Monday 31st July 2017 marked an evening of celebrations as Pasifika Futures hosted an Awards Dinner as part of their 2nd Annual Whanau Ora Conference at Te Warewaka o Poneke in Wellington.
The night was not only an opportunity to celebrate three years of outstanding Whanau Ora work as a collective, but to also acknowledge those who deserved special recognition for their service and commitment to the Pacific Community.
As guests arrived, the room transformed with vibrant colours in true Pacific style as the band featuring TJ Tautua and Lapi Mariner provided entertainment.
Rev. Tevita Finau opened the night and Pasifika Futures Board of Directors Chair Dr. Kiki Maoate welcomed guests, noting the special attendance of Minister for Pacific People Alfred Ngaro, Whanau Ora Minister Te Ururoa Flavell and Sir Michael Jones, among other esteemed Pacific People and CEO’s.
Minister Flavell had the opportunity to speak and used his time to throw away notes and talk from the heart saying “It really is a privilege to be the Minister for Whanau Ora when you are the Whanau.”
“The most important people are those who work with our families’ day to day.” He continued, giving special mention and thanks to the base level workers who were also in attendance through the wider Pasifika Futures providers network.
Then it was on to the night’s special recognitions, where Pasifika Futures CEO Debbie Sorensen took to the podium to conduct special ceremony, honouring Hamish Crooks and La’auli Michael Jones. “We cannot believe that we at Pasifika Futures have people of such high esteem in our work.” Says Debbie Sorensen
Both have been recognised for their service to the Pacific Community and were named on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2017. Jones as a Knight and Crooks as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
“My heart is overwhelmed with such a heart of gratitude.” La’auli Michael Jones exclaimed.
Mrs. Sorensen continued the presentation of Awards later in the evening to Pasifika Futures partner’s in recognition and sincere appreciation of their contribution towards Whanau Ora and the Pacific Community. The Award recipients are as follows:
Most Improved Core Whanau Ora Partner
Fonua Ola Network
Most Improved Innovation Whanau Ora Parter
Best Performing Core Whanau Ora Partner
Best Performing Innovation Whanau Ora Partner
CIDANZ (Cook Islands Development Agency NZ)
Navigator of the Year Core Whanau Ora Work
Mrs. Malie Faavalaavu from South Seas Healthcare
Navigator of the Year Innovation Whanau Ora Work
Mrs. Violani Wills from Wellington Tongan Leaders Council
Congratulations to all our winners & to everyone involved! We will have the full Awards Dinner Gallery Available soon