Talanoa – a traditional pan-Pacific practice of communication and engagement – provided the platform for inclusive and transparent dialogue between Te Pūkenga Chief Executive Stephen Town, members of his Executive Leadership Team and the Moana Pacific Leadership Group.
The aim of the talanoa was to share stories, build empathy and make wise decisions for the collective good as well as strengthening the established relationship between the two groups. A special commitment was made to collaborate on the development of a Pacific Strategy at Te Pūkenga.
Stephen Town said the success of Pacific ākonga and their communities was integral to the success of Aotearoa New Zealand.
“We know that – to date – the vocational education system has not served them well. We also know that equity for Pacific peoples is essential for Pacific ākonga and kaimahi to flourish, thrive and succeed as Pacific in vocational education pathways.
“Through this collaboration with the Pacific leadership throughout our network, Te Pūkenga aims to exponentially lift outcomes for the 23,000 Pacific learners who study with us."
Deputy Chief Executive, Pasifika, Partnerships and Support, at MIT and Unitec and Chair of the Moana Pacific Leadership Group, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, said this commitment demonstrated a collaborative approach to improve Pacific ākonga and kaimahi outcomes.
“We know that the innovative answers lie with our Pacific kaimahi, learners and communities,” Mr Lotu-Iiga said.
“Te Pūkenga Moana Pacific looks forward to weaving together all those voices and contributions as well as lending our expertise and experience founded on shared Pacific values.
“As the largest vocational educator in Aotearoa of Pacific peoples, this collaboration on a Pacific Strategy is important for improving the outcomes of our many Pacific learners and to have a major impact on Pacific families and communities.”
The two groups will convene again in July to progress development of the Pacific Strategy.