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Navigating Pacific pathways in the creative sector

Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban
Minister of Pacific Island Affairs

29 August 2008 Media Statement


Navigating Pacific pathways in the creative sector

Greater participation of Pacific peoples in the creative, emerging and growth industries is being supported through an exciting online resource, said Pacific Island Affairs Minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban.

Launching the Pacific Starmap website this evening, Laban said Pacific peoples are known for their creativity and artistic talent – this is not only a reflection of our cultural identity, it is also a platform for the economic development of our Pacific communities and New Zealand.

Through the Pacific Economic Action Plan and Pacific Women's Economic Development Plan the Labour-led government is committed to enhancing the economic potential and prosperity of Pacific people.

"The vision of Pacific Starmap is to enable new and emerging artists to develop their careers by giving them information about training opportunities, business development, funding sources and, above all, role models.

"Most New Zealanders will be aware of the impact our 'Pacific stars' are making – actors like Nathaniel Lees, writers like Professor Albert Wendt and Sia Figiel, contemporary musicians like Brooke Fraser, choreographer Neil Ieremia, film director Sima Urale, and sculptor Filipe Tohi.

“With a young, diverse and fast-growing Pacific population, it stands to reason that coming up behind them is a new generation of aspiring artists – potentially just as talented but not yet well-established in their careers.

“Our 'Pacific stars' will help navigate these pathways, with the website featuring profiles of each 'star' telling their stories through video links, images and sound bytes.

Laban paid special tribute to Nathaniel – a New Zealand born Samoan actor with roles in The Matrix, Lord of the Rings and various other movies – who first put forward the concept for a resource like Pacific Starmap.

“He has continued to work with the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs and with our Pacific artists to make this tool a reality - I thank him for his vision, his energy and his commitment.”

Pacific Starmap can be found at


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