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Action Launch Hastings District Concil Chambers

Hawkes Bay Programme of Action Launch Hastings District Concil Chambers, Hastings

Talofa lava, Malo e lelei, Malo Ni, Kia Orana, Bula Vinaka, Fakalofa Atu, Kia Ora and Good Evening everyone.

Thank you for your kind remarks.

Rev Faiva Alaelua and all church leaders present, my Parliamentary colleagues, Hon Rick Barker Minister for Customs and Courts and MP for Hastings and Mr Russel Fairbrother MP for Napier, your Worship Lawrence Yule, Mayor of Hastings District Council, Chief Executive of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Fuimaono Les McCarthy, Representatives of regional Government agencies, Mrs Jane Poa, Chairperson of the Pacific Island Advisory Council, Local Government officials, Representatives of Tangata Whenua in Hawkes Bay, Members of the Pacific community, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I bring apologies from my colleagues, Hon Phil Goff, Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Hon Rick Barker, Member of Parliament for Tukituki and also Russell Fairbrother, Member of Parliament for Napier, who are unfortunately unable to be with us on this historic occasion. As Associate Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, I am proud and honoured to participate in tonight's celebration and the official launch of the Hawke's Bay Programme of Action,which I understand is a joint effort between the Hastings District Council, the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs and 12 other government agencies and the Hawke's Bay Pacific communities. · One of this Government's key goals, is to reduce inequalities in health, education, employment and housing in partnership with communities, and through communities helping themselves. Tonight is an example of this.

· The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs' key aim of achieving social and economic prosperity for Pacific peoples in New Zealand supports the Government's key goals. Over the past few years the Ministry has been working in partnership with more than 30 Government agencies to improve outcomes for Pacific communities in the eight regions covered under this Government's Pacific Capacity Building or PCB initiative,

· I am pleased that Pacific Capacity Building has been initiated in the Hawke's Bay by Pacific communities doing it for themselves.

· Back in 1998 the Ministry was directed by Cabinet to shift its focus to policy development from an operational focus which resulted in the closure of its operations office here in Hastings. Through this Programme of Action, the Ministry is re-establishing its presence in the Hawke's Bay.

· The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs is working closely with the Hastings District Council and other Government agencies in finding effective ways to help Pacific communities of Hawke's Bay realise their social and economic aspirations.

· Today's launch of the Programme of Action for Hawke's Bay is an important milestone for all concerned. The Hawke's Bay Programme of Action (POA) builds on the successes of the Pacific Capacity Building pilot project connecting with the work established by the Hawke's Bay Brokerage Service.

· While this is not a Cabinet-mandated initiative, I am confident that the goodwill and commitment already established through the collaborative efforts of both national and local government agencies and Pacific communities in the region, will result in improved service delivery for Pacific peoples in the Hawke's Bay.

· The Programme of Action takes into account the priorities and aspirations of Pacific communities as identified through consultations and in the Hawke's Bay Community Plan titled: "Hawke's Bay Pacific Peoples' Pathways To The Future", which was launched earlier this year.

· I am told that over 70 milestones have been included in the Hawke's Bay Programme of Action as agreed to by various Government agencies. This is a direct response to the wishes and needs identified by Pacific communities in Hawke's Bay.

· Implementing all these milestones within the given time lines as outlined in the POA is the most important task that lies ahead. The Government agencies concerned have made this commitment in good faith based on their experience with PCB in other regions.

· Tonight's launch marks the beginning of a re-newed working relationship between Government agencies and Pacific communities in Hawke's Bay.

· I believe that this initiative will result in improved outcomes for Pacific peoples here. I urge Hawke's Bay's Pacific communities and the Pacific Advisory Council to be united in taking up the challenge and to work closely with the different agencies to achieve the milestones identified in the POA.

· I would like to acknowledge the contribution and hard work of the Hastings District Council and Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs on this project. And the input and support of other Government agencies, local authorities and Pacific communities.

· There's a Samoan saying that goes: " O le tele o lima e mama ai se avega" .which translates as.."Many hands makes a heavy load easier to carry". We wouldn't be here tonight if it hadn't been for the cooperation and input of everyone and all agencies involved.

· Congratulations on today's POA Launch for Hawke's Bay. As Associate Minister for Pacific Island Affairs, I now formally launch the Hawke's Bay Programme of Action.

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