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At the forefront of Pacific Language and Culture in Aotearoa since 1978

We Are Aoteaoloa - eNews

JUNE 2017

PEC MOVES TO MIT

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A joint venture between the Pasifika Education Centre (PEC) and Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) is a partnership of strengths according to Chief Executive Officer Christine Nurminen.

“We were looking at how best we can partner with organisations in South Auckland, and the Government recommended that we talk with MIT about our programmes that support Pasifika people, encouraged by that we also talked to MIT about spaces they have here, and we saw an opportunity with their new development of the Pasifika Community Centre.”

“MIT has a great facility with their new Pasifika Community Centre and having our energy combined [with the Pasifika Development Office who manage the centre], there’s more discussion, debate, questions, and talanoa about the work we’re doing and the value that Pasifika language and culture has in not just South Auckland but beyond.”

Manager of Pasifika Development at MIT Seiuli Terri Leo-Mauu described the move as an advantageous partnership and PEC’s relocation an important move.

“They’re linked on to the centre, and anywhere we can, we’re sharing spaces and supporting each other’s work.  Whenever we’re talking to our networks now, we’re also talking about PEC and what they’ve got on offer, so it’s about letting communities know and everyone else in the student community, that PEC are here and they can start enrolling for programmes.”

It’s been three weeks since the move but for Christine and her team, their focus has been on settling in and continuity.  Within the process of relocation PEC have encountered some amazing ‘wow’ moments such as:

  • PEC has moved seven times in its history!
  • Having the Māori expertise of the whanau at Ngā Kete Wānanga Marae right around the corner where a cup of tea can be shared and wise counsel sought
  • Seeing new and diverse students and hearing their migration stories
  • Having the the increased care factor from MIT facilities and IT to transition into their new venue
  • Forming new relationships and getting to know MIT staff
  • Embracing the richness and goodness of Otara 

Nearly 40 years since PEC began, the focus of once providing books and texts around the English language for new Pacific immigrants has transformed to being more about the people.

“Our Pasifika resources are us, our people” says Christine.  Our community teachers are all bilingual and the majority of them have had experiences in education for long periods of time, here or in the islands.  They have tertiary qualifications or have served in places where they were part of resource development, so they are very passionate about the work we do.”

“One of our programmes at PEC is called Koloa ‘a e Pasifika, it’s about Pacific knowledge and competency and having MIT staff and ourselves sharing in that knowledge is again part of this joint venture, it’s quite exciting, and early days, but we are finding our feet here.”