Tongan Language Week: Celebrating our people and culture
07 Sep 2023

Tongan Language Week: Celebrating our people and culture


In this newsletter,

  • Happy Tongan Language Week

  • Memorandum of Collaboration with Ohu Ahumahi

  • Epenesa - Radio 5.31PI interview

  • Pasifika connections funding font

  • Language barrier catalyst to business venture

  • Empowering Excellence: Community's Growth at the heart of workshop focus 

  • CE celebrates all-wahine NZTE trade mission to Australia

  • Levono Tablet Giveaway Winners

  • PBT Christchurch Pop-Up event 

  • Business Continuity Planning - Accounting and Tax

  • Storytelling Workshop - Book now

Happy Tongan Language Week!

The theme for Uike Lea Faka-Tonga 2023 is 'E tu'uloa 'a e Lea faka-Tongá 'o ka lea'aki 'i 'api, siasí (lotú), mo e nofo-'a-kāingá, which means the Tongan Language will be sustainable if used at home, church and in the wider community.

The word TU’ULOA in the theme has a positive and progressive connotation and means to continuously grow, nurture, and sustain a valued idea, practice, event, or memory in an enduring way. 

This year's theme focused on the importance of using lea faka-Tonga. It impressed on us the need not only to understand lea Faka-Tonga, but to also use it as much as possible at home, church and wider community. When you are proud of your language and can speak it, you will also be more grounded in your identity as a Tongan.

Memorandum of Collaboration with Ohu Ahumahi

Strengthening career pathways and building a pipeline of Pacific talent through skills that industry need, now and in the future is at the heart of a Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) between the Pacific Business Trust (PBT) and the Workforce Development Councils (WDCs).   

The agencies signed the MoC in Wellington this month, underpinning their commitment to a partnership that recognises the importance of Aotearoa New Zealand's current and future Pacific workforce. 

Find out more about how this will help our Pacific communities here.

Epenesa – Radio 5.31PI Interview  

Our dedicated business advisors are here to empower the pacific community on their entrepreneurial journey. With first-hand insights into the challenges our people face, our mission is to collaborate closely with you, delivering top notch service every step of the way. 

Epenesa joined 5.31PI to talk about her journey and has already made a difference in her short time with the Pacific Business Trust.

Her unwavering drive and boundless passion shine through.

Epenesa hails from the vibrant villages of Faleula, Saónapu, Sakata, Vavau Aleipata, Faletogaloa Sanufe, Sapoé Falealili in Samoa and is married into the kingdom of Tonga from the villages of Tongatapu Kolovai & Haápai Lotofoa. 

She brings a unique connection to our Pacific Business Trust Aiga and community. Her natural ability to connect and understand makes her an invaluable asset to Pacific business trust. Where she passionately fulfills her purpose. Check out her Talanoa here.

Pasifika Connections Funding Fono

A community event centred on empowering Pasifika communities was held at Te Puke ō Tara Community Centre on 30 August, with a focus on funding opportunities for the more than 100 community leaders, business owners and locals who attended. 

Pacific Business Trust partnered with several agencies including Auckland Council, Foundation Norther, Lottery Grants Board, Community Organisation Grant Scheme, CLM Community Sport and the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, supporting the Failoa Famili and Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board networking event. 

The funding event provided an opportunity for the community to seek information about funding streams available to them, as well as a chance to connect with other like-minded organisations and community groups.  

PBT Customer Experience Manager, Peneueta Willis, says such events are a chance to raise awareness about PBT’s work and stay engaged with communities.  

“It was amazing to be part of the event, hearing great feedback from the attendees that they loved hearing about the work that we do for our Pasifika people. Our community were able to see the value in our Hatch Program, even a mum of an 8-year-old who thought her son would benefit from coming to the programme, and herself as a small business owner. We had some business owners attend who were keen to hear how PBT can help their business progress, and our elderly looking at ways we can support them to preserve our language and culture on YouTube through their social media pages. Just amazing progression for our Pasifika People” 

To find out more how we can connect and support our community at your event, get in touch with our team on 0800 287 7526.

Language barrier catalyst to business venture 

Vilisoni Vehekite’s pathway to entrepreneurship had its foundation in the fact that English was his second language. 

It was the language barrier that served as the catalyst for the Cantabrian, originally from Talafo’ou, Tongatapu, to establish his own traffic management business. 

Vili’s inspiring journey was sparked by a desire for independence, the freedom to dictate his own work schedule and the flexibility to operate on his terms. 

When Vili embarked on this venture, he was faced with significant challenges. Networking and expressing himself in English were hurdles Vili had to overcome.  

However, his primary focus was not fluency in English, but rather a connection with the Tongan language and a dedication to harnessing his Tongan heritage as a driving force for his business. 

Despite initial limitations in funding and resources, such as the absence of a dedicated truck for the job, Vili built vital connections within the industry. 

And while the past eight months has been a whirlwind, his Master Vili Traffic Management business, symbolising the Father, son and Holy Spirit, is thriving. His business is a testament to his faith and commitment to excellence. 

Vili is grateful to the Pacific Business Trust for their support.  

“PBT’s assistance to elevate my business to gain higher health and safety standards has been helpful in setting the business on the path to professional success,” says Vili. 

Vili encourages fellow Pacific People to rally behind our local Pacific businesses and support one another.    

“I am a strong believer that no matter the obstacles, Pacific people can achieve anything with determination, dedication and support. To find out how Master Vili Traffic Management services can support you get in touch today on 021 022 48727.

Empowering Excellence: Business Growth at the heart of our workshops

Our recent workshops have been designed with a specific plan in mind: to use customer feedback to improve how we can offer and enhance our services. Our goal is not just to make our programmes better fit the needs of our community, but also to shine a light on areas that can lead to better outcomes for workshop participants. Thank you to Laura Keil-Hall and her team at Pacific Business Hub for the collaboration and for lending us your space for these workshops.

During these workshops, we delved into the various types of risks that businesses may face on their journey, and we discussed strategies for setting competitive prices. We had a great turnout, with attendees coming from various backgrounds, which gave us valuable insights and perspectives. 

The increasing number of participants speaks to the dedication of our clients, who are actively collaborating with our team of experts to make our workshops more vibrant.

If you are interested in attending our upcoming workshops, please click here to learn more.

CE celebrates all-wahine NZTE trade mission to Australia 

Our Chief Executive, Mary Los’e, was part of the very first all-wahine New Zealand Trade & Enterprise trade mission to Australia and we’re extremely proud.  

Mary was in Melbourne as part of a 26-Strong business delegation, led by economic development minister Babrbara Edmonds, flying the pacific economic agency flag and meeting like-minded leaders across the Tasman. 

Mary’s visit included business engagements and coincided with the FIFA womens world cup. Finals and the 40th anniversary of the Australia-New Zealand closer economic relations free trade agreement – one of the most advanced in the world. 

PBT is about empowering Pacific communities to enable positive change and sustainable economic growth. That change starts with connecting and partnering with intent, something Mary Los’e will be doing as part of this important mission. 

Levono Tablet Giveaway Winners

Recently we've reached out to clients to gather feedback about our services. This outreach was part of our mission to enhance our services allowing us to better understand the needs of our clients.

As a token of appreciation to those who have provided feedback we offered a chance for our registered participants to win a Lenovo Tablet and we're thrilled to announce our winners for this competition - Kitesa Panapa, owner of LK Panapa Ltd in Wellington and Leslie Tuilaepa of Spacific Woodwork & CNC in Auckland. Both Kitesa and Leslie have been actively involved with the Pacific Business Trust kainga, and they really represent what we're all about - helping Pacific businesses succeed.

So, a big congratulations to both these clients, and a huge thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts with us. Your feedback is the driving force behind our efforts to improve our support and services.

PBT Christchurch Pop-Up event 

This week PBT proudly hosted a pop-up event in the heart of Garden City. This event epitomised our commitment to reconnect and unify our Pacific community, beyond Aotearoa. It stands as a significant milestone for us, as we brought together individuals from diverse business backgrounds, all driven by a shared mission: to strengthen our bonds with the Pasifika communities.

Oku 'oatu 'a e fakamalo lahi moe loto hounga'ia (warm thanks and appreciation) to all who attended last night. It was great to have representatives from the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, Ministry of Social Development NZ, Chamber of Commerce, Inland Revenue NZ, church ministers, service providers, clients and newcomers all in attendance last night.

We hope you enjoyed the connections made and we look forward to future collaborations, as we continue to work together towards our shared goals.

Business Continuity Planning - Accounting and Tax

Back by popular demand we are hosting our Accounting and Tax workshop today here at the Penrose office. Thank you to everyone who have already registered we still have spaces if you're interested. 

This workshop is great for new and existing business owners, entrepreneurs and sole traders wanting to strengthen their understanding of accounting and tax.

We start with the basics of accounting and tax and then progress into financial management and reporting and why this is so important from a business perspective. You’ll learn: 

  • Accounting concepts and terms

  • How to analyse financial statements

  • Financial management and reporting in your business

  • Solvency and tax basics

  • Tax process for contractors

Developed with Pacific businesses this workshop shares practical advice, lots of tools and tips you can use straightaway in your business. There is a dedicated hour to network over a delicious island dinner, so we encourage you to come along and meet other like-minded Pasifika entrepreneurs. We hope you can join us.  Call us on 0800 287 7526 if you have any questions.

Thursday, 07 Sept 2023 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Pacific Business Trust Level 2, 45 O'rorke Road, Penrose

Register Now

Storytelling Workshop - Book Now

Our Storytelling workshop is next Monday here at our Penrose office, book now to secure your ticket. Ideal for those just starting out in their careers as well as those with more experience our storytelling workshop is here to help business owners, entrepreneurs, and creative thinkers improve their storytelling abilities. We start by covering the basics of storytelling and then move on to more advanced techniques showing how important they are in the world of business. In this workshop, you'll gain insights into: 

  • We'll cover the basics of storytelling

  • Learn how to analyse stories effectively

  • Discover advanced storytelling for business success

  • Master the art of creating engaging stories

  • Get techniques for convincing communication

This workshop is designed for Pacific businesses and provides useful tips and tools you can use right away in your work. Also, don't forget our special networking hour, where you can enjoy a delicious island dinner and connect with fellow Pasifika entrepreneurs who share your interests.

Monday, 11 Sept 2023 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Pacific Business Trust Level 2, 45 O'rorke Road, Penrose

Register Now

Have a great rest of the week. 


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