Emerging Pasifika leaders inspired at CPIT breakfast

Emerging Pasifika leaders inspired at CPIT breakfast

Members of the Pasifika community, along with representatives from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Pasifika and Islander Affairs, breakfasted at CPIT on 27 March to support emerging Pasifika leaders.

Key note speaker, Dr Cherie Chu from Victoria University, spoke to 45 Pasifika students from 21 local schools about trusting their leadership abilities, making conscious decisions about their lives and forgiving themselves if they made mistakes.

The Emerging Pasifika Leaders Breakfasts were important, Dr Chu said. She was very supportive of CPIT’s Specifically Pasifika engagement programme and was attending her second such event at the institute.

“In the bigger picture a lot of educational statistics for Pasifika students are negative. There is something wrong with the system so we need to raise these students up. The community were here to support the students so that shows a big commitment to their success,” Dr Chu said.


From left: Diane Fenika from Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Sam Uta'I from CPIT, Cherie Chu from Victoria University and Fuakoko Tanielu from Careers NZ.

Event organiser Sela Leavasa from CPIT’s Centre for Maori and Pasifika Achievement agreed that community was crucial to student’s success.

“Community is what differentiates us as Pasifika. We live as a community, we work as a community, we function as a community – it’s very much collaborative. So this event gives the students the message that it is OK to be successful and be Pasifika, and the support to achieve their goals.”

As part of networking and community building the students shared breakfast and then broke into groups to workshop material for a book which will be compiled after the event. Students from CPIT’s Jazz School, TOA Sports programme and Art & Design School also contributed to the event.