guess what I’m saying is that many of our Pacific peoples 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 the economic wellbeing of our Pacific peoples.

As I said in my speech this morning we have a formal relationship through the Pacific Island Advisory Board.

We were the first city in the country to go with such a groundbreaking initiative.

We are also a major sponsor and supporter of the Pacific Skilled Employment Programme.

The programme is designed to upskill Pacific workers for higher paid employment.

It also aims to reduce the unemployment rate of Pacific peoples.

We are also keen to reduce the proportion of Pacific peoples without post school qualifications.

And to that end we are working with the Pacific Economic Development Agency on a project called TrainSmart.

This is a concept to optimise the learning environment for Pacific youth.

It is hoped this will produce better outcomes than ‘mainstream’ education.

These are exciting initiatives which show just how committed we are here in Waitakere to our Pacific peoples.

They are valued members of our community and with these and other planned initiatives their future is looking brighter.

One of my favourite places in the city is the Pacific Arts Centre at the Corban Estate.

Everyday the mamas and their helpers are weaving their spell in this city and thousands of school children and residents get to experience that culture first hand.

The centre is run by the Waitakere Pacific Arts and Cultural Trust and we have huge hopes for this project.

It has the potential for economic development opportunities and cultural tourism prospects.

I know many of you have a particular interest in Waitakere – whether it’s film, tourism, our bio-technology and eco city image and status, our marine industry and our creative industries.

And I sincerely hope you’ve had a constructive day in learning about those.

And so in conclusion, believe me when I say it is an absolute pleasure to have you all here.

Thank you for coming and thank you for your peoples’ contribution to this wonderful city that is Waitakere.


ENDS

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