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Pacific Leaders Group for AREDS

Pacific Leaders Group for AREDS

A project for establishing a Pacific Arts/Creative Industries development centre is being researched by a Pacific Leaders Group with the Auckland Regional Economic Development Strategy group (AREDS).

The Pacific Leaders Group, formed in partnership with AREDS, is investigating opportunities for Pacific capacity building and helping to define a clear economic direction for the region's future.

The ten members of the Pacific Leaders Group are Nuku Rapana (Director Pukapuka Community Centre), Su'a Viliamu Sio (CEG Advisor), Pauline Winter (Chair of the Pacific Business Trust), Jim Mather (Chief Executive of the Pacific Business Trust), Dr Okusi Mahina (University of Auckland), John Su (Cleaver and Co), Mele Lomaloma Elliot (Auckland City), Taha Fasi (Pacific Island Advisory Board, Waitakere City), Kalolo Fihaki (Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs) and Alex Fala, a Rhodes scholar who will study at Oxford University in England in October.

At a recent meeting the AREDS Pacific Leaders Group identified two potential projects. These included an arts/creative industries development nursery and a project focused on turning Auckland into the Pacific tourism gateway of New Zealand.

Although the projects are in their draft stages, the Chairman of the AREDS Pacific Leaders Group, Nuku Rapana, says the potential for these projects is huge.

"Our vision is to see our people be strong economic players in Auckland's future," said Rapana. "The AREDS vision is for Auckland to become an internationally competitive, dynamic and inclusive economy and our Pacific people should be an integral part of that."

"The Pacific Arts/Creative Industries Development Centre that we're proposing is a mid term project that would act as a nursery to develop emerging Pacific business people involved in the creative industries," said Rapana. "The tourism project is one that will highlight Auckland's Pacific cultural experiences, to domestic and international visitors."

An implementation team has been appointed to govern activities supported by AREDS. Everdina Fuli, a member of the AREDS Implementation Leaders Group, says Pacific people's involvement is important for the future of the Auckland region.

"The Pacific Leaders Group of AREDS was established to ensure a Pacific voice in the planning of Auckland's regional economic future," said Fuli. "Partnerships are being formed with central and local government, business and community enterprise groups. It is also being strongly supported by the Pacific Business Trust on the basis that it will advance the economic and social position of the Pacific community in the Auckland region."

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