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 “Pacific languages should be a priority over European languages.”

 “If the principal doesn’t value Pacific students, then they won’t get the desired outcomes” Pacific youth

Are these important to you?

  • General consensus that they are important
  • Particular mention of supporting Pacific languages and of addressing racism and appreciation for calling it out and putting it up front
  • Some concern that having special places in schools and universities for Pacific students to get support comes across as biased against other groups who might want that 

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

  • Put as much emphasis on cultural awareness as on ending racism – PD to help with cultural competency. Teachers should know that Pacific funerals aren’t just one day. Must have anti-bias training for teachers across all sectors
  • More responsive curriculum, currently mono-ethnic (Pākeha). Need to incorporate Pacific into the curriculum – religions, history, language, Polyfest
  • Pacific representation on school boards is essential but can be difficult and Principals need to take responsibility for engaging with parents and being proactive regarding Pacific cultures. Parents being more involved will help with improving education. We need more proactive communication with parents.
  • There needs to be a better way of resolving issues in schools and universities in a way that something will change
  • Rules around IELTS need to be addressed
  • More Māori and Pacific staff at the Ministry of Education
  • Pacific worldviews should be part of the plan – the Health Plan does this
  • Wellbeing and belonging must be key for ALL learners – need to normalise mental health for Pacific students and families and have more Pacific staff in the mental health field.
  • Add “distinct Pacific worldviews to the first shift” and add “and employers” to the second. 


  • How will racism in our current schools be addressed?
  • How do we change ingrained attitudes to eliminate racism?
  • How do Pacific Island children query certain aspects of their education without fear of being labelled or boxed?

Most common indicators of success (in order)

  • There are no financial barriers to accessing education for Pacific learners and families
  • Pacific learners and their families feel accepted and included
  • Non Pacific educators can teach Pacific learners in a way that values their cultures
  • There are strong relationships between Pacific families and place of education
  • Pacific learners and their families are free from racism and discrimination in education
  • Pacific families feel confident supporting their children in education
  • Pacific learners have the skills to succeed in the workforce

Dunedin Fono Summary [PDF]