Nga Vaka o Kaiga Tapu Cultural
Frameworks create an opportunity to return to
the beauty and richness of our culture

Research shows that violence was not a part of our Pacific cultures, and so it should not be a part of our present nor our future. A loss of our culture (understanding and practices) has led to a breakdown in relational being, and an escalation in unacceptable violent behaviour. 

The eight Nga Vaka o Kāiga Tapu Cultural Frameworks create an opportunity to return to the beauty and richness of our culture, and holds the solutions regarding ways of knowing, and ways of being.  Bringing these to the fore in our practice and using culturally appropriate tools to engage with Pacific families, allows us to return to a state of wellbeing.

The Nga Vaka o Kāiga Tapu: Pathways to Wellbeing Fono is a free Fono for those who want to contribute to the discussion of Family Violence as it relates to Pacific communities, families, women and children.

The one-day event at Waipuna Hotel in Auckland includes international keynote speakers, Samoa Ombudsman, Maiava Iulai Toma from Samoa and Academic and former politician, Dr Ana Taufe’ulungaki from Tonga, alongside policy influencers, Rev Dr. Charles Waldegrave and Taimalie-utu Kiwi Tamasese from the Family Centre Social Policy and Research Unit and Salu Uepa who will share her experiences with family violence.

Also on the programme, the Minister of Social Development, the Hon. Carmel Sepuloni and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Justice (Sexual and Domestic Violence Issues), Jan Logie who is responsible for joint agency work in family violence.

Keynote speakers

Maiava Iulai Toma is the current Ombudsman for Samoa.  He recently led the Pacific’s first ever national public inquiry into Family Violence.  The Office of the Ombudsman identified family violence as a priority human rights concern and determined that its complex nature meant a National Public Inquiry should occur. Due to the broad scope of violence in Samoa, the Office chose to place particular emphasis on violence against women and girls and the impact of violence on the upbringing of children. 

The report which was presented to Parliament in June 2018 was based on written submissions and public and closed hearings allowing survivors, perpetrators and other witnesses to come forward and tell their stories, their understanding of family violence and how it could be addressed. 

Maiava Iulai Toma is one of the longest serving public servants for the Government of Samoa. He previously worked as Secretary to Government, CEO Department of Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs & Cabinet, Samoa Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador to the USA and High Commission to Canada.

Dr Konai Helu Thaman is one of the longest serving staff of the University of the South Pacific, Konai is currently Professor of Pacific Education and Culture and was the UNESCO Chair in Teacher Education and Culture from 1998-2016.  She recently joined the USP’s Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture & Pacific Studies. She was born and raised in Tonga where she received her primary and secondary education. She studied at the University of Auckland (BA in Geography), Auckland Secondary Teachers’ College (Teaching Diploma), the University of California at Santa Barbara (MA in International Education), and the University of the South Pacific (PhD in Education). She taught in Tonga and has been on the staff at the USP since 1974. She has researched and published widely in the areas of curriculum, teacher education, indigenous education, women and university management, and more recently Pacific research frameworks and education for sustainable development.  Internationally respected for her insights and research, for the Pathways to Wellbeing Conference, we will be drawing on Konai’s expertise and research into culture, cultural structures and how these areas contribute to positive relations within families.

Pathways to Wellbeing

Breakfast Session - Friday 22nd February 2018 (limited registration)
7:00am Registration Opens
Participants arrive
Tea and coffee on arrival
7:15am Engaging in the Pacific Vision for Family Violence Hon Aupito Tofae Su'a William Sio
Minister for Pacific Peoples
Programme Session - Friday 22nd February 2018 (limited registration)
9:30am Opening Lotu Rev Setaita Veikune
9:50am Opening and Welcome Fa’amatuainu Tino Pereira
Cultural Lead – Nga Vaka
10:00am Hon Carmel Sepuloni
Minister of Social Development
10:20am Key Note: Learnings from Samoa’s Public Inquiry into Family Violence Maiava Iulai Toma
Ombudsman and Chief
Commissioner of Samoa
11:15am Facilitated Break out session
Session Leaders: Nga Vaka Facilitators
1:00pm Key Note: Safeguarding Indigenous knowledge systems Dr Konai Helu Thaman
2:00pm Facilitated Break out session
Session Leaders: Nga Vaka Facilitators
3:30pm Peoples Voice: Experience of family violence Salu Uepa
4:15pm Lower Hutt Family Centre: Community definitions of Wellbeing Taimalie-utu Kiwi Tamasese
Charles Waldegrave
Tafaoimalo Loudeen Parsons
5:15pm Fono Rapporteur summarises Dr Jean Mitaera
Closing words Fa’amautainu Tino Pereira
Cultural Lead Nga Vaka
6:15pm Welcome to the dinner Dinner MC Brian Sagala
6:45pm Dinner Speaker
Theme: Government’s Commitment to Eliminating Violence and partnering with Pacific communities
Under Secretary Jan Logie