28 June 2016: New approach to increasing electoral participation amongst Pacific communities

Increasing engagement and participation in New Zealand’s elections is a shared responsibility, and the Electoral Commission and Pasifika Futures, the Pacific Whānau Ora commissioning agency have committed to working together to increase Pacific participation in New Zealand’s democratic processes.

Today, the two agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together to promote awareness and understanding of elections and democratic processes among Pacific families.

“We want all New Zealanders to be active participants in the decisions and decision-making processes that affect their lives,” says Chief Electoral Officer Robert Peden. “We want people to value their vote, and the impact that has on the health and welfare of their families, communities and country. So we are thrilled to be working with Pasifika Futures, who share these values, to increase Pacific participation in New Zealand’s elections.”

Pasifika Futures works with regionally-based providers and partners to build the capability and capacity of Pacific families. The MoU partnership has been formed recognising that the agencies can strengthen their approaches to achieve their goals.

“This MoU is significant and will provide a strong working relationship for the future, and one that sees us collaborate with  Pacific families so they  fully participate in electoral activities,” says Debbie Sorensen, CEO Pasifika Futures.

“The MoU will set out the framework for our working collaboration with the Electoral Commission and it comes at an optimum time when our commissioning agency is working towards a new approach of connecting and supporting vulnerable Pacific families.”

“We look forward to working together with the Commission to develop and consult on best Pacific engagement models and in turn developing a shared work plan relating how we can support Pacific communities and families to be fully engaged and participate in the democratic process.”

“Today’s MOU signing with Pasifika Futures is a milestone, and one that we hope will be the first of many agreements with agencies and organisations who can help us best reach New Zealand’s diverse communities,” says Mr Peden.

ENDS

For further information please contact Anastasia Turnbull, Manager Communication and Education on 027 474 3997 or Angie Enoka, Pasifika Futures Communications Manager on 021 809 137 or angie@pasifikafutures.co.nz

Issued: 28 June 2016