Sunday, April 18, 2010

For a Better Fiji Community in Aotearoa.

This image depicts our ideal model to move forward for our various Fiji Communities here in Aotearoa. On 26th March, a task team of combine Fiji leaders hosted a 'round table' forum at Johnsonvill Community Centre in Wellington. A social networking than followed soon after.
This event was our contribution to Race Relations Day 2010 in Aotearoa. We were blessed to be joined by John Hayes MP who gave us some very interesting and thought provoking answers to alot of our questions as Fiji people living in NZ.

Mrs Joe Sinclair & Mr Ieti Tiatia from Statistics NZ gave us an eye opening view on how Fiji people are placed within the New Zealand population.
The task team in putting together this event discovered some interesting elements that pointed towards some questions;

Why are the various Fiji Community here in Wellington & around NZ, elect to stay on their own & not have dotted links to each other?
Why are the two dominant ethnic groups of Fijians & Indians not connecting and are seen to be competing against each other as to who shows Fiji more than the other?
Why are elements of Fijians [within Wellington groups] prefer to only associate within their niche group? eg When the Fiji Rugby Sevens arrived early February 2010, [Well done boys!!] there was a silent 'word by mouth' ads promoting the Fiji Village at Boatshed, downtown Wellywood. Door takings were charged at $10 per head for the final bash night on Saturday when Fiji won. We are told the Fiji team were at this event, nothing given to them for their pain? A bit dodgy!! We are even told the event & takings had only been known to two couples... [ i.e names withhold] Perhaps Fiji Wellingtonians need to be mindful of this when World Cup comes around in 2011 and ask some questions about this so called Fiji Village by the waterfront!!
Fijian Communities Church groups have also withdrawn themselves and so this has a domino effect into their own Provinces or Conferderates. We are compiling a report, as we write which will be made available in the near future.The sad point we note, with the backdrop of Fiji's situation under the Bainimarama's leadership, the Fiji people residing in Aotearoa feels the backlash in a big way.
Each group prefer to stay within their own groupings and do not interact with one another. Those that do inter-mingle are those that just wants to get on with their lives and not become overly involved with the politics of it all but still wants to join in and share what Fiji use to be all about. Smile, friendliness, etc etc
As a point of interest, we also tried to get a snap shot preview of whats happening to Fiji Communities in other big cities around Aotearoa. We note in particular, Auckland which hosted an event early this year and co-sponsored by Fiji's National airline and Fiji Visitors Bureau. Interestingly, it appears this Fiji Festival was almost an all Indian Affair.
[click link to view]
All in all, there are some of us who labour on 'with love for Fiji' and try and extend our hands of Friendship as shown here in this image below. We enjoyed the afternoon and learnt alot from each other.
Luvei Viti Team.
Successful Fiji Community Forum for Celebrating Race Relations Day
Ni sa Bula vinaka & Hello
Just a very short note to thank all those that took time out from their very busy schedules to grace us with your presence at the Fiji Community Forum held on Friday, 26 March, at the Johnsonville Community Centre, Wellington.
A SPECIAL big ‘Vinaka’ to Sai Lealea & Lawrence Nair for facilitating the roundtable forum as well as the Friends of Fiji networking. You both brought ‘great leadership , talents & skills’ to the forum. We are indebted to both of you for steering the dialogue in a way that it maintain a momentum of honesty, integrity and respect for all groups present.
There are a few others we would like to thank here and we will list their names below:

Chief Guest John Hayes – National MP for Wairarapa & Chair of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee for a heads up on NZ & Fiji’s relationship.

Peter Dunne MP – for donating a ’signed bottle of wine’ to be auctioned.

Charles Chauvel MP - also for donating a ’signed bottle of wine’ for auction

Rose Sinclair & Ieti Tiatia – Statistics NZ for giving us such an indepth knowledge of where Fiji people sit in the wider Pasifika Community

Ms Sonja Gulliver – Te Papa for talking to us about ‘Tapa Skin Project’

Mrs Delta Doyle for sharing your family’s journey when your husband worked in Fiji as a lecturer at Nasinu Teachers’ College

Peter & Glenys Wood for your assistance leading up to the forum & sharing the remarkable story about ‘Imam & the Pastor’.

Christine Teiannang & the Fiji Banaban Community for being there and sharing your stories.

Jo [Tanagata Whenua] from Radio NZ International for taking an interest in us.
Special 'vinaka':
Those leaders from various Fiji Community groups who came with such enthusiasm and participated fully;

Sister Sarto from the Fiji Catholic Community.

Sister Josefa Tikomaisolomone for the Wairarapa Fiji Community for giving us an insight in what’s happening in the Wairarapa amongst the Fiji people there.

Rachael Leafe from Massey University for showing us some great plans Massey is doing for Pasifika students.

Dr Teresia Teaiwa from Victoria University for some great feedback on Pacific students progress.

The Task Team for working tirelessly over the last two months to plan the event at zero budget.
Last but not the least, the two bottles of wine donated by our favourite MPs were auctioned at the Friends of Fiji networking social.

We were able to raise approx $100 which we used to pay for the hall hire. Thank you Mike Kilioni for beginning the bid with $25.00. Much appreciated.

A report is being drafted and will be tabled after being vetted by the two facilitators, Sai Lealea & Lawrence Nair. Please feel free to email us if you wish to get a copy of the report.

Task Team for Combine ‘Wellington Fiji Community Groups’

Our facilitators Sai Lealea, Lawrence Nair, Semiti & Sera Leqakowailutu, Peter & Glenys Wood, Valencia Mar-Melesia, Adi Elisapeci Samanunu Waqanivalu
Ana @


  1. It is interesting that Radio Tarana has quickly removed the photos and images captured by them during the Fiji Festval.
    Shame on You!!

  2. Following the above Forum, it was interesting to note the great feedback received. It has also been annouced in the Wellington Fiji Blog that the outcome of this successful forum was the formation of the Wellington Council of Fiji Communities. We do look forward to a much more robust networking with other Fiji Communities in Wellington & around Aotearoa in the future.

    This at the very least will allow us to have a much more consolidated efforts in whatever we do collectively as a Aotearoa Fiji Communities. We can also help each other out in each individual community events.

  3. Follow-up Meeting & sign-up for those that missed the March Meet at Johnsonville is being organised at James Cook Lounge, The Terrace, Wellington CBD. Time 3PM -5PM. Do come along.


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