‘Ava ceremony welcomes Laulu to the Ministry

posted: 2:00 am - 3rd July 2017
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The new Chief Executive of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, Laulu Mac Leauanae was welcomed during an 'ava ceremony this morning.

Held at the Ministry’s national office in Wellington, the ceremony signaled the beginning of Laulu’s time with the Ministry, taking over from Ms Pauline A. Winter (QSO).

The new Chief Executive was among several senior government officials, including members of the board and staff from the Pacific Cooperation Foundation where he was a former CEO.

At the ‘ava ceremony, La’auli Sir Michael Jones spoke about Laulu being the right character for the job.

“You don’t have to scratch the surface to see Laulu’s character as a leader. He has the traits and values that make a good leader. Laulu is an outstanding citizen and he brings a valuable skillset to the Ministry, in addition to his enormous passion for our Pacific community.”

Speaking on behalf of the Pacific community, Fa’amatuainu Tino Pereira thanked Laulu’s family and supporters for allowing him to take on the role and offered Laulu some sensible advice.

“We, as the Pacific community will look up at you as you transition into your new role. Remember this; leading the Ministry for the community, we encourage you to exercise good judgement, show respect for your people and your love for your community.”

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“You are an exceptional choice to be our leader. The Pacific community will support you and get behind you in your new role and we’re very proud of you.”

“You are in a good place to advocate for strong and effective policy for our families and communities.”

Laulu officially starts his new role in leading the Ministry today. He is mindful that the new position comes with a lot of challenges, which he is both willing to and capable of taking on.

The Ministry concluded with a Samoan hymn ‘Faafetai le Atua’ which is a fitting theme to the celebration of giving God thanks for all things possible.

Laulu was accompanied by his colleagues at the Pacific Foundation Cooperation, his extended family, and loving mother Ulufale Leauanae and wife Alison Leauanae at his side.