(From left) President of the Atafu Tokelau Community Group Tenise Les Atoni and ATCG Member Zechariah Reulu receiving their community award from Porirua Mayor Anita Baker.
Anita Baker says Pacific groups and their church leaders are highly organised and proactive in Porirua.
Porirua city wouldn’t survive without its Pacific groups, says Porirua Mayor Anita Baker.
That was her response when Nemai Vucago asked Baker on Pacific Mornings about the contribution Pacific community groups are making in Porirua.
Baker said whether it’s the Covid pandemic, the Census, or local body consultations, the Pacific groups and their church leaders are highly organised and proactive.
“They’re huge, our city wouldn’t survive without our Pacific groups,” she said. “We work together as a team, which is what we love, and they get into the people that we can’t reach.”
“We are a Pacific city, that’s how we see Porirua.”
The Atafu Tokelau Community Group (ATCG) is currently up for a major community award, after recently winning the Health and Wellbeing category and overall Supreme Award for the Porirua component of the Wellington Airport Community Awards.
The Cannons Creek-based Atafu group is a charity organisation that promotes social, cultural, educational, health and welfare, and traditional family values among the wider Tokelau community in the region.
“But they do so much more than that in Porirua, we value our Pacific families and community,” Baker said. “They’ve (ATCG) been going 25 or 30 years, so those volunteers are families who are doing it generationally, over and over again. So it's a real boost for them and they’re such wonderful people”.
On 16 November, the Atafu group will vie for the overall greater Wellington regional community award, up against the supreme winners from four other territories: Wellington City, Kāpiti, Hutt City and Upper Hutt.
“They’ve got my backing,” said Baker.
She said Porirua City is also currently preparing to celebrate Tuvalu Language Week which starts on 1 October and traditionally involves a flag raising ceremony outside the Porirua City Council offices.
“We’re very big into our Pacific flag-raising in Porirua. So winter for us is all about the flag-raising … and the unbelievable food, and the dancing and the singing, it’s just awesome,” she said.
Watch the full interview with Anita Baker on Pacific Mornings.