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Pacific Business To Receive A Boost In ChCh

Pacific Business To Receive A Boost In Christchurch

The Pacific Business Trust will fulfil a long time vision this Friday when it opens its South Island office in Christchurch.

The Pacific Business Trust, which is funded by the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, first opened in 1985. The head office was originally established in Wellington but later moved to Auckland. The Trust had hoped to open an office in the Mainland but wasn't able to do so until now.

The Canterbury region has the fourth largest Pacific population in the country and the new Christchurch office will help cater for the South Island's Pacific business community. The Trust offers business funding, support and advice, arts awards, scholarships and research funding to people of Pacific descent in New Zealand.

Pauline Winter, Chair of the Pacific Business Trust, says opening the Christchurch office demonstrates the Trust's commitment to developing and supporting business opportunities for Pacific peoples.

"In February we opened a similar office in Wellington with the help of Business Porirua. The new office in Christchurch will help to boost Pacific people in business as well as develop existing Pacific businesses. Pacific people have much to offer the economy of this country. It is a very exciting time for the Trust and the whole of New Zealand."

Pacific Business Trust Chief Executive, Jim Mather, says the opening of the new office would not have been possible without the help of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs in Christchurch. The two organisations will occupy separate office space in the same building, and they intend to collaborate on projects where practicable.

"The Ministry has helped to get the project off the ground and the Trust can benefit from the existing relationships the Ministry has with the various Pacific communities in Christchurch. The opening of our Christchurch office gives a clear indication of how serious we are about developing Pacific businesses throughout the country."

The Pacific Business Trust's Christchurch regional office will be headed by business advisor, Olivia Tifaga. Tifaga is a born and bred Cantabrian of Samoan and Ngai Tahu heritage. She graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1999 and has since worked as a Case Manager for Work & Income New Zealand, a Business Analyst for Northland Health and an International Admissions Advisor for the Christchurch College of Education.

Olivia has an inherent interest in small business in Canterbury, especially as her parents and brother currently run small businesses in the legal, small passenger service and construction.

The opening ceremony will hosted by longstanding Pacific Business Trust board member, Mene Su'a Mene. Associate Minister for Pacific Island Affairs, Labour MP Taito Phillip Field, will open the new office on Friday, 12 September which is situated above the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs office in Armagh Street.

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