Empowering Communities: Recruitment & Policy Updates
28 Mar 2024

Empowering Communities: Recruitment & Policy Updates


In this newsletter,

  • Message from Chief Executive March 2024

  • Book Now - Navigating Procurement Processes

  • Selwyn Empire: Empowering Communities from Humble Beginnings

  • Strengthening Communities: BBM Recruitment Agency

  • Community Events

  • MyACC Policy Changes for Businesses

Message from the Chief Executive March 2024

I have been in the role of Chief Executive Officer for 255 working days. In this time, we have experienced significant change internally to adapt and better meet the needs of our business communities.

As of today, we are supporting 2,281 Pacific owned and operated businesses in sectors across construction, retail, arts and recreation, tourism and hospitality, and professional, scientific and technical services, employing over 120,000 people. This is a significant contribution to the New Zealand and Pacific economy, especially as we know that Māori and Pacific hire our own – this has a direct impact on our communities every day and more of our businesses are connecting with us to improve their operations with the programmes we are offering.

Next quarter will be an important time for us, as we continue planting seeds to grow intergenerational wealth for all Pacific communities. We are focusing on creating pathways for health and wellbeing, with the knowledge that healthy business owners can make good decisions and create healthy pathways for their businesses and employees. This week, as part of our commitment to support our business leaders, we have launched a new pilot programme: Kabasi Mentoring Programme.

Kabasi, meaning ‘compass’ in Fijian, is a new Pacific Business Trust mentoring programme to help provide direction and guidance to our Pacific business community. Our mentoring programme will help uplift and enrich our service providers to ensure they provide an amazing service to our business owners. Mentors are our business leaders of the world – ranging from executives to CEOs who will share their insights and success stories with our service providers.

We want to thank our mentors for sharing their time, experience and wisdom alongside our Business Navigators, will support business owners to set out and achieve their own goals. We will keep you updated on the progress of Kabasi and look forward to seeing our mentees flourish.

Kabasi Mentors

  • Paul Retimanu – Chairman, PBT

  • Arti Chand - PBT Board

  • Luke Meredith - PBT Board

  • Tyrone Macauley – Founder, Pik Pok

  • Jamie Williams – Founder, Kapura

  • David Wilks – CEO, Wētā

  • Tana Tupai - Tomorrow People manager

Easter is an important time for many communities, particularly our Pacific communities. While many of us will be spending time with families and going to church, we are mindful of our hard-working Pacific business owners who sit out family and community gatherings to run their businesses. I want to acknowledge your efforts to keep your operations running and encourage you to take time out if you can.

On behalf of PBT, I wish you all a safe and happy Easter. Malo 'aupito Mary Los'e Chief Executive Officer

From Humble Beginnings to Community Empowerment: Hepi and Daniel's Selwyn Empire

The go getters Hepi and Daniel, a husband-and-wife duo, have forged their path in the business world with a relentless drive and a commitment to never giving up. From humble beginnings, they have built a formidable empire under the Selwyn umbrella, the owner of Selwyn Construction, Selwyn Cyber and now with Selwyn Island Desserts as their latest addition to their growing family. Daniel explains they started on nothing.

Daniel, born in New Zealand but raised in Tonga in the village of Kolomotua, credits his upbringing for instilling in him invaluable life skills that he believes he wouldn't have gained elsewhere. Contrary to the notion that New Zealand is the land of milk and honey, Daniel says that it was in Tonga where he truly learned the art of resilience and perseverance.

His wife, Hepi, born and raised in Tonga the village of Holonga, found her passion for baking early on, starting her journey as a home-based business in Hamilton during covid. With her baking prowess and Daniel's business acumen, they decided to take the leap and officially open Selwyn Treats under the Selwyn Empire upon moving to Auckland. For Daniel, running his own business was not just about financial success but also about providing employment opportunities for his family and contributing to his beloved kingdom of Tonga. Together, as a duo, they are a force to be reckoned with, driven by a shared vision and a deep sense of purpose.

Reflecting on his upbringing, Daniel draws inspiration from his father, a successful businessman who fearlessly took on corporate giants like Progressive. Although language was a barrier, Daniel saw the determination in his dad’s eyes and says looking back now if his dad could do it so can I. It is his father's entrepreneurial spirit that continues to guide Daniel on his journey.

Despite the challenges they faced, including finding the right team and navigating financial uncertainties, Hepi and Daniel persevered, or in their own words, “we just had to hustle”. Daniel knew in life he had two choices: do the work you don’t love or and get dirty or do the work you love and it wont feel like you haven’t worked a day in your life. They embraced feedback from their customers, constantly evolving and improving their offerings to meet their customers' needs. When Daniel hits a wall where he finds himself wondering what next, he often thinks what “would dad do in this situation”.

The support and assistance provided by Pacific Business Trust and a dedicated Business Navigator have been instrumental in their growth. From workshops on accounting to networking opportunities, Hepi and Daniel have utilised PBT's resources to propel their business forward. Daniel has worked with a service provider, Flying Pigeon, who have been big supporters driving clients into their shop, and providing spaces for client meetings.

As they continue to expand their empire, Hepi and Daniel remain committed to their values of resilience, perseverance, and family. Their story serves as a beacon of hope for aspiring entrepreneurs, reminding them that with dedication and determination, anything is possible.

In the words of Hepi, "Keep a strong mindset and never give up. It may be exhausting, but as a mother, we need to be strong."

With their determination and steadfast mindset, Hepi and Daniel are not just building a business—they are building a legacy for their family and community says Daniel.

Strengthening Communities: BBM Recruitment Agency

Recognising the challenges our community faces in finding suitable support for their family needs, we have joined forces with renowned business owner Dave Letele to address these needs by launching BBM Recruitment. This initiative aims to tackle a crucial need by providing tailored employment solutions to our communities. With Letele's dedication to community empowerment and our large network of clients, BBM Recruitment is poised and ready to make a significant impact. To learn more about this collaboration, read the full article here.

Community events

  • 25 April:

    Anzac Day

  • 12 - 18 May:

    Rotuman Language Week

  • 26 May – June 1:

    Samoa Language Week

  • 7-13 July:

    Kiribati Language Week

  • 4-10 August:

    Cook Islands Language Week

  • 18-24 August:

    Tonga Language Week

  • 29 August:

    Pacific Music Awards 2024

  • 19 September – 5 October:

    Tuvalu Language Week

  • 6-12 October:

    Fijian Language Week

  • 13-19 October:

    Niue Language Week

  • 27 October – 2 November:

    Tokelau Language Week

  • 10-16 November:

    Papua New Guinea Language Week

  • 24-30 November:

    Solomon Islands Language Week

MyACC Policy Changes for Businesses

Are you on CoverPlus Extra (CPX)? Customer policies are being renewed from 1 April 2024. Review, update and change your cover amount in MyACC for Business What is CPX:

  • An optional cover available to self-employed and non-PAYE shareholder employees

  • CPX allows you to choose how much of your income you want covered and what you will receive in weekly compensation.

What is happening: ACC is increasing the minimum and maximum levels of cover. The minimum level of cover is $35,400 and customers on this level will automatically be adjusted to it. The maximum level of cover is $113,826, please apply on ACC for Business before 22 March 2024 to increase your cover to this amount. ACC has updated their terms and conditions so that the termination process is easier for CPX customers. Find a copy of the CPX terms and conditions on their website. Click here to find out if you're eligible, you can also apply for CPX now on MyACC for Business

Expressions of interest are now open for the hospitality sustainability programme To learn more about how you can apply, visit Wellington NZ's website.


Fast-track your business growth and success with the right support behind you.

About the Author


Mary Los'e


Mary has extensive private and public sector experience, working for National Telehealth Services, Whakarongorau Aotearoa, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, Housing NZ (now Kāinga Ora), BNZ’s Innovation Unit and NZ Magazines. Mary is proud of her Tongan and Māori ancestry, from Ngāti Rereahu ki Ngāti Maniapoto and the villages of Ha’ano, Foa and Faleloa, Ha’apai and has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Auckland.


Fast-track your business growth and success with the right support behind you.