Putting Our Trust in Social Enterprise

Pasefika Proud has played its part in the 2022 Pacific Business Trust Awards held in Manukau in mid-November. Ten awards were presented to Pacific business leaders for innovation, achievements, and success at a well-attended function. 

Caption: Selena Curtis for Pasefika Proud presenting award to category winner Filipo Saua GM of Zenith Fitness and Snapback Gym

Among the dignitaries present were Deputy Prime Minister, Grant Robertson, and Hon Aupito William Sio.  

Pasefika Proud sponsored the Tautua Alofa Pacific Social Enterprise Award, which is awarded to an organisation led by an economic, social, cultural, or environmental mission that has a community benefit. 

Selena Curtis, General Manager of Pacific, and Community Capability Programmes at the Ministry of Social Development said being involved in this particular award fitted in well with the Pasefika Proud tagline of ‘Our Families, Our People, Our Responsibility.’ 

‘‘Social Enterprises are driven by social objectives, whether that be inspiring young women to reach their potential, influencing social change through data and research, providing culture and language specifically paving the way for Pacific people through the health sector, or building up communities through fitness and exercise,’’ Selena said. 

‘‘These values are personified by this year’s finalists.’’ 

The winner of the Social Enterprise category was the Palmerston North-based Zenith Fitness and Snapback Gym, whose director Filipo Saua was present to collect the award.   

Judges said the heart and soul of the company was its social enterprise, a charitable trust which contributed to positive health, exercise, and wellbeing outcomes for Pacific people in Aotearoa. 

In a Facebook post following the awards, Zenith paid tribute to its ‘‘incredible support crew, Whanau, staff, and funders’’ who believed in the idea. 

‘‘Sometimes the choices we must make are hard, but we just ensure we always put our people first and choose to never look the other way - fighting for our people and what they deserve,’’ it said. 

‘‘This is only the beginning - we have so many plans for the future and with our incredible team it will all be possible. Reducing barriers - reducing exclusion - improving health - improving mental health - creating a sense of belonging’’. 

Alongside usual gym activities, it offers a wide range of free community classes including:  

The Teaua to Pakahiwi (shoulder to shoulder) course for men to talk to each other and get help if needed. 

Whakamana Wahine, for women aged 12 to 18, who need support to build confidence, self-esteem and mentorship. 

Schuster Programme, which has junior and senior classes, works with the police to help at-risk or disengaged youth, providing a safe place and mentors. 

Saua programme is for any youth needing support, mentoring, discipline and structure. 

Leaving no-one behind programme” for special education students. 


WINNER Tautua Pasefika Award for Pacific Social Enterprise  

Zenith Fitness + Snap Back Boxing (Winner) 
The heart and soul of commercial gym Zenith Fitness is their social enterprise, a charitable trust named Snapback ‘toe a’e se tofa’ which contributes to positive health, exercise and wellbeing outcomes for Pacific people in Aotearoa. 

FINALISTS Tautua Pasefika Award for Pacific Social Enterprise  
Girl Boss.nz 
Moana Connect 
Pacific Kids Learning 
Pasefika Medical Association 


Our vision and approach are underpinned by the following shared Pacific values, which help to nurture and sustain family and community wellbeing. They are protective factors for Pacific peoples: 

Love | is a universal value and for Pacific peoples indicates care and concern for others, compassion, and kindness. Love includes love of self (self within the context of family and community) and love of others. 

Family | is central to our Pacific communities and our way of life. Every person belongs to a family, aiga and kainga (often more than one), and every family belongs to a person. Family creates and strengthens our identity and sense of belonging. Ancestry and a sense of place involve a kinship with what and who have gone before. 

Collective | reflects Pacific world views and the way we do things that are commonly perceived as acceptable to the community. These include teamwork, consultation, and cooperation – with each member of the collective contributing according to their capability, to achieve common goals through an agreed approach. 

Respect | shapes how we treat others and the way we view situations. It includes respect of self, others, space, and environment. Respect occurs when other concepts such as va and reciprocity are present. Respect ensures that every Pacific person, irrespective of age, gender, sexuality, spiritual beliefs, or cultural status, feels safe and protected. The practice of respect supports the maintenance of wellbeing. 

Spirituality | goes to the very essence of our existence, how we express ourselves and our place in the universe. It shapes people’s beliefs and values, and Pacific peoples’ worldview. Since missionisation, churches have provided spiritual guidance and protocols. The church remains current and relevant for many Pacific peoples. 

Reciprocity | acknowledges the importance of relationships and maintaining a balance between individuals, families, and communities. Every expression of kindness, support and respect will be reciprocated at a time and in a way that honour the people involved and who and what they represent.