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NZR Tausoa Fa'atasi Pasifika Advisory Group.

New Zealand Rugby


Kelekele, Toto, Tubu, Lalanga: The four pillars that will drive NZR’s Pacific strategy

The strategy will strengthen pathways for Pacific peoples from grassroots into governance in New Zealand rugby.

Matt Manukuo
Matt Manukuo
28 November 2023, 9:38am
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Four pou or pillars will represent the way forward for New Zealand Rugby, who enter a new frontier with Pacific communities after launching their Pasifika Rugby Strategy.

The strategy lays out a comprehensive plan to support Pacific communities involved in the sport from grassroots through to governance.

The framework applies an authentic ‘Pacific’ worldview to their plan, which will help guide the way forward and are as follows:

Kelekele (to dig) - to prepare the soil

Toto (to sow) - planting the seed

Tubu (to nurture growth) - growing our Pasifika people


Lalanga (to weave) - strengthening the shared vision of NZR and Pasifika

The strategy was informed through a series of talanoa across the country, as well as 20,000 hours of voluntary work with provincial uUnions and clubs.

Saveatama Eroni Clarke facilitating a panel at the NZR Pasifika Strategy launch.

NZR Pasifika Engagement Manager Saveatama Eroni Clarke says the contribution from communities was extremely important.

“We needed direction, we needed to hear from our communities, we needed to hear what our communities were saying in terms of where we were falling short to serve us better.

“This strategy really represents the voice of our communities, so the wonderful thing as we begin to plan the next five years, it's important we act on what our communities are saying.

“How NZR responds to that will be very important in the next five years.”

Each pillar of the strategy derives from the planting and nurturing of pandanus plants, which the strategy explains as being a grounding aspect of Pacific culture.

The strategy is the first major plan laid out by a national sporting organisation, with a particular focus on getting Pacific people into more governance roles in the sport.

Former Black Fern and NZR Women’s Development Manager Vania Wolfgramm says this is an important honor for the Pacific trailblazers of the past.

“This is huge! It’s been a lot of work, hours and effort from a lot of people.

“The work of our elders have finally come to fruition now, it’s the seeds that have been planted a long time ago. A lot of those people paved the way for this when it was a lot harder back then.”