Charged with the hefty responsibility of encouraging New Zealanders to enrol and vote, the Electoral Commission engages with many communities throughout Aotearoa.
Recently, a group from the Electoral Commission connected with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) Northern Regional team to access knowledge and experience to ensure they are engaging with Pacific peoples in a meaningful and respectful way, says National Manager Enrolment and Community Engagement Mandy Bohte.
The Northern Regional team led by Senior Advisors Adrian Hipa and Viliami Liava’a, facilitated a Yavu workshop in Auckland with the Electoral Commission group to support that engagement.
Yavu provides a framework for organisations and agencies on how to engage in a culturally responsive and sustainable way with Pacific peoples, while outlining steps for effective engagement through building, nurturing and maintaining relationships.
The relationships and outcomes are meaningful for Pacific people when the insights from the engagement are incorporated in to the policy development process.
Kapasa – the Pacific Policy Analysis Tool is provided to support this process for better policy outcomes for Pacific peoples.
The workshop was engaging, fun and supported by great resources and facilitators, and the team could not stop taking about how much they had enjoyed and learned from the training, Mandy says.
Yavu has provided the Electoral Commission team with greater insight and awareness of how it should engage using a Pacific cultural lens, she adds.
“By using Yavu principles it will allow the team to confidently enhance its engagement with Pacific peoples, while keeping the strong common cultural values at the forefront.”
Encouraging each and every New Zealander to vote is vital, and with the growing population of Pacific voters, the Commission is keen to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with Pacific communities.
“This training has provided the platform to ensure we are will be prepared and culturally aware for all interactions small or large,” she says
Teams on the front line, organising events and community presentations, along with project teams delivering large pieces of work will utilise the Yavu framework on a daily basis at the Electoral Commission and it will be applied up front at project initiation used throughout planning and implementations stages.
Mandy adds it is hoped the wider Electoral Commission team will undergo Yavu training.
“Every person who is working on projects or in the front line would benefit from it.”