Good in the Hood: “It’s easier for Pasifika to approach a familiar face”

Community March 9, 2023

Empowering Pasifika community

With your help, Z Energy’s (Z) Good in the Hood programme is helping empower, support and provide training to Pasifika in the Manawatū-Wanganui region.

Palmerston North-based trust Papaioea Pasifika Community Trust (PPCT) is a social service provider supporting Pasifika families, and its vision is to “develop an empowered, resilient and prosperous community”.

Sonny Liuvaie, chairperson of the 20-year-old trust, says it is dedicated to empowering local Pasifika, and in turn believes that this benefits everyone.

“The organisation does integral work supporting our community. It’s an opportunity for us to serve and give back, and to create a path for families to make a positive impact in society,” says Sonny.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, PPCT was able to provide food packs to vulnerable families in isolation, lease devices and contribute towards bills, school fees and uniforms.

However, Sonny says it’s not always easy for Pasifika to ask for help, with generally low trust in government organisations. PPCT helps identify the needs of the community and finds the required support. “We all know in this day and age there are a lot of vulnerable families out there and it takes courage for people to come and ask for help. It’s easier for Pasifika to approach a familiar face.”

The trust has four paid staff, but a lot of the work is done by volunteers. For the past five years, PPCT has run numeracy and literacy classes, as well as computer classes for children and sessions for the elderly to enhance information literacy skills and promote social connections. 

PPCT is a strong advocate of Pasifika health and wellbeing, and promotes the teaching and learning of Pacific languages, celebrating children’s educational achievements and parental support.

“The funds provided from Z have been used to support two Pasifika community education providers: Amanaki STEM Academy and Lalanga Moui – a Tongan language nest. It’s really encouraging that other people see and appreciate the value that organisations like ours are providing. The Good in the Hood donation means that we are able to give back to communities that need help.”

Ka pai Aotearoa

Thanks for fuelling up at Z and voting with your little orange token. You helped us share $1 million with community groups across New Zealand in 2022.

Over the last decade, we've donated more than $9.5 million to groups doing good in our hoods. Find out more about Good in the Hood.