New journey for Pacific youth

Pacific Peoples minister in Gisborne yesterday.

Pacific Peoples minister in Gisborne yesterday.

Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio wants young Pacific Islanders to develop their full potential and to contribute to New Zealand society now and in the future. The Cabinet minister, in Gisborne yesterday, said the youth of today faced a significantly different world to that of his generation. Pictures by Liam Clayton
Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio.

The Pacific community is the fastest growing community in New Zealand and will become “mainstream’’ Kiwi, says Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio.

The minister was in Gisborne yesterday.

In conjunction with the Pacific Islanders’ Community Trust, he met with youth in the morning and trust members, community leaders and Pacific Island church members in the afternoon.

Mr Sio told those at the youth meeting that their generation was embarking on a new journey.

Like their ancestors, when they travelled through the Pacific while retaining their culture and language, they also faced a testing time in a changing world.

Unlike their parents, they would enter a digital economy, rather than an industrial one.

Forty percent of today’s jobs would not exist in 20 years, he said.

His generation had judged success in their personal lives by finding work and supporting their family in New Zealand and back in the islands.

He wondered how young islanders of today would judge personal success.

Would matters such as religion be important?

Affordable education was important and the Government had inherited ‘‘a housing crisis”.

The Government had reintroduced free tertiary education and aimed to build 100,000 houses over the next 10 years.

He wanted young islanders to “realise their full potential” and contribute to New Zealand.

There were 400,000 Pacific Islanders in New Zealand and 62 percent were New Zealand-born.

The average Pacific Islander was aged 21 while the average New Zealander was 36.

Mr Sio has been the Labour MP for Mangere since 2008 and was formerly the deputy mayor of Manukau City Council.

The title Aupito was bestowed upon him as paramount chief in his Samoan village of Letaupe.

The Pacific community is the fastest growing community in New Zealand and will become “mainstream’’ Kiwi, says Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio.

The minister was in Gisborne yesterday.

In conjunction with the Pacific Islanders’ Community Trust, he met with youth in the morning and trust members, community leaders and Pacific Island church members in the afternoon.

Mr Sio told those at the youth meeting that their generation was embarking on a new journey.

Like their ancestors, when they travelled through the Pacific while retaining their culture and language, they also faced a testing time in a changing world.

Unlike their parents, they would enter a digital economy, rather than an industrial one.

Forty percent of today’s jobs would not exist in 20 years, he said.

His generation had judged success in their personal lives by finding work and supporting their family in New Zealand and back in the islands.

He wondered how young islanders of today would judge personal success.

Would matters such as religion be important?

Affordable education was important and the Government had inherited ‘‘a housing crisis”.

The Government had reintroduced free tertiary education and aimed to build 100,000 houses over the next 10 years.

He wanted young islanders to “realise their full potential” and contribute to New Zealand.

There were 400,000 Pacific Islanders in New Zealand and 62 percent were New Zealand-born.

The average Pacific Islander was aged 21 while the average New Zealander was 36.

Mr Sio has been the Labour MP for Mangere since 2008 and was formerly the deputy mayor of Manukau City Council.

The title Aupito was bestowed upon him as paramount chief in his Samoan village of Letaupe.

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