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"We agree racism is a big issue – this is a priority for us. Any kind of discrimination is not okay, we need to call it out."

"They bunch everyone up as PI. But everyone has their own mana. Even within Samoa, they have their own islands, their own villages." Pacific parent

"I’m coming back to the need for us to design it ourselves. Not conforming to what MoE wants." Pacific parent

Are these important to you?

  • The primary school students who discussed these areas supported them. They specifically thanked Pacific teachers for teaching them about their culture, wanted people to stop bullying and racism and want to make sure peoples’ names are pronounced correctly
  • Support from adults for the focus areas, particularly for more Pacific teachers and for stronger connections with parents and families. It is noted that there are many Pacific teachers in Tokoroa and that it is still important to be aware that just because someone is Pacific, doesn’t mean they are expert in all areas. It can be a risk because you can feel shame if you don’t speak the language and can also feel burnt out with extra responsibilities
  • Parents also want more Pacific teachers because they know their children are comfortable with them but most importantly they want the right person to help their child to succeed
  • Many people shared experiences of being embarrassed when their name was mispronounced
  • If we are going to support bilingual, it needs to start early. What can we learn from Kohanga Reo movement? 

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

  • Faith – Christianity and culture are interlinked
  • Workshops for parents on things like NCEA
  • Resources for supporting the development of life skills
  • Provide funding and time to make these changes happen
  • Pathways, careers days, work experience
  • Cultural competence of all teachers
  • More support for teachers – time, teacher aides
  • More focus on New Zealand history and Treaty of Waitangi in the curriculum 


  • How can families help support children’s education?
  • What will happen to this information and when will it roll out?
  • How are we going to achieve change?
  • How do we get more of a voice as students?

Most common indicators of success (in order)

  • Pacific learners’ faith and beliefs and cultures are valued in education
  • There are strong relationships between Pacific families and places of education
  • There are no financial barriers to accessing education for Pacific learners and families
  • Pacific learners and families have access to technology to support their learning
  • Pacific learners and their families feel accepted and included
  • Education leaders do things to show they value Pacific cultures

Tokoroa Fono Summary [PDF]