Need for Pasifika hub highlighted

The Rev Latuivai Kioa Latu proposed a new Pasifika community hub at the Dunedin City Council 10...
The Rev Latuivai Kioa Latu proposed a new Pasifika community hub at the Dunedin City Council 10-year plan hearings yesterday. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Pasifika residents of Dunedin need a community gathering place, city councillors were told yesterday.

Dunedin resident the Rev Latuivai Kioa Latu said there was ‘‘a huge need for a community hub in our city’’.

‘‘It is a high concern for [the Pacific community] given that our culture is very communal.”

Mr Latu said a centre could help break the cycle of “the high rates of crimes involving a lot of our people and our young people”.

“[We would] try and stop our Pacific relations or youth going through that path through proper cultural training.”

Cr Christine Garey asked if Mr Latu wanted a centre for the Samoan community or a hub for the Pasifika community.

Mr Latu said the latter was what he envisioned.

“For me it’s a community hub that can house all different ethnic groups, not just Samoans.”

The need for a facility was highlighted by a recent gathering of the Samoan community at the town hall.

“It was a huge gathering. [It was the] first time that all the Samoans [were together]. Different churches, local individuals, students from the university, we were all there.’’

- By Andrew Marshall

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