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Pacific Economic Successes and Community Profiles

Pacific Economic Successes and Community Profiles

Executive Summary

The Pacific Economic Successes and Community Profiles part of a series of reports produced by the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, providing a snapshot of those Pacific individuals and communities who have made significant contributions to the social and economic success of New Zealand.

This Pacific Economic Successes and Community Profiles endeavours to promote understanding, stimulate thought and generate discussion and debate in anticipation of phase two of the Pacific Prosperity Strategy, the Pacific Prosperity Conference.

No single report would be able to document all the significant contributions of Pacific peoples and communities to the economic success of this country. One common theme that is apparent from the report is the significant and diverse nature of Pacific peoples’ contribution to New Zealand’s economic success.

This report is divided into four sections:



Current figures indicate Pacific peoples are under-represented as business-owners. The trend is slowly changing with a number of talented Pacific people taking opportunities and overcoming barriers to own successful businesses.

This section highlights the determination and perseverance of Pacific business owners who have shown initiative and met the challenges of developing and sustaining successful businesses.



Pacific community leaders profiled within this section say they want to provide other people with the same opportunities they were given. These people work with members of Pacific communities every day to improve social, health and educational outcomes.

All those profiled agree by improving the social, health and education state of Pacific peoples a greater economic prosperity will flow on. This section highlights the unselfish and valuable contribution of Pacific peoples in the community.


Pacific peoples are adamant a successful education is one of the key determinants towards developing economic and social prosperity in New Zealand.

While gradual improvements have been made in education over the past five years, there is still an increasing need to lift the achievement levels of all Pacific peoples; primarily in compulsory and tertiary education sectors. This section highlights Pacific peoples who have reached the pinnacle of success in the education field.



The abilities and expertise of Pacific peoples in the legal profession have been recognised with significant appointments in the 21st century. Originating from nations which only became independent in the last half of the 20th century Pacific legal experts take their place in national and international courts. This section focuses on the success of Pacific people who have reached key leadership positions within the legal profession.

Public Service

Government’s vision for the public service is to ensure the development of a diverse and effective public service, which is capable of delivering on government outcomes in all areas of policy development and service delivery.

Public service data indicates while Pacific peoples represent 7.1 percent of the public service workforce, they are significantly under-represented in leadership positions within the public service, making up only 1.3 percent of senior managers.

This section highlights the story of one Pacific public servant who has demonstrated key leadership qualities that have ultimately benefited all New Zealanders.


The 1980s was a watershed period for Pacific peoples in New Zealand politics. Representatives began to walk the corridors of power advocating for Pacific communities and promoting Pacific aspirations at the highest level. Today, Pacific peoples have become a prominent feature of New Zealand politics.

This section highlights the challenge of Pacific people, who through the political scene advocate on behalf of Pacific communities to ensure Pacific issues remain an important feature of the New Zealand landscape.

Part 4: SPORTS and ARTS


In sports Pacific achievements and contributions are relatively well known amongst New Zealanders. Pacific peoples have certainly made a mark in the New Zealand sports arena.

The list of Pacific sports people who have made a mark at regional, national and international level is extensive. This section covers prominent Pacific sports people who have applied the same principles, qualities and values in their sporting achievements to achieve success in other areas. It demonstrates success can be achieved both on and off the sporting field.


Pacific peoples in New Zealand have often been characterised by their vibrancy, enthusiasm and creativity. An area where this has been clearly demonstrated is from success in music and dance to literary achievements. Pacific peoples continue to make a significant contribution to the arts scene in New Zealand.

This section highlights the success of Pacific peoples throughout a number of different fields in the arts and shows a common theme amongst the individuals profiled is their sense of purpose and drive to achieve.


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