New chair and deputy for Pacific Island Committee
29 April 2008
New chair and deputy for Pacific Island Advisory Committee
Manukau’s Pacific Island Advisory Committee has elected Mrs Tupou Manapori as its new chairperson, and Mr Vui Kelemete Vitale as deputy chairperson.
The Pacific Island Advisory Committee (PIAC) was established in 1991 to form a key link between Manukau City Council and the Pacific Community. The 14 member committee provides feedback to council on matters affecting the Pacific Island people such as policy, education, economic development and health and wellbeing.
Mrs Manapori, the Cook Islands representative, takes over the chair from Tongan representative, Dr E’tuate Saafi. Mrs Manapori is a founding member of PIAC and she has taught at Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate for more than 27 years. She has served the community in many capacities including serving as a Manukau City councillor from 1983-92,Otara Community Board member for 16 years and various involvement in sports bodies and Cook Island community organisations.
Samoan representative, Vui Vitale is a private consultant with a young family and ran in the local body elections last year in the Manurewa ward. Vui’s passion about community issues led to his successful election to PIAC in 2006 and he looks forward to the challenges ahead.
Mrs Manapori aims to ensure that the committee continues to focus on contributing positively to addressing key issues that affect the everyday lives of Pacific people in Manukau such as the prevention of family violence, problem gambling, drugs and community safety.
“Manukau has 86,000 Pacific residents, the largest Pacific population in New Zealand. There are a lot of positive initiatives that go unnoticed in Manukau due to the negative coverage we get in the media,” she says.
“We support the work that council and community organisations have done to make Manukau safe and an exciting place to live. I wouldn’t live anywhere else” said Mrs Manapori.
In its 2008-09 Draft Annual Plan submission to council, PIAC strongly advocated for the proposed upgrade of the Norman Kirk Memorial Swimming Pool in Otara, Mangere’s new Art Centre and Business Improvement District, a language policy for Manukau, more facilities for youth and a Manukau cultural festival.
Other Pacific nations represented in the committee include Tonga, Niue, Tokelau, and Fiji. The committee also works closely with Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, church and community groups, Counties Manukau District Health Board, City of Manukau Education Trust and other organisations that provides services for Manukau’s Pacific communities.