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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 Christine Nurminen - PEC Chief Executive Officer.

"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.  We also talked to MIT about spaces they have here, and we saw an opportunity with their new development of the Pasifika Community Centre.

It's a great facility 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 the Pasifika Development Office, Seiuli Terri Leo-Mauu described the move as an advantageous partnership and PEC’s relocation an important one.

“They’re linked on to the centre, and whenever we’re talking to our networks now, we’re also talking about PEC and what they’ve got on offer, we're 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 settling in and continuity. In their brief time so far, the team are amazed and grateful for some of the following 'wow' encounters: 

  • Having the Māori expertise of 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 on since PEC began, the focus of once providing books and texts around the English language for new Pacific migrants, 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. 

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