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Vision of economic prosperity for Pacific people

Vision of economic prosperity for Pacific people

  • 11 Aug 2019
Tevita Funaki 001 650x350px

The new chair of Pacific Business Trust (PBT) Tevita Funaki (pictured) is driven by the dream to see more Pacific people experience greater levels of wellbeing, including economic prosperity. 

Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon. Aupito William Sio recently announced the replacement for outgoing Chair Fa’amatuainu Tino Pereira, who served as PBT Chair from October 2015 to June 30, 2019. 

Among Tevita’s responsibilities is the governance leadership of PBT as it rolls out the expansion of a Pacific economic development strategy, in partnership with the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP).

This year’s Wellbeing Budget has allocated $11.2 million over four years to MPP to transform PBT, to help business start-ups and business expansions, support individual entrepreneurs.

A goal is for PBT to provide support to community enterprises and job creating opportunities, including linking up investors, businesses, community enterprises with the economies of the Pacific region. 

A Bachelor of Commerce graduate of the University of Otago, Tevita has been the Chief Executive Officer of The Fono since July 2010.

Tevita has an extensive career working with Pacific communities in health and education, and he leads the operational arm of The Fono.

Previous roles he has held include Pacific Health Manager for ProCare Health Ltd and National Pasifika Liaison Advisor at Massey University, and he has also managed an Employment Consultancy and Project Management Services firm.

Tevita is also the Chairperson of the Ministry of Social Development Pacific Steering Group, Chairman of ProCare Network Ltd, Chairman of Oceania Career Academy as well as the Unitec Fono Faufautua Committee and a member of numerous other Boards.

The new PBT Chair says for Pacific people, wellbeing is holistic, and unlocking economic prosperity for our people will provide opportunities to address health and social challenges.

“This also recognises the cultural capital we have as Pacific people.

“All of this can contribute to improving the wellness of our people and communities.”

He is also looking forward to the transformation PBT will be leading, he says.

“We need to continue being courageous and ensure we maintain our strong values as we align our work to the needs of our community.

“We are not only working for those who are in business now, but setting up for future business owners and leaders.”

The Trust has acknowledged the contribution of outgoing Chair Fa’amatuainu Tino Pereira and Board member Tiumalu Peter Fa’afiu.

With the two outgoing members Samuelu (Sam) Sefuiva and Leaupepe Rachel Karalus join the Board, and both been appointed for a three year term.

Sam has over 30 years’ experience in public policy, strategic and business advice, cultural and economic development and executive leadership.

He has a strong professional and personal interest in the Pacific region particularly in human rights, social enterprise and public policy.

Leaupepe is currently the Chief Executive of K’aute Pasifika Trust.

Before taking up this role, Rachel practiced as a litigation lawyer for almost 15 years in Auckland, Wellington and Waikato and during that time, Rachel held governance roles on the board of K’aute Pasifika Trust and Lifeline NZ.

She has current Executive/Board roles with the Hamilton Christian Night Shelter and Child Matters.

The Pacific Business Trust Board members:

Tevita Funaki (Chair)
Rachel Taumoepeau- Afeaki
Maria Fuata
Ron Viviani
Samuelu (Sam) Sefuiva
Leaupepe Rachel Karalus