Wellington Scoop

Pasifika business awards announced

News from Pasifika Business Network
After a successful inaugural Awards in 2016, this evening the Wellington Pasifika Business Network partnered with NZ Māori Tourism to hold its 2nd Wellington Pasifika in Business Awards.

“This evening signals an exciting step forward in our relationship with local iwi and Māori as we collectively support more Māori and Pacific people into business,” says Network Board Chairman, Paul Retimanu.

“We not only celebrated the ambition, innovation and ideas of Pacific people in business, but we also recognised the sacrifices and risks they’ve made and taken. This evening was an opportunity to thank them for the contribution their making to our local economy. I’m really encouraged by both the calibre, quality and depth of our Pacific people in business.

“With the likes of Sonia Tiatia of Dine Academy (Winner, Pasifika Woman in Business Award), and Joey Fiu of Toki Services (Winner, Pasifika Rising Star Business of the Year Award), I’m absolutely confident that our future is in safe hands.”

Winner of the NZ Māori Tourism Supreme Award (Wellington Pasifika Business of the Year) was Circuit Systems Ltd. Owned and operated by Luke Meredith, Circuit Systems is at the pinnacle and forefront of security both in Wellington and across New Zealand.

An established business owner himself, Retimanu says that with the growing Māori and Pacific demographic, there has to be an expectation for us to own and harness our intellect and ideas, and to use this to our advantage.

The growth of the Pacific population is a defining feature of the twenty first century. With 1.6 per cent of the Pacific population being either self-employed or an employer, there is still a long way to go.

“Our Network has always been committed to being a part of the solution to increase both Māori and Pacific business ownership, this includes creating a space that fosters new thinking and one that supports growth and success.

“Moving forward, we want to be a part of collectively identifying emerging challenges, breeding opportunities and scaling Māori and Pacific businesses up, particularly in the Wellington region.” Says Paul Retimanu.


Pasifika Rising Star Business of the Year – Joey Fiu, Toki Services
Pasifika Woman Business Owner of the Year – Arti Chand, Crengle Shreves & Ratner
Most Innovative Pasifika Business of the Year – Taupou Tatau Ltd
Pasifika Community Minded Business of the Year – Dine Academy, Sonia Tiatia
Established Pasifika Business of the Year – Wellington Pipelines Ltd, James and Vanessa Fruean
NZ Maori Tourism Supreme Award, Wellington Pasifika Business of the Year – Circuit Systems Ltd, Luke Meredith.
Special Community Recognition Award – P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A Incorporated.

6 per cent of New Zealand’s Pacific population are either self-employed or an employer, of that, the majority of Pacific businesses are in –
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (9 per cent)
Transport and Warehousing (10 per cent)
Construction (18 per cent)
400 registered charities with a Pacific specific component to their activities/services – conservative estimates estimate they share a combined asset base of more than $300 million
31 per cent of Pacific people report income from other sources such as self-employment and investments, compared with 66 per cent of total population

The Wellington Pasifika Business Network plays a unique role in helping grow Pasifika-owned businesses in Wellington. We’ve created both a space and a network of like-minded Pasifika business owners who can share ideas and successes, and be supported to drive leading-edge innovation both for Pacific and in mainstream.

Press Release – PACIFICA Inc
“E au le ina’ilau a tina, e au le ina’ilau a tama’ita’i,” a Samoan proverb which basically means that women can achieve anything and that women get things done.

On behalf of P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A INC, from Whangarei to Invercargill, Thank you Wellington Pasifika Business Network for acknowledging the work that we have done as an organisation for the last 43 years. We are deeply humbled and honoured to receive this Community award. It is a proud moment for P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A INC and a testament to the hard work and strong leadership of our founders, former Presidents and many of our pioneer members who have passed on, past and current members, our 17 branches across the country, on whose shoulders we stand on today,” said P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A INC National President Tofilau Bernadette Pereira.

The prestigious award was presented by Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban, Patron of the Wellington Pasifika Business Network, at the Wharewaka Function Centre in the capital. Tofilau also acknowledged and congratulated Luamanuvao Dame Winnie for her new title as Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DNZM) because of her services to education and to our Pacific community with alofa and grace.

P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A INC is a non-government organisation who has played an instrumental role in progressing and promoting Pasefika women across Aotearoa, New Zealand since its establishment in 1976. The members have been in the forefront of local and national projects including Breast Screening, Rheumatic Fever, Anti-violence, Educational programmes, political forums and other projects that build strong resilient women and communities.