Meet Pasifika businesses
25 Nov 2022

Meet Pasifika businesses


In this newsletter:

  • Awards a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for Pasifika Businesses

  • Connecting Pasifika owners in the construction industry

  • Meet Pasifika businesses

  • Pacific Business Trust is hiring!

  • Upcoming workshops and events

  • Are you looking for a business mentor?

Awards a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for Pasifika Businesses

Click here to watch full video

Enjoy this Tagata Pasifika article on the Pacific Business Awards, which features creative entrepreneur Nora Swann who picked up the award for Pacific Woman in Business. In her acceptance speech said she owed her success to the roadblocks she has faced along the way.

“It’s that thing of never giving up. That’s what we are as Pasifika people. We never give up, and we always think ahead, and we always focus on the positive,” she says.

“Sometimes the biggest thing is self-doubt and so don’t stop, just keep going and find your crew who will support you but don’t stop.”

Filipo Saua, owner of Zenith Fitness and Snapback Gym in Palmerston North, who took the first award for Pacific Social Enterprise, says there is light at the end of the tunnel after experiencing the financial hardships of keeping his business afloat during covid.

“You never experience [success] unless you go through those tunnels – and tonight is one of those experiences where we saw the light and where we enjoy the moment,” he says.

Thank you again to our wonderful sponsors who made the Pacific Business Awards possible:

The entire Awards night can be viewed on 531pi’s Facebook livestream in two parts: here for part 1 and here for part 2.

For individual acceptance speeches see our YouTube channel here.

 Connecting Pasifika owners in the construction industry

Last night PBT hosted an end of year networking event in Auckland bringing together likeminded Pasifika businesses within the construction and trades industry. Businesses were able to connect and also learn about the support Pacific Business Trust provides for those who are ready to bid for tender contracts in the construction industry. Managing directors of Elite Passive Five, Juanita and Jeremy shared their successful business journey and lessons around valuing relationships, endurance, adapting and being confident in themselves as Pasifika business owners. Lou Edmunds from the Ministry of Education also spoke about tender opportunities in construction. It was great to see new relationships and connections established and PBT looks forward to hosting similar events for our construction and trades businesses in the future.

Meet Pasifika businesses

Click here to watch full interview The winner of the Tū Rangatira Kama’atu Business Entrepreneur Award for the Pacific Business Award 2022 is Orion Tiatia, Trust & Loyalty Security. Orion recently caught up with Brian Sagala on 531pi to share about receiving the award, how he grew his security group of businesses and how important reputation and relationship building is to those starting out in business.

With more than 20 years of experience across all sectors of the industry and upwards of 200 to 300 employees, Trust & Loyalty Security is a one stop shop for all your security needs and requirements. Specialising in hospitality VIP venue security, static and site patrol, loss and prevention and private investigations as well as events, alarm and installation services. For more information visit or contact Orion on 021 154 4614.

Meet more Pasifika entrepreneurs who are award finalists: Vakalahi Construction Ltd, Ready to eat graze and Fayora Candles.

Vakalahi Construction Ltd

Click here to watch full interview

Vakalahi is one of five finalists in the Langa Fonua Award for Pacific Excellence in Construction and Trades. Kelly and Jazz Vakalahi share their amazing journey in business with Tofiga Fepulea’i. They experienced many challenges however their attitude is to see this as a way to grow.

If there is one thing Vakalahi Construction Ltd holds sacred, it’s their morals. Vakalahi Construction Ltd runs on four basic morals and values – Communication, Reliability, Honesty and Quality.

With more than two decades of experience and 40 staff, builders at Vakalahi Construction are qualified and licensed building practitioners. They are proud members of New Zealand Certified Builders Association which means all their methods and processes are perfectly aligned and up to date, meeting all requirements set by the NZCB and NZ Building Code & Regulations Act. Check out their website for more details.

Ready to Eat Graze

Click here to watch full interview

Therese Tuitavake is a Young Pacific Entrepreneur Award finalist and the proud owner of 'Ready To Eat Graze Limited'. Ready To Eat Graze Limited is a graze catering business that caters to all functions whether it's a party in the house, corporate event, wedding, graduation, birthday, no matter how big or small your event, they provide a customised grazing table that not only adds flavour to your event menu but one that you and your guests will enjoy throughout the day.

Ready To Eat Graze has been in business for more than year and Therese has had the privilege of using her platform as a business owner to give back to her community since they started. Find out more about the delicious food Ready to Eat Graze have available at 

Fayora Candles

Click here to watch full interview

23-year old Faye Mateni of Fayora Candles is a finalist in the Young Pacific Entrepreneur Award. She shares what sparked her businesses during Lockdown, how she developed her skills and her reason for creating these special handcrafted candles that represent our Polynesian community.

Faye’s love for crystals has seen her create a unique product of hand-poured candles in West Auckland using 100% pure natural soy wax making our candles vegan, cruelty free and eco-conscious. In this interview she reflects on navigating challenges of being a business owner while working full time, the success she has experienced, and her advice to someone entering business on creating your brand and vision.

Visit for your next special gift.

Pacific Business Trust is hiring!

We are currently recruiting two Programme Managers for two of our programmes: HATCH Pacific young entrepreneur programme and our procurement support service. Please feel free to share with your network or to those who might be suited.

HATCH Pacific Programme Manager (Full Time, Auckland)

The Pacific Business Trust (PBT) as the Pacific Economic Development Agency of New Zealand is focused on growing innovation, talent, and leadership that grow Pacific businesses.

We are on the lookout for a Hatch Pacific Programme Manager that can help promote entrepreneurship and enables our young Pasifika people to transform their ideas into viable businesses. In a nutshell, HATCH Pacific is about inspiring, building confidence, and providing pathways for young Pasifika into entrepreneurship. The programme is committed to sustainability – providing pathways that will lead to long-term beneficial outcomes for Pasifika communities.

Does this sounds like you or someone you know? Apply Now!

Applications close on 4th December 2022.

Procurement Support Service Programme Manager

The Procurement Support Service is designed to develop further and expand the delivery of a range of services currently managed by PBT to:

  • Build the capability of Pacific businesses to participate in and deliver on procurement processes successfully.

  • Support the growth of Pacific enterprise

  • Achieve improved employment opportunities and outcomes for Pacific peoples within Pacific businesses.

This programme draws on the existing infrastructure and processes within PBT to deliver a culturally tailored, industry-leading support programme consisting of fundamental capability development workshops, grants to access specialist professional services related to procurement, and tailored one-on-one business development support to Pacific firms.

The Procurement Support Service Programme Manager is responsible for providing high-quality programme management for the Procurement Support Service.

Does this sound like you or someone you know? Apply now.

Applications close on 4th December 2022.

Upcoming workshops and events

AUCKLAND | Health and Safety for General businesses workshop When: Tues, 29 November 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM Where: PBT, Level 2, 45 O'Rorke Road, Penrose This workshop helps you understand the functions of the Health and Safety Law that protects workers and learners in the workplace.

CHRISTCHURCH | Accounting and Tax Part 2 When: Tues, 29 November 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM Where: 77 Brighton Mall, New Brighton, Christchurch This workshop is for new and existing business owners, entrepreneurs and sole traders wanting to strengthen their understanding of accounting and tax.

CHRISTCHURCH | Health and Safety workshop When: Thursday, 1 December 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM Where: 77 Brighton Mall, New Brighton, Christchurch This workshop introduces you to key health and safety concepts and obligations you should know and understand as a small to medium business owner

AUCKLAND | Celebrating Pasifika Women in the Construction Industry When: Thurs, 8 December 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM Where: PBT, Level 2, 45 O'Rorke Road, Penrose This networking event celebrate Pasifika women involved in the construction industry and will be an opportunity to connect with other women in similar roles, hear their stories and learn about the support PBT can provide when tendering for contracts.

Are you looking for a business mentor?

Good systems and processes can improve the quality of your team's work and save you time. Business Mentors NZ will put you in touch with a mentor to help you find systems and processes that work for your business.  For more information visit

Have a great weekend!

The PBT Team

Ph 0800 287 7526


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

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PBT Team


PBT News team bringing you the latest news in the PBT community


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