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Transitioning Out Aotearoa welcomes Queen of Tonga

Press Release – Transitioning Out Aotearoa

I am honoured to be standing here before Your Royal Highness Queen Nanasipouu, Queen of Tonga, The Tongan Minister of Education Dr Ana Maui Taufe Ulungaki and the Hon. Dr Pita Sharples Minister of Maori Affairs, Associate Minister of Education, …PRESS RELEASE

Transitioning Out Aotearoa welcomes Queen of Tonga to Auckland

27 February 2013

I am honoured to be standing here before Your Royal Highness Queen Nanasipou’u, Queen of Tonga,
The Tongan Minister of Education Dr Ana Maui Taufe Ulungaki and the Hon. Dr Pita Sharples Minister of Maori Affairs, Associate Minister of Education, Associate Minister of Corrections and most importantly for Tamaki Makaurau MP for this Maori Electorate.

To the Literacy Aotearoa Board and Management – Bronwyn Yates thank you for allowing us to be here today to host Her Royal Highness the Queen of Tonga.

To the SAFVPN Board and Management – Raewyn Bhana and I see Penny Sefuiva in the audience a board member thank you for co-ordinating this event along with staff from Literacy Aotearoa.

To Transitioning Out Aotearoa Board and Management and especially their Patron Dame June Mariu to you Dame thank you for being here to support the official visit of Her Majesty.

Youth and Rangatahi Court Judge Eddie Paul, Former Maori Women’s Welfare League National Presidents Dame Georgina Kirby, Dame June Mariu and Areta Koopu welcome,

Mr William Purcell, Bridget Tangitau, Suzana Hukui, Foai Foai and other members of the Pacific welcome

Angela Dalton Chair for Manurewa Local Board, Helen Amituanai from Murcury Energy, Sina Wendt Moore Leadership NZ and Tevita Havea Tongan Liaison Advisor for Census 2013 thank you for joining us.

Pauline Kingi Regional Director for Te Puni Kokiri always great to have you with us Pauline

To all our guests and visitors it is great to have you all here to acknowledge the presence of Her Royal Highness Nanasipau’u – Queen of Tonga.

I was told that this visit today was to highlight Family Violence and what we as community members are doing to assist in addressing this matter.

I am pleased to be here today as a White Ribbon Ambassador along with Minister Sharples who support and annual Campaign to end men’s violence against women.

I’m also proud to be here as one of 40 NZ Ambassadors alongside the likes of the Rt Hon. John Key NZ PM, His Worship the Mayor of Auckland Len Brown, and League Star Ruben Wiki who were appointed by the families commission to stand for the this Kaupapa ‘Violence against women is unacceptable, and as a man I want to play my part in ending this violence.’

Every year the White Ribbon Campaign is launched by Leaders Mayors Members of Parliament and others throughout New Zealand putting their signatures on a pledge to never commit or condone or remain silent about violence towards our women.

These signatures are displayed on the international White Ribbon Day every November.

‘On average in NZ, more than one woman dies and over 290 men are convicted for assaults on women every month.
Those women are our mothers, daughters, sisters, female workmates and colleagues.
‘As men, we must take responsibility to end this violence, and that is why we and many other community leaders are putting our names on the White Ribbon pledge.’

The White Ribbon Pledge is one of a number of initiatives organised by the Families Commission-led White Ribbon Campaign.
The pledge brings together leaders from throughout the motu in a united show of support to end violence against women.

As support grows for a violence-free future, the White Ribbon Campaign hopes to encourage men to take a stand and show they’re man enough to end violence.
For many of us the White Ribbon Campaign is not just in November it is every day. ‘We want this campaign to talk to people that are outside the tent.
‘There are many passionate people here and throughout the country working to reduce violence, but we need to connect with the many good men that simply don’t believe this problem affects them.’

‘As a son, brother, husband, father grandfather and friend i want to be here to stand up for this kaupapa.

I don’t need any other reason to make ending violence against women my responsibility.

And that goes for nearly every man I know.
We all have women in our lives, and to shrug our shoulders and say this violence only affects others is a cop out.’

‘By standing up and not remaining passive bystanders, we can influence our friends, our mates, work colleagues and our whanau.
Are we man enough to stop violence towards women – I’d like to think so,
I am pleased to add Your Majesty that we do have a Tonga White Ribbon Ambassador who is well used in Aotearoa and who also captained the Tongan Rugby League Team in the 2008 World Cup, Mr Awen Guttenbeil.

Also in the Audience today is Tevita Havea who is the Tongan Community Liaison Advisor who is working on building the numbers of Tongan living in NZ to participate in the 2013 NZ Census. Our next Census will be held next week on Tuesday 5 March 2013
Unfortunately Tongan and other Pacific numbers in NZ are pretty low in terms of Census Participation. Unless we participate then the appropriate funding for Tongan, Pacific and Maori would not be allocated appropriately to programmes like
Literacy Aotearoa, Safer Aotearoa Family Violence Prevention Network SAFVPN or Transitioning Out Aotearoa who all work with Tongan and the wider community in NZ.

I would like to acknowledge a young Lady who as a young Tongan works in a mainstream organisation based on the North Shore – Waitemata PHO. Her background is in Mental Health and Psychology
Julianne Manoa is Aotearoa born and specializes in reducing the number of
Tongan, Maori, Asian and Pregnant mums who smoke within the Waitemata DHB area.

Julianne was excited to be here today and so were her parents to be invited to meet the Queen of Tonga at an afternoon tea.

She works diligently with all cultures but upholds her love for God and serving the people she works with.
Giving up something as small as smoking can trigger forms of stresses which may lead to Family stresses and Family Violence.

Finally there is a 13 year old here today she is of Maori descent from her mother and Tongan descent from her father and her parents can guarantee that family violence will not be part of her life. She attends Auckland Girls Grammar and lives in South Auckland.
Seulina Funaki is our future and being NZ born Maori and Tongan has already set her goals

Your Majesty these are your people and I am pleased to be able to introduce some of them to you today.
Thank you once again for joining us here at Literacy Aotearoa.

To our other guests the Tongan Minister of Education and our very own Minister of Maori Affairs Hon Dr Pita Sharples thank you

Noreira tena koutou katoa.

It now gives me pleasure to introduce three amazing women also Aotearoa born Tongan sisters who also have a love for God and are honoured to be here to sing a waiata for us all
The Cook sisters

George Ngatai JP


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