Fono brings together South-Island based practitioners

South Island-based practitioners working with Pacific peoples and communities to further address family violence and sexual violence have had their chance to get involved in the nationwide campaign to address issues in the sector.

Pasefika Proud provided much needed support for the recent Fono bringing together practitioners providing community-led solutions, delivering key services, and striving to be effective for the people they represent.  

The theme of the fono was "Love, Respect and Service". Attendees listened attentively as keynote speaker Judge Ida Malosi, the Principal Youth Court Judge, spoke, drawing on her own life journey and experiences. 

In her address she challenged participants to “not be afraid to navigate in big spaces, to draw on our unique superpowers and to be multipliers of leaders”.  

There were a number of other powerful presentations including the ‘application of cultural frameworks in the workplace’, a survivor’s story of the impact of sexual abuse and now operating as a practitioner in the sector, and a reflection with practical activities on practitioner wellbeing.  

Participants  praised the ‘outstanding’ presentations put forward, . 

"There was something powerful about peoples' lived experiences of overcoming abuse and working in the sector, and (of the) lived experience of a practitioner not looking after their wellbeing and the consequences (but) now being on a better path of looking after oneself," was one of the thoughts of a participant.

It was agreed that people were hungry for information and the chance to collaborate, and that one of the recurring positives to come out of the Fono was practitioners saying they enjoyed the opportunity to meet as a collective - something that has been lacking in the past. 

Participants talked with others in common roles about what they saw as the systems barriers and solutions.  They were then invited to gather by location to contribute to a cross section of views including how they may wish to continue to stay connected going forward. 

There was an overwhelming interest, and an urgency for participants to stay connected, and they came up with different ways to do so. But they also recognised the need for their employers to support this and see the value it has. 

It's important to acknowledge the South Island regional komiti responsible for the design of the fono.Their input ensures each fono is unique, regionally led and fit for purpose. The regional komiti for the South Island include:
Nicky Sofai, Seuga programme at AVIVA, Toleafoa Malu Tulia, Vaka Tautua, Ofa Boyle, Pacific Island Advisory Charitable Trust, Faanimo Elisara-Too, Pacific Trust Otago




Contributions by officials from Te Puna Aonui, Ministries of Social Development/Pasefika Proud, Education and Justice, NZ Police, Oranga Tamariki, Te Whatu Ota and the Regional Public Service Office created opportunities for improving ways of working across agencies with the NGO sector, and the organising committee was praised for the high calibre of presenters and activities across the Fono.

ABOUT – National Pacific Practitioners’ Forum 

The Pacific Practitioners Forum serves as an enduring engagement platform to enable Pacific practitioners working in the areas of family violence and/or sexual violence to provide advice to Te Puna Aonui on the implementation and learning and monitoring of Te Aorerekura, and to share information and knowledge amongst members to strengthen and inform their work and advocate for priority areas as defined by the forum. 

The Komiti comprises a small team of Pacific practitioners drawn from the National Practitioners’ Forum. Each member volunteered to join the team to work with Te Puna Aonui to make the Forum’s idea of a National Fono a reality. Their role is to work with the recently appointed coordinators to advance the Forum’s goals of fostering connectivity, sharing knowledge, and collaboratively identifying priorities and actions to combat family violence and sexual violence within Pacific communities. The term for the current membership is until June 2024. More information will follow about the process to serve on the Komiti from July 2024. 

The current National Komiti members are Diana Vao, Salvation Army Community Ministries; Joy Sipeli, NET - Kyla Rayner, Wellington Rape Crisis - Maggie Felo, NET - Nicky Sofai, AVIVA ,Tevita Fakaosi, Kainga Pasifika - Tima Hunt, The Fono - Uipo Uipo Tagaloasa, Tautoko Tāne  

For more information contact -

Subscribe to Pacific Practitioners’ Forum updates

Read more on Pacific Practitioners’ Form Update

Read more on Time for Action on Pacific Practitioners’ Forum Plans

Read more on the National Pacific Practitioners' Fono

Read more on Te Aorerekura Hui - Strengthening work being done

Read more on Te Aorerekura - A step in the right direction

Read more on the National Strategy to eliminate family violence and sexual violence

National Pacific Practitioners’ Fono Report 2023

For NGO and community practitioners working in the areas of family violence and/or sexual violence.
On 6 and 7 July 2023 Pacific practitioners working in the areas of family violence and/or sexual violence met for the first time at a national fono in Auckland, New Zealand. This report identifies the key themes and messages from the Fono to serve as a base document to inform future planning and implementation with a particular focus on frontline practice, workforce development and practitioner wellbeing.