Pasifika Strategy launched

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02 Jun 2017

Formalising its commitment to Pasifika achievement, Ara launched its Pasifika Strategy at a colourful ceremony at Te Puna Wanaka, City Campus Christchurch on Tuesday night.

The launch was marked with traditional music and dance, as well as a Kava ceremony, where a traditional drink made from Kava roots was served to the distinguished guests.

Kava was served to distinguished guests at the launch of the Ara Pasifika Strategy

Ara Chief Executive Kay Giles noted in her speech that in 2010, 2% of students at the institute were Pasifika and in 2016 that figure was 4.5% and that one of the first graduates of new post graduate qualifications at Ara was Pasifika. But there was more work to do, moving from “partnership to co-ownership” and it was important to her to launch the strategy before she retires at the end of June.  

Watch: Pasifika student Albany  speech at the Autumn Graduation 2017.

The vision of the Ara Pasifika Strategy is: “In partnership with Pasifika communities, Ara provides education that enhances the employment of Pasifika peoples. al of creating a thriving community of Pasifika teaching and learning practice, which will support Pasifika students to contribute to the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of Aotearoa New Zealand.”

To deliver this vision, the strategy outlines cultural values underpinning desired outcomes; such as family and community, spirituality and religion, identity and language, respect and humility, leadership and service, and diversity of Pasifika people.  

A fia vave o’o lou va’a, alo na o ‘oe, ae e fia tuli mamao le taunu’uga, tātou ‘alo’alo fa’atasi.

If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.

Samoan proverb

The new Pasifika Advisory Group at Ara is chaired by Maria Pasene, who said that “it is our job is to identify and assure Pasifika success by breathing life into this document”.

The strategy reflects a collective response of the Pacific community, the Ara Council, staff and students, and the Ara Pasifika Advisory Group. It aligns with the ambitious targets set in the Sara Strategic Plan to achieve parity of achievement for Pasifika

Ara will now work with the Pasifika community to fulfil four outcomes:

  1. Pasifika students participate, progress and achieve qualifications
  2. The learning environment at Ara incorporates Pasifika values
  3. Increase Pasifika graduate employment rates
  4. Pasifika staff participate and progress within the organisation across management, teaching, research, administration and support roles

Each outcome is explored through deliverable tasks that span engagement with Pasifika communities, professional development for Ara staff, and building networks of Pasifika students, graduates and business mentors.

Ara Council member Jane Cartwright celebrated the milestone in her speech at the launch event and acknowledged the “huge involvement” of the Pasifika communities in creating the strategy and the importance of their ongoing involvement.

More photos: Ara Facebook album