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Laban: Manukau Pacific Island Trust SKIP Launch

10.30am, Thursday 28 February 2008

Manukau Pacific Island Trust SKIP Launch
Otara Music and Arts Centre, Otara, Auckland

Talofa lava, Malo e lelei, Kia orana, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Ni sa bula vinaka, Namaste, Ia Orana, Gud de tru olgeta, Talofa ni, Talofa, Kia ora tatou and warm Pacific greetings to you all.

Thank you for your warm introduction and a heart felt thank you to the Manukau Pacific Island Trust for inviting me to join you here in Otara for the launch of your SKIP Programme.

I would like to welcome all our guests here today and I would particularly like to acknowledge:
- Mayor Len Brown of Manukau City
- Chair Papaofo Taala and the Board of Manukau Pacific Trust
- Carmel Irwin and Mokalagi Tamapeau from SKIP
- Kaumatua Bill Wiki
- All of our parents and young people here today – as this programme is about activities and initiatives to benefit your families

It’s an honour to be here today and I’m especially excited to see to such a wonderful line up of fun and entertainment from our energetic pre-school children.

I see a bright future as I look around this room full of enthusiastic youngsters. A future where our children who have been raised in nurturing homes filled with warmth and love, become caring adults who pass on those same values to our grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Many of you will know that SKIP – Strategies for Kids, Information for Parents - is a Labour-led government initiative that helps parents of preschoolers develop their parenting skills.

Why are we putting so much effort into this? Because we know, as well as you do, that putting time, energy, and investment into our kids now, will reward us a thousand times in the future.

I’m so proud to be part of a government committed to providing parents and grandparents with help to raise healthy and happy kids.

The SKIP programme’s a real success story. And all of you here are part of that.


The seeds of your success go back to 2005, when the Manukau Pacific Island Trust applied successfully to SKIP to fund their Joys of parenting for Pasifika people project. Having delivered eight workshops to nearly 200 parents and caregivers, the feedback from those who took part was overwhelmingly positive.

Since 2004, our Labour-led government has agreed to seven funding rounds for the SKIP local initiatives, with a total of around $5.6 million funding to community groups like yours - across the country.

Our priority has been and continues to be investment to support and improve both living standards and the services that our families young and old need.

These initiatives can only succeed when supported by our communities. By combining government resources with the very talented people you have here in your communities, the outcomes from SKIP initiatives continue to be inspiring.

Parents and youngsters in their care all benefit from this innovative and practical approach to positive parenting.

Before we welcome the next group of kids, I’d like to acknowledge the splendid achievements of the dedicated people at Manukau Pacific Island Trust. You have worked tirelessly to secure and meet every SKIP objective.

I’d particularly like to acknowledge the efforts of Lupe Tofilau Eti-Vaofanua and her co-workers at the Trust. Lupe or Queen of Otara as you’re affectionately known, you are an inspiration. Your efforts as part of the SKIP trainer network and your close community involvement, is a cornerstone to SKIP’s success here in Manukau City. You and your team provide a vital link between government, the SKIP coordinators and advisors, and our all-important parents and caregivers.

I applaud the goodwill shown by everyone involved in the SKIP programme as they promote and support the values and ideals of Pacific families. The Manukau Pacific Island Trust and SKIP make a wonderful partnership. One that I hope endures to make a difference in the lives of many. A difference you can all be proud of. A difference we all celebrate.

Thank you for inviting me to speak today. I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the programme and hearing about the success of the SKIP programme in your community in the future.
Ia manuia lava.

ENDS

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