News, Press Releases

Pacific diaspora leadership key to improving NZ’s aid

Posted on 18 October 2021

Pacific diaspora leaders in Aotearoa New Zealand play a key role in development and humanitarian responses in the Pacific, but traditionally the links with aid agencies and charities has been weak.

The Council for International Development (CID) is on a mission to change that by further reaching out to Pacific organisations and Pacific diaspora professionals in New Zealand to join the CID membership. CID is the umbrella organisation for New Zealand’s aid charities and partners, with over sixty members. 

“We are thrilled to announce the appointment of two new Board members who will lead this work, not just connecting the aid sector more closely to Pacific diaspora organisations, but also to Māori development expertise,” says CID Board Chair, Ian McInnes.

Afamasaga Jackie Curry, founding Director of Spacific Consultancy has joined the CID Board, along with Kimberleigh Murray from Deloitte.  Afamasaga has worked in the Pacific business, education and community sectors in Aotearoa and Samoa and brings her experience, expertise and connections with Pacific networks to this kāupapa. Kimberleigh (Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kuri, Ngāi Takoto) is a private consultant at Deloitte specialising in Māori organisations.

“Our Pasifika community in New Zealand are already connected to family and community back home, and play a leadership role across the Pacific.  We have been contributing to development in the region through family, village and national level connections since we first migrated to Aotearoa.  Covid has closed borders, but it has given us an opportunity to re-imagine how New Zealand does aid and development in the Pacific Region,” says Afamasaga Jackie Curry.

“We all have a role to play, whether working in an aid charity or a Pacific organisation here in New Zealand. It’s time we worked more closely together to deliver development outcomes and solutions for our Pacific Region. We need to developed solutions using ‘for Pacific, by Pacific’ approaches, and utilising the depth of expertise and cultural knowledge of our Pacific professionals, organisations and communities here in Aotearoa to help deliver these solutions back home in our island nations.”

“There is a wealth of expertise in Māori communities and businesses about how to create opportunities and develop locally-run sectors. We can do more to bring that indigenous knowledge into New Zealand’s aid and development work,” says Kimberleigh Murray.

CID hosted two online Fono sessions with Pacific diaspora leaders and organisations this week, to gauge their interest in being more directly involved in CID and engaged in the aid and development sector. In particular, in the Pacific regional development and humanitarian space via projects and initiatives delivered in partnership with New Zealand’s aid agencies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFAT).

The CID Annual Conference will be held online on October 26, and will present keynote speeches from Pacific leaders, including Prime Minister Mark Brown, and former Prime Minister Rt Hon. Helen Clark.  It will also include a Pacific panel to discuss the future of aid and development from a Pacific worldview in the Covid era.