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"[We need] Teacher education that equips teachers with the clarity and confidence to facilitate the conversations about racism and bias.  The hard talk."

"Need to focus on QUALITY teachers.  Being a QUALITY teacher is a teacher who has strong Pacific Cultural Knowledge and knows their learners, who values each of the cultures, languages and identity - regardless of the teacher's ethnicity."

Are these important to you?

  • There is strong support for all of the areas listed, with most groups making additional comments about addressing racism and discrimination, growing bilingual pathways and partnering with parents
  • Need to note region specific issues, such as Auckland rental and house price impacts. It means year 13 students are having to work to help family and this impacts their learning.
  • Addressing racism means we need to educate people on how to have the tough conversations but some shared that it shouldn’t be up to students to fight institutional racism, leaders should be doing this
  • From the young people, the most stand out and important shift identified is addressing racism and discrimination. One group suggested that Pacific teachers isn’t as important because they are 'happy with any race for a teacher as long as the content and way of teaching is appropriate.'

Is there something missing?

  • Get rid of IELTS
  • Mandatory Pacific representation in school leadership
  • Call for more accountability and professional development for cultural competency of teachers
  • Spiritual education – different religions and beliefs and values
  • Pacific specific schools like PASS
  • Pacific history and stories being taught from a Pacific perspective
  • Some young people felt gender issues were missing and that there needs to be an equal focus on all the Pacific groups, not just Samoan. 
  • Young people expressed wanting to be in mixed ability classes “why do they put the Europeans in separate classes from the Pacific and less smart people in the lower classes?
  • Young people want to see cultural sensitivity training and making non-Pacific teachers do workshops to learn about their cultures 

What would you change about the areas?

  • Bilingual options and skills are quite different.  Separate to unpack actions properly.  Key to the skills part is ensuring the front end of NZC is unpacked and connected clearly to the back-end.
  • More foundation courses, English courses, scholarships for Pacific people to study education/teaching. 


  • How close are we to these outcomes?
  • How do we get more Pacific people from the islands to teach in NZ?
  • What PD is there for Pacific cultural intelligence across the Board?
  • How do we empower our parents?
  • Have we addressed the links between the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ and ‘who’, then implement the leadership to do this?
  • Questions from young people:
    • How can we end racism and discrimination in school without offending another race?

Most common indicators of success (in order)

  • Pacific learners' faith beliefs and cultures are valued in education
  • Pacific learners and their families feel accepted and included
  • Pacific learners and families are free from racism and discrimination in education
  • Pacific learners have the skills to succeed in the workforce
  • Pacific learners can learn in their language throughout their education
  • Pacific families feel confident supporting their children in education
  • Education leaders do things to show they value Pacific cultures
  • Pacific learners can learn about their culture and heritage

South Auckland Fono Summary [PDF]