Unitec gives Pacific and Maori forum to voice their views on Auckland's Super City

Auckland’s Super City elections may well be underway but how the new council set-up will affect Pacific and Maori peoples still remains unclear.

Which is precisely why Unitec has decided to host an open forum to discuss what the two ethnics groups can do to have their “voice” heard in the new Super City.

The Unitec Forum for the Future: Auckland Super City – The Pacific Voice open forum will be held at Unitec’s Mt Albert campus on 5 October while the Unitec for the Future: Te Whakataurite Maaori: The Maori Voice forum to be held a week later on 12 October.

The aim of each forum is to raise awareness around the new governance structure and inform the two ethnic groups of what they can do to ensure their concerns and issues are heard under the new Super City structure.

While the elections are coming to an end, organisers believe there is still much that Pacific and Maori peoples do not understand about the Super City and are encouraging the community to come along to the forum to find out more.

The Pacific Voice forum will be facilitated by political commentator and consultant, Efeso Collins, while the expert panel will consist of former Minister of Pacific Island Affairs Mark Gosche, community leader Alfred Ngaro and Dr Fotu Fisi’iahi who is Unitec’s Postgraduate Academic Support lecturer.

The Maori Voice forum a week later will focus on how to optimise outcomes for Maori under the new structure. The forum will be facilitated by Te Karere news editor Shane Taurima, and the panellists are John Freeland, Pae Arahi Matua and Manager Maori Strategy and Relations Auckland City, businessman Heta Hudson, and television presenter and Unitec Director of Maori Development, Scotty Morrison.

Former Alliance Party member Sandra Lee will also be part of the panel.

The “live” audience will be able to participate in the discussions and ask panellists questions. And like the previous forums, those who are unable to attend the event will be able to twitter their views and questions to the panellists.

Director for the Pacific Centre for Learning, Teaching and Research, Linda Aumua says the forum offers Pacific and Maori an opportunity to ask expert panelists questions they have had since the new structure was announced.

“Many people are still in the dark as to what the new Super City will do to help them and what they can do to ensure their voices are being heard,” says Aumua.

“While the forum will have little bearing on the outcome of the elections, there is still so much people need to know about how the Super City will work so this a great opportunity for them to come along and share their concerns.

“These forums are not about a last minute push to vote but are about what these two groups can do at the next stage of the Auckland Super City.”

The forums are again spearheaded by the Faculty of Creative Industries and Business through its Department of Management and Marketing with support from the Department of Performing and Screen Arts.

Associate Professor and Head of Unitec’s Department of Management and Marketing, Robert Davis says the forum offers a great opportunity for the audience to engage in a lively debate about the challenges we face in making Auckland the Super City.

“We will tackle issues and concerns that the Maori and Pacific Island voice has so far been ignored and sidelined which is not reflective of the Government’s position on this,” he says.
Both forums will be held at the Unitec Theatre, Building 6, Entry 1, Carrington Rd, Mt Albert from 5pm to 7pm.

For more information on the upcoming forums, visit: www.forumforthefuture.unitec.ac.nz

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