Debbie Sorensen recognized with Corporate Executive award


The New Zealand Tonga Business Council know how to celebrate Tonga National Day in style, and this year did so by hosting a Celebrating Tonga Business Excellence Dinner at Alexandra Park in Auckland on 2nd November 2017.

The sold-out, ‘Red Tie’ event was proudly sponsored by Pasifika Futures and saw over 200 guests in attendance, including business leaders, executives and entrepreneurs.

Minister of Building and Conservation, and Minister of Ethnic Communities, Hon. Jenny Salesa was present alongside fellow Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon. Aupito William Sio, and both spoke throughout the night.


Hon. Jenny Salesa addressed the crowd saying “It is indeed a humbling experience for me to be here tonight. My second official conference presentation as a Minister of the Government of New Zealand.”

“To be someone who was born and raised in Tonga, spending sixteen years of my life back home and to be amongst all of you, many of you who were like me, born and raised in Tonga, and who are achievers in the business community in New Zealand is fantastic.”

“I am humbled to have be given all these responsibilities, which weigh heavy on my shoulders as a Minister of the crown. But, it is indeed a blessing for me to represent Manukau East and South Auckland and to be a voice not only for the people of Manukau East, but a voice for Tongans in Aotearoa, in this government.”

“May I congratulate all of you recipients receiving awards tonight. Having seen the list, I am absolutely excited by the calibre & performance of a lot of you receiving awards.”


Pasifika Futures CEO, Debbie Sorensen was recognized for her outstanding effort and contribution to the NZ Tonga Business Council for her work as a Corporate Executive with a 2017 Business Excellence Recognition Award.

Wilmason Jensen, Deputy CEO for Pasifika Futures accepted the award on behalf of Debbie Sorensen saying, “We are humbled to work alongside and have such an exceptional leader at Pasifika Futures, and are even more humbled for Debbie to be recognised by the NZ Tonga Business Council.”

“We would like to acknowledge the Tonga Business Council for the work it does and for inviting us to be part of such a wonderful night celebrating Tonga business success”

Debbie was recognized along the following recipients in the Corporate Executive category:

Jack Bourke, Digicel

Rachel Skudder, BEST Institute of Education

Saia Fonua-Latu, TROW Group


Other categories on the night celebrated Women in Business, Exporters from Tonga, NZ Mainstream Business into Tonga, Entrepreneurs and Social Business Enterprise and special recognition with Tongan Business Navigator awards.

Congratulations to all award winners on the night, and a special thank you to the NZ Tonga Business Council for putting on such an enjoyable event, celebrating our Pacific leaders.