Champions of Change

In 2010, the Pacific Advisory Group (PAG) to the Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families conducted fono in four regions throughout the country. The purpose of each fono was to seek the views of Pacific people and practitioners on how best to address family violence in their communities.

In June of the same year, the culmination of these regional discussions resulted in the Champions of Change fono – a ‘Call to Action’. The participants at this fono called for the inclusion of culture as the basis for developing new and more robust programme approaches in service provision. The fono also highlighted the importance of Pacific peoples taking the lead in developing a programme of action to prevent and stop violence in Pacific families and communities.  

At the Champions of Change Fono, participants identified that any serious approach to addressing violence in Pacific families would require a critical exploration of fundamental issues around culture, its values, practices, traditional contexts, and its ability to encompass the dynamics of contemporary Western society.  

Two proposals that were strongly supported at this fono were: 

  1. The community needs to take primary responsibility for leading the development of a programme of action to prevent and ultimately stop family violence.
  2. There is a need to explore how service provision could incorporate culture as the basis for constructing new and more robust programme approaches. 

In March 2011, Hon Tariana Turia, as Minister responsible for Whanau Ora, Family Violence and Disability Initiatives, secured government funding for the  development and delivery of a family violence training programme, aimed at building the capacity and capability of Pacific family violence practitioners and providers.   

In the same year Pasefika Proud: Our Families, Our People, Our Responsibility took flight as a Pacific-owned initiative drawing on cultural values and strengths to build family and community wellbeing to prevent and address violence. 

New training programmes would bring together cultural knowledge and evidence-based prevention and intervention delivery approaches designed to be appropriate and responsive to the diverse circumstances of victims, perpetrators and their families.  

Nga Vaka o Kāiga Tapu (Nga Vaka) is a Pasefika Proud key milestone. Launched in 2012, Nga Vaka is community developed, community owned and community mandated, providing an overarching conceptual framework and eight ethnic-specific cultural frameworks to prevent and address family violence in New Zealand. The frameworks are rich with ethnic-specific values and concepts on the understanding that culture must be the basis for constructing any solution to family violence. Nga Vaka (and the ethnic-specific cultural frameworks) underpins all aspects of Pasefika Proud and our Pathways for Change framework. 

 Read more – Pasefika Proud – Our Journey

Read more – Nga Vaka o Kāiga Tapu