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"Put one full bi-lingual year 1-13 in Christchurch – support this school with teaching and resources – you will see a positive difference supported by all."

"Pasifika parents expect their children to perform and achieve academically without losing their identities, languages and cultures in the process."

"Graduating with your values intact, with your culture still intact, helps with feeling safe."

Are these important to you?

  • All comments are supportive of the key shifts identified based on last year’s fono, with a number of comments on particular shifts.
  • Calling out racism and discrimination – has a strong impact as it is part of everyday life, linked to academic success, need for all teachers to be culturally competent – especially high school teachers, being able to graduate with ‘your culture still intact’ is important, requires us all to embrace uniqueness of each culture, make Tapasā compulsory.
  • Must acknowledge that racism isn’t just from Palagi to others. Some young people were also concerned about the way you might be treated if you identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community e.g. being kicked out of church for being gay (one example). But others said that wouldn’t happen in their community.
  • Targeting support and growing bilingual pathways – suggestion to develop one full bi-lingual year 1-13 school in Christchurch with teachers and resources and it will be strongly supported by community, currently a gap between ECE and then NCEA learning languages, also requires more teachers. “Soso’o o le fau i le fau” – described as connecting one fibre to another to form a rope, this is seen as what is needed in the bilingual space in Christchurch. Parents could also help with this.
  • More Pacific teachers – need to reduce barriers for Pacific trained teachers to transfer qualification, will help to grow bilingual opportunities, need better career pathways for all teachers, including Pasifika teachers, need to identify and train Pacific teachers early
  • Bromley Primary is mentioned as a good example of connecting with parents 

Is there something missing? What would you change about the areas?

  • More stories of all diverse peoples integrated into the curriculum (including Māori and Pasifika history). We should be teaching more about all cultures from early on.
  • Wellbeing/Hauora
  • It is notes that IELTS locks many prospective Pacific teachers out of the industry.
  • The role of the church and church leaders and using this relationship
  • Getting principals and boards to buy in
  • Some young people want the opportunity to have language classes, like you do with te reo Māori. They also like the idea of having a cultural space where you can mix with other Pacific students at school
  • Have free teacher education for Pasifika
  • Point one should be split – discrimination and racism are huge. Change from ‘end’ to ‘reduce’ to make it more realistic
  • More spots available for Tapasā PD as they are often full
  • Teaching growth mind-set and self-efficacy to Pacific learners and families 


  • How can we help Tongan teachers qualified in Tonga to have a pathway to work in New Zealand?
  • How do we support parents/families to understand pathways that aren’t just university?
  • We have single cell classroom model but what model suits Pacific Island students? How do we implement that over time?

Most common indicators of success (in order)

  • Pacific learners and their families feel accepted and included
  • Pacific families feel confident supporting their children in education
  • Pacific learners’ faith and beliefs and cultures are valued in education
  • Pacific learners and families have access to technology to support their learning
  • Pacific learners see themselves reflected in their teachers and leaders
  • There are no financial barriers to accessing education for Pacific learners and families
  • Pacific learners and their families feel that their subject choices create good opportunities for their future

Christchurch Fono Summary [PDF]