Priorities for Waikato Pacific Businesses and Communities
30 Jun 2020

Priorities for Waikato Pacific Businesses and Communities


There was an inspiring talanoa with our Pacific businesses and entrepreneurs in the Waikato region last night which Pacific Business Trust was honoured to be a part of.

Held in Hamilton and hosted by at the Waikato Pacific Business Network, the evening began by formalising a partnership between the Waikato Pacific Business Network and the Pacific Business Trust to increase support to local Pacific business owners, entrepreneurs, leaders and the community through programmes and services.

A panel then shared their insights on what Budget 2020 means for the future of Pacific businesses and communities both locally and across the country.

The panel included MBIE’s Provincial Develop Unit Principal Regional Advisor – Delwyn Abraham, Alignz Recruitment National Growth & Partnership Manger - Felila Asiata-Feausi, the Assistant Vice Chancellor University of Waikato - Dr Keakaokawai Hemi, PCM Consulting Director Namulauulu Lale Ieremia and our very own PBT Chief Executive – Pelenato Sakalia.

The discussion and Q&A was wide-ranging from housing and the labour market, to education, business support, infrastructure and funding projects, the environment, helping Pacific families get into their own home, supporting youth, the media landscape, and Pacific food imports, and soon lead to what has been the best and worst about the Covid-19 crisis. To watch, view on Facebook.

Here are a few highlights:

  • In crisis Pacific people are fantastic at stepping up, making things happen, the doers. Expressed in the beautiful Samoan word ‘tautua’ which means the ability to serve. Pre-covid the Pacific community was already in a position to assist others with what we receive from others.

  • The resilience of our Pacific people. Voyaging is something we have been doing already for a long time and we did that by being smart. Reading the environment, sensing currents under choppy waters. Seeing the opportunities in what is happening, helping our Pacific communities be resilient and being smart.

  • Get clarity around what needs to be done. Yes it takes fearlessness! Rely on your intuition and you are more than likely to get it right.

  • Determine what it is you’re wanting to do and achieve. There are a lot of small businesses and many infrastructure projects, but you will need capability and capacity to scale up to participate. We need to be in a position to compete and create jobs for our people. Both the Waikato Pacific Business Network and PBT are resources to help our Pacific businesses be competitive, so lean in.

  • Mindset is everything. Move from identifying issues to promoting clearly developed and practical solutions for the future that can be presented to Government and large corporates. We need to be smarter about the way we prepare pitch documents so that they are compelling and can be implemented.

  • Continue to educate yourself, take every opportunity. We need more Pacific people in governance. Sit at the table and have a voice. Think about being on a board of trustees.

  • The importance of engaging together more and networking. Get to know one another, collaborate and elevate each other. Help as many with employment and stay connected and engaged.

  • Ask questions, no question is a stupid question, you won’t know unless you ask.

  • We are going through transformational change and there is the need to digitise Waikato businesses, it’s a big problem area particularly with a large proportion of sole traders. Help is available! For practical things like developing websites or adding ecommerce channels, these can be a game-changers for many businesses.

  • There are a range of services to assist the profile of business in the Waikato. If you are privileged to operate a larger company in a sector attractive to the Government there are resources to help you develop your proposals and put your best foot forward.

  • Helping business move to get to the next level by providing the necessary support and access to what you need is what PBT and the Waikato Pacific Business Network are here for.

  • Pacific have an unique voice, our cultural values and principles adds so much to New Zealand. Stay connected, be empowered.

If you are new to Pacific Business Trust and would like to access our programmes and services, please Join Our Community.


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