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Tongan Ethics Conference

Office of Hon Mark Gosche
Minister of Transport
Minister of Housing
Minister of Pacific Island Affairs
Member of Parliament for Maungakiekie

Media Release

17 March 2000

Tongan Ethics Conference

The Minister of Pacific Island Affairs Mark Gosche commended members of New Zealand's Tongan Community today when he launched the world's first Tongan Ethics Conference.

The meeting is designed to enable Tongan people to work out for themselves protocols and ways for officials and medical practitioners to work with their people.

"Today's conference is groundbreaking in that the Tongan community is going to work out how for themselves how they as a people want to move forward," said Mr Gosche.

"The community have acted proactively by setting the agenda themselves and asserting their position."

Mr Gosche said ethics were about principles and values.
"When someone's actions are ethical we consider him or her to be moral, we feel they are acting in a fair, just manner. But when actions are unethical we consider them unjust and without principles," he said.

"Today's conference will help make this country a fairer, more just place."

Mr Gosche said while people often talk about the "Pacific" way of doing things – the reality is that there are several "Pacific" ways.

"We are many peoples and we must each find our own way of dealing with our circumstances and futures," he said.

"Only Tongan communities know how to marry traditional Tonga Fai ways with modern concepts."

"Only Samoan communities can work out how fa'asamoa is to work for New Zealand born generations. The new book Fa'asamoa and social work within New Zealand investigates many of these challenges," said Mr Gosche.

He hoped other Pacific communities would follow the Tongan community's example.


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