Our very own Pacific Rocky Balboa, David ‘The Tuaminator’ Tua was recognised globally as one of the hardest punchers within the boxing world and was feared by many in the same ring. He is our first Samoan/New Zealander to have fought for the undisputed Heavyweight Championship of the world. During his boxing career he had amassed a fortune to look after his family including his parents for the rest of their lives only to be betrayed by someone in his own circle.
Due to this misplaced trust, he was deceived and lost most of his money to others. David and his wife, Helen Tua, will be running Getting Yourself up After Being Knocked Out, which will focus on his own experience of almost losing everything he earned and getting back up from this difficult time in his life.
Come and hear the inspiring story of how a boxing legend overcame many obstacles and carried on living his life as one of the best boxers in Pacific history with the help of faith, inner strength, and loved ones.
Not only is Sir Michael ‘Ice Man’ Jones an All Blacks icon, successful former coach, and a hero to the nation in his rugby career starting in the late 70s, but three decades on and Sir Michael is still being recognised today for setting up community trusts and even a high school, designed to help Pacific kids in New Zealand complete their education and achieve their goals.
"I'm thankful to have the opportunities to work with Pacific people as a Kiwi-Pacific person, particularly with youth. This is a wonderful honour and it reaffirms that work is important to society."
Sir La’auli Michael Jones has a wealth of public and private sector experience having worked in tertiary education and Pacific economic development. Sir Michael is passionate about economic and social development for Pacific people both in the Pacific and here in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Much of Sir Michael’s time and energy is spent in Pacific youth and community empowerment programs, particularly in his role as Chairman of the Village Community Trust. In 1990 he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the Pacific community. In 2003 he was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame recognising his considerable commitment and achievements in rugby as an All Black and as a coach and player for Samoa.
Most notably, he recently became a knight companion for being a driver of economic and social development for Pacific people in New Zealand and the Pacific region.
Simon William English, better known by New Zealanders as Bill, has served New Zealand and the National Party since his election to Parliament in 1990. Born in Lumsden in 1961 and educated at St Patrick’s College Silverstream he studied Economics at the University of Otago and English Literature at Victoria. He went on to work as a Treasury analyst before returning to the family farm in Dipton and standing in the seat known today as Clutha-Southland – a post he held until his decision in 2014 to stand as a List MP only. As Finance Minister from 2008 until 2016, he oversaw one of the fastest-growing economies in the developed world, steering it through shocks including the Global Financial Crisis and the Christchurch earthquakes and returning the Government’s books surplus. He also focused on tackling New Zealand’s toughest social problems, including inequality, welfare dependence and the educational under-achievement of Maori and Pasifika children, aiming to give all New Zealanders the best chance of succeeding. He is married to Mary, a GP, and they have six children
Alfred is a New Zealander of Cook Islands descent married to Samoan-Niuean Moka Fuemana with four children and two grandchildren. Alfred was raised in Te Atatū and attended the local schools of Edmonton Primary, Rangeview Intermediate and Henderson High School. He played for the local Rugby clubs and was an active member of Te Atatū St Giles Church. He trained and qualified as an electrician out west and also completed his theological degree at the Henderson campus of the Bible College of New Zealand.
"Raised, schooled and trained in Te Atatū, I had lots of challenges in my upbringing but I have always taken the positive from this. It allowed me to get a real insight into the tests people in our community face that sometimes leaves them on the wrong side of the tracks. Those insights have helped me to contribute to our team in developing strong social policy that is now delivering results for our country."
Prior to entering Parliament, Alfred was a consultant in community led development and governance with expertise in New Zealand, Cook Islands and Canada. He co-pioneered several community initiatives such as the Tamaki Achievement Pathway, Healthy Village Action Zone (HVAZ) Project, Whānau ora and the Inspiring Communities Exchange Network sponsored by the Tindall Foundation.
Alfred’s governance experience includes key roles on the National Anti-Violence Taskforce, Auckland District Health Board, Pacific Advisory Committee Auckland City Council, and others. He is also an ambassador for the White Ribbon campaign.
In 2009 Alfred received the Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leader Award in recognition of his work.
David Rutherford was appointed Chief Human Rights Commissioner on September 2011. Prior to his appointment, he was the managing director of Special Olympics Asia Pacific and based in Singapore.
He has held senior executive roles in building materials and agribusiness businesses operating in New Zealand and Australia, has been chief executive of the New Zealand Rugby Union and has worked as a corporate, securities and commercial lawyer in New Zealand and Canada.
Mr Rutherford has a strong history of involvement in sports and has lectured in sports law at Victoria University. He has been a volunteer Board member in rugby union, netball, Paralympics New Zealand, Special Olympics New Zealand, Special Olympics International and for the Attitude Trust.
He brings a passion for development and the inclusion of people with disability in sports.
Grainne Moss is the CE of the Ministry for Vulnerable Children Oranga Tamariki. efforts to protect vulnerable children and young people. The services of the Ministry includes:
As the son of a school teacher and factory worker, Kris knows that education is the game-changer for many young people. Kris is committed to the communities of the Mana electorate and to ensuring that the region grows and develops in a way that strengthens our communities, provides opportunities, and makes our families stronger and more successful.
Kris lives in Titahi Bay, Porirua and was elected as the Member of Parliament for Mana in November 2010 following more than a decade working as a journalist at both TVNZ and BBC – giving him a strong commitment to public service broadcasting.
Kris is a Member of Parliament for Mana. His experience before that includes: Television journalist for TVNZ, Television journalist BBC World, Chief Press Secretary, Labour Leader’s Office and Diploma in Journalism, New Zealand Broadcasting School.
In 2010 Chris Te'o took part in Relay for Life Porirua. Inspired by this event and the passing of his father from Pancreatic cancer, Chris Te'o started the USO Bike Ride journey. In 2011 along with his brother in law Mark Lerwill, they cycled from Auckland to Wellington. This was the beginning of the inspirational USO Bike Ride.
USO is a Samoan word that translated means brother. The word USO is gender specific and is only used amongst men or women to refer to each other, but not between men and women.
For men and women it starts with a health check. As we age, eg 35+ we need to be more aware of our health. A regular health check will show you exactly where you are and identify areas for improvement. Of course as Polynesian people we also need to factor in our spiritual, mental, cultural and relationship with self-measures of health and wellbeing in the equation. Once you know where you are at, you can apply the USO accronym and become best you for yourself and your whanau.
Mike is only the fifth mayor of Porirua City and the first to be of Maori descent, winning over the close-knit community through his grassroots campaign approach in 2016, despite joining the race for the title late in August and winning by a slim margin. Since then, Mike has been known locally for having a down-to-earth and relaxed demeanor while tackling important issues within his own region.
The father of five graduated from Massey University with a degree in agricultural science, which eventually led to a job as a Senior biosecurity advisor at the Ministry of Primary Industries and president of the Public Service Association, before taking on the role of leading one of Wellington’s most prominent and Pacifically diverse cities.
Mike states that his philosophy for life is, “to focus on the positive of things and celebrate success, whether it be the French beating the All Blacks, or a child lost in the bush being found, it is always important to hear of people doing good things, and celebrating it.” He also comments that it is the sad things in life that galvanises him to work harder for others.
Mike’s positive work ethic is what makes him one of Porirua’s respected locals, having been served on school and kōhanga boards, and working with at risk youth.
As if being a second-term councillor and former Black Fern (1999 - 2005) wasn’t enough, the Samoan mother of three was confirmed as Mike Tana’s deputy in 2016, and has since also been listed as the first woman in twenty years to have a seat on the Wellington Rugby Board. With a background in sports and volunteering within the local community, Izzy was already a perfect candidate for the role of deputy mayor.
Izzy is passionate on local issues and believes that everyone has a role to play in the community, both Porirua and Pacific, in order to succeed in creating a positive movement of change.
Liz is dedicated to creating sustainable, positive change for families and communities who have experienced hardship in their life time. Her professional career includes twenty years in various leadership and management roles in the wider state sector, with a particular focus on community development including serving on a number of community and ministerial appointed governance boards. Her responsibilities also include the oversight of the highly successful Pasefika Proud programme.
Murray has worked with children and families throughout New Zealand for more than 15 years. Coming from a commercial background as a Chartered Accountant, his initial professional career was in a variety of industries including energy distribution and retail, media and education.
Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga entered parliament in 2008 as the National Party MP for Maungakiekie and has held the seat since. Prior to parliament, Peseta Sam was elected to the Tamaki-Maungakiekie seat on the Auckland City Council and was appointed Chairman of the City Development Committee. He is an active leader in the Pacific community and holds the high chief (alii) title of Peseta.
Ma'a Brian Sagala is the voice you wake up to each morning on Radio 531pi. As Pacific Breakfast host on weekdays from 6am to 10am, Ma'a brings us daily news, views, interviews & great Pacific music.will As a son of Porirua, now we'll get to savour his numerous talents first-hand at the Gathering of the 3000.
Fa'amatuainu Tino Pereira is a prominent and experienced Paciﬁc consultant on public sector issues and a leading governance practitioner in both public and private sectors.
He is Managing Director of the boutique consultancy firm, Niu Vision Group Ltd based in Wellington. Fa'amatuainu is a key advisor to many government departments and agencies, and a long-standing advocate of Pacific development in the country For more than 15 years he was involved in New Zealand's broadcasting sector as a journalist and broadcaster, and he is also a commentator on Paciﬁc issues.
Inu, as he is known in the community, continues to play significant roles in building and promoting Pacific capacity and capability across many sectors of the New Zealand social, health, education, broadcasting, housing and economic landscape- including over two decades of community leadership responsibilities. Inu has also being in the forefront of developing and supporting a new generation of Pacific leadership in New Zealand.
He is of Samoan descent and holds the chieﬂy orator title of Fa’amatuainu from the historical village of Luﬁluﬁ in Samoa.
Rev Nove Vailaau is a well-known Porirua EFKS Minister and theolgian who will be offering some reflections and commentary at the conclusion of the first night's discussions.
In a recent article, Rev Nove said that when he was child, his parents hit him with a salu. "A salu is the hard part of the coconut leaf — you take away the leaf tie them together, just like a whip. Most Samoan families had a salu around the house. It was meant to be for cleaning rubbish, but was always used for punishment whenever a belt was not to hand.
"During my own research into pre-Christian Samoa, I discovered that smacking played no part in our religious rites. It was not a feature of our language and culture. Accepting children into family life was a more inclusive process. Traditional Samoan values promoted the protection of children, not the infliction of suffering upon them. This opened my own eyes, and took me on a journey which challenged many of the old ways I had previously accepted to be true."
Sitiveni Tuinasau, who hails from the province of Rewa, in the Fiji Islands, is the Senior Pastor of Kingdom Ambassadors International Fellowship in New Zealand (KAIFNZ). Based in Wellington for the last 10 years, and charged with the mission of preaching and teaching the message of the Kingdom of God, he followed his passion to minister the Word.
Trained as a teacher, and also having served as a Corrections Officer, the transition to becoming a full-time Pastor was a natural progression for him.
Ecclesiastes 12.13 “let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of Man”.
Brotha D (Danny Leaoasavaii) is a co-founder of Dawn Raid Entertainment, New Zealand’s #1 Urban label. Dawn Raid Entertainment was formed in 1998 with business partner Andy Murnane in South Auckland. The Dawn Raid label secured 17 Gold & Platinum plaques from 2000-2007 under the guidance of Brotha D, and was awarded the honor of being the first label in the history of New Zealand music to achieve 10 consecutive top 10 singles between 2003-2006.
Through his dynamic eye for spotting talent, Brotha D has signed and produced award-winning kiwi artists such as Aaradhna, Mareko, Savage, Deceptikonz, Adeaze, BrownHill and Sweet & Irie. One of Brotha D’s biggest accomplishments is raising over $400,000 through various concerts around the country, in order to provide for their homeland, Samoa in the 2009 Tsunami.
This workshop will focus on harnessing your passions and dreams to turn them into a reality. Do not miss the chance to hear the powerful testimony of a successful Pacific man who has been making history in the music industry for over a decade!
Brotha D a dedicated husband, father, entrepreneur, musical icon, and a very proud Samoan.
"Brothers united to improving the cycle of life of Polynesian people through cycling."
USO Bike Ride was established by Chris Te’o in 2010 when he took part in Relay for Life which was inspired by the passing of his father to pancreatic cancer. He then decided to create this fun, active and team driven organisation. USO is a group of brothers working together to develop a well-balanced life; physically, spiritually and mentally through riding a bike. They focus on the motto of equipping men through Understanding, Supporting and Overcoming the challenges of life by working together with like-minded men through exercise.
Chris Te’o and the men of USO will be running this workshop which will help you explore the world of working in a team through exercising. This workshop will provide solid reasonings of being fit and how riding a bike can help ease your mind. Come and be inspired by the life stories of the USO members and be part of an interactive discussion that will change your life physically and mentally.
Founder and owner of the Athletes Village gym in Tawa, Ace Tiatia is well-known as the master of boot camps/circuits and personal trainings. Ace is a former Hurricanes and Crusaders player who is living his revelation of transforming men lives for the better through his gym. His vision is to touch the heart’s of men and help them change their lives physically, mentally and spiritually.
Come and hear the testimonies of these men who have changed their lives through an environment built on strong family foundations where dedication, discipline, commitment, integrity and pride are valued. Come and attend Athletes Village workshop and get free exercise tips from Ace and his team - don’t miss the chance to get fit.
Business Performance Coach Mike Fits was an aspiring sportsman, on track to make it to the big time. But an injury dealt a cruel blow and his dreams were shattered. He became a bouncer in Sydney’s notorious Kings Cross, then went into business that left him broken.
By examining his life and changing his attitude, he looked at ways to improve his outlook. Today he advises business people throughout NZ, coaching them to be successful. In this workshop, he will cover the 7 tools needed in order to become a better driver of your business and your life. Do not miss the opportunity to learn from one Pacific man to another about not just getting through life, but making the most out of whatever you have. If you are currently at a loss at what direction your life is heading in, if you are in your prime, or if you are in a dark age in your life and looking out for a push in the right direction, this is it! Come along and experience a one-of-a-kind workshop for all ages!
Sy Rogers is highly-regarded as a gifted communicator, award-winning talk show host, recording artist, and pastoral care specialist, Sy is a leading voice regarding sexuality, cultural themes and God’s character.
In this workshop, Sy covers a range of topics from his own personal and professional journey of almost 40 years, including hitting the mark of redeemed manhood, why Christian men still struggle with sexuality and what we can do about mastering mind and body and men mentoring men: the power of mateship.
He will talk about a range of confronting issues that are often considered taboo in Pacific communities including masturbation, boundaries in dating, sex in marriage, sexual abuse upon intimacy in marriage and pornography.
As Pacific men, we pride ourselves on being the provider for our families. But are we managing our money or is our money managing us?
Managing your finances can become a major stress for Pacific families, which is why we need to know how to manage this stress by understanding our finances. This introductory session looks at helping to build your financial capability, using tools and resources developed by the Commission for Financial Capability.
This workshop will help you look at your financial goals, as well as budgeting, debt, investing, retirement and Kiwisaver. Come along and learn how you can benefit from these tips from the professionals themselves! It will be a workshop you won’t want to miss!
Sai Lealea is the principal of SDL Consultancy, a Wellington based public policy and business advisory and advocacy service, and has undertaken research and policy, planning and training projects for government agencies and community organisations.
Do you have a compelling urge to create new venues for service and ministry rising from deep within? A call beckons with an invitation to consider something new – a different path, fresh new venture, new vocation. Whether you are studying towards a business degree, had your heart set on developing big ideas, or just keen to see what the business sector has to offer, this workshop will explore all aspects of the business industry and how you are needed! With courage, the entrepreneur moves forward into a mysterious unknown with as many questions as answers, but with certainty that the risk is worth taking. There is a lack of a Pacific voice in this area of work, and Zachariah plans on equipping you with the tools to confidently Be The Entrepreneur.
Zechariah offers an interactive workshop to teach skills and spread knowledge about what it takes to be an entrepreneur ready for today’s marketplace.
Robs’ passion for understanding stress came about when his older brother passed away 11 years ago at 34 years old, which caused a significant amount of stress in his life. This influenced him to research ‘stress’ in all forms over the past 6 years and he now understands how it can be measured, how it can be tracked through the body, how we can teach our nervous systems to develop greater resilience to stress, and how it can be transformed into sustainable resilience for life-long empowerment for a positive change.
In this workshop, Rob will cover how he believes you can develop a life strategy for spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, and scientific wellbeing. Do you want answers to questions about love and fear? Bring an open mind and heart and be prepared to transform your tomorrow, today. “For things to change, first, YOU have to change!". Learn the secret to keep you cool, calm, and collected BEFORE you are under pressure! Come experience this interactive and insightful workshop and leave understanding the emotional science behind feeling: enraged to engaged, fearful to fearless, hurtful to heartful, mindless to mindful.
"It’s easier to build strong young men than to repair broken men."
It is easier to build a strong young man than to repair a broken one. As a Pacific male growing up in a modern western society, it can be harder finding your way through the bewildering range of manhood by trying to follow the guidelines of two opposing cultures and societies. Pastor Jonathan and his team aim to influence and motivate our Pacific males, both young and old, in how to make the most of this opportunity of being a Pacific male in Aotearoa. This workshop also creates an experience and context that redefines the relationship between the boy and the older man.
Pastor Jonathan Su’a is part of the Wellington Breakthrough Church and is a respected member of his community. The Breakthrough Church is a multigenerational church where people of all races, backgrounds, and walks of life come together to worship, grow in their relationship with God, and discover new and meaningful relationships with others.
Man Up is a national movement established to empower men to become better husbands, fathers and leaders in their communities. Founded in 2015 Man Up is driven by everyday men from all walks of life, making the decision to face issues we all have had to address in our lives. At Man Up we strengthen men to overcome struggles they may face in life such as family violence, anger, depression, obesity, divorce, drug and alcohol addiction, suicide and more. With support from our facilitators, men work through these issues supported by a local group of men. There are 10 Man Up sites operating on a weekly basis across the Wellington/Lower North Island region and over 100 more throughout the country.
Come and hear raw and powerful testimonies of men whose lives and families have been transformed for the better through a strong brotherhood network
This interactive, storytelling workshop looks at our father/son relationships. By sharing our stories we’ll consider: What is my role as a Father? Can I be a better father if I haven’t had a good role model in my own dad? How can I forgive my father so I can move on? My children are changing - how can I change to meet their needs? What do my kids really need to know? How can I equip my children to successfully face the challenges in their future?
We’ll hear the heart of a father in our stories: “Dear son, this road of life you are on is filled with unexpected twists and turns. You will experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. You need to know how to succeed. You also need to know how to fail and then keep on going. In spite of what you may think, you have the tools you need to succeed in this life. You also have the knowledge and the wisdom to discard what you don’t need. You are my child. You carry a hope for a better tomorrow. Our future is in your hands now. Whether we live together or apart, our hearts and our prayers go with you each and every day. We want you to remember where you have come from, and the values you were taught. We gave you everything we could. I may not have been the best father. Forgive me for when I hurt you along the way. I tried my best with what I knew. I now see there were other ways. I may not show it very well, but I do love you, and I want you to move forward in life and to succeed. Your dad.”
Pastor Ken Roach is a valued member of the Porirua and wider community and is part of the Elim Church of Porirua. Porirua Elim is an evangelical, Pentecostal church located in the central business area of Porirua City.
If you've got a TV, then you've been exposed to the amazing work of the Health Promotion Agency (HPA), probably without even being aware who was behind the inspiring and motivational health promotional campaigns.
Ben Tafau and Andre Afamasaga are from the HPA and in this workshop they'll explore the work of the HPA with a specific leaning to work that is of particular relevance to Pasefika men. Whether it's mental health, minimising gambling harm, alcohol, tobacco control, nutrition and physical or rheumatic fever, HPA has played a leadship role in the health promotions.
How have they gone about their work, what are some of the outcomes? How can you access and utilise their resources and stories for your own work, within your own communities? This insightful workshop will have you entertained and educated.
HPA is a Crown entity established on 1 July 2012 under legislation to lead and support national health promotion initiatives. It has a board appointed by the Minister of Health, with staff in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
In addition to national health promotion initiatives, HPA performs all functions previously undertaken by the Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC) and the Health Sponsorship Council (HSC).
The Gathering of the 3000 are honoured to have HPA as a supporter and commend this valuable workshop to men interested in health promotions.
The NZ Police are bringing their own team of professionals to take on an inspiring workshop on bettering our Pacific Island communities backed with statistics, personal experiences, and a whole lot of passion for our Pacific cultures. Sergeant Tania Kingi grew up with her father being arrested several times and therefore became one herself after being inspired to help vulnerable people the way the police helped her father. Senior Sergeant Morgan Gray has been heavily involved in the Police Family Violence Information Disclosure Scheme (FVIDS) which focuses on preventing family harm through the disclosure of information. Sergeant Fleur de Bes has spent 14 years within the National Sexual Violence and Child Protection Team, and has been heavily involved in driving change in training and practice around the Police response to child abuse and sexual violence. Senior Sergeant Jimmy is the National Coordinator for Child Protection in the National Sexual Violence and Child Protection Team.
Don’t miss out on the chance to be enlightened by this passionate team dedicated to helping our Pacific people.
Don’t miss the opportunity to hear firsthand from Sergeant Fleur de Bes who has spent 14 years within the National Sexual Violence and Child Protection Team, and has been heavily involved in driving change in training and practice around the Police response to child abuse and sexual violence. Soni joined the Police in 1986 and served as a Police Officer for over 28 years working on a number of development projects both domestically and internationally looking at the issue of violence against women.
Dennis Makalio is a senior Mongrel Mob member with a mission to prevent the youth in our communities from picking up the pipe.
“I don’t want my mokos growing up putting a pipe in their mouth… we’re just had enough. There’s no help out there, nothing.”
Dennis and about ten others from the Porirua community, including ex-addicts, have formed the support group ‘NZ P-Pull’ who help people wanting to give up meth by offering first-hand advice. The group says there's only one public rehab centre in the Wellington region and addicts have to wait up to six months to get in.
At present, the group has a weekly 'walk-in' day at the Wesley Community Action at Waitangirua where addicts can seek support. They also offer advice through a Facebook group. If this wounds like something you are able to relate to in anyway, come along to this inspiring and interactive workshop which will tackle the important issue of youth and drugs affecting our streets.
NZ P-Pull is a National movement created by locals from Porirua, there are no agency links to this movement, it is community lead. The movement provides prevention, education and awareness to support families who are dealing with methamphetamine (P).
In New Zealand, one child dies of abuse every five weeks. The children most affected are under five years of age with the largest group under one. This workshop will help men to understand and deal with their anger. You will learn about the brain regions that trigger rage and what changes you can make to improve your behaviour. When you understand this, there is a likelihood that you will make positive changes to yourself, children, family and community. You have the chance now to do something powerful for yourself. Think of what this will do in generations to come.
This interactive workshop will present recent scientific research about childhood experiences which impact on the developing brain. The research on Fathers shows the amazing influence that fathers have on babies’ brains. Latu’s passion for the neuroscience of child development allows him to present a message of hope to professionals, parents, and those impacted by trauma.
Latu To'omaga is a presenter for the Brainwave Trust Aotearoa. He has worked in the education sector as a teacher and lecturer for 20 years. Latu has a Masters in Educational Psychology and has led professional development in Early Childhood through to Tertiary.